2003 Kia Spectra electrical problems

I have a 2003 Kia spectra. It is old, and has started having electrical problems. We just moved to CA, and over Christmas Break it sat and wouldn’t start up.

Dead battery, wouldn’t hold a charge, so we replaced it. Turns out that the alternator jammed, and had broken the belt that drives it. I just replaced both of those, But it still dies.

When I charge the battery up, I can drive it for about 6-10 miles before the headlights begin to dim, the battery light comes on, and the car begins to sputter and can’t accelerate, but it can maintain a speed of about 45mph.

By the way, I’m an amature mechanic but looking to learn .Here are my thoughts: I figure its some kind of electrical connection or grounding that comes loose when heated, because I’m found two suspicious elements that could be causing a short.

  1. there appears to be a ground wire (running from the body to the intake manifold) that some previous owner/mechanic just used JB WELD to reattach i had to remove that and Im worried the connection Isnt great and so when it heats up it looses connectivity and the battery begins to drain.

2)As I went in to replace the alternator in myself, I noticed with that one of the wiring harnesses that goes into the engine was sloppily reattached and had been touching the coolant line and had melted.
from my examination It looks like one of the wires might be slightly exposed but not broken. is it possible that it became brittle and broke internally as it was moved? also, if repairing these 2 problems doesn’t work what else should i look for?


You should run that ground wire to any good bolt on the engine block or head. I would take the alternator and have it tested and if good, replace as much of the wiring as you need to.

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You may have a faulty alternator. You could also have a problem with the field wire to the alternator. If the alternator gets hot to the touch after a little driving then there is a serious current draw on the charging system and the alternator can’t keep up.