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Old 03-13-2012, 06:35 AM   #1
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Gauges dead

I had not driven the car in a while and my battery died (totally dead). I jumped the car and drove it a little. While driving, the gauges were going nuts. The tach was going on and off, the low fuel light was flashing and the spedometer wasn't working at all. I trickle chared the battery overnight and it's about 50% charged. The car starts and runs fine but the only thing on the instrument panel that works is the odometer. Any thoughts? Thanks!

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Old 03-13-2012, 09:31 AM   #2
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You might need to unhook the battery cables for a short while and then hook them back up, this will reset the system. Also, maybe you need a new battery. I also assume you checked your fuses.

PS: if you battery is old and you do not drive the car when in a few weeks, I suggest you buy a battery tender...saves on problems like this.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:18 PM   #3
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Thanks. This IS the new battery LOL. I didn't have time this morning to check the fuses so I'll do that when I get home. I like the reset idea though. It makes sense to me. Since I'm in Florida, I bought a solar powered battery maintainer. I'm curious to see if that works. This way I don't have to keep it plugged into the wall.
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:50 AM   #4
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Check the fuses...also I have heard that the ignition switch will cause erratic problems with the electrical system.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:44 PM   #5
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Is there an easy way to diagnose the ignition to see if it's the problem? Not only does the instrument panel work intermittently, so do the interior lights. I have already replaced the switch once, when I had the problem with the key being hard to turn in the ignition.

Last edited by makler; 06-04-2012 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:53 PM   #6
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Usually erratic electrical behavior points to the ignition switch (not so much the section where you insert the key, but the lower portion that is in the footwell), and it can't hurt to replace it unless you've done so recently. If you never have, you might as well. It's a part that's less than $20, and it's a bit uncomfortable to get under there to change, but it can be done with just a jeweler screwdriver. If it doesn't solve the problem, consider it some inexpensive preventative maintenance.

Power cycle the battery, but also make sure you let it get fully charged before attempting a start. Also check your ground points on the car, and the main ground strap on the alternator. If any of these are corroded/loose/broken/missing, you could very likely have your culprit or a piece of the overall problem. Since the car has been sitting for a while, it's possible that some critters may have been trying to snack on the electrical parts.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overdrive View Post
Usually erratic electrical behavior points to the ignition switch (not so much the section where you insert the key, but the lower portion that is in the footwell), and it can't hurt to replace it unless you've done so recently. If you never have, you might as well. It's a part that's less than $20, and it's a bit uncomfortable to get under there to change, but it can be done with just a jeweler screwdriver. If it doesn't solve the problem, consider it some inexpensive preventative maintenance.

Power cycle the battery, but also make sure you let it get fully charged before attempting a start. Also check your ground points on the car, and the main ground strap on the alternator. If any of these are corroded/loose/broken/missing, you could very likely have your culprit or a piece of the overall problem. Since the car has been sitting for a while, it's possible that some critters may have been trying to snack on the electrical parts.
Is this the switch you are talking about? I've replaced it once already. I can check the ground and the other stuff.


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