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Old 10-25-2012, 09:09 PM   #1
Ballistic325
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,191
My Ride: slow and steady
Question Electrical issue diagnosis help - dead electrics

Hi

I had a strange issue occur this morning and luckily it happened as I pulled into my parking spot and was adjusting the car's position.

First, the ASC symbol flashed twice (extremely low speed, no spinning tyres) then all of a sudden all electrics are dead. No power at all.

Background:
My battery has been dying and I replaced it last week with a new higher Crank Amp alternative. Standard is 570CCA and the replacement is 680CCA. Exact same size, connectors, 'exhaust vent' etc as the original. The car purrs now and as many have noted, replacing an ageing battery makes a huge difference.

At the same time as replacement, I checked the positive and negative cables to the car, making sure that the cables were secure on the battery as well.

When I opened the battery compartment to check cables, my initial thought was that perhaps the negative cable had popped off. No issues there, everything secure.

Now here's the funny (no lols, just real strange) thing - as I was checking everything I bumped the car and the thing came back to life! I played with the cables etc and everything seems fine.

This issue has never happened before. At all.

I don't want to get caught out again, so any help with diagnosing and preventing this would be great.

More info that might help:

I made the DIY Aux-in cable (straight through, no resistors / condensors) this past weekend. Installed, everything has worked all week.

Driving to work this morning my fuel level was quite low and waiting at the lights on a very steep hill the car stalled. Took a few tries to fire it back up and was alright getting to the nearest service station. My fault - I wasn't paying attention to the fuel gauge

Where should I start to look and ensure that this doesn't happen again?

Cheers guys
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:14 PM   #2
Stinger9
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New York
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Intermittent problems are the most difficult to find.
One thing that I most focus on for clues is that you say you bumped the car and it worked again.
WHERE did you bump the car when this happened?
There is an aux cable into the main battery cable that supplies current to most of the electronics on your car. I'd suspect something in this area where it may have broken, but not be obvious. There is also a collision damage disconnect link in the battery cable, so something may be erratic with that too. Check out all in this area.

And in the future how about filling in your car info so we know what you're talking about. Year, mileage, model?
And hope the above what I said applies to an Aussie model.

Last edited by Stinger9; 10-25-2012 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:33 PM   #3
Ballistic325
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinger9 View Post
Intermittent problems are the most difficult to find.
One thing that I most focus on for clues is that you say you bumped the car and it worked again.
WHERE did you bump the car when this happened?
There is an aux cable into the main battery cable that supplies current to most of the electronics on your car. I'd suspect something in this area where it may have broken, but not be obvious. There is also a collision damage disconnect link in the battery cable, so something may be erratic with that too. Check out all in this area.
The 'bump' was actually dropping my flash light on to the trim panel at the rear of the trunk. Not heavy or hard. When I returned from my errands I beat the inside of the trunk, thumped and bumped everything without anything going dead or even fluctuating

When I get a chance I'll check the aux cable that you mention. The battery safety terminal has definitely not been deployed but as you've pointed out something may have been disturbed there whilst replacing the battery.

Quote:
And in the future how about filling in your car info so we know what you're talking about. Year, mileage, model?
And hope the above what I said applies to an Aussie model.
Haha! Yeah true... sorry about that
2001 325 just over 100K miles.
I am also running a the Parrot Bluetooth set up as DIY'd by delmarco and others.

I just went to run some errands during my lunch break and no issues at all with the car except that now the temp gauge is all the way past hot and stuck there

Thanks for the feedback and help!
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:31 PM   #4
Stinger9
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With your number of posts, I'll assume you know all about cooling systems ruining head gaskets.
How do you know it's the gauge?
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:51 PM   #5
Ballistic325
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Yep yep, I get where you're going with it.... I drive with one eye on the temp gauge all the time anyways

The temp gauge was fine before the electrical issue and since power was restored it has decided to move on up to its current spot and stay there regardless of key in / ignition. When I first saw it I almost pooped a brick.

Might do a cluster gauge test which hopefully should restore it back to normal. A similar thing happened when I re-coded the lights function on my car which left the temp gauge square in the middle with ignition off. The cluster is smart though and after a period it rectifies itself but in this case the needle appears to be stuck.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:35 PM   #6
Ballistic325
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To follow up and close off, I tried and tested all the cables, front and rear. Nothing seemed to replicate the issue and it hasn't happened again either so I will put it down to a one off.

Cheers all.
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* Reading Codes / Coding your car
* R&R FCAs, Tie Rods, Sway links....
* RTABs

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