Acura MDX SUV Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My wife called me this morning advising that the car (2006 MDX with 400 000 kilometres) had stalled as she was waiting to turn left at an intersection. I drove to her with a spare battery, installed it and started the car with no trouble and no warning lights on dash. Figured the battery might be done and the new one I just installed solved the problem. I left her with our 2014 MDX and took the 2006 myself 'just in case'.

Well, about 5 mins later and a few blocks away, the gauges, NAV and radio went dead and a bunch of warning lights came on (VSA, a yellow triangle, brake warning, air bag warning etc.), HOWEVER, there was NO charge warning light. I limped to work with all electrical accessories off (and barely made it, drenched in sweat because I shut off the A/C and it was 30c with a humidex around 40c), charged the battery that I had taken out while I was working, installed it after work (since the other battery I had installed in the morning was dead after getting me to work), and drove home. On the way home, same thing with the warning lights, dead gauges etc., after about 5 mins of driving, but still no charge warning light.

Got home and measured 11.4 volts and falling while I idled in my driveway. Still no warning light. Installed a new (remanufactured Wilson brand) alternator and it's pumping out 14.3 volts at idle.

Any idea why the charge warning light never came on?

This was the original alternator - lasted 400 000 kilometres and 13 years (2006 model on the road in 2005). I'm impressed.

As an aside, this was a relatively easy job, taking me about 2 hours. The hardest part was trying to remove the old alternator from the engine bay after unbolting it. I ended up removing the coolant reservoir bottle, the power steering reservoir bottle and the mount, and removing the low pressure hose from the PS pump so I could move the bottle out of the way - and also one headlight wiring connector to give me room to slide the alternator under the A/C low pressure line, and then up behind the headlight in the space normally occupied by coolant bottle and PS fluid bottle/mount.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
597 Posts
Burned out light? In your description of gauge lights, you didn't mention the charging light. If the light works, then I suspect the circuit that went out in your alternator was not tied to the charging light (basically the circuit is a voltage reg and rectifier). When the alternator went out in our 06 X at 111K miles (174Km) it gave no light indication but it did have a high frequency electrical squeal (almost like a bad bearing). As soon as I unplugged the connector in the back of the alternator, the squeal stopped. I remember having to take the reservoir bottles out of the hangers. I also recall having to flex the ps hose and turning the alternator body until it cleared.

Saved yourself some (Canadian) dollars. Nice troubleshooting and work!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,756 Posts
That's exactly what happened to my '04 MDX (in the middle of nowhere on a Texas interstate - luckily I had just enough juice to coast into a rest stop). I don't know why the warning light doesn't come on, but it seems to be a design flaw, because the light does work (when starting the car, during the "light test phase").

Replacing an alternator is a little fiddly, but not really a huge job. Just make sure and disconnect the battery first - things can get "interesting" if you don't and manage to short the positive lead to ground, which is a near certainty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
My 05 alternator died last year at 170k ish miles and the light did come on which really saved me as I had just arrived at work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I did forget to mention that the light in the gauge cluster works. It sounds like at 400 000 km, that alternator must have been well built.. Lol. I hope the replacement lasts that long (though that would have me at 800 000 km, not impossible, but unlikely to go that far).
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top