While inspecting the wires under the hood of my 1995 Camry LE (v6) I noticed that a wire ending at my alternator was loose. Note that before I disconnected anything, my car would start fine...

So I disconnected this wire, which sits above the power wire on the alternator, and attempted to unscrew a nut that was on a post coming out of the alternator. In the process of unscrewing, the post broke off with the nut attached to it. Wow. So, figuring it was just a ground wire, I attached said wire to the chassis and tried to reconnect the negative battery wire that I had removed prior to this. It started shooting sparks upon contact and after a while I finally got it on.

Putting the key in the ignition lights up my dash, and my overhead lamp works, along with my headlights... But my radio, clock, and lighter had no power. Tried turning the key to start but I don't even get a click... After a few more tries, the battery died. No lights nothing now... Help!

  • 1. Always disconnect battery before mucking around with electrics. 2. Always consult your vehicle's service manual / wiring diagrams before reconnecting wires to new places. A car battery has the ability to output hundreds of amps when shorted, which leads to many very dangerous situations, not the least of which inludes heating up a battery full of acid and hydrogen gas vapors. Also, disconnect that improperly connected wire asap and wrap some electrical tape around the end of it, dont leave it. Disconnect your battery before you touch and wrap up that wire to avoid shock or starting a fire.
    – Jason C
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 18:19
  • Shooting sparks is an indication you did something wrong with that alternator wire. Hopefully you only blew a fuse.
    – Moab
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 21:04

1 Answer 1


That wire will have been the main power connection from the alternator to the battery it is used for powering the car and charging the battery while the engine is running. By forcing this onto the chassis you will have shorted out your battery and hopefully you have blown a fuse-able link. Needless to say, this was very dangerous to do. If a fuse-able link hasn't blow, you have hopefully just flattened you battery, but you may even have burned out some wiring.

  • Yes, unfortunately I didn't lookup what these wires connect to and like a dummy assumed it was a ground wire. I've read that my alternator fuse might be blown, which I believe is a100 amp fuse. So now, I've disconnected the wire from the chassis, but that post coming from inside the alternator is still broken in half, how do I reconnect the wire? Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 10:02
  • If you disassemble the alternator, you may possibly be able to replace the post with a bolt. If not you could take the alternator to a shop that refurbishes them or will do a part exchange.
    – HandyHowie
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 11:56

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