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Hiccups in my 92 Legacy (electrical problem)


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4 replies to this topic

#1 snoutmeat

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 11:34 PM

OK -- '92 Legacy Wagon. 235K miles. Love it -- most reliable vehicle I've ever owned. In the past week, it's started misbehaving. Driving home at night, the car will suddenly die -- tach goes to zero, dash lights and headlights go off, car starts to slow down -- and then comes back to life. Total outage is < 1 second -- just enough to freak you out. There's also an audible "click" from behind the dash, which I'm assuming is just a relay for the headlights or some other system. It seems pretty clear that it's electrical in nature, but it's a pretty major electrical issue to make everything go out -- it's as though I'm turning the key off and then on again. I was wondering if either the ignition switch or (if there is such a thing) a relay tied to the ignition is failing. However, if I really do turn the key off and on again, all the dash lights (fasten seat belt, etc) light up again (like when you're starting a car), and this isn't happening when the car "hiccups".

--If it were a bad coil pack/something in the engine electrical system, then the headlights/dash lights wouldn't go out.

--Anyone else had these symptoms? Other than a CV joint and regular maintenance (belts/hoses), this is the first time I've ever had the vehicle act up on me.

--Probably totally unrelated: my girlfriend mentioned that the ABS light occasionally comes on when she starts the car, and stays on for the duration of the drive, but the next time she starts the car, the light's out and stays out for weeks. Does the ABS light indicate anything other than ABS?

Thank you,
Shane

#2 gbrand

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Posted 11 December 2004 - 12:43 AM

Of course check for common stuff, loose wires, batt terminals, etc. But my guess is the alternator is starting to go out-brushes are prolly weraing just to point of not making contact and you are loosing charge. Just my guess, had similar type thing happen on my 80 and my 91 Legacy

#3 Gnuman

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Posted 11 December 2004 - 02:12 AM

If that was the case, wouldn't the battery take up the slack when the alt dropped the ball?

My suspicion is a failing ignition switch (when you manually turn off the key and turn it back on, the duration would be longer, or perhaps only one of several contacts is bad) This is just a swag, however, nad should be taken with a grain of salt (swag == Scientific wild arsed guess)

#4 snoutmeat

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 10:58 PM

FYI, if anyone was wondering the outcome.....

I've been driving it without a hitch for the last week. My guess is that the incessant rains (or girlfriend driving thru a monster puddle) got water somewhere it shouldn't have gotten. We'll have to see how it does in the next rainstorm, but so far so good!

#5 coloradosubarules

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Posted 19 December 2004 - 12:27 PM

Do you get a check engine light when the car dies? (one that is retained in the ECU)




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