Electrical issue and burning smell


Have a 94 protege that i recently bought.

has electrical issues. When the lights go at on at night the battery drains and A smell like burning rubber comes from near the radiator. Good thing the sellor showed me the car in the daytime. Just came from a mechanic for the problem I guess he didnt fix it. Afraid to drive it back.

and wondering just how much the repair would cost anyway. Any help would be great

I really need this thing for work.




off hand, from your description it could be either a bad alternator, OR a loose serpentine belt. ( a loose seprentine belt either means a worn belt, or a bad tensioner pulley.)

however the bad alternator could be making the belt slip, mimicking the symptoms of a loose belt.

on the far reaches of guessing, since you need to give more info about the cars condition, miles, repairs, what the mechanic did, etc; there are a couple of other things related to the belt, which could cause slippage, or looseness (sic) but its too hard to guess based upon scanty info.


It has 154k on it. Original problem was that after the headlights had been on for awhile they went dim, engine power dropped dramaticly, and the car eventually stalled at a tollbooth. The mechanic said it was a loose wire and he also tightened the alternator belt. He originally thought the alternator was bad. Well car died again same day I got it back from the mechanic. Figuring the battery had been drawn down one too many times, I drove the car to autozone in the daytime. They tested battery and alternator. Battery was dead. Alternator was supposed to put out 14amps and was only putting out 12. Guy looked at the belt said it was still loose tightened it up and alternator worked fine. Well when night hit battery light comes on. Burning smell starts and I head home ASAP. Car drives nice seems to be in good condition. As long as you drive the sucker in the daytime or for less than 30 minutes at night you won’t notice any problems. I certainly didn’t. Haha. I just hope this is a easily fixable thing.



Here are the electrical diagrams for your car: http://search.ebscohost.com. User ID = user. Password = password. Click: Login. On the new page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on: Auto Repair Reference Center. On new page, select year ; make ; model of your car. Under Repair Topics, select Wiring Diagrams. Under Topic:Wiring Diagrams, click on Headlights. Next check Power Distribution. Next, Exterior Lights. ---- These wiring diagrams can be downloaded and printed. Then, take them to your electrician-mechanic. The rubber odor may be oil leaking onto the hot exhaust and burning.


The burning may be due to a bad wire connection between the alternator output lead and the positive battery post. You can check the voltage difference between those two points with a good load on the electrical system. The difference in voltage should be less than 0.2 volts if things are good.

Thanks very much for the link to the website. That is a great reference.