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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Weird Electrical Problem - Need Help!

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6 replies to this topic

#1 JER


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Posted 30 May 2004 - 01:30 PM

I have a 1988 Subaru Justy, with approximately 104,000 miles. I have had it since it was new and have not had any major problems until now. Here is my story I hope someone can help....I will try and make it as brief as possible!

I took my car into advance auto parts for a new battery, apparantly they reversed the polarities when checking on the alternator, and shorted some wires.

I took my car to my regular mechanic when it was overheating due to the fan not coming on because of the above short.

The mechanic repaired the shorted wires. A day or two later the check engine light came on, but then went off after a minute or two. I foolishly continued to drive my car, then it cut off on the highway. I had it towed back to my mechanic and they fixed the ignition wires and said the computer showed that the problem was fixed. But the check engine light still came on but then it went off. I drove back to the mechanic, he said they needed to clear the problem from the memory, which they did. But the check engine light continued to come on briefly and then go off, but not everytime I started my car. They assured me that there is no problem, but to bring the car back for them to check it out. Which I did, but in the mean time I realized I had no horn.

I returned my car back to the mechanic, they fixed the problem, and told me that they had now replaced every wire in my car. I drove away happy, until the check engine light came back on after I drove for a couple of minutes...and then it began to blink on and off. I called my mechanic when I got home, and he is completely confounded. This just happened yesterday, so I have not had a chance to take it back for them to look at it, and I had to drive it to work and the light blinked off the entire way to work and the entire way back. (about 9 miles each way)

The car is running just fine...has anyone heard of such a problem? and what is the solution please!!! I trust my mechanic, but maybe we need help from some of you experts! I am taking my car back on Tuesday after the holiday!! I would truly appreciate any help you can give!!

#2 Cougar


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Posted 30 May 2004 - 02:04 PM

I assume that there are no codes being left in memory for a clue to see what may be causing the light to turn on. If not, I would suspect the ECU has an intermitant problem but it is hard to say. They are usually very reliable but when something like this happens, all bets are off.

Hopefully the people that caused this problem are helping you pay for the repairs you are requiring now.

#3 rallyruss


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Posted 30 May 2004 - 02:22 PM

first off whoever shorted your system out is responsible for all this damage.

second I seriously doubt that your mechanic changed the entire wire harness. or really knows how to troubleshoot.

I would find out what codes are actually being set and report back.

look for a better mechanic too.:rolleyes:

#4 JER


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Posted 30 May 2004 - 03:10 PM

Thanks for your reply. I will find out the codes and report back. I swear it is so hard to find a good mechanic! I sure wish there was some way I could prove that the idiot at advance auto parts broke my car so I could make them pay!!

#5 burn 1

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 12:43 AM

become friends with a subaru mechanic and i would be talking to the people who installed the battery

#6 Hank Roberts

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Posted 29 March 2005 - 07:03 PM

Pretty close to what I came to ask about -- I'm buying an old friend's 1988 GL Turbo 4wd wagon (he needs the money, I need something with low range gears for field botany work in the mountains of N. Ca.)

It's got 245,000 miles on the body and maybe 60,000 on a replacement used Japanese engine. Garage did an inspection, fixed some little stuff, found that because the owner had been ignoring the Check Engine light for 10 months the PCV valve and channels leading to it were totally gunked up; cleaned those. Got the "check engine light" off, had it checked and it passed CA smog OK. Paid them, drive it away -- and then the light started coming back on after 10-15 minutes and eventually stays on no matter what the garage did.

After quite a few free hours of work, they concluded everything else is OK, and that it's the actual onboard computer chip that's failed -- it's not signaling "ground" properly -- they've verified that the actual electrical ground connection is good.

$900+ replacement cost, for a new one. Either now, or in 11 months when it has its biannual smog check done again.

---> So, same symptoms, I think, assuming you've also checked everything else?

#7 Hank Roberts

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Posted 29 March 2005 - 07:05 PM

OH, and a followup question -- I'm assuming a bad computer has to be replaced because it manages the engine -- right? These things don't run right without the computer, do they?

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