Electrical & Lights Alternator smoking !

Discussion in '4th Generation (2004-2012) [Acura RL]' started by buzbyten 146, Tuesday 16th Jul, 2013.

  1. buzbyten 146 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    My Legend has just done 60.000 miles and has in the last 5 days done 1000 miles .Yesterday i was less than 1 mile from my house and two of the dash warning lights came on .One was the battery light and the LCD display said " check battery " When i arrived at my home i checked the belt on the alternator which was ok ,and then checked the output of the alternator with a meter and measured 12.2 volts .

    What i did notice that the alternator was so hot it was emitting smoke and i disconnected it from the battery. The car is now at my Independent Honda dealer and they confirm that the alternator has melted itself internally .THE CAR HAD BEEN RUNNING PERFECTLY and started every time and give no indication that it had an issue with the alternator.

    Being only 6 years old its a" hard pill to swallow" .(Cost £475 plus vat and has to come from Europe) My 27 year old CR-X is still running its original alternator makes you wonder:Sobbing:

    don't make them now to last

    I wonder who makes the Legend one ???
     
  2. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    You got any pictures of this melting?
     
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  3. buzbyten 146 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Not at the present time the dealer has the car but yes if i can get them i will share with the forum
    Has anyone else had this issue ?
    e
     
  4. Sadsack Senior Member ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Mo Cheshire
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    Can't say I have had this issue. Have you got the car back yet and is it all ok?
     
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  5. buzbyten 146 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Car now back and alternator charging at 14.6 volts.They changed the belt also .They charged me the cost price for the alternator which was very helpful ,as regards pics i have taken the old alternator apart and can see various components having been "cooked "but really no point of any pics as very hard to see on a camera .

    All in all a very dear bill and i did not think a alternator from a legend would fail this early in the cars life,but thats motoring .don't want any more episodes like this one ?? :Wave:
     
  6. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    You haven't got any aftermarket electrical device attached to the car which is power hungry?
     
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  7. Doc Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Matt Peterborough
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    TBH this is the 1st time I've heard of an alternator failing on a legend. A lot of the problem with alternators these days is they try to make them smaller and smaller which causes them to over heat, which fries the circuitry or melts the bearings. Then they put ever increasingly complex circuitry in them, making 'smart alternators', to regulate the power output on increasingly power hungry vehicles. While it's unfortunate for you that it has failed what would appear to be premature for the relatively low mileage it's covered I'm not surprised to hear that the odd one or two do fail. But your failure does seem to be the exception to the rule.
     
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  8. buzbyten 146 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    very much all standard.
    e
     
  9. ArcticFire-Account Closed Banned Getting Started

    Scotland Graham Scotland
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    I guess considering the vast array of technology in the Legend there must be a fair load being put on the alternator, perhaps you just got unlucky which can happen with any part in any car. However, being a Honda I reckon this part is of considerable importance in the grand scheme of things, if you know what I mean :Wink: "When i arrived at my home"
     
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  10. dandoon Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Talking of "unlucky things which can happen with any part in any car" - my Legend (57 plate) is currently laid up because both front brake calipers have developed a fault whereby the sections that hold the brake pads in place have sheered off, leaving the pads loose and moving about between caliper and brake disk. I had no idea this had happened until one side started grinding last week. This has caused further damage to pads and disk.
    Unfortunately Honda don't supply these calipers in parts and each whole caliper unit costs around £680 !
    Luckily I had just picked up a second hand caliper on eBay for £20 a month ago (no idea why - impulse buy!) - that's saved me a fair amount, but I'm still having to fork out for the second one - and with fitting and other parts it's still going to cost well over £1,000.
    They may be inherently reliable... but when they do go wrong, it always seems to cost an arm and a leg :Frown:
     
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  11. dandoon Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    That's the alternator on my Legend gone with 42,000 on the clock. It's also killed the battery.
    I've been given a cost of around £500 plus VAT - but the biggest shock is the almost TWO MONTH wait to get one!
    Apparently there are no suitable alternators anywhere in Europe so the part has to be, quite literally, shipped from Japan.
    It was ordered on 16 Sept and I've been given an early November ETA. The car's off the road until then.
    This is easily the worst experience I've ever had with a Honda - and I've owned them since 1979. Struggling to maintain my loyalty now...
     
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  12. ArcticFire-Account Closed Banned Getting Started

    Scotland Graham Scotland
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    Would it be possible to source it yourself in Japan and get it shipped over directly? I'm guessing honda are waiting to stick it on the next bulk shipment hence the delay.
     
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  13. Doc Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Matt Peterborough
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    Are there any other Honda vehicles which share the same part? Could you fit a second hand one until a new one arrives?
     
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  14. ArcticFire-Account Closed Banned Getting Started

    Scotland Graham Scotland
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  15. dandoon Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

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  16. Sadsack Senior Member ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Mo Cheshire
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    I feel for you Dandoon,

    That's a couple of fairly costly faults over a short period of time. Hope the alternator stuff works itself out. I really hope I don't experience anything like this gulp. Did you notice any symptoms at all or did it just happen out of the blue?

    Regards
     
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  17. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    When parts are on back order for example say two months in this scenario...that is a guide figure from Honda logistics. How Honda logistics works is , when a part is ordered it try to locate the parts in the European parts centres in Swindon first then Gent in Belgium. if these two centres don't have it come straight from Japan.

    Honda has a duty of care to provide the parts as soon as possible and this two months time will soon change as it become a priority order and it is quickly sourced within weeks and your dealer will see the ETA on their system a few days after its ordered. I wish Honda parts associates told this to customers rather than scaring them off.

    So when you get these really long lead times you can be assured it will be quickly addressed unless there is a vendor issue.
     
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  18. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    Coming to your alternator smoking an dying are you sure no oil was spilt in the core or the copper windings. Oil will make the alternator smoke and kill the carbon brushes.

    Denso alternators are bullet proof and my 1977 Honda Accord alternator is still running after 36 years.. :Smile: As for the rest of the legend owners there is nothing to worry about this is a one off.
     
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  19. dandoon Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Hi Sadsack -- thanks for that. The only symptom I noticed was the steering column stopped moving into position when I turned on the ignition. I had to use the memory button once the engine was running. Wasn't aware of any other problems. About a week later the car wouldn't start.

    Hi Ichiban -- my alternator wasn't smoking like buzbyten's - there was no outward sign of a problem, but when the Honda garage tested it the readings were way down - to the point where the battery had been ruined too.

    However the good news is that after emailing Honda Customer Service, I received a call from them today to say the alternator will be at my Honda garage in 2 days!!

    After 34 years of owning only Hondas and having nothing other than wear-and-tear repairs after fairly significant mileages, the last 3 years with the Legend have been rather disappointing with some very costly repairs for a 40,000 mile Honda. Close on £2,000 in just a few months.
    Not sure I feel confident enough in Honda's reliability now to keep it long enough to find out what the next fault might be... and how much it will cost...
     
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  20. Sadsack Senior Member ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Mo Cheshire
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    Fantastic news on alternator delivery resheduling.

    On the other point regarding such costly repairs over a few months and considering not keeping it, that is your choice, but after having spent so much money I would be intent on keeping her.....mind you try asking me same question once I actually have those problems and I may think differently....

    PS....did you know this little tip....when you start the Legend, you don't need to keep the key turned whilst the engine cranks and starts. You just turn the key and let go and it cranks up automatically (not mechanic so not sure used the correct terms....forgive me if so lol). Think it's amazing! However, everytime I get in to another car I always let go of key before engine starts which is really annoying!
     
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