Question about 1993 Honda Accord

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Alternator light comes when car slows to a stop

Alternator light comes on sometimes when car slows to a stop.

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Three possible causes: bad alternator, loose fan belt, or idle speed too low.

The most likely cause is a bad alternator (that is one or more of the components therein such as a diode). But I have found that instead of trying to fix one, it is easier to go to an auto store like NAPA and buy a replacement (probably rebuilt) for about $100. If you plan to keep the car, get one of the more expensive units if you have a choice. Some come with life time warranties.

Another possible cause is loose drive belt. I am not sure what kind of belt drives the alternator on a 93 Honda, but if the drive belt is loose, tighten it (if that is possible). (On older cars, this is possible, but you may have a serpentine belt with "tensioner" which is not easy to adjust the tension.) On most belts, there should be no more than a quarter inch movement if you press the belt with your fingers (hard) between any two pulleys. If more than a quarter inch slack, then the belt could slip under load.

Least likely is very low engine idle speed, say 500RPM. This could result in light coming on because the alternator is not turning fast enough with such a low engine speed. But if the engine idles smoothly and doesn't lope, that's probably not the problem.

Posted on Oct 16, 2009

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Replace the alternator.

Posted on Oct 16, 2009

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It is possible.

When at idle the RPMs drop as the engine slows. This results in the alternator slowing. If it is failing or you have a problem with the charging system it can cause the car to die.

Usually however with a charge failure it will not start back again easily.

Try checking under full load. Run all electrical systems radio, heater, lights etc at idle. If you see the lights start to fade and the engine dies it is likely the charging system.

Most likely the alternator or part of the regulating system.

You can have the alternator tested or you can do it yourself.

Connect at voltage tester to the terminals on the alternator. Run the engine and measure the output. It should read as per the indications on the alternator. There is a sticker on the alternator telling you the output.


Start there.

Hope this helped. Please rate if this helps you.

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I'm guessing that you've tested the actual current output of the alternator then. I'm assuming that the output is between 13-14Volts at the battery when the car is running... If it's too low, then it's not charging your battery at all, too high, and it's frying your battery.... Another thing that can cause this is if you have a short in your electrical system.. that, however, will be difficult to narrow down...

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