92 civic alternator problems


Old 05-04-06, 09:19 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2
Unhappy 92 civic alternator problems

I've been having alternator problems for a while now, about two months. I bought a 92 honda civic 2dr si about a year ago and up until two months ago never had a problem with it. Then the alternator went out, so I replaced it. A week after that the positive bolt coming from the alternator was melted off, a peice was gone and the nut was gone too. So I attatched the positive wire to the second bolt on the alternator. A few days after that it melted off as well. Then I replaced the alternator again, along with a new battery and the battery terminals. I thought maybe it had a bad battery giving it to much juice or something. Well today my car was running funny, so I decided to check the positive bolt on my alt. and Its charred.. meaning it looks burnt up.. the bolt/nut/ and wire are still there, but its obvious it got really hot and is only a matter of time before its melted off again.

Does anyone know what could be causeing this? I have the correct alternator for my engine, which is a d16z6 1.6l. The very first time I replaced my alternator was becuase it died, it didnt have any burn marks and no problems other than it being dead. Nobody can explain this to me. Every mechanic I've asked has never heard of this happening before. Please help
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Old 05-05-06, 05:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Owen Sound Ontario Canada
Posts: 541
I think this is what may have happened (but I still recommend the situation being checked out by a pro asap as electrical fires are potentially lethal):

The alternator went out because of natural reasons.

A replacement alternator was installed

The wire where the burning is occurring had a defect such as corrosion or a twist or something that did not allow full contact with the alternator.
The wire end heated up because the electrical energy that was flowing had a "resistance" to flow through. The resistance acts like the filament of a light bulb and develops heat. And it burns up things in the immediate area.

I had this problem with a GM starter last year.
The starter went so I replaced it.
I did notice that the cable end was deteriorated but I cleaned it up some and put it on anyway. It got hot enough that it smoked and it did not allow the starter to act properly.
I cleaned up the cable better, but by then the cable end and the solenoid were in such bad condition that I had to replace both.

I believe your 92 Civic has a 80 amp fuse on that wire near the battery. But the poor connection at the alternator is causing excessive heat at below that 80 amps. The bad connection is acting like a fuse and it is burning out (slowly)

I have found in the past that after the metal connections have heated to an excessive point, that it is better just to replace them. In this case it may be necessary to replace the cable and the parts in the alternator or maybe the alternator again.

I would do a volt drop test across that connection just after I started the vehicle with the lights on and the heater fan going.
Put the positive lead of the voltmeter on the BOLT coming out of the alternator and the negative lead on the WIRE that goes out after the bolt.
The idea is that if the voltmeter reads a high reading such as 0.5 of a volt then there is excessive resistance at that point.
A voltmeter has high resistance, and the connection is suppose to have no resistance. Electricity is like water, it will not travel up a hill if it can get thru a easier way. A bad connection is like a dam in the river, the water will then go up hill o find a way to get to where it is going. In the case of electricity, it will go thru the high resistance of the meter to get by the bad connection.

I hope that makes sense. I think I need another coffee before I try any thing like that again. Sorry if I am confusing.

I would also take the connection apart and look for any signs of poor contact. Replace any part if suspect.

If you have access to a ammeter that goes up to a 100 amps, test the wire after a start and with the heater fan on and the lights on and see how much current is flowing.

Again, this is just one possible cause. The problem should be found ASAP before the car burns or the problem burns out other electrical components.

Post back if any clarification is needed.
Old 05-05-06, 08:19 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2
Thank you for your advice, I'll give it a shot today and report back.

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