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Honda-Man, Honda Mechanic
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 3014
Experience:  I have an Associates Degree in Automotive. 10 Years experience on all makes and models. 20 Years Honda only including factory training. Over 30 years total.
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We own a 2001 Honda Odyssey that has experienced starting

Customer Question

We own a 2001 Honda Odyssey that has experienced starting problems. We had the alternator replaced. Because it experienced cycles when it would start and then not start, we brought it back and the repair shop determined the 1st rebuilt alternator was defective and put in another. Now we have another problem as when driving the indicator lights will spontaneously light up and we hear a whistling sound at the same time. I suspect we have either a alternator or other electrical problem, but can't nail it down. Can you help?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Honda
Expert:  Honda-Man replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to Just-Answer. My name is ***** ***** online handle is Honda-Man. I have over 31 years experience repairing Honda and Acura vehicles. I would be happy to assist you with your Honda or Acura question!

Sounds like you still have a alternator problem. The symptoms you describe with the indicator lights lighting up is classic for a lack of charging. When the available voltage drops low enough this happens. In most cases the battery light won't even warn you. I have seen this myself in the shop and here online many times. If you can monitor the charging(system) voltage while this is happening it will verify the alternator as the cause. A voltmeter connected to the battery with the meter visible by the wipers and windshield works good. Another thing to check is how well the alternator is grounded to the engine. Rebuilt parts are painted creating a poor engine ground. The alternator bolts can be left loose causing a poor ground too. Rebuilt alternators are inherently known to fail. The rebuilders test and replace just what comes up bad during the test. If the alternator has an intermittent problem it can get missed. I suggest having a new alternator installed. It will cost more but at least you will not keep breaking down and going back to the shop. First rule out a ground problem and verify the charging voltage when it acts up.

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Thank you! ~Honda-Man