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Electrical smoke from engine even without key inserted

  Clio 182, porsche944
Hi guys, have a huge issue I could do with some help....
My clio 182 2004, was driving as normal, went to fire her up, starter motor refused to crank the engine.
Aquired a new starter motor, and went to fit it, when disconnected from the engine It whirred a little, checked all the relays and found one a bit corroded, cleaned the corrosion off and the starter motors power increased, great I thought... Found the issue, re_connected it up turned the key, nothing...(then got stuck abroad with work for 5 months due to covid)
I got home and I was gonna take it to a garage, thinking I'll bump start it and hope I don't stall on the way to the garage.
Tried tow starting it with a van, fired up but kept very loudly back firing and spluttering and then just died, so now I'm thinking I also have a dead battery......
Bought a new battery.... Connected it up, went to hook up the tow rope again to bump start, and luckily noticed smoke coming from the engine bay on the left, alot of it, and getting worse, the key wasn't even in the ignition.
Any help would be appreciated, I'm new here and I know I haven't earnt it as such, but Ive been following this forum for a while and you all seem like helpful guys


ClioSport Club Member
  Inferno 182 Cup
So when you connected the new battery did you try turning it over? Just curious as to why you hooked up a new battery and tried to bump start it.

If the smoke was coming from the driver's side then it'll be the alternator.
  Clio 182, porsche944
Yeah out of intrigue, I did give it a quick try, but nothing happened, I removed the key after that what I also forgot to mention was, the left indicator and reg plate light were hard latched to on, even without the key in the ignition.
Would there be any smoke from the alternator without the engine turning?
I'm not sure on how the system works,
I was wondering if a bad earth could be part of the fault also.
Thanks, any helps appreciated


ClioSport Club Member
  Inferno 182 Cup
I take it you have now disconnected the battery.

The lights being on would suggest a bad earth.

If you were going to take it to a garage to sort the starter out then you might be better off asking them to look into both issues.
  Clio 182, porsche944
Yeah, I think I would be coming back to a burnt out shell if I left it connected!
You may be right with the garage idea, just be nice if there was a simple fix I'm pretty good with taking it apart and rebuilding it, but I'm out of ideas.