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Charging System 2002 Civic


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Hi all - first post...


2002 Civic EX, 94.5K miles, I only drive this car to/from work approx 12 miles each way, literally only about 120 miles per week.


My alternator cuts out at random times. I have a voltmeter plugged into my cigarette lighter at all times. When I start up the car, it reads ~13.5 - 14.5 volts usually. Randomly (sometimes while idling, sometimes while going 70 on the interstate, sometimes uphill, sometimes down, sometimes level, raining, sunny, hot, cold, no discernible pattern) the alternator will cut out, the battery light on the dash will flicker, and my voltmeter will read less than 12 volts. Just as randomly it will return to 14 volts.


I took it up to O'Reilley and used their code reader. P1298 (high voltage into ELD). I have replaced the alternator, the belt, the battery, the battery cable terminals, and the ELD. I have inspected most all of the wiring (not that there is much). I have checked all of the fuses and none are bad. I simply cannot find the source of this problem and it's driving me nuts.


Sometimes I go two days without any issue. Sometimes I go 2 minutes without any issue. It's very nerve wracking on the days that it cuts out and I'm stuck in bad traffic. I usually turn off all possible accessories (except headlights if it's dark) and get home.


I haven't yet had the car die in traffic. I've started to hook the battery up to a Battery Tender Plus at night to recharge it to get me through the next day. I recognize that I might end up killing this battery but I really want to solve this issue before I do.


This was going on very rarely a few months back but has become more and more of a problem as time goes on. Early on I could flip on a bunch of accessories and bring it right back to 14. Now it really won't respond.


I suspect a worn/bare wire somewhere rubbing against the chassis that I haven't found yet.


Any hints? Thanks in advance.

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