Help! Random total electrical failure. - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
Hotrodders.com -- Hot Rod Forum



Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Unanswered Posts Auto Escrow Insurance Auto Loans
Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Electrical
User Name
Password
lost password?   |   register now

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-19-2004, 07:30 AM
Gearhead forever's Avatar
Member
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Elora, Ontario, Canada
Age: 46
Posts: 458
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Unhappy Help! Random total electrical failure.

Question from an electrical newbie....My wifes car ('97 Sable) has developed an electrical glitch over the last while in addition to all the others. This car has always been an elecrtical lemon....The washer pump some times works (for the last 5 years) as well as the drivers window and the rear window washer pump no name a few. In the last year the headlights began to flicker constantly and now the car has developed a random total power cut out during driving. (mostly during decelleration or braking) The cut out only lasts a second or two, enough to see the gauges go nuts, radio and lights fade and loss of ignition. (engine stumbles) There is sometimes loud clicking coming from the upper left corner of the dash when this happens. (my wife has even heard these clicks when the car is not running...***??) We had it at the garage and they lost all the data when it "stumbled". They replaced the ignition switch which solved the problem for a few months. Ironically (and I may have answered my own question) the switch has been starting to buzz like the key is in it some times (on exit or entry) untill you wiggle it, but causes no engine stumble or power loss when wiggling it as we are driving. Im thinking these two symptoms must be related as they started up around the same time.
Is ther anything else I should check? Computer, wiring harness short or loose connections? I wish it would just quit altogether so we can trace the problem...If it was only me driving it, I'd hope it catches on fire so I could walk away. (But for the safety of my wife and kids, Id like to see it fixed.)

I don't really care about the minor glitches like the washer pumps or windows, I'm primarily concerned with this ignition thing as I believe it is a major safety issue. Any advice is appreciated.

    Advertisement
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-19-2004, 04:30 PM
docvette's Avatar
Hotrodders.com Moderator
 
Last wiki edit: Rebuild an alternator Last photo:
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Lafayette, california
Age: 62
Posts: 7,362
Wiki Edits: 12

Thanks: 0
Thanked 6 Times in 3 Posts
Ford Recall

Doc here

I remember reading Ford had a recall on the ignition switches because they would burn up and cause fires...I do not remember however what years they covered...90 somethings...

If you went in for just diagnosis and repair, you may have gotten a post recall switch..and it may be bad again...This was discovered on a "Sting" operation by 60 minutes, for a woman's estate who was burned to death in one...60 minutes found the part number that was replaced was post recall number replacement (the same switch) and on many others as well...

Check your recall notices and part numbers...

As far as the rest, Fords are an intermittent nightmare because of the Metal/plastic relationship, and the best course of action is attack all your grounds first..make sure all your grounds are good and bonded.

Then troubleshoot each problem as it occurs for both power and ground.

Doc
__________________
Aftermarket Solutions
Electronic & Electrical
Innovations
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10-20-2004, 01:11 AM
2-manytoyzs's Avatar
Start those projects someday
 

Last journal entry: Divco - has been on the back burner
Last photo:
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Fresno
Age: 64
Posts: 557
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Check cables at battery both + and - cables. Engine ground cable, B+ at starter connector. There is a connector at the engine compartment power distribution box. Check the red 10 gauge wire at the mounting bolt at the box.
Start there and let us know. Perform a wiggle test of the terminals connectors power distribution box and ign switch with the engine idling and headlights on while checking for a stumble.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 10-20-2004, 08:21 AM
vintage56's Avatar
New Member
 

Last journal entry: and this should be it...for now
Last photo:
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Oklahoma City
Age: 36
Posts: 15
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
from my little experience...

Things are probably quite different on your '97 model Sable, but back in '95 when I had an '88 Chrysler Conquest, I had a similar electrical ailment. Mine turned out to be a bus bar (terminology?) of sorts right off the battery. This bus bar had one connection that was just loose enough to wear the wire loose at the connector and the result was complete loss of power.
My modestly experienced advice is to restate the prior. Be very investigative of your grounds and connectors.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 10-20-2004, 02:24 PM
docvette's Avatar
Hotrodders.com Moderator
 
Last wiki edit: Rebuild an alternator Last photo:
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Lafayette, california
Age: 62
Posts: 7,362
Wiki Edits: 12

Thanks: 0
Thanked 6 Times in 3 Posts
Firewall plugs

Doc here

Another source of contention is the firewall plugs where the main harness go in, come loose, corrode, or fill with dirt, good place to check and clean.

Doc
__________________
Aftermarket Solutions
Electronic & Electrical
Innovations
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 10-21-2004, 09:58 AM
Gearhead forever's Avatar
Member
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Elora, Ontario, Canada
Age: 46
Posts: 458
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks guys....i'll give all that a checkover. Gonna look into this switch thing too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2004, 06:50 PM
Member
 

Last journal entry: JB's 37 Pickup
Last photo:
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Smoky Mountains
Age: 76
Posts: 2,358
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Grounds, grounds and more grounds. From your description, and a long time lemon problem, you most likely have more than one poor/faulty ground. The modern day vehicles (I include 96 Sables in this category) have many grounds for a reason and one intermittent ground can run you crazy.

Trees
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Recent Electrical posts with photos

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name (usually not your first and last name), your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
Copyright Hotrodders.com 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.