Honda Insight Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Is the aluminum body a ground source like a steel body is on a regular car? I know aluminum was used in household wiring for a brief time in the 60's-70's era, but I was under the impression that it is not a good conductor.

So, can you just ground wires to any bolt that contacts the body? (That doesn't seem right. I know a lot of these bolts have a special coating on them to prevent corrosion between dissimilar metals so I don't think I should mess with them.)

Or should I tap in to the ground for the illumination light for the rear license plate? (I was afraid this might cause interference with stereo components.)


(I'm hooking up the Pioneer XM receiver in my hatch. There is a ground wire on the IP Bus cable that has to be grounded somewhere near the XM receiver, which in my case is back near my spare tire.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,448 Posts
I have the amp under the passenger seat grounded to one of the bolts that holds in the seat. It works fine, alluminum is a great conductor. If your grounding something in the rear of the car a good place to ground to could be one of the bolts that holds the cover on the do not open box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Rick...

Thanks for the info.

Those bolts that hold the "Do Not Remove" lid in place must not be the type that have to be replaced when you remove them, then (the coated ones)? They are aluminum, too?

I hadn't thought about it until I read your response, but aluminum, while not as good a conductor as copper, must be better than steel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,448 Posts
Nope, had those bolts off once (just don't tell Honda that :wink: ), they are normal bolts accept for the 6 torx (is that how you spell it) bolts that are supposed to prevent you from opening the box. The alluminum will conduct just fine. Look under the hood, the main ground wire goes right to the alluminum frame of the car.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
498 Posts
Insighter said:
I know aluminum was used in household wiring for a brief time in the 60's-70's era, but I was under the impression that it is not a good conductor.
That's in comparison with copper (what we now use in wires). But compared to steel, aluminum is a tremendous improvement!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks...

Thanks, Armin. That's what I wanted to hear. Are you an electrician?

And thanks for everyone's responses. I don't want to assume anything with such a new car.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
498 Posts
you're welcome

No problem. I'm an electronic engineer with a background in EVs. But don't tell anyone or they'll all want me to redesign their Insights :shock:

btw, I use a bolt from the passengers seat for my amp, too.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,942 Posts
Insighter said:
Is the aluminum body a ground source like a steel body is on a regular car? I know aluminum was used in household wiring for a brief time in the 60's-70's era, but I was under the impression that it is not a good conductor.

<snip>
The problem with aluminum as a conductor is making sure the end point connections don't oxidize (rust). The aluminum oxide creates quite a bit of resistance and forms much faster than copper in similar conditions. And when put under a _sufficent_ electrical load resistance causes heat and possibly fire. Most frequently simply an open circut or insuffucent voltage type failure.

By load capacity Copper is technically a better conductor than Aluminum and of the "standard" metals Silver is the best.

In relation to the Insight the only real precautions need be that the point is scraped to the bare metal and the ground lug is mechanically tight. An extra precaution especially in areas that might get wet would be to coat the connection with paint or other waterproof substance. Connection faliure will be accelerated by a process known as galvanic corrision caused by a weak electric current in the presence of dissimilar metals and moisture.

John K. Bullock
aka Insightful Trekker
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
"I know aluminum was used in household wiring for a brief time in the 60's-70's era, but I was under the impression that it is not a good conductor."

<snip>

"The problem with aluminum as a conductor is making sure the end point connections don't oxidize (rust). The aluminum oxide creates quite a bit of resistance and forms much faster than copper in similar conditions. And when put under a _sufficent_ electrical load resistance causes heat and possibly fire. Most frequently simply an open circut or insuffucent voltage type failure."

<snip>

Actually, aluminum is still used in most new houses - at least here in the east. It's used for service entrance cables and major appliance circuits by many electricians, but no longer used for general lighting circuits (the general lighting circuits were where the problems occured).

Aluminum will oxidize, but it won't rust. If you're concerned about oxidation, you can pick up some anti-oxidant at your nearest home center in the electrical department, but I doubt that you'd need it for the low volt dc stuff in the car. Might not hurt to use it for wiring connections under the hood where there's more exposure to the elements.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top