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Electrical problems?


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hello! i've been having some problems with my car. it's a 92 accord wagon.


8 days ago the heater suddenly started acting strange. first it started blowing air that was much cooler than what i had it set to, then started blowing air that was EXTREMELY hot. when braked at lights the rpms would go down to zero and the dash lights and headlights would start to flicker, like it was about to die. revving saved it each time. the guage needles went up and down randomly / not reflecting the correct speed or rpms a few times. the car died soon after that. i was barely able to get it started again about ten minutes later, but immediately died as soon as i put my foot on the brake to put it in reverse.


the next day i got it to start -- barely -- and it drove ok for a short while, but with the rpms progressively getting lower and lower until it started doing the zero-rpms-car's-about-to-die thing again. i dealt with this by revving lightly in park at lights and stop signs until i could get home.


took it out the next day to test it out and again it had problems starting. it ran without incident after that. when i went to park it though, i tested a few of it's symptoms to see if i could get it to die again. i noticed that when i turned on the overhead light, the volume up on the stereo, the heater, or touched the power window buttons, it started to rev low again. also, the dashboard lights got dimmer and all the dummy lights started to flicker. this was 5 days ago and i haven't been able to start it since.


for about the past month my windshield wipers have been getting slower and slower than normal, and ran very poorly right before the car died. lol i was just about to take it in to fix them for the season when this happened instead.


the car is now unable to start and the lights barely flicker when i turn the key. something in the motor clicks when i turn it but it can't turn over. i'm charging up the battery charger right now to see if i can get it started tomorrow. i think i should also mention that the car has a leaky tail light that drips water everywhere when it rains and i lift the trunk up. someone told me that parts stores can test voltage regulators and stuff but if i can't get it to start i'm going to have an awfully hard time getting it to a store, heh.


does this sound like something that could be as simple as a battery, or are these weird electrical symptoms indicative of something more? any input is appreciated, thanks.

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With the car running it is essentially running off the alternator. I would start by having the alternator replaced. If you are planning on keeping the car for a long time then either get a Honda part or a Denso reman.


As far as testing the battery the proper way is to test between the pos and neg terminals while cranking the engine and the voltage should not drop lower then 10.4V while cranking and then rebound to around 14V. A bad battery will drop to 10.4V or lower, BUT this does not help you right now because the battery is obviously dead and needs the charging that you were doing.


Likely the alternator assuming the belt is not slipping.

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