Maybe it wasn't the battery...but did I hurt the alternator?

acura
integra

#1

I posted last week under the title “Is it my battery or another issue as well?” Thanks for all of the replies.

I did replace the old battery, and all was pretty much back to normal until this morning, when the car, once AGAIN, started to idle so low to the point of dying every time I put in the clutch. I will take it to the mechanics this Friday (if it makes it that long) and have them check the IACV and the throttle, etc, as some had mentioned. I wonder if driving around with that old battery for so long did harm to the alternator?

Another odd thing (but maybe totally unrelated) that I noticed last week AFTER the new battery was installed…when I honked the horn the next morning it sounded different. Used to have a dual tone, now just has one tone. What do you think?


#2

Actually don’t tell the mechanic what to look for. Let him diagnose it. If he replaces the parts you suspect and it turns out not to be the problem you may be on the hook for it. I’ve seen that situation on posts here before.


#3

You’re correct. I won’t tell him anything but the symptoms. I just hope it’s not the alternator, as I had one put in 4 years ago…or is that the typical life-span of non-factory installed parts? That makes me think of some general questions I’ve been wanting to post!


#4

In my opinion you should tell the mechanic everything that has been going on with the car, repairs you have done to it recently including replacement parts, along with any information you can provide that you have noticed with the trouble. A good tech will be able to use that information to your benefit. You don’t need to mention what you think the trouble is but providing any information about the trouble may help the tech pin the trouble down more quickly.


#5

None of you problems sound related to one another…They sound like separate issues. Model year? Mileage?


#6

Yes, in theory, a bad battery (like way under voltage to the point that you’re jump starting it every time you turn the key) might draw enough extra load to cause a little extra heating in the alternator, and if the alternator were poorly designed (read “insufficient ventilation”), it could warp things in there and cause premature alternator failure. I’d be very, very surprised if this actually happened all that often, though, or on a wide range of vehicle models. It’s just too easy to prevent such damage with… oh, I don’t know, a fuse… :slight_smile:

If a bad battery harmed anything, odds are it would be the electronics downstream from the battery. A completely dead battery doesn’t provide enough smoothing of the pulsating DC that the alternator provides. If your interior lights were flickering constantly for days, with your gauges randomly going crazy and stuff, you might have something to worry about in that area. Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry about that, either.

Without knowing much about that particular car, I’d expect the slow idle to be something innocuous like a defective temperature sensor, a defective airflow sensor or MAP sensor, a dirty IACV, a clogged vacuum line, a vacuum leak somewhere, a partially clogged fuel filter or injectors, or a sticking carburetor (depending on what year of Integra we’re talking about). I’m assuming, of course, that you don’t have blue or white smoke coming out your tailpipe to indicate a more serious problem.

Assuming it’s a fuel injected model, I’d probably try injector cleaner first, then have whoever changes your oil replace the fuel filter, then if that doesn’t take care of it, take it to a mechanic to diagnose further. Or you could take the cheap route and just give it a little more gas than you normally do as you let out the clutch and don’t worry about it. :slight_smile:

As for the horn, maybe you sucked something up under the hood while driving and it clogged part of the horn assembly. Or it could just be that it was misbehaving before because of a slightly weak battery. Hard to say.

Either way, I wouldn’t worry about… well, any of those other things. Just fix the idle. Or don’t.