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Best auto repair in So NH/NE Ma?

  1. #101
    Senior Member Gixxer's Avatar
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    Re: Best auto repair in So NH/NE Ma?

    Quote Originally Posted by e30addict View Post
    Some aftermarket stuff is bad out of the box, so it could be the alternator again. A lot of remans aren't exactly high quality.

    I doubt it's a tight pulley, that would squeal. A seized pulley would be a smoke show.

    Easy enough to jump the car and put a meter on it to see if the alternator is charging.
    So... after those morning shenanigans... eight hours later it tarted, seemed fine, and I drove it from Stoneham MA to Londonderry NH without incident, but still dropped it off at a mechanic to be checked out Monday morning.

    Iím not sure about the alternator and warranty and donít really want to go back to VIP, I only ended up there because the car died close by.

    After VIP installed the alternator the car would squeal mostly in the morning, which it never did before... and I never got that checked out. In the last couple days starting it in the morning it developed a whining sound that would increase as I gave it gas...

    So, hopefully Monday it will be fixed, but Iím getting closer and closer to the give up point since itís at 263000 miles... I just really donít want a car payment!

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  2. #102
    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: Best auto repair in So NH/NE Ma?

    A squeal is indicative of the belt slipping. Either incorrect belt tension, contaminated (oil or coolant) belt, or worn out belt. Whirring/whining can be a bad bearing in a pulley or in the alternator, or low power steering fluid. All of these things are generally low-cost maintenance type of repairs, especially at your current mileage. Be sure they check your battery as well as your alternator, since it is hard on a new alternator if the battery is marginal.

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  3. #103
    Lifer
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    Re: Best auto repair in So NH/NE Ma?

    Check the battery cables, and the cable off the alternator. A loose cable can cause it to act like something failed, but then suddenly it's fine a few minutes later.

    Check the battery for a sticker indicating age. They don't always have one though.

    Don't some of the Hondas use a manual belt tensioner? Make sure it's properly adjusted.

    If the battery and cables are good, but the battery still occasionally goes dead while driving, get a voltmeter that plugs in to a 12V socket and keep an eye on it while driving. The alternator regulator could be failing but only under heavy load/heat etc.

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  4. #104
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Best auto repair in So NH/NE Ma?

    battery cable connections should have a healthy dose of conductive grease

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  5. #105
    Senior Member Gixxer's Avatar
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    Re: Best auto repair in So NH/NE Ma?

    Wow a lot of good information, thank you guys!

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  6. #106
    Senior Member Gixxer's Avatar
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    Re: Best auto repair in So NH/NE Ma?

    Quote Originally Posted by e30addict View Post
    Some aftermarket stuff is bad out of the box, so it could be the alternator again. A lot of remans aren't exactly high quality.

    I doubt it's a tight pulley, that would squeal. A seized pulley would be a smoke show.

    Easy enough to jump the car and put a meter on it to see if the alternator is charging.
    The garage I like that did the thread repair kit listened to what happened Saturday and said he felt strongly it is the alternator and that it should be under warranty and I should call VIP.

    I drop it off at VIP... they check the alternator six times and say itís fine.

    I have an appt with the garage I like Thursday for brakes, so maybe he can trouble shoot other things... but what, I donít know. Before I dropped it off at VIP the battery terminals seemed fine, now VIP says the alternator is fine... I guess just get a AAA membership and accept that this is what I get for trying to get much more than 263,000 miles?

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  7. #107
    Senior Member Gixxer's Avatar
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    Re: Best auto repair in So NH/NE Ma?

    Quote Originally Posted by golden chicken View Post
    A squeal is indicative of the belt slipping. Either incorrect belt tension, contaminated (oil or coolant) belt, or worn out belt. Whirring/whining can be a bad bearing in a pulley or in the alternator, or low power steering fluid. All of these things are generally low-cost maintenance type of repairs, especially at your current mileage. Be sure they check your battery as well as your alternator, since it is hard on a new alternator if the battery is marginal.
    The battery is roughly three years old. I looked for an indicator on top that I’ve seen on some batteries but there wasn’t one. For those issues to happen after forty minutes of driving on the highway would suggest it is not the battery right?

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  8. #108
    Lifer
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    Re: Best auto repair in So NH/NE Ma?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
    The battery is roughly three years old. I looked for an indicator on top that Iíve seen on some batteries but there wasnít one. For those issues to happen after forty minutes of driving on the highway would suggest it is not the battery right?
    A bad battery usually reveals itself in extreme cold, but sometimes in extreme heat. However, once the car is started and running, it's taking power off the alternator.

    Was the car squealing when you pulled in to the parking lot as it died? I wonder if the belt was slipping a ton on the highway and you couldn't hear it. Seems unlikely though.

    If everything's working fine, I'd get a voltmeter like one of these to keep an eye on it. It'll read a little lower than at the battery terminals themselves, but while driving you should see ~12.x-13.x volts, usually 13.4-ish depending on what accessories are on. It also should stay at about the same number throughout your drive. If it wanders up and down, the regulator is probably failing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
    I guess just get a AAA membership and accept that this is what I get for trying to get much more than 263,000 miles?
    You should probably get that regardless. Shit happens, even to new cars. Relatively inexpensive insurance compared to the cost a late night tow can be. Just be aware that sometimes the response time can be a couple hours. Sometimes 5 minutes. They act as a dispatch to other towing companies. Some are quicker than others.

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  9. #109
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: Best auto repair in So NH/NE Ma?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
    The battery is roughly three years old. I looked for an indicator on top that I’ve seen on some batteries but there wasn’t one. For those issues to happen after forty minutes of driving on the highway would suggest it is not the battery right?
    In my experience, that happens when the alternator isn't charging the battery. Eventually, the load from running the car off the battery will flatten it, and your car will stall and won't re-start without a jump.

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  10. #110
    Senior Member Gixxer's Avatar
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    Re: Best auto repair in So NH/NE Ma?

    Is this fraying grounding wire a concern?Best auto repair in So NH/NE Ma?-14c7c1df-ca64-4dac-96eb-8ccee0182981

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  11. #111
    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: Best auto repair in So NH/NE Ma?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
    Is this fraying grounding wire a concern?Best auto repair in So NH/NE Ma?-14c7c1df-ca64-4dac-96eb-8ccee0182981
    I'd say that's pretty grungy. You can get a new universal ground strap for around $20 IIRC.

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  12. #112
    Lifer
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    Re: Best auto repair in So NH/NE Ma?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
    Is this fraying grounding wire a concern?Best auto repair in So NH/NE Ma?-14c7c1df-ca64-4dac-96eb-8ccee0182981
    If you're trying to avoid replacing it, at least clean the contact points and use a multimeter to check that it's resistance (Ohms) isn't very high. The fraying looks to be just the shielding which big picture isn't too concerning, but the contact points look a bit crusty and looks like there's some corrosion where the cable matches with the ring connector.

    It is probably not the source of any problems, but you still want to make sure it's functional.

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  13. #113
    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: Best auto repair in So NH/NE Ma?

    Quote Originally Posted by aldend123 View Post
    If you're trying to avoid replacing it, at least clean the contact points and use a multimeter to check that it's resistance (Ohms) isn't very high. The fraying looks to be just the shielding which big picture isn't too concerning, but the contact points look a bit crusty and looks like there's some corrosion where the cable matches with the ring connector.

    It is probably not the source of any problems, but you still want to make sure it's functional.
    Better off doing a voltage drop test across it. If all but one strand is connected, it'll ohm out 0 ohms, but it won't be able to carry enough current in a live circuit.

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