Electrical Problems – Bad Alternator?


There is a place near my home that sells nothing but used Honda parts, and they will sell me a used alternator for $65 with a 3 month warranty. I asked a local mechanic who has done other work for me if he will put it in, and he said he would do the labor for $60.

However, the mechanic said I will also likely need a new battery. Do you agree with that? The battery is 1 yr. old, and was in perfect shape prior to the alternator problems. Undoubtedly, all the power has drained out of the battery based on the bad alternator and the fact that the car has been sitting idle for over a month, but won’t the battery simply charge back up and start working normally again once a good alternator is installed?

I will need to have the car towed to my mechanic’s shop since it is stone dead and will not continue running once I remove the negative terminal of the jumper cable. This is why I want to make sure I have my ducks in a row, so that I don’t have any surprises (i.e. battery replacement) after towing it to my mechanic’s shop.

Thanks in advance,


Howdy there Chuck,

I would replace the alternator and have the mechanic “load test” the battery to see if it will hold a charge, and see how well the charge holds when the battery is pushed to the max load the engine would place on it. I would assume your battery will be just fine once it has been fully recharged.

A weak battery is the #1 cause of alternator failure because the alternator works twice as hard to keep a weak battery fully charged, so the mechanic might just be covering his rear.

I still think you can get your alternator overhauled for not much more money and will have basically a new alternator and not someone’s old used one.


Austin Davis

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