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Thread: Car Issues

  1. #1
    Duffman's Avatar Poster
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    I'm trying to figure out on my own what is plagueing my car at the moment, because bringing it to the mechanic without any idea whats wrong will make it cost a hell of a lot more money, which I don't have.

    I went on a little vacation a few weeks ago to upstate New York, 300mi each way. On the way back I stopped in Lake Placid to visit a friend at the olympic training center. While we were hanging out we drove to her friends house, started driving down the dirt road, everything was fine, then I started to see smoke, I thought it was dust from the road, and a minute or two later when we stopped the smoke didn't. Popped the hood and there was a huge fire ablaze.

    Turns out that the fire was caused by my oil leak and some electrical spark. I had a new oil pan gasket and cylinder gasket put in and the oil leak is gone now, however, I am having a million little problems now.

    Symptoms:
    Turn Signals no longer blink, all the bulbs work, just solid light. Hazard lights do blink, my Dad seems to think its just a little componenent that regulates the blinking.

    Engine Idles in park or nuetral at around 3000rpm's.

    If I idle in drive for more than a few minutes it stalls and won't stay running til I drive faster for a bit. Stalled more than 10 times in a drive thru line today.

    When I break a little harder than normal to stop for a red light I can feel the transmission come out of gear for a few seconds, and then it pops back in.

    There is also this squeaking noise coming from my front right tire, but it only squeaks when my foot isn't on the break, and it comes and goes.

    So the only wire that was really burnt into two pieces during the fire is attached directly to the bottom of the engine. I'm currently hunting for a diagram to find out what that wire does. Does anyone think it is realistic that all these sudden post fire problems can be caused by electrical issues, if that was the ground wire or something, or if the fire melted away the plastic coating on other wires and its causing shorts now?

    Any opinions would be sweet, its a 93 Plymouth Acclaim btw, 4cyl model.
    ...

  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    tesco's Avatar woowoo
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    For the blinker i'd look for a relay that might ahve got burnt or shorted or something.
    I dont know about your car or if you even have a manual but with my dads van it has a layout of all the relays and fuses saying what they are. Most of them are the same so swapping them around was east enough.

    You could also check all the fuses (worth a shot).

    BTW when you turn on say the right blinker does the right light stay solid and left one stays off or do they both come on?

  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    Duffman's Avatar Poster
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    When I put the blinker on to turn right its pops on solid on the dash and both right lights come on, same for the left. And if the relay is indeed the problem, I think its logical that it was burnt up because of a short. All the fuses are fine, i checked them.
    ...

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    zapjb's Avatar Computer Abuser BT Rep: +3
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    Sorry I have a lot of questions. But its the checklist I'd go through myself. Whats the transmission fluid look like? Cherry red or not? Same with the oil except golden versus brown. Heck all the fluids coolant, brake & power steering. Any burn marks on either the oil & trans dip sticks. Check the fuses. And if its not the fuses for the lights. I'd say you need a whole new harness. And I'd check all the small plastic parts for melting like the PCV valve etc.

    And if you want to go the cheap route for the tranny. I suggest Lucas Stop Slip. Lucas is the best & it works. But follow the directions. Thats critical.

    Good luck & let us know.

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    Chewie's Avatar Chew E. Bakke
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    I'm guessing you have a fairly recent car with fuel injection.

    Regarding the indicators. It's not a relay, but a flasher unit, although it's about the size of a relay just taller.
    You can normally see which one it is from the markings on it - it'll usually have 4x21w+5 or similar on the casing.
    Stop with the fuses nonsense. If a fuse was at fault the indicators wouldn't come on at all.

    Things to think about with the idling.
    I had the exact same thing after filling the tank one day. Turned out the main ECU had flipped. Would've been about 500 from Daewoo but when you know someone who teaches auto-mechanic college students on cars like yours you have a large advantage.
    Can also be caused by a leak in the intake system. Check that all the air intake hose joints are secure and not leaking and that the hoses themselves haven't been damaged by the fire or oil (oil perishes rubber that isn't made for it).
    Idle control valve.
    Manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor or the little hose leading to it if it's mounted separately.
    Breather hoses - make sure they're connected properly and not damaged.
    Air flow meter. Would also cause poor running and fuel economy... mind you, any under-bonnet fault can cause this to an extent.

    Please note that there's an awful lot of water between our locations and component or part names often aren't the same. It's not my fault if the Atlantic does this.

    Also, get THIS for future reference if nothing else.
    There isn't a bargepole long enough for me to work on [a Sony Viao] - clocker 2008

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Duffman View Post
    Any opinions would be sweet, its a 93 Plymouth Acclaim btw, 4cyl model.
    Well all I can say is if you can't solve the problem by yourself or with free help its like owning a 8 yr old computer and trying to upgrade....Is it really worth the cost or effort..Is the next major repair right around the corner...How did you put the fire out....I know with aircraft if the proper agent is not used to put the fire out, the engine is scrap...We are talking about a 13 yr(maybe even 14) old vehicle correct.I wouldn't want to invest to much in repair costs...

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    tesco's Avatar woowoo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chewie UK View Post
    Regarding the indicators. It's not a relay, but a flasher unit, although it's about the size of a relay just taller.
    You can normally see which one it is from the markings on it - it'll usually have 4x21w+5 or similar on the casing.
    I guess you're right. I was thinking of the relay that turns the blinker circuit on. I guess it would have nothing to do with blinking...either works or doesn't.

  8. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    All of your problems appear to be electrically related (except fot the noisy front wheel) which is not surprising given the FIRE you just had.
    Even apparently undamaged wiring can harbor internal shorts/breaks and you'll go nutz trying to track them down.

    Check out a junkyard for a whole new engine bay wiring loom.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  9. Software & Hardware   -   #9
    Duffman's Avatar Poster
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    Ok sweet, I just wanted a few opinions as to wether or not electrical problems could be the cause, I thought that might just be trying to find an easy answer.
    ...

  10. Software & Hardware   -   #10
    Tempestv's Avatar Engineer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chewie UK View Post
    Regarding the indicators. It's not a relay, but a flasher unit, although it's about the size of a relay just taller.
    You can normally see which one it is from the markings on it - it'll usually have 4x21w+5 or similar on the casing.
    Stop with the fuses nonsense. If a fuse was at fault the indicators wouldn't come on at all.
    I doubt it's the flasher unit- if it was, then the hazards wouldn't blink either
    my guess is that it is some short in the turn signal switch. the hazards still work because they are on another circuit so that they can be on without the engine running. the easiest way to track down the problem would be to get a Haynes Manual for the car (a good idea with any car) that has the wiring diagrams in the back.
    Plan for the worst, hope for the best

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