Opel Corsa B 1993–2000 Service and Repair Manual: General information and precautions

General information

The engine electrical system consists mainly of the charging and starting systems.

Because of their engine-related functions, these components are covered separately from the body electrical devices such as the lights, instruments. Refer to Part B or C for information on the ignition system.

The electrical system is of the 12-volt negative earth type.

The battery is of the low maintenance or "maintenance-free" (sealed for life) type and is charged by the alternator, which is belt-driven from the crankshaft pulley.

The starter motor is a pre-engaged type incorporating an integral solenoid. On starting, the solenoid moves the drive pinion into engagement with the flywheel ring gear before the starter motor is energised. Once the engine has started, a one-way clutch prevents the motor armature being driven by the engine until the pinion disengages from the flywheel.


Further details of the various systems are given in the relevant Sections of this Chapter.

While some repair procedures are given, the usual course of action is to renew the component concerned. The owner whose interest extends beyond mere component renewal should obtain a copy of the "Automobile Electrical & Electronic Systems Manual", available from the publishers of this manual.

It is necessary to take extra care when working on the electrical system to avoid damage to semi-conductor devices (diodes and transistors), and to avoid the risk of personal injury. In addition to the precautions given in the "Safety first!" section of this manual, observe the following when working on the system:

Always remove rings, watches, etc before working on the electrical system. Even with the battery disconnected, capacitive discharge could occur if a component's live terminal is earthed through a metal object.

This could cause a shock or nasty burn.

Do not reverse the battery connections.

Components such as the alternator, electronic control units, or any other components having semi-conductor circuitry could be irreparably damaged.

If the engine is being started using jump leads and a slave battery, connect the batteries positive-to-positive and negative-tonegative (see "Booster battery (jump) starting"). This also applies when connecting a battery charger.

Never disconnect the battery terminals, the alternator, any electrical wiring or any test instruments when the engine is running.

Do not allow the engine to turn the alternator when the alternator is disconnected.

Never "test" for alternator output by 'flashing' the output lead to earth.

Never use an ohmmeter of the type incorporating a hand-cranked generator for circuit or continuity testing.

Always ensure that the battery negative lead is disconnected when working on the electrical system.

Before using electric-arc welding equipment on the car, disconnect the battery, alternator and components such as the fuel injection/ignition electronic control unit to protect them from the risk of damage.

    Starting and charging systems
    Specifications System type Battery Alternator Starter motor Torque wrench settings ...

    Battery - testing and charging
    Standard and low maintenance battery - testing 1. If the vehicle covers a small annual mileage it is worthwhile checking the specific gravity of the electrolyte every three months to determine th ...

    See also:

    Opel Corsa B 1993–2000 Service and Repair Manual. Cooling system electrical switches - testing, removal and refitting
    Electric cooling fan thermostatic switch Testing 1. Testing of the switch as part of the fan test procedure. Removal 2. The switch is located in the side of the radiator (see illustration). The ...