On and Off . . . and On Again

OK, so this one has been frustrating. Roxy dies at work. New battery nothing. Some wiring work. Nothing. Tow truck guy comes to haul her home. He fiddles with the battery cables a bit and boom, she fires up. I kick myself, thank him, and then kick myself some more. Driver her around. Then driver her to the bank. Then driver her home. No problems.

Later that night I go out to move her and nothing. All the same symptoms. Geez! Anyway I figure the battery clamps have really had it so I replace them with bright shiny new ones. Now she has a new battery and new and improved connectivity to that batter. Would you like to guess what I get for that? Nothing.

Well, that is not quite true. I got some smoke! That’s right, a nice little puff of smoke coming up from somewhere in engine compartment. Seeing that I promptly turned everything off of course, but I didn’t see any problems and couldn’t find any burnt wires. So, being the good male that I am, I hit the switch again. This time I was watching closely to spot the area the smoke came from. Sure enough it did it again, I killed the ignition, leapt out, and started searching. Success was a wire that was warm to the touch – definitely something you shouldn’t find in a car that hasn’t run in two days.

That wire, the warm one, was one of a group coming from the starter solenoid. It either has a break somewhere in it or is actually grounding out because the ground to the engine isn’t strong enough. This wire is one of a group that runs very close to some ground wires and also some brackets on the side of the engine. Through vibration and voltage I can definitely see it have some problems.

I proved my point to my self by moving the wires around a bit, isolating things, and then trying again. She fired right up. So now that I know where the problem really lies, I will take some time when the weather warms up to replace a few wires and also clean the grounds and all connectors. That should take care of things – for a while. In the meantime I will just drive the Chrysler Sebring around. The weather is cool so it is behaving at the moment.

Since I was not able to get a key cut for the existing trunk lock in Roxy, I had to start the eBay hunt. Ended up being not that bad at all. i found one for less that $30 including shipping. It should be here in a few days and then I will finally have a secure, lockable location in Roxy so she can begin to do more regular service. I still haven’t been able to get the door locks working, but I am far less concerned with that now that I will be able to lock the trunk.

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