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1990 Loyale: some sort of electrical short

loyale electrical doesnt start

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15 replies to this topic

#1 jasonkaye

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 01:00 PM

Hi there,

 

My 1990 Loyale won't start, and it appears to be due to an electrical problem.

 

Symptoms: Weak power to accessories when ignition is in "accessory" mode. Weaker power, and sometimes no power, when ignition is in "on" mode. Car does not start, and accessories lose power completely when ignition is in "start" mode.

 

Testing: So far, I have done the following: checked battery voltage, checked battery connections, checked fuses, checked fusible links, tested six relays for switching and continuity (4 above the fuse box and 2 above the ECM), tested ignition switch for appropriate continuity at the different key positions, partially tested steering column switches for continuity (the diagram in the Haynes manual confuses me; nevertheless, I disconnected the steering column switches and the problem remains.) I have not noticed loose grounds or frayed wires, but perhaps I have missed some.

 

There are a couple of interesting items to note.  First, when I activate the switch for the hazard flashers, the lights do not operate and a buzzing sounds. I have disconnected the power to the flashers module, and this of course silences the buzzing sound, but the original electrical issue remains. Second, occasionally when I turn on the parking lights via the steering column switch, the needle on the tachometer jumps - this is all without the engine running!

 

It's a mystery to me - hopefully someone out there can point me in the right direction. Thank you!

 

Jason

 

 



#2 NorthWet

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 01:12 PM

Indications of insufficient battery power.  Since the flashers are affected, I don't think that it is ignition switch related.  My guess would be on a bad battery cable connection, or perhaps an issue at the fusible links.

 

Continuity is not going to tell the whole story.  It would be a good idea to check to see what the voltage is at the battery and at the points of usage when something is being used.  (As in, what is the voltage at the flasher unit when the flashers are on.)

 

You could test the general condition of the battery and its main cables by using a remote starter (or a piece of wire that can e momentarily connected between battery positive terminal and the starter solenoid spade connector.  



#3 scoobiedubie

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 01:25 PM

Change out the black fusible link. If that doesn't work change out all other fusible links. Check hot wire coming from alternator for melting of plastic sheathing, and for lack of flexibility and/or breaks. Change capacitor on or around coil, if it has one. Change out battery harness. Change out engine harnesses.

#4 rain_man_rich

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 01:31 PM

To supplement battery cables for diagnostics, use jumper cables.



#5 jj421

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 02:56 PM

The buzzing with the hazards sounds like a problem I've had before. For me, the wire from the fusible links to the positive battery cable was corroded and not making a good contact. Once that was fixed, the hazards would not buzz, but work fine. Check that wire and check the fusible links.

 

Sounds like you've tested it, but it seems like a battery/connection issue to me. How old is your battery? Voltage may be good, but it might not be producing the amps required to start the car. Cables could also be damaged. Could try doing a voltage drop test or hook up jumper cables in parallel to your battery cables.

 

The tach needle moving is interesting. Can't help with that, haha.



#6 jono

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 03:41 PM

If it was just your flashers I'd say check the bulbs. I once had a bad spike due to a corroded fuse link that killed car to 10% , Limped to safety where it stopped. Many circuits were fried under dash. Little did I know or even suspect but all indicator bulbs blew - resulting in a buzz sound in the combo switch - this 1985 model did not have an external flasher can ! Only when I twigged that I was thinking old school (pulled reverse bulbs out of the sedan to see they were OK, not the indicator bulbs !!) The fronts in the bar were stripped threads, hard to access. As I added a confirmed working bulb to each corner of the circuit, the buzz stopped and indicator blink speed incrased to normal.

 

Moving tach needle might suggest the circuit is getting its earth through the coil ?? What if you disconnected the coil wirs for a moment to see if that stops the bounce in the needle when not running ?

 

Have you done any electrical changes? I recently found an unused three pin plug under the dash and used it to power something, and earth it. Since I have troubles with getting headlights to go on while the problem lights up indicator dash greens, the fan speed switch operates the dash lights. If the greens not on, my headlights will go on.If the problem is present, greens glow, headlights not come on, I pull cigar fuse - sorts my problem, can get headlights and replace fuse - all is OK ?????

 

This is a weird one because the tail lights use an earth switching, I know stop circuit uses power switching - diodes found under dash of Subaru , mainly mid blue plastic lumps - indicates we may need to add diodes to add on electricals.....



#7 wagonist

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 06:43 PM

A lot of your problems seem to stem from the combination switch on the steering column. I know that the hazard switch on the series 2 (88-) isn't in that part, but the wiring connects back through the indicators, which are there. ditto parkers, etc.

 

Maybe it is worthwhile borrowing another one, plugging it in instead, to check it?

 

Jono, was the unused 3 pin plug a pink colour? If so, that's where the power windows loom plugs in. It's completely separate and runs under the carpet.



#8 TallonX

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 07:11 PM

Try a different battery, you can still show >12V on a bad battery just the amps aren't there to push it.

Connect your DVOM to the battery hit the flashers watch how far it dips with each pulse for an easy test shouldn't drop more than 1 volt each flash my car only drops .2v as an example

#9 Dee2

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 09:12 PM

Ditto on the battery.  Try a jump start/different (tested to be good) battery and see what happens. 



#10 l75eya

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 01:59 PM

Voltage may be good, but it might not be producing the amps required to start the car

 

 

This.



#11 Rust

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 09:37 AM

If you dont have a muti-meter, the shade-tree way to test the battery is hook it up to a charger, and look to see if the cells are bubbling.  If one or more cell is not bubling the battery is not charging and is junk. 



#12 ivans imports

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 09:42 AM

Clean up ground on coil braket add extra wire from - post to coil braket add extra ground wire from - termanal to block / intake check main fuseabble links and link box feed wire no ground at coil = no spark/ feul pulse



#13 jasonkaye

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 10:47 AM

Hi all,

 

Thanks for the loads of responses and suggestions. For the sake of time, I brought the car to a mechanic, and as most of you suspected, it was simply an old, bad battery. I had checked the voltage, but not the amperage. I am surprised how many wonky symptoms arise from not enough power. Here's to the old adage that sometimes the answer is right under your nose!

 

Thanks again,

 

Jason



#14 jj421

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 03:10 PM

I've been surprised by that too. I think most auto parts stores will do this, but I know O'Reilly will: take the battery out of the car and take it to an O'Reilly store. They'll load test it for free, and tell you if you should replace it. They can also charge the battery overnight and test it again in the morning, for free. Very helpful if you don't have a charger/tester and can't justify spending money for one.

 

Just remember, stick with the easy stuff first. Fully test and rule out the quick fixes, then move onto more complicated issues. I learned this the hard way, haha.

 

Glad you got it fixed. I bet the car is happy to have a new battery in there.  :)



#15 Anonymous907

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 06:01 PM

So I'm having the same problem in my 1990 loyale. Kind of. No power to anything. Not a singal light or dash. No buzzing or humming etc. Picked up a small semi horn to install, drove home, unhooked battery and then the horns, or what I believed to be the horns from behind the front bumper, plugged my battery back in to make sure I actually removed the horns, and nothing for power.

I did the stretch test and none of the fusible links (grn, red, grn, & blk) appeared to stretch. I replaced my ignition switch and still nothing. Cleaned all my connections on the battery, the connecting terminals, where they connect to the block, and even pulled the battery out of my DD truck to hook in hopes it was just a bad battery and, after all that, I'm still getting no power to anything. I did plug back in what I believed to be the horns and still nothing. All the fuses inside the cab are good as well. Double checked every last one. Tested my alternator and I'm still getting good power to that.

I'm at a loss and really can't afford a shop. Any other ideas?

#16 Anonymous907

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 06:57 PM

Just tried the jumper cables instead of the regular battery cables; still nothing. :/





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