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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello -

First post here. We purchased an’08 EX for our son about 6 months ago and have had issues with the charging system ever since. The battery was replaced recently and both the alternator and battery were tested as good by our local auto parts store.

Strangely, the battery light will not display when the car is in neutral, but turns on right away when placing the car in gear. I’ve unplugged the 4-pin connector at the alternator, but the light stays on.

Eventually, the car will die while driving it, indicating that something is causing a drain on the battery Any ideas? I don’t want to spend a fortune at a shop on such an old vehicle.
 

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You can drive a car with a dead battery because the alternator - if it is functioning within acceptable parameters - will supply the electrical power to the car including charging the battery. It should not die while driving if the alternator is charging the battery. If the alternator is not working, you can drive the care until the battery is dead. Seems like the alternator is not charging the battery for what ever reason. Have you plugged the 4-pin connector back in to the alternator? If not, you should probably do that so the alternator can supply power to charge the battery.

You might want to check your fuses both in the engine compartment and under the driver side dash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply. I see now that my post may be confusing. Yes, the 4-pin connector was reconnected. I only disconnected it to see if it would have any impact on the battery light, which it didn’t. The battery died with all connections intact. Is it possible the alternator is bad while testing normally via diagnostic equipment? Are there specific fuses I should be checking?
 

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This is excellent, thanks. I have a multimeter and will perform these tests this weekend. I’ll report back with results.
You can also take the car to most any auto parts chain store, Auto Zone, O’Reilly, NAPA, etc., and they will attach an error code reader. The error codes translate to issues that may need attention. Then they hope you will buy things. Then can report these codes here and somebody might be able to address. Good luck!
 

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I will also mention that, last spring my original, 13 year old Honda battery finally died. I was able to jump start it and drive it with no battery light coming on. So, it may well be the alternator or serpentine belt even though the alternator was tested. Just thinking out loud - which I have been cautioned against. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks...I have some checks to do this weekend. If I don't find the issue via those checks, then I may decide to replace the alternator and/or serpentine belt. The belt feels snug, but who knows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, so I was able to run some tests. The alternator fuse is ok, but I’m seeing less than 12 volts at the battery when the car is running. This would suggest that the alternator isn’t doing it’s job, which is strange since the local auto parts store checked it and said it was fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Success! I think…

I ended up replacing the negative battery cable. The old cable nut was rusted onto the frame and I ended up rounding off the bolt when attempting to remove it. A new hole was drilled into the frame and a new cable and hardware was installed.

There is an intermittent poor connection at the alternator itself (the 4-pin connector). Turns out I broke the clip when trying to remove it the first time. I pushed it in pretty good, so we’ll see.

Anyhow, thanks for all of your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So, it looks like my celebration was a bit premature. I tested the system tonight and I’m seeing less than 12 volts again with the car running and the battery light is on again. I really think there is something wrong with the 4-pin connector. Is there a way to check the pins with a multimeter?
 

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I don’t know how to test the pins. 🙁

The broken connector can be replaced by splicing in a “pigtail” like this one:

New connectors can be found for $80. Could probably be found at a salvage yard?

This guy had similar problems:

And there is this:
 
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