Alternator or Battery? which is it?

My battery finally died tonight. So I got it jumped and drove to autozone. I replaced my battery easily by my self. They were 5 min from closing so I just made it. My question is .How do I know that its JUST
my battery and not my alternator? Also how long do Honda alternators last? My battery was at least 5 years old, maybe more? My Mom used to own the car she said she couldnt remember exact date she bought the battery. Is there a way to TEST the alternator to see if its still good, without removing it from car?
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On Jun 19, 12:35 am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Private Private) wrote:

back in the old days you could remove a cable from the battery while the car was running. if it died, the alternator was bad. don't know if you can use the same process for a new car.
bob z.
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(Private Private) wrote:

and radio might take it the wrong way. It has been done with no bad effects but it's an awful chance to take.
A voltmeter is quicker and more comprehensive anyway.
Mike
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Oops my bad I left out what car I have. Its a 1993 Honda Del Sol Si w/ 65K miles. I'll go back to AUTOZONE and see if they can test alternator. Can they test it while its in the car?
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On Jun 19, 7:54 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Private Private) wrote:

Yes they will test your cars charging system on the car.
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I googled this link.
http://www.misterfixit.com/alterntr.htm
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Try the five quick and dirty checks listed at http://home.earthlink.net/~honda.lioness/id13.html
What year and model of Honda? How many miles on it?

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Item number 3 should say, battery voltage should NOT drop below ..........
wrote

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Adding loads is supposed to drop the voltage from the generator. When test 3 is taken with the other tests, they offer insight. The wording is as I intended.

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The AutoZone's around where I live will do a free test for you. Go back with your receipt and ask them to hook her up to their meter.
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On Jun 18, 9:35 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Private Private) wrote:

Almost all auto parts stores will do a free test on your charging system. What state are you in?
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