2001 Honda Civic LX alternator replacement/options

Messages
2,980
Location
Cincinnati
Ok, so finally I'm facing my first larger repair on my Civic. It's been 180k and nearly 8 years and the alt has failed. I'm basing this on the battery light coming on today and I know it only comes on when the charging system fails (because I've dealt with a bad battery before and it didn't come on.) Also, it would go out when I revved it above 1k RPM's and would come on at idle. Replacements: Your options ---Honda genuine for $207 (anyone know about core charge possibility?) which should be easily available to me through local dealers. ---Prostart from Pep Boys at $152 (after $48 core charge)which is easily available from the store down the road ---The various options on Rock Auto which I won't list here, you can look them up and tell me which you'd go with if it were you. 2001 Civic LX. Help ASAP. I will need to get it or order it ASAP for replacement Friday by.....myself. And oh yeah, any tips on doing the job yourself on this car? I've done it before but only on a 1989 Mazda MX-6. Thanks!
 
Messages
4,009
Location
Calgary Canada
If it's easy to replace (10 minutes or less), I'd go with the pep boys if it has a lifetime warranty. These are hit and miss, but you'll save the $50 and you'll have free alternators for life. If it's hard to replace (or if there's no core charge), I'd go with the honda, because I'm guessing the chances of having to do it again are lower. Either way, when you get it out, take it to a parts store to be tested. You want to make sure it's bad. Also, check your battery cables for corrosion and good contact. A bad ground can take out an alternator.
 
Messages
25,036
Location
ON, Canada eh?
OEM... The one you put in will take you to the scrap yard. I never liked rebuilt units, they just don't seem to have the quality as the OEM's IMO from past experiences. Your original is most likely a Denso and these are built like tanks! My aunt has almost 300K KM on hers and it's still going! Have your Battery load tested to make sure it's not placing excess load on the Alternator and causing it to wear out prematurely. Also make sure all your connections on the battery are clean and tight, and all grounds too. The reving problem causing the light to go out to me would sugguest that one of the brushes has worn out just enough to be loosing contact and when you rev it the other brush that is making contact is able to handle the load. This is what happened to my partners Escort alternator...
 

Chris Meutsch

Thread starter
Messages
2,980
Location
Cincinnati
It ain't easy to remove, that's for sure. The Denso is an option through Rock Auto but it says Reman. I'd prefer a Denso/Honda choice if given.
 
Messages
489
Location
your house
The $207 dealer price isn't bad for OEM, Those can be rebuilt, the brushes are replaceable, this on line Honda dealer sells everything, It mite be worth having it looked at before blowing that much on a guess, a good one but a guess. Majestic Honda Majestic Honda shows it as a Mitsubishi.
 
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Messages
22,647
Location
CA
Pep Boys should have a "100% new" option for the alternator. When the original alternator failed on my Saturn at 63k, I had Pep Boys install one of their "100% new" alternators. I'm at 128k now and the alternator is working fine.
 

Chris Meutsch

Thread starter
Messages
2,980
Location
Cincinnati
I went with the Denso reman @ Rock Auto. I didn't have time to wait to go to Pep Boys and hope they had it. I like Denso parts. I shipped it 2-day business express, which means I should have it by Friday. That's fine. I get home Thursday and will dismantle that day, allowing for a stress-free remantle on Friday. That is, provided the new unit shows up!!!!
 
Messages
22,647
Location
CA
It probably won't ship out until Wednesday, at the earliest. From my experience, RockAuto takes 24-48hrs to process your order.
 
Messages
35,961
Location
ME
Rockauto had a radiator on my doorstep the next day, and a similar experience with a gas tank. I got the cheapest possible shipping. Think they're very organized and drop ship from warehouses next door to UPS.
 
Messages
4,009
Location
Calgary Canada
The other alternative is a reputable alternator repair place. Often the local alternator builders, if they are reputable, will rebuild alternators to a higher standard with updated parts compared to the reman junk they sell at pep boys. I read a lengthy article on this at one point. It's a whole industry. If you have the time to do local research, it could be worth your while.
 
Messages
1,562
Location
St. Paul, MN
Alternator/starter repair shops are a dying breed, with the prevalence of cheapo remans from the local China parts store. Denso unit should be fine as long as it was re-manufactured properly.
 
Messages
10,597
Location
Nokesville, VA
We have one around here, I get the impression a lot of the local shops use them for rebuilds because the cheapo remans result in a lot of come-backs. Oddly enough, I called that shop and he quoted me $90 to rebuild a 130 amp 3G alternator, which is about half the price of what Autozone wants for a rebuild of that alternator. So maybe cheapo isn't so cheapo, or it's cheapo in quality but not price.
 
Messages
24,412
Location
Central Florida
How much longer do you plan on keeping your Civic ? I thought the Honda starter would be much more expensive from the dealership. $207 is very reasonable.
 

Chris Meutsch

Thread starter
Messages
2,980
Location
Cincinnati
The Civic and I are together until one of us breaks and isn't worth repairing financially! The alt should be here tomorrow. I plan on taking back the rental perhaps later today, getting the Civic home and beginning to tear it down. This is where the Helm Honda manual pays for itself!
 
Messages
25,036
Location
ON, Canada eh?
 Originally Posted By: Chris Meutsch
The Civic and I are together until one of us breaks and isn't worth repairing financially!
Your Civic has Power of Attorney? Wow that's some love for a vehicle! hahaha
 

Chris Meutsch

Thread starter
Messages
2,980
Location
Cincinnati
The Helm manual makes it a 6-step process. Apparently by taking out the bolts on the on PS pump and putting it aside, the alt will come out easily. But thanks, LT4. This comes after they said the knock sensor comes out in a two-step process. Different long story I'd rather not get into. See my post on my rental car.
 

Chris Meutsch

Thread starter
Messages
2,980
Location
Cincinnati
I got it done yesterday. 4 hours total. Hard part was putting a couple bolts back in completely blind. The belt is squeaky (I'm always afraid how tight to make them) but my mechanic will be undoing all my work Monday anyway to do the timing belt, so who cares.
 
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