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2l L-Series electrical fault


v8bertha
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Chaps,

I'm never one to have a simple problem, and anything electonical in nature falls in to the category of plain-weird to me, so I'm hoping someone can help me diagnose the problem I'm having, or at least give me some pointers on where to start looking.

The car is a 2l L-series Diesel.

The problem... every now and then I blip the blipper to unlock the car, put key in ignition, turn to position 2 when all the dash lights should come on, but only the battery warning light and oil warning light come on really really faintly... you have to look hard to see that they are on. None of the other lights are on. If I try to start the car sometimes it just clicks very rapidly, other times it spins over merrily but will not start.

Now the weird part... if I keep turning the ignition on and off, eventually I will get the full array of lights and the car will start normally. This has only caused minor annoyance up until now, but this morning it decided to conk out half way round a round-about :o The usual ignition on-off game began and after a few mins all the light came on and it started again.

So has anybody had this before, and if so what was the cause?

If nobody has had this problem, then how should I go about finding the cause of the fault. As I said, it's very intermittent.

Any helpful hints or offer to come and fix for free will be greatly appreciated ;)

Dan

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Ignition barrel switch worn out?

hmmm... interesting... how would I test that? :unsure:

I'm assuming I'd have to make some sort of jumper wire up and when the lights are all dim, connect it up and see if it makes any difference?

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My suggestion would be an earth fault because what you are describing are the classic symptoms of a discharged battery. This can either be caused by a discherged battery or a poor earth connection to the engine block. Since the fault clears it is unlikely to be the discharged battery thus may well be a earth fault.

The next time it happens connect a jump lead from the negative side of the battery to the engine block. If this clears the fault run a permenent new earth.

Another possibilty is a poor connection from the positive terminal of the battery to the starter motor. Check by running a jump lead to the starter motor from the POSTIVE on the battery.

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Thanks Dave, the battery is, as you mention, absolutely fine.

I will try your suggestions next time the problem occurs :)

I'm assuming that the positive connection to the battery will go via the kill switch that is located in the scuttle panel (?? between windscreen and bonnet) so it could be this that is causing the problem.

Perhaps I'll remove the switch from the circuit to see if that makes any difference.

Thanks for the suggestions though :)

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What "kill switch"?

Did you add this yourself?

Think he means the inertia (crash) cutoff, as far as I knew it just killed the engine not the whole vehicle, it's not a high-current switch. RAVE manuals contain the circuit diagrams so you can see exactly what it's wired to.

Worth checking the earths too as mentioned above.

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I would go with an earth fault too, but now that the battery cut-off switch has been mentioned I would look there first - not least because it is easy!

The inertia 'crash' switch just cuts off the fuel pump IIRC, so that if there is a crash the fuel pump does not flood the engine bay with fuel. I once had a very frustrating weekend after I spent 15 minutes changing the stereo in SWMBO's Rover 400. I spent the rest of the weekend wondering why it would not start, no matter how I tried. All the right lights came on on the dash, it turned over on the starter, there was a spark but it would not start. It transpired that the inertia switch was beneath the radio hole inside the dash and had been knocked during the radio installation process. Once quick push and the car started first go.

Chris

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Hi - the symptoms to me sound like the ignition barrel.... the dim lights would of course suggest an earth fault but the fact that it lights up after several attempts kinda rules that out for me...

The ignition barrel is a known failure point - first try would be to squirt some electrical cleaner in it or if you can, take the cover off and try to give it a good squirt.

Good luck,

Chris

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Cheers all for the suggestions, as the law of sod would have it, the problem hasn't re-occurred all week, and seeing as the clutch hydraulics went pop this morning, it's now going to be off the road until the new thingy-bob arrives... 18 months of trouble free motoring and then everything happens all at once! :rolleyes:

D :D

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  • 1 month later...

Well, its been sat on the driveway in bits for far too long... but this long weekend saw me finally get around to attacking the Freeby and getting it all back together after a few other problems.

The electrical problem was finally traced to the ignition switch, so well done Fridge, have a gold star! I removed the switch and took the back off it to see how it worked. Once in I could see the contacts and so with a small bit of very fine wet'n'dry I gently cleaned each of the contacts. Seems to have solved the problem :)

Bizarrely another electrical fault materialised at the same time... When turning the lights on the tailgate door would unlatch :blink: turned out to be a bad earth at the back of the car behind a trim panel.

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