So you’ve recently walked out to your Acura RSX and it won’t start. At first you think that your RSX starter has gone out, until you realize your battery is dead. Your Acura RSX alternator going bad is a common problem, considering the location of the alternator itself. When this happens, you can use this guide to easily and quickly replace the alternator in your K series.
The K20 alternator is mounted under the power steering pump, on the front of your Acura RSX engine. To reach this item, you’ll need a few tools. Before you begin this DIY tutorial, it’s a good idea to understand what the alternator does.
How the Acura RSX alternator works
As your K20 engine is running, the Acura RSX alternator generates the proper amperage to charge your car battery.
It’s a belt driven generator that provides the right voltage that your RSX needs.
The Acura RSX alternator is a stationary set of wire coil windings.
As the accessory belt rotates the inner rotor, a charge is created and your RSX battery is charged.
When the alternator fails on you, your RSX battery will be dead when you turn off the car. This can also cause issues with your voltage as your car is running.
Tools need to change Acura RSX alternator
- New accessory belt – The new Acura RSX accessory belt part number is 38920-PND-014. Aftermarket K series accessory belt part number can be 7PK-1730
- 10mm, 14mm sockets
- 10mm, 14mm open ended wrenches
- Replacement K series alternator
Today I’ll be showing you how to replace the K series alternator in a 2005 Acura RSX.
How To Service Acura RSX alternator
Needless to say, you’ll need to disconnect the RSX battery first. Once you have the power and ground wires disconnected, you can begin replacing your RSX alternator. Before you begin, you’ll need to unto the 10mm bolt that holds the power steering fluid reservoir in place.
Open your hood and remove the 10mm bolt. Now you can lift up on the fluid tank and push it to the side.
Now with the power steering tank out of the way, you can access the RSX steering pump. Before you begin removing it however, you need to undo the 10mm bolt that holds the throttle cable in place.
Now pull up to free the bracket from the top of your RSX power steering pump.
Now you’ve got to remove the two 14mm bolts that run through the pump. Before doing that however, stick the open ended 14mm wrench into your RSX accessory belt tensioner. Pull forwards towards the front of the Acura RSX.
You should get enough slack to pull off the accessory belt from the power steering pump. You can now undo the 14mm bolts that run through the power steering pump itself.
Now that the power steering pump has been disconnected, you can gently set it to the side. Now you’ve got the freedom to reach in front and disconnect the Acura RSX alternator wiring connector.
There’s a 10mm nut that holds the main power wire to the Acura RSX alternator. Once you disconnect that, you’ve got to depress the wiring harness and pull it out gently. You are now ready to unbolt the Acura RSX alternator from the front of the K20.
In order to gain the clearance needed however, you’ll need to unbolt the front radiator support. Begin by removing your front Acura RSX bumper. If you’ve got RSX foglights, make sure to unclip those before pulling off the front bumper.
Now undo the 10mm bolts that hold the air conditioning condenser to the front radiator support. Loosen both sides, and then the condenser should be able to pull away from your radiator just a tad.
Now undo the 10mm bolts that hold the RSX radiator in place. These bolts through through the RSX radiator stay, and begin with one side at a time.
Make sure to loosen the other side as well. Now you can pull away on the radiator. You should not need to undo the upper radiator hose.
Now begin removing the 10mm bolts that secure your RSX radiator support. Start with the left side first.
Now loosen the right side and don’t forget there’s another 10mm bolt that runs through the bottom of the front T radiator support.
Before removing your RSX radiator support, push in these plastic tabs to get your wiring harness freed. Carefully set your radiator support aside and be careful so you don’t bother the hood release wire.
Once you have enough clearance, you can carefully reach through and begin removing the 14mm bolts on the bottom of the Acura RSX alternator. There are two bolts under the unit, so once you have those removed, you can take off the top bolt.
Once you have the bottom two 14mm bolts taken out, proceed to remove the top bolt.
Now you should be able to carefully remove your old alternator. Make sure to support it before you remove the top most 14mm bolt. This is an extremely long bolt so make sure to use caution when screwing it into your new assembly.
Prepare your new alternator and start by inserting into the front of your RSX engine bay. Now reconnect the alternator wiring harness and the power wire. Tighten down the 10mm nut to the power wire on the Acura RSX alternator.
Now reconnect the alternator using the long 14mm top bolt first. Tighten it just snugly so that the alternator can still move a tad. now carefully reinsert the lower 14mm bolts and tighten to specification.
Now prepare your new RSX accessory belt by removing your old unit. Use this Acura RSX accessory belt routing image to carefully wind the lower pulleys first.
Now you’ll be ready to slide the belt over the brand new Acura RSX alternator. Once you’ve tightened down the alternator bolts, you are ready to put back the power steering pulley.
Now set the brand new RSX accessory belt to the left of the power steering pump. Reconnect the RSX power steering pump to the engine, and reinstall your accessory belt by pulling forward on the tensioner one more time.
You now know how to install a new Acura RSX alternator using our guide. Do you need a new RSX alternator? Shop for it through our online website here. Have any questions about this guide? Leave us a comment below and let us know!