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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys
I have purchased my RL 3 months ago from dealer (74k). Now I have (78k) on it 1 month ago I have had installed Pioneer avic 7000 radio on it. Today as I was driving home the battery light went on and it makes little different noise as I step on the gas, like airplane lol not much noise but noticeable. So far the truck is driving normally but I think there is a problem with alternator. The truck is under 80k Is it common for RL to have a problem with alternator that soon ?
I'm really upset as the dealer wants $770 and I'm still paying for the car.
Anyways they will check the car on Monday to exactly determine what it is but lets be honest what else could it be.
Any suggestions ?
 

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Strart the car & go out to look under the hood (KEEP YOUR HANDS OUT OF THERE!).
1) Make sure that your serpentine belt is still there driving pulleys (on left side of engine as you are looking in. (if not, then.....)
2) Next look to see if you can see if the alternator is turning with the belt. (if not then alternator is bad ... seized bearing)
3) SHUT OFF ENGINE, and then (engine NOT running), check to see that the belt is fairly taught .... shouldn't deflect easily. (if not, belt needs to be tightened .... this is not really all that likely, but you do want to check for it)

If all of this is OK, then you do need to have it diagnosed.... BUT;
4) take it to a local battery shop or auto parts store that will do a free battery check. They will put a meter on it & tell you if the either the alternator or the battery is bad. NOT conclusive (they do a fairly simple test), but it will give you a cursory second opinion.
Lastly,
5) you might want to consider an auto electric shop instead of the dealer (if you're going to be paying for it). They'll put in an alternator a LOT cheaper for you.... and maybe even just rebuild yours (depends on the shop).

Good Luck..... (if your battery is dead, you can put a charger on it & that will give you enough juice to get it to a shop & back.... DON'T run radio, a/c, etc. during that trip)

As for your recent radio install...... I doubt it has any connection to your problem, but who knows! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I checked the battery . Voltage was 12.6V So I think that is good. Now I will check everything else.
But is it normal for alternator to last only 80k ?
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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The alternator on our Pilot died in the early 90k range. So it is possible. $770 is way high for a simple alternator replacement, if that's all it is. I think alternator life is directly a function of how hard it gets worked. So a vehicle that drives for a while with a low battery (which constantly needs longer recharges) may have a shorter alternator life than one with a healthy battery. Or so I've heard.

Here's the drive belt Dnick referenced:
 

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Most part stores, autozone/adavanced auto, will test your battery and alternator if you pull them and take them in.
Adding the radio could be putting more draw on a weak system causing the light.
Ive changed alts on vehicles w/ less than 80k many times.
There is a core charge if you don't bring your old in, around $50-70, but most Remanufactured alts. cost around $150-180 w/ exchange, prolly $300 new no core
I usually see if the vehicle will run w/ the battery out of the loop, but if you're not comfortable, don't try it.

Edit: Also, how old is your battery?
 

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If you do exchange your alt, look at the orientation of the mounting holes to ensure that they are the same as some will have different clock positions.
This is a fairly easy job and Ive gotten many many years of use from prof remain'd alts.

Edit: I also change the belt as a precaution, but make your checks as mentioned above....good luck
 

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I think alternator life is directly a function of how hard it gets worked. So a vehicle that drives for a while with a low battery (which constantly needs longer recharges) may have a shorter alternator life than one with a healthy battery. Or so I've heard.
speedlever you are very correct, I had a '07 that had the original batt. and it was putting a extra stain on the alt as the alt had to run the vehicle and charge the batt. constantly.
Long story short, that experience cost me a alt., and now I will never keep a battery on a vehicle more than 3yrs, 7yrs was asking for trouble....lol
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys it cost me $650 w tax and it was bad alternator.They gave me two options honda rebuild or new , the rebuilt had better warranty (3years or 36k mil) so I went with that. The price is steep but I need my truck and every day I take off from work is costing me money
 

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When my battery went out I didnt have no battery light come on. Just a bunch of weird flashes and crap on the dash all in one morning with no warning it was ever going to happen. Thats why I like gauges which the RL and many dont have anymore. They were made for the ones that pay attention to whats going on with the vehicle and most dont anymore they just drive.
 

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Thats why I like gauges which the RL and many dont have anymore. They were made for the ones that pay attention to whats going on with the vehicle and most dont anymore they just drive.
+1

There is a reason why they are called 'idiot lights'.....lol...j/k

I like gauges too, oil pressure; battery; temp.; tach; etc
 
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