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Old 01-19-2009, 09:42 PM   #1
DarkNexxus
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Default Electrical issues

I apologize if this isn't the right forum to post this in.

I have a 97 Sc1 or SL1, something like that. If it's a big issue, I can find out, but it's cold outside! I bought the car off a good friend. His wife used to travel around the state in it because of her job. Basically it's got a lot of miles on it, but mostly highway. 150k+

Okay, not that any of that matters, but still it's out there. Here's my issues:

1. When I bought the car, the interior lights will not work when opening a door or by any switch. The overhead dome light is the only one that comes on, and that is by switch only.

2. The car power locks are worn out. We have a slight cold snap in this area right now and tonight I went to go out and found that my lock switch had gotten stuck and drained the battery. I jumped it, ran it around the block, and in doing so, found out that my rear defroster will not work now.

3. I smell antifreeze from time to time, but nothing is leaking. I don't see any leakage around the overflow container nor the lid, is there any known problems on this? Car does not overheat, and it does produce good heat while driving.

Those are my big issues right now. The other stuff will be fixed after a visit to the tire store (car sounds like a 4x4 while driving).

Any tips you can give me will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:04 PM   #2
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Electrical issues

Model may be an issue with the interior light issue. Coupes only have two door switches whereas sedans have four. That's the only interior light, unless you have a sunroof. And it's the only light that comes on with the door switches.

But what's common between the rear defogger and the lights is the CHIME fuse. Check it. Does the chime ring when you open the door with the headlights on?

Have you tried the power locks with both door switches? What about the RKE?

Most common cooling system failure is the radiator. At about your car's age, the tank on the driver's side, just below the top hose connection, cracks. Look for a coolant leak there. If you're smelling it more inside the car, the prime suspect is the heater core.

That isn't an overflow tank, by the way. It's a reservoir, part of the pressurized cooling sytem. The cap can fail over time, but if you're not seeing coolant leaking or spewing around the cap, don't worry about it for now. Just remember that the cap is the pressure cap for the system.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Electrical issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Model may be an issue with the interior light issue. Coupes only have two door switches whereas sedans have four. That's the only interior light, unless you have a sunroof. And it's the only light that comes on with the door switches.
So there are no lights under the dash like other cars?

Car is a sedan by the way, no sunroof.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
But what's common between the rear defogger and the lights is the CHIME fuse. Check it. Does the chime ring when you open the door with the headlights on?
Can't say if it does or not. I've never tried it. This rear defogger thing started tonight, no light, no nothing when you hit the button. The traction light and button are working just fine.

Another thing I didn't mention. I have a keyless entry for this car. Earlier today it worked, then I found out the battery was dead. When I tried to use it again, wouldn't work. I assumed it was because the battery was so weak, yet after jumping it and driving around for a bit, they still wouldn't work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Have you tried the power locks with both door switches? What about the RKE?
They all work, but the driver side is wore out. If you press it, they stay engaged unless you push the other button to level them out. That's what killed the battery, they shifted, maybe after shutting the door or something and kept running all night and day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Most common cooling system failure is the radiator. At about your car's age, the tank on the driver's side, just below the top hose connection, cracks. Look for a coolant leak there. If you're smelling it more inside the car, the prime suspect is the heater core.

That isn't an overflow tank, by the way. It's a reservoir, part of the pressurized cooling sytem. The cap can fail over time, but if you're not seeing coolant leaking or spewing around the cap, don't worry about it for now. Just remember that the cap is the pressure cap for the system.

I smell it both inside and out, as well as gasoline when the car is running. The latter I put off to a small exhaust leak the car has. I don't lose any gas or anything, you just smell it when the car is running. The car is usually warmed up when I smell the antifreeze. It does use oil, doesn't burn it, doesn't leak, but it goes someplace. That was making me think head gasket, but no leaks.
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Electrical issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkNexxus View Post
I smell it both inside and out, as well as gasoline when the car is running. The latter I put off to a small exhaust leak the car has. I don't lose any gas or anything, you just smell it when the car is running. The car is usually warmed up when I smell the antifreeze. It does use oil, doesn't burn it, doesn't leak, but it goes someplace. That was making me think head gasket, but no leaks.
so you are losing antifreeze? or you aren't but you smell it?
if you're losing, i'd guess its from the plastic side of the radiator from a small crack.
...
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you can't mulch at those speeds man, that's too fast
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Electrical issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by dorisSL View Post
so you are losing antifreeze? or you aren't but you smell it?
if you're losing, i'd guess its from the plastic side of the radiator from a small crack.
Not losing it, but definately smelling it.
...
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Miles driven 1000-1500 currently
Recent fixes to car: Battery O2 Sensor 2 tires Plugged back in the radio =p
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:09 PM   #6
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1995 SL2
Default Re: Electrical issues

The door lock switch is an easy fix... Just replace it . the tiny plastic centering pin has busted causing the switch to cycle..very common..

The oil loss is....oil burning (bad rings) also very common. If you rev it up several times or have someone follow you , the blue smoke will be evident
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Electrical issues

Sorry i forgot the rear defog issue....check the rear window the connector on the passenger side may have come loose..... and for gods sake find that gas leak , it could be a loose conection at the fuel filter
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Electrical issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkNexxus View Post
Not losing it, but definately smelling it.
you said you can smell it inside and out correct?
...
1995 SL, born 12/23/94, manual, WAI 190,500, "Doris"
(I'm Ben, the car is Doris)

you can't mulch at those speeds man, that's too fast
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:12 PM   #9
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2000 SL1
Default Re: Electrical issues

I have a similar coolant issue with a leak so small it vaporizes. Old Nuc suggested a dye you can add to the coolant that can be seen with a black light. On my to-do list but sounds like a good option for you, too.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: Electrical issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by skii33 View Post
The door lock switch is an easy fix... Just replace it . the tiny plastic centering pin has busted causing the switch to cycle..very common..
That's my plan. Currently it's too cold to be outside working on a car and it's not a major issue, yet, so I've been waiting on warmer weather.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skii33 View Post
Sorry i forgot the rear defog issue....check the rear window the connector on the passenger side may have come loose..... and for gods sake find that gas leak , it could be a loose conection at the fuel filter
No apparent leaks, just the smell. Say you start the car up to warm up on a cold day, you let it run say, 10 minutes and climb in, you get a faint smell of gas. Let it run say 15 minutes, and you get a stronger smell. As I said, the car does have an exhaust leak and it could be that, that I'm smelling. I believe it's a donut gasket that has the leak, not very loud though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dorisSL
you said you can smell it inside and out correct?
Correct. In or out of the car you can smell it. But no apparent leaks. That with the oil usage first made me think of a head gasket, but unless it's a very small leak and in the very back, I can't see anything leaking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Growser
I have a similar coolant issue with a leak so small it vaporizes. Old Nuc suggested a dye you can add to the coolant that can be seen with a black light. On my to-do list but sounds like a good option for you, too.
Possibly during the warmer months when I can run it outside, or when a friend of a friend comes back and I can get access to his heated garage with lift. That's always a good reason to work on a car.
...
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Miles driven 1000-1500 currently
Recent fixes to car: Battery O2 Sensor 2 tires Plugged back in the radio =p
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