Car Issues

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Re: Car Issues

Post by 75X11 on Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:31 pm

The last time I went through this with my Mustang, I got one of these to go through the process of elimination. Everyone in the family with a car has borrowed it and it has steered them in the right direction each time.

http://www.harborfreight.com/automotive-motorcycle/battery/100-amp-612v-battery-load-tester-61747.html
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Re: Car Issues

Post by 35Z5 on Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:33 pm

jerryhawthorne wrote:I agree that it sounds like the starter/solenoid problem.  Running a #10 wire probably would not give enough current to energize.  Better would be to hook your meter to the starter solenoid and have someone try the key in the start position to see what voltage you obtain there.  If you get 12V going to the solenoid certainly sounds like the starter/solenoid assembly. Make certain the starter is tightened down well as that is the ground for it.  If you get voltage with the key to the solenoid but it is low (way below 10-12V) it indicates a weak battery or poor connections.  Don't forget to check the negative connection from the battery to the block.  Some cars took the negative to the frame of the car and had braided strap from the frame to the block.
Jerry

A #10 wire is more than enough to energize the solenoid, factory in many vehicles is 12-14... No #10 won't carry starter current...
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Re: Car Issues

Post by tuberadiogeek on Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:01 am

I usually do not have anyone around to help me, so I just do everything on my own. If I can get some help, then I will check the voltage at the solenoid with the key in the start position. I used #10 wire because that is just what I had laying around. I knew it was better than using a piece of #14 or #16 because that was the only other size I had handy, and I didn't want to potentially melt wire insulation or burn myself due to excess current. All my connections are tight, including the engine block ground. Yes I know older vehicles had braided ground straps connecting the engine to the firewall.
I always thought it should be be at or close to 13 volts, but most batteries I check are usually right around 12. I know when it is charging, it should read close to 14-14.5 volts, if not that indicates a weak charging system. This battery is one from NAPA, and was replaced in February. It had a NAPA battery installed when I got it and it was under a pro rated warranty, which is why I went ahead and got a new one.
I wish I could afford that load tester, but I can't. I plan to have the school perform a test on the battery and starter once they drop it. Then I will go from there. If I wanted to drop it myself, I would then test it myself with jumper cables, but it was way too difficult to do it once. This is exactly why I decided to quit doing major automotive work and do something different, which is HVAC.
I figured # 10 would be alright just for a quick test, I know it wouldn't hold up to actually attempt to start the engine. The actual solenoid wire is maybe #18 and the starter wire is maybe #4, with 2 additional wires that are maybe #12. I'm thinking those are alternator wires.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by 75X11 on Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:37 pm

Be sure and keep us posted on what the shop comes up with. Starting issues can be very difficult and frustrating. I would strongly advise getting the Haynes manual once you can afford it. It will be a big help with most problems the car can present.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by tuberadiogeek on Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:03 pm

Haven't got in in the shop yet. However I went out to mess with it today for a few minutes. I noticed not only do I not have any indicator lights when the key is in the "on" position, I also have no clock,turn signals, or wipers. I pulled each fuse and they were all good. I went to the box under the hood and checked all those and they were good. While I still think the starter may be an issue, i'm thinking the ignition or engine control module could also be bad. The ignition module is about a 55.00 and the ECM is about 85.00 remanned with a core of 36.00 both at NAPA. I believe a new ECM is about 95.00 also at NAPA. Now, i'm just curious if either of those were intermittently going out, could it take a starter with them?
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Re: Car Issues

Post by 75X11 on Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:18 pm

Your ignition should be responsible for generating the spark as the engine runs. The engine control module only controls all of the engines' operation functions. neither should have such control over the cars' electrical system as you are describing. I would hate to see you buy either when they should not be able to correct the problem.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by 75X11 on Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:22 pm

I have gotten a lot of good info on various models of vehicles by asking on their specific owner forums online. I found this one that might benefit you. Give it a once over.

http://www.buickforums.com/forums/index.php
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Re: Car Issues

Post by tuberadiogeek on Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:54 pm

All I know is i'm stumped.. I'm still waiting on the school to get it in, so i'm trying to figure out as much as I can in the mean time. Thanks for the link, as I posted on there. Hopefully someone replies to my thread soon.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by 75X11 on Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:52 pm

I'm sure the folks at your school will get it sorted out. I know how frustrating it is to have an elusive problem like that. You may have a faulty wiring harness tie point or ground somewhere. For that a wiring diagram would be a big help.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by tuberadiogeek on Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:27 pm

I never thought about that. I really hope that isn't the issue. It's already hard enough to find parts for it, let alone a wiring harness or partial wiring harness. If that is the issue, it will likely be too time consuming for the school to fix. As there is only 3 weeks left in the current session and they have other things to do besides work on others vehicles. I'm probably going to have end up taking it to a shop, but cut them off at the 200.00 mark worth of labor charges if they find the issue.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by 35Z5 on Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:18 pm

tuberadiogeek wrote:Haven't got in in the shop yet. However I went out to mess with it today for a few minutes. I noticed not only do I not have any indicator lights when the key is in the "on" position, I also have no clock,turn signals, or wipers. I pulled each fuse and they were all good. I went to the box under the hood and checked all those and they were good. While I still think the starter may be an issue, i'm thinking the ignition or engine control module could also be bad. The ignition module is about a 55.00 and the ECM is about 85.00 remanned with a core of 36.00 both at NAPA. I believe a new ECM is about 95.00 also at NAPA. Now, i'm just curious if either of those were intermittently going out, could it take a starter with them?    

Nope, ain't happnin', like I said earlier can toss the ECM in the street and starter should operate... ECM light would be inoperative but oil, alt etc would still operate... My guess is it has a blown fuse link, seen supposedly good mechanics tear a car to pieces looking for problem that was only a bad link...

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Re: Car Issues

Post by tuberadiogeek on Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:28 am

Thanks for the link Mezlaw. I copied down the main wires that needed checked and figured this out: 12 V constant: 1 Volt with key off and 091.7 with key on Starter: no voltage, there were 2 yellow and 2 purple wires and I checked both sets with the key in all 3 positions Ignition 1: same exact results as the 12 V constant Ignition 2: 12 volts with key on and 0 with key off. So something is causing a loss of voltage at the ignition switch.
35Z5, I didn't think that would be likely, but I know sometimes failing components can take other things with them. Now that you say that about a blown fuse link, I remember my buddy's 87 Buick had a similar problem and he suspected a blown/burned fuse link in the ignition. My other friend that was a decent mechanic knew his way around the wiring harnesses of older GM's and he left the bad fuse link and I believe he ran a wire from the ignition hot straight to the battery. He used a section of wire that had a fuse link in it. My buddy and I drove the car like that for 3 or 4 years. Unfortunately that guy and I are no longer on speaking terms due to his wife and daughter.. (long, long story) but I still talk to his son, and may be able to convince him to look at my car, with the help of some greenbacks.. lol..
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Re: Car Issues

Post by tuberadiogeek on Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:38 pm

An update FINALLY.. The school was finally able to get it in at the end of last week,so my buddy pulled me there last Thursday afternoon. They got to it yesterday(class only goes M-Th) and found a blown cartridge fuse,which was something new to me but went ahead and replaced it only to have it blow. The instructor then put a jumper in and put an ammeter in the circuit and found out the ignition circuit was pulling 160 amps when he said it should only be 6 or 8 amps. Apparently when I did the starter I cranked down the "S" terminal nut down too tight and caused the wire to break and short to ground. Not only blowing the fuse but damaging one of the wires going from the starter to the transmission range switch to the ignition module. Luckily he knew enough to just run a new wire to bypass the damaged wire. Then after the electrical issue was resolved, it suddenly started spitting oil out of somewhere in the front of the engine only when it was being cranked. I believe the engine class resolved that issue easily, as the class working on the ignition was an electrical class. So i'm looking at probably around 10 or 12.00 total to cover the cost of 2 fuses and the wire & connectors they used. I will find out what the oil problem was Monday morning when I pay and pick it up.


Last edited by tuberadiogeek on Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:39 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Re: Car Issues

Post by 75X11 on Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:43 pm

I sure am glad to see some good news from your neck of the woods!
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Re: Car Issues

Post by tuberadiogeek on Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:42 pm

Got it back today. The starter circuit had to be bypassed due to damaging a wire from the excess current. I now have to use a button to engage the starter with the key on. Which doesn't bother me. However for some odd reason the speedometer no longer registers. Not sure if it was damaged, unhooked or if the VSS was also damaged. I have yet to open the hood and inspect everything.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by 75X11 on Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:17 pm

Well with your back away from the wall, you can check the affected circuits at a more leisurely pace. Don't forget about the Haynes manual.
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Re: Car Issues

Post by Guest on Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:17 pm

tuberadiogeek wrote: I now have to use a button to engage the starter with the key on. Which doesn't bother me.


That's the way most cars were back in the 1940's! Wink

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Re: Car Issues

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