I've had an intriguing issue with my 98 Civic, and thought I might
describe it here, and see if anyone has some insight as to what could
be going on with the car.
Short story: poor fuel economy, alternator test suggests bad
alternator (175 amps?!?!), occasional dimming of lights, otherwise no
problems with the car.
Long story: I've had the car for about 3 years, and it's always been
reliable, except last year when the speedometer started acting crazy,
and the transmission shifted rough. It turned out there was a TSB for
a wire bundle that would run on the intake bracket, causing a fuse to
blow, which caused the other symptoms.
This is the TSB:
Anyway, I checked that wire bundle and couldn't find anything wrong,
so I just replaced the fuse, and the car was back to normal. Both
before and after this incident, I noticed that the lights (dash,
headlights, dome light) would sometimes flicker or dim, but it was
I took the car to AutoZone to get the free battery/alternator test,
and they told me that the alternator was bad, outputting 175 amps! I
don't know if that was the measurement under the tester's load, or
what, but the alternator is only spec'ed at like 80. I thought that
maybe there's a wiring problem that may be causing a load on the
alternator all the time, hurting my fuel economy. (I "only" get 25
miles per gallon)
If anyone has a suggestion, I'd love to try to figure out what's going
on. I'm handy with a multi-meter, I just don't know where to start.
Thanks in advance for any replies.