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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Techies,

My 2006 Odyssey EXL started showing battery lights since last week. I haven't noticed any problems with it so far as it starting pretty well.

Upon starting the van after few mins, the battery light comes ON and while driving it goes off some times .. but not in any particular sequence or pattern.
In the past week two or three times I noticed that the VSA, ABS and BRAKE dash lights turned ON for a fraction of a second and went OFF. Also noticed that the battery light goes OFF when the VSA,ABS,BRAKE dash lights are ON. Once two or three time this happened and never after that.

Analysis done so far:

Checked the battery volts before starting the van: 12.6 volts
Checked the battery terminal volts after starting the van: 13.6 volts (rarely goes up to 14.0 )
Checked the battery terminal volts with AC, Seat heater, FAN, Vipers and interior lights turned on: Volts between 13.5 - 13.7 volts.
The battery light even goes OFF and ON regardless of the power drain (or acceleration).
Also verified the tension of the serpentine belt to ensure that it is correctly turning the alternator.

As the battery reads 12.6 volts, I'm heavily inclined to believe that my alternator is bad, but in any case the battery terminal reads 13.6+ volts. Isnt that sufficient enough?
Again, if the alternator is bad, how does battery gets charged well?
I went through the other threads and in most of the cases where the alternator is bad having low voltage reads at battery terminal. But in my case it 13.6v almost consistent.

About three years back, the alternator had been replaced with the Autozone reman. Don't they last this long?

How can I narrow down where the problem is? I don't mind replacing the alternator again, but need to be sure that doing so would resolve the issue.

Could some one throw some light on this issue please?

These are the details:
Miles: 172K
All repairs and maintenance done on time (timing belt replace on 115k)
Battery: Maxx Start 24F ( purchased on 12/19 )
Alternator: Replaced on 05/2016 with Autozone Remanufactured one (I believe there is lifetime warranty on that..not sure though).
 

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The only alternators that work well on these cars are a remanufactured Denso alternator. You can get it from RockAuto. Nothing else seems to work/last.
 

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As said, your issue is the crap Auto Zone Duralast alternator. This is very common and reported here often. You have to get a Denso remanufactured alternator that is actually remanufactured by Denso. This is commonly purchased on Rock Auto.
I think if you install a good alternator your problems will be behind you. Don’t get suckered into the Duralast lifetime warranty marketing gimmick.
Unrelated to your issue, but since you have an EX-L with the VCM engine, be sure to disable (muzzle) that function. Otherwise you risk serious engine damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Monitor alternator voltage while driving and when the light is on or off. Use something like this:

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As said, your issue is the crap Auto Zone Duralast alternator. This is very common and reported here often. You have to get a Denso remanufactured alternator that is actually remanufactured by Denso. This is commonly purchased on Rock Auto.
I think if you install a good alternator your problems will be behind you. Don’t get suckered into the Duralast lifetime warranty marketing gimmick.
Unrelated to your issue, but since you have an EX-L with the VCM engine, be sure to disable (muzzle) that function. Otherwise you risk serious engine damage.
Based on the symptoms, is the culprit the alternator? I was thinking of claiming the autozone warranty, but that's again a risk . Isnt it?

Regarding the VCM, I have heard many suggesting disabling the VCM. What is the reason behind it? How do I do that? Is there a thread that explains about it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The only alternators that work well on these cars are a remanufactured Denso alternator. You can get it from RockAuto. Nothing else seems to work/last.
So it is still the alternator issue. Correct?
Is there anything else that I need to verify before I place the order?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So it is still the alternator issue. Correct?
Is there anything else that I need to verify before I place the order?
Just a question. I see the reman Denso with and without VCM. Could you please suggest which one should I go for?

As thscott mentioned, is disabling the VCM means going with the alternator without VCM?

DENSO 2100575, 130 Amp with VCM
DENSO 2100580, 130 Amp without VCM
 

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..I was thinking of claiming the autozone warranty, but that's again a risk . Isnt it?
Autozone will honor their warranty. But in 1-3 years you may be looking at replacing it again.
I'll let the better experts confirm if it is a failure of the alternator. But it is the most likely suspect!

Regarding VCM there are many threads including this sticky VCMuzzler II for disabling VCM - FAQ's. Many recommend the S-Tuner. With Variable Cylinder Management turning off 3 cylinders in ECO mode, causes wear with the piston rings and active motor mounts for a negligible mileage increase.
 
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Just a question. I see the reman Denso with and without VCM. Could you please suggest which one should I go for?

As thscott mentioned, is disabling the VCM means going with the alternator without VCM?

DENSO 2100575, 130 Amp with VCM
DENSO 2100580, 130 Amp without VCM
You have an EX-L with the VCM engine.

You should disable the VCM, however this does not allow you to get the non-VCM alternator. You still have to get the VCM alternator.
 
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Based on the symptoms, is the culprit the alternator? I was thinking of claiming the autozone warranty, but that's again a risk . Isnt it?

Regarding the VCM, I have heard many suggesting disabling the VCM. What is the reason behind it? How do I do that? Is there a thread that explains about it?
It would be foolish to claim the AutoZone lifetime warranty and get another crappy but free alternator. It’s the labor that is the big cost item, not the part itself. Bite the bullet and get the correct Denso alternator for your vehicle. No more AutoZone junk.
VCM causes premature piston ring failures which in turn leads to misfires, excessive oil consumption, engine vibration, and failed engine mounts. Honda lost a class action lawsuit for this defect and issued an extended warranty that included replacing engine piston rings.
You can disable the VCM function by installing an aftermarket “muzzler” device. The VCM Tuner II is one that is recommended. There are others. There is no downside in doing this. Your drive will be better and smoother with the engine always running on 6 cylinders as it is supposed to. Your fuel economy (MPG) will not suffer.

The muzzler devices work by fooling the engine computer to think the engine is not at operating temperature thus preventing the VCM function from activating. In reality the engine operating temperature is normal and not affected in anyway. The temperature signal will be lower than the temperature actually is.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It would be foolish to claim the AutoZone lifetime warranty and get another crappy but free alternator. It’s the labor that is the big cost item, not the part itself. Bite the bullet and get the correct Denso alternator for your vehicle. No more AutoZone junk.
VCM causes premature piston ring failures which in turn leads to misfires, excessive oil consumption, engine vibration, and failed engine mounts. Honda lost a class action lawsuit for this defect and issued an extended warranty that included replacing engine piston rings.
You can disable the VCM function by installing an aftermarket “muzzler” device. The VCM Tuner II is one that is recommended. There are others. There is no downside in doing this. Your drive will be better and smoother with the engine always running on 6 cylinders as it is supposed to. Your fuel economy (MPG) will not suffer.

The muzzler devices work by fooling the engine computer to think the engine is not at operating temperature thus preventing the VCM function from activating. In reality the engine operating temperature is normal and not affected in anyway. The temperature signal will be lower than the temperature actually is.
Excellent. Thank you for the details. I have placed an order for VCM II (From User: Verbatim). Regarding the alternator, im going to place an order for Denso from Rock auto.
 

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Excellent. Thank you for the details. I have placed an order for VCM II (From User: Verbatim). Regarding the alternator, im going to place an order for Denso from Rock auto.
Two excellent decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I just got the plug in volt meter delivered today so I thought I should do some more analysis before I condemn the alternator.

I plugged the volt meter to the cigarette light socket and it reads between 12.2v and 12.6v when the engine is not running.
When the engine is running, I was able to see the it reads between 13.6 and 14.0v all the time ( 13.6v with all the power drains like heaters, fan, viper etc). This makes me believe that alternate is still good and generating enough volts to charge battery. But I still don't understand the reason the battery light is still ON most of the times. If not the alternator, do I need to suspect the ELD?

I'm bit hesitant to start with the alternator replace process without confirming the core issue.

Kindly let me know your thoughts please.
 

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I think that if one of the diodes in the alternator diode pack is bad, the light will light. Have you done a Google search of 'causes'.

I believe if you have a multimeter you can check the diode pack. Also, the AC ripple will be 'high' if one of the diodes is bad. For this you'll have to compare it to another car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think that if one of the diodes in the alternator diode pack is bad, the light will light. Have you done a Google search of 'causes'.

I believe if you have a multimeter you can check the diode pack. Also, the AC ripple will be 'high' if one of the diodes is bad. For this you'll have to compare it to another car.
Thank you. The google results for that cause points to the low voltage in the battery terminal while engine is running. But in my case I do have sufficient voltage there.
Yes I do have a multimeter. Could you please elaborate on how to check the diodepack? Is that something that I can check before removing alternator?
 

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Maybe whatever the sensor that is used to "check" the alternator is bad and throwing the light? If you have code reader maybe you can dynamically read what voltage the sensor is sending to see whether the sensor is bad which may cause the light to turn on? for what it is worth, when my alternator was dying, the "battery" light never came on.
 
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