electric problems

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by rodney, Jan 7, 2002.

  1. rodney

    rodney LawnSite Member
    from sw,ohio
    Messages: 103

    I know this is for trucks
    but maybe someone can help ?
    my girl friends dad has a astro van and half of electric stuff quit
    working I have replaced all the fuses in the box and I still cant get the headlights , taillights , horn , radio, and all inside lights to work.
    this is what does work heater a/c , dashlights ,powerseats,and turn signals.
    Its like 1/2 the stuff works and 1/2 dont .
    he said it all worked untill yesterday.
    also the only bad fuse was the radio.
    Is there a ground problem or other fuses hidden somewhere.
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    My husband is no professional, but these are his thoughts.

    You need to check if there is an inline fuse in the wiring harness somewhere around the headlight wiring or battery.
    Our dodge truck has that type of set-up and that fuse blew one time leaving us with no headlights.

    Pull each fuse at a time, example headlight fuse.
    Get your power tester and touch it to the metal where the fuse was. This will tell you if you are getting power to the fuse box.

    When it comes to electrical stuff, you may want to take it to your dealer and have them check it on their computer.

    Good luck. Hope this helps, keep us posted.
  3. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 992

    Don't know if this is still the case on the newer stuff, but on my '70's GMC there also some fusible links in the wiring harness, which work in the same manner as a fuse but are not as easily replaced - they're actually part of the harness. May or may not be a factor in this case, but something else to keep in mind.

    When checking the fuses, it's helpful to have a multimeter with an audible ("buzz") feature for checking continuity. Check each fuse individually to make absolutely sure they are OK.

    Headlights/tailights and possibly the inside lights are controlled by the same switch, so it may be causing part of the problem as well.
  4. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 611

    In most newer cars the fusible links have been replaced with main fuses. Usually there are sets of bigger fuses that supply power to a bank or row of regular distribution fuses. These larger fuses are often 50amps or more. I would check for these usually near the battery or off the positive cable.

    Also you may want to check and make sure the connections are secure. Plugs in the engin compartment, at the firewall or under the dash could have loosened and caused the problem.
  5. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    occasionally, the reverse lights, and trailer lights go ut on our newer dodge. this usually tends to be as a resut of a main fuse blowing under the hood, just like ct18fireman mentioned. actually, my reverse lights went out monday morning, and after this post, ill be going to check those same things right now. good luck with your electrical problem.
  6. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 992

    Thanks for the info on the newer vehicles guys - guess "fusbile links" is proof I really do stick with my older trucks/cars!

    At about what point did the changeover start? I'm assuming that the mid to late '80's Chevy pickups (pre-"jellybean" styling) still used the fusible links in them?
  7. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 611

    When cars started to get more complicated computers and more electronic devices and accessories this caused the need for more circuits and better power distribution. Rob I would say from early 80's for many European cars to Mid 80's for Domestic and Asian imports. Trucks may have been later depending on model changes. This is one thing that must be considered when swapping a efi motor into an older truck. Must have proper wire harnesses and fuses.

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