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PSA #2 Inspect your Ground Wires

4097 Views 20 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  sequoiasoon
Discovered during a rattling heat shield repair for a vehicle in the fleet was another corroded ground wire. The engine-to-frame ground wire literally fell apart after removing two bolts. Had a spare Walmart nEverStart battery cable in stock and easily replaced the wire. Not sure which wire type is best as the OEM ground wires seem to be the woven strand type versus wire in a protective sleeve. Best to discover your corroded wire in your driveway before a no-start situation occurs.
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I don't know if it's a "Honda thing", like it's so common to hear someone hates a certain manufacturer from one issue that may or may not be something attributable to that manufacturer (like none of us would drive any car again if it was an [takata] airbag that we thought made a car unreliable).

But my pilot's cables were totally corroded away and had to replace with a new battery.

And my friend's 2017 Accord had the same thing, after only two years the battery failed and the cable clamps were gone to just dust around the terminals. Covered under warranty but still seemed a lot of bad luck on two Hondas.

Anyway for sure, good advice.
 

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Past wire corrosion. First pic is BMW engine-to-frame and next pic is Pilot trans-to-frame
Ahh, everyone loves the classics. :)
 

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hmm maybe I should bring a ground strap with me on my vacation. bare uncoated metal will corrode faster than covered or coated metal and uncoated IS cheaper so no one should be surprised to see this on a vehicle.
 

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also anyone interested in grounding a DC electrical circuit on any vehicle read this...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
also anyone interested in grounding a DC electrical circuit on any vehicle read this...
The article mentions braided wire then ends with this: “Finally, insulated wire is best if you’re running wire for any sort of length. Insulation ensures that the wire will not deteriorate due to moisture”. Think there is a typo with using 14 gauge wire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
@aggrex Where precisely is this ground cable you replaced? I already did the upper one, accessible from the top, near the battery. But the old cable didn't look like the one you have pictured.
There is one pic of the Pilot trans to frame ground wire but there is also an engine to frame too as well as another. The first pic with the broken woven wire is from a different vehicle.
 

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Think there is a typo with using 14 gauge wire.
not necessarily because that ground strap will only be handling the electrical current of any sensors and switches that happen to be mounted nearby.
 

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The article suggests braided copper for engine to chassis, but doesn't say why? I assume the concern is moisture can get inside a covered cable?
 

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The article suggests braided copper for engine to chassis, but doesn't say why? I assume the concern is moisture can get inside a covered cable?
Heat could melt the insulation? I haven't dealt with this on modern vehicles but on classic cars this is a common mistake people make, the engine gets grounded to the chassis via straps from the back of the valve cover to the firewall and from the front of the engine (water pump bolt for my Impala) to the battery.

@dr bob has to know, he's our retired engineer that knows everything about everything. (that's a compliment, not sarcasm)
 

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Heat could melt the insulation? I haven't dealt with this on modern vehicles but on classic cars this is a common mistake people make, the engine gets grounded to the chassis via straps from the back of the valve cover to the firewall and from the front of the engine (water pump bolt for my Impala) to the battery.

@dr bob has to know, he's our retired engineer that knows everything about everything. (that's a compliment, not sarcasm)
On the Honda, the strap is attached at the starter. Can't really say heat will be a problem for it. 🤔
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
The article suggests braided copper for engine to chassis, but doesn't say why? I assume the concern is moisture can get inside a covered cable?
Since the engine (motor) wiring harness is mostly covered with plastic insulation not sure if the ground connection is any less/more vulnerable to moisture. OEM ground wires tend to be woven or braided bare wire possibly for flex from engine (motor) movement. But my ground wires have corroded in each of my vehicles to the point of breakage so the mystery continues. I’ll have to report back how the 4-6 gauge nEverStart cables endure the harsh conditions in the rust belt.
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@aggrex Where precisely is this ground cable you replaced? I already did the upper one, accessible from the top, near the battery. But the old cable didn't look like the one you have pictured.
This attachment should help.
 

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"PSA #2 Inspect your Ground Wires"

I know this is an old thread and I hope I'm not talking out of school here but... I don't think I've ever had anything fail like that before. I would say that at least every 6 months I'm inspecting everything inside the engine compartment and under the car. I mean, checking tightness of bolts, inspecting wires, connections and the condition of any rubber boots, leaks etc. . I'm not saying I'm perfect, but any wire/battery connection that started to show that blue/green copper oxidation like in the pics above would of had been changed out long before that.

Disclaimer: I'm not trying to chastise anyone with my response. I just believe that small problems usually become big problems and it's best to take care of them while they're "small". It usually costs a lot less while they're small.
 
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