How to Change the Alternator on a 1988 Honda Accord

The 1988 Honda Accord is a fuel-efficient car designed for reliability. Failure of your to start could mean a bad alternator. The alternator is responsible for charging the battery and ensuring it maintains a constant charge. The alternator also alternates the current so the electrical features in the car can function off the battery. Replacing the alternator in the 1988 Accord may be tricky, as it is located toward the bottom of the engine.

Tools Used: Socket wrench, Socket set, New alternator

Change the Alternator

Open the hood. Disconnect the battery by unbolting the cables with a socket wrench. This will isolate the electrical power.

Remove the air filter housing by taking off the four retainer clips and pulling the air cleaner out. Remove the air filter housing with a socket wrench. This will make room to pull the alternator out.

Locate the alternator toward the bottom of the engine. Loosen the pivot bolt at the bottom of the engine to loosen the belt with a socket wrench. Take the belt off the pulley.

Disconnect the electrical wires at the back of the alternator. There will be two sets of wires. Unbolt the nuts off the studs and pull the wires off.

Remove the remaining bolts to loosen and free the alternator. Pull the alternator over toward the firewall and pull it straight up past where the air cleaner was installed.

Install the new alternator to the mounting brackets. Start threading the bolts but do not tighten them yet.

Connect the wiring to the new alternator. Ensure the nuts are secured tight over the wires for a solid connection.

Place the belt over the pulley. Tighten the top bolt to place tension on the belt. Tighten the bottom bolt once the belt is tight.

Install the air filter housing with a socket wrench. Unclip the top and insert the air cleaner.

Connect the battery cables to the appropriate terminals. Ensure the positive cable is over the positive terminal and the negative cable is on the negative terminal.

Start the car and allow it to idle for five minutes. Turn the car off and let it sit for an hour. Start the car to ensure the battery has a charge. This will determine if the alternator is functioning correctly.

Tips & Warnings

When purchasing the new alternator, inquire if a core charge is applicable. The core charge is a fee supplied by the retailer to ensure the old part is returned. Once the part is returned, the fee is returned.

Use caution when working under the hood. Ensure the electrical power is isolated and the car has cooled down.

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