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J
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Discussion Starter #1
I've been having battery problems and I found that I had a short in my
electrical system. It must be a frayed wire. I have no idea where to
look or even how to test the wires. This might be a little over my head
to do along but I was wondering if anyone has had any experience
finding shorts in their electrical system and if there are any usual
suspects I can check before I bring it into the shop. This car has been
giving me problems for a while and I'm debating whether or not I should
give up on it. It's got a hard 145k miles on it and it seems the past
owner of this car hasn't treated it very kindly. Is this something I
can find myself?
 
Y
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Discussion Starter #2
Joe.
How about you tell us a little more?
What kind of batt trouble do you have?
How did you determine that you have a short?
Any blown fuses?
 
J
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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry, this thread will provide a little background

http://tinyurl.com/9ey96


a new battery died on me twice so I sought out the advice of a friend
who told me to take the negative battery cable off for five minutes
then lightly tap it on the terminal. If it sparks I have a short in my
system somewhere - probably a frayed wire. It did spark and I asked him
how do I find the frayed wire and he said that I'd have to take it into
a shop. I thought I'd try here first to see if anyone else has had this
problem or if I could check the wiring system myself. I can't find any
visible signs of a short. No lights staying on - I did here a clicking
sound once behind my dashboard when I turned my car off a while back
and it seemed to have something to do with the automatic door locks -
but then it never happened again. Could it be something as simple as
replacing the fuse for my auto door locks?
 
D

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Discussion Starter #4
The wiring system on Camrys is generally excellent.
Two weak spots I would check are the wiring harness bundles that flex
when opening doors and trunk.
The procedure as I understand it for tracking voltage leaks is to place
an ammeter between the negative battery terminal and the cable, then
remove fuses one by one until the current flow disappears, then focus
on the circuits controlled by that particular fuse.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Forgot to mention, once you get in narrowed down to a specific fuse,
the Owner's manual should list the functions controlled by that fuse.
 
Y
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Discussion Starter #6
Joe.
I read the thread(http://tinyurl.com/9ey96) and if you reread it there
were couple of posters that mentioned the use of an ammeter to check
the current draw while the car is NOT running.
This is the best method to troubleshoot your problem if you can't or
don't want to bring it to a shop. Disconnecting and re-connecting the
battery is not a reliable method of determaining if there is a short-if
you don't know what the spark should look like.
another poster suggested you take it to Autozone again, to let them
check it(if they'll do it for you).
Couple of things you may try, I know that you said that you checked to
see if the are any lights left on, did you check the trunk and glove
compartment lights to make sure they don't stay on?.
The car has a box that contains 3 fusible links that feed everything
electrical in the car, I don't have the car anymore so I don't know
exactly where it's located(it might be right at the battery positive
terminal, or follow the heavy positive cable)if the fusible links can
be disconnected, disconnect them one at a time and see if the batt
still draines, at least it could narrow the problem to one particular
circuit.
HTH
JerryR
 
J
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Discussion Starter #7
Ok, I'll go purchase an ammeter and do the fuse thing. Should I only be
pulling the fuses next to the battery or are there others under the
dashboard?
 
Y
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Discussion Starter #8
[email protected] wrote:
> Ok, I'll go purchase an ammeter and do the fuse thing. Should I only be
> pulling the fuses next to the battery or are there others under the
> dashboard?


Joe.
You can start with the fuses in the engine compartment, and if that
does not help you localize the problem area, continue with the fuses
under the dash.
BTW were you able to find the fusible links that I mentioned in a
previous post?
JerryR
 
J
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Discussion Starter #9
I did find the fusible links they were right on the positive terminal.
Do I just pull them out with a pliers? and if I find one is the culprit
how do I find which corresponding wires to check? I'll have to wait
until the weekend to try this. I'm at work all day and when I get home
it's dark. I've been disconnecting the negative cable at night so it
doesn't drain the battery.
 
Y
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Discussion Starter #10
joe.
I don't know how to disconnect the fusible links, I don't have the 90
any more so I can't look, sorry.
Once you disconnect them ONE AT A TIME, and measure the current thru
each one of them, at least one of the 3 should show a high current.
I believe Normal current with EVERYTHING OFF should be around 20-50ma,
(at least that's what my 97 draws) I would suspect anything higher.
Get yourself an ammeter(or multimeter) that can measure from Milliamps
to few amps range, and post back with your results.
Once you identify which one of the 3 draws high current, we can then
follow that leg.
If you need help hooking up the ammeter post back.
HTH
JerryR
 
R

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Discussion Starter #11
check these things first. Wiring in the trunk near the hinge can short
out,
wiring going to both doors can short out, look there first, these are
the only
wires that move in the car. Look at your battery cables make sure they
are
tight to the starter and ground. Any corrosion on the cables? Broken
cable
end? Get a bettery battery too. You said guy tested the alternator
without
the car running? No way. You may need new alternator brushes, your
alter
nator belt may be loose or a combination of all these things. You dont
have
an aftermarket alarm system or radio do you? If you do suspect them.
 
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