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Stimpy

Electrical issue at the dash

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Sorry if this is in the wrong subdivision but I couldn't find an electrical 'zone'

 

This is very weird - if anyone knows a 'common solution' (here's hoping) then I'd be very happy.

 

Ok - symptoms (part 1).....................

 

- Started car and turned the car round to face the correct way (that's probably too much info but stay with me...)

 

- Getting the kid strapped in and I noticed the oil lamp on

 

- First reaction - heart beat quickening!

 

- Then - logic told me that the pressure was ok because....

 

- All the dials in the dash weren't doing anything.  All had there pointers sat on top of the 'nothing' pin.

 

After a short drive I was confident that the big warning light was just reacting to a common fault somewhere.

 

The freaky bit (i.e. part 2)..................

 

After a few miles the the dials started working.  'Hooray' I said but I was premature.

Here is where it gets weird.  (almost) every dial indicating half of what was reality  - here is what I mean:-

 

The speedo was showing half the speed - I knew this because I've retrofitted a GPS system and it was showing speed via GPS.

 

The rev-counter was (by instinct) registering half of the real revs.  For example - my car idles at 1000 to 1400 rpm.  On this occasion it was registering 500 

 

Fortunately I had just filled the car to the brim (petrol).  Normally this would make the dial sit about the full marker.  On this occasion (any guesses?) - it was showing 'the magic' half

 

What else can I say for this point....

The car temp gauge was doing nothing, and the same with the boost gauge. The oil pressure rose a bit to under the red section

The alternator failure (battery red light) was misreading.  There was nothing wrong with battery and alternator (I guess it was being fed metrics that were halved. Same with the oil

 

So - in conclusion  - here are the symptoms   .....but not quite !

 

I got home after a 'proper' drive, so to speak, and parked the car and waited and listened.  I know that the ECU governs the fans and so I sat there - door opened - fingers crossed - waiting for the fans.  Having waited for a while I got quite nervous but then - hooray! - the fans came on. 'Good' I thought as the car is looking after the eng temps.  Having a dial handy would much improve the experience of warning me of issue.

However!!!! Freaky time again -- the temp gauge came on 'all of a sudden' when the fans were deployed.  Some other freaky incidents - related to the logical data where happening - but I'll leave those symptoms aside to reduce incident related.

Anyway - at least I trusted the ECU to keep stuff cool.

 

This is a classical multi-symptom problem to a common issue - these normally have, historically, others  & their Esprits who have had and fixed the issue - or - no-one has experienced this issue and I'm the first one.  You'd probably guess which version i would be fond of

So there you go - someone please throw me some thoughts, any ideas would be great and - of course - theres the [possible] army of 'this happened to my car' brigade.  That would be nice.

 

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

Start with earths.

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Without doubt.

Get a multimeter - check for voltage from the battery earth to the earths in the pod. If you register a voltage - that's the bad earth path that needs looking at.

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Or voltage regulator!

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Another 3am post :question: We'd better wait for confirmation from Stimpy that this isn't another "sleep posting" :on2long:

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Says 12:39pm for me. Not 3am. Weird.

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Stimpy, the gauge "pinging" when the fans come on is a common earth issue - my Turbo SE dash gauges for water temp and fuel move when I turn on the lights, as well as when the fan comes on - try running a secondary earth braid to the dash and see if it works. I have it on my to-do list.

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Says 12:39pm for me. Not 3am. Weird.

The voltage regulator on your PC must be duff.

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Another 3am post :question: We'd better wait for confirmation from Stimpy that this isn't another "sleep posting" :on2long:

Bloody hell - I don't think I could create a precise thread while sleep typing.  Although I get your point.

We went out with friends last night. Baby sitter, late night, no alcohol (driver=me) so - it definitely is me in awake mode!

Another 3am post :question: We'd better wait for confirmation from Stimpy that this isn't another "sleep posting" :on2long:

It says 4.30 on my screen.  V weird.

We were out till nearly 2.  What a party animal (ahem).

Id' say it was probably before 3 am

Stimpy, the gauge "pinging" when the fans come on is a common earth issue - my Turbo SE dash gauges for water temp and fuel move when I turn on the lights, as well as when the fan comes on - try running a secondary earth braid to the dash and see if it works. I have it on my to-do list.

 

Well - that bit is old news now.

What do I mean?

 

Well - I started the car up - probably 24 hours after I left it.  And guess what?  They all work again!

I have done the following things since yesterday :-

 

1)  Nothing

2) See '1'

 

Only problem now is the stereo doesn't work!

Maybe it's a virus in the ECU <lol>

 

Tomorrow (Sunday) I'll have time on my side to investigate as I went to the cook ham festival all day today and it's my kid's birthday tomorrow.

Wow - what a 'full' weekend.

 

Well - notes taken from the contributors - and plenty of LOL for the 'sleep type' idea  :-) 

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Stereo might have failed due to a bullet connector working its way loose over time. Happened to me. Just pull the stereo and check everything is in its place.

I had an issue where the connector was loose but made contact over bumps so my cars electric aerial would be going up and down like mad.

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Ok - it's back again.  No dash instruments - however, I have solved it!

 

Right - let's see if I can explain without throwing my laptop on the floor.

 

Being an I.T. type person it (the problem) always reminded me that - usually - things change if someone has changed something.

 

Looking back before the issue - I noticed that one of the fuses was blown - so I replaced it.

This happened before the issues (a bit of reminding, there).  Plus the stereo would not go off even if you took the keys away.

 

Cutting a long story short (of logic and physics)- the top middle fuse (cigar lighter) needs to be left empty (or - if you feel a bit weird - put a blown fuse in it - technically that would be 'purist' in the theory of undoing changes).

 

When it is empty (the fuse holder) all is well.  Including (surprisingly) the cigar lighter.

Perhaps a bit more of 'previous owneritis'?

 

Unfortunately I thought the vertical fuses were 'spare' to be used if there's an issue.  A quick look at the manual and I put the correct rating fuses back in.  Bit silly really, but the stag and mini *does* have 'spare fuse' holders with the fuses - but there you go.

 

I'm happy to leave it alone.  All fuses are inserted except the 'cigar' one.  Strange - but it all works.

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Good effort fixing it yourself! And good thinking going back to the last things changed/worked on.

 

It does remain strange, as fuse 7 should power only the cigar lighters. When you say they work, do you mean they always have power (as per design), or only with the ignition on? My 'new' SE also has been modified, and I want to see exactly what has been done. I'm not comfortable not knowing which fuse powers the lighter (obviously not fuse 7 in your case). The fact that it affects the gauges as well means the rewiring is far from perfect.

 

Filip

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The cigar is permanently live.

 

I know this because - you can get excellent short USB plugs from Maplin which can be pushed right into the cigar lighter and it looks like an original fitment (not some great block hanging out of the socket).

 

Anyway - they have a single blue LED on the face of it.  It's always on.

 

 

I seem to have counter-intuitive problems !  Who would have thought that a shiny new fuse, when replacing a dead one, would make things 'not work'?

 

All this because i changed a totally different fuse responsible for the left side/rear lights.  Which worked.

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Have you looked at the circuit diagram and seen whats going on? It sounds a bit odd that a blown fuse actually fixes something unless its back feeding some where?

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Having checked other circuits 'manually' I'm going to leave it as it is. 

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If it works - it isn't broke - so don't fix it!!!!

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Indeed - very much my opinion.

 

Although you could  say "If it works with a blown fuse...erm....' .................ok too complicated.

 

I'll stick with Barry's thoughts.

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If it works - it isn't broke - so don't fix it!!!!

 

Normally I would agree fully. But not when it comes to non-standard electrics. Last 2 cars I sorted out had wires simply twisted together and covered with tape... Which put me on a mission to track down all non-standard tape and check/redo whatever is hidden underneath.

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I don't know if you've seen any of my previous posts but this esprit is rather "special"

I thought that the asking price from a dealer was rather good. So much so that I didn't even barter - being a proper dealer etc

It's taken almost a year to get it right - money (£8500) I could have spent on goodies like soft dice hanging from the rear view mirror etc

Most things have been solved - the only issues left are bobbins and most of the 'rubber bits' related to suspension etc inc anti roll bar stuff

I've tried to convince myself that the low price and the 'correction' costs make it ok - but my brain becomes rather hostile to that.

Spooky fact - a week earlier the stag had a very similar issue....

i had to find out why the right hand side lights weren't working and an issue with dashboard instruments not working {the speedo was physical so that was working}

I'm now waiting for the honda and the riley to experience almost exactly the same issue after which i shall phone sculder and mully or whoever.

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Arghhh that's an eye watering amount...

Someone has undoubtably meddled with the wiring and connected two feeds together. There's obviously a fault on that circuit that need the fuse left out. Sounds like they have just taken the fuse out and tapped across to another feed.......bodge bodge bodge.

To find it - hmm it's gonna take some head scratching - a wiring diagram - and a couple of hours with a multimeter - and probably a screwdriver ripping half the trim off. OR you could always accept it as is.......put it on the to do list.....

Ps - everyone on here will remember when you come to sell it though...........

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Steve, I know of your adventure with your car, I've read every post (some twice, to try and figure out what exactly you were trying to say :turned: ). So I do understand your reluctance to dig any deeper into this if it works, just for fear of stirring up things and discovering more problems to be fixed. You could also argue that because of all the other things, you do want to get to the bottom of this problem/feature. If you're dependent on other people to do the work, the cost will go up fast, which is a good reason to do only what needs to be done. Especially in your situation. If you were in Belgium (and I still had a workshop instead of a ruin...), I would have offered to have a look at it and try and sort it together. 

Whatever the outcome, I hope you get to enjoy it, you certainly earned it!

 

Filip

 

PS: I never thought I'd miss my Stag (or rather, her Stag) so much as I'm doing at the moment, with the perfect weather for open top motoring. :ouch:

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I'm with Filip on this ,i think its a good idea to find out the root cause of the problem ,for a pointer have you checked behind the right hand side ear panel ?

 

   look at the wiring in there, from and to the ecu and associated harnesses,mine was quite badly heat damaged the insulation was literally just exposed throwing up all manner of gremlins and a relatively easy fix ,splicing and re insulating using armour conduit snake type thing and a good quality insulating tape .The last thing you want is a smouldering scenario and all the fun that can bring ,mine specifically was brought on by the fuel pump wiring shorting,and the fuse didn't blow .Just my pennies worth.

 

   Nick S4s

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Arghhh that's an eye watering amount...

Someone has undoubtably meddled with the wiring and connected two feeds together. There's obviously a fault on that circuit that need the fuse left out. Sounds like they have just taken the fuse out and tapped across to another feed.......bodge bodge bodge.

To find it - hmm it's gonna take some head scratching - a wiring diagram - and a couple of hours with a multimeter - and probably a screwdriver ripping half the trim off. OR you could always accept it as is.......put it on the to do list.....

Ps - everyone on here will remember when you come to sell it though...........

 

 

You want the best bit of scandal?

Again - I have mentioned it before but....  the CEL connector had been stuck somewhere behind the dash.

When I asked "I don't want to see that lamp (CEL) when I come to collect it.... well technically they did stop the CEL being seen.

I found the the stuck male (?) end  was not mated with the absent female (?) connector - One fumble later and hey presto! A 'hard' CEL warning .  I won't go on as I've posted the history on my threads but your comment of .....

 

"everyone on here will remember when you come to sell it though.."

 

It doesn't matter- unless they ban petrol I intend to be the oldest person with an esprit (that, or partial downpayment on a ridiculous mortgage for 'mini me').  I almost cried when I saw my previous S4s leave me in 1999/2000.   I wont be making the same decision again (mainly 'cos the initial one was on 'lease purchase'

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Have you got a wiring diagram, Steve?

 

I admit I don't.  Also I don't like spagetti !

 

Well here's a funny 'further' coincidence  - the Stag forum asked the very same question 

 

With a little but f thinking  - it sounds like I should get a (some) wiring diagram(s)......

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