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Old 05-01-2005, 04:11 PM   #1
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Short Circuit in parking lights, dash lights?

Right now the front parking lights, rear taillight parking lights, and dashboard/gauge lights dont function. The headlights do turn on. The blinkers work, and the front parking lights turn on while the blinkers are on. I know there is a short circuit somewhere in the car, because every time the lights go on the fuse blows. Where should I look for the short? WHat are common causes of this?

I am having a lot of electrical problems with my car. I got a Viper alarm installed, and a while after that the alarm was always going off for no reason. I realized it was the stock alarm going off, so I thought it was getting mixed signals from the viper alarm or something. An audio/alarm installation center disconnected the hood sensor which stopped the factory alarm from going off. The same day they did this is when the lights stopped working. I brought it back there and they spent a day with it and said they checked everything they worked on with the alarm and that it didnt cause the parking light problem, so now they want to charge me to fix the short circuit. What should I tell them to look for?
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Old 05-01-2005, 04:44 PM   #2
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If your front parking lights light up when your directional is on there is a bulb shorting out. First replace the parking lamp fuse then unplug the rear light assm. from each light one at a time. If it's not one of the rears then it's one of the front light causeing the problem remove each buld one at a time until you find the one causing the problem. I doubt the alarm is at fault. It def. sounds like a shorted bulb. Not to hard to find
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Old 05-01-2005, 05:04 PM   #3
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i have the same problem but only the the head dome and the door lights are not working.
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Old 05-01-2005, 05:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick99
i have the same problem but only the the head dome and the door lights are not working.
That don't sound the same problem. Similar, but it's not going to be a parking lamp shorted. That sound a little bit more involved to diagnose.
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Old 05-01-2005, 05:24 PM   #5
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All the lights you have out ARE part of the same circuit. I had the same exact problem.

There is a fuse under the hood that may be out. Here's what you need to do. Look under your dash fuse box and test and make sure every fuse is as rated. 10amps should be 10 amps. 7.5 amps should be 7.5 etc. Then look under the hood and test each fuse with a circuit tester and make sure these inserted are as rated.

If this cures your problem, it was because the fuse in the dash box was higher than rated.

If this does not cure your problem and the fuse under the hood still blows, then you have a short or cut wire somewhere between the hood fuse box and the dash fuse box. You will need to check these wires. I just ran new wires between the boxes and saw if this cured the problem. In my case it did not. If the box under the dash keeps blowing a fuse, then the problem is in the wires of the circuit itself.

Some points where wires could be cut are the trunk where the tail light wires come through the trunk lid or where the wires are routed up the trunk lid via the left trunk hinge.

There could be a cut in the wire in the left fender going to the left side marker light or where it runs around to the right side marker light. If there is a short in the light harness itself, the fuse will blow.

What I did was buy a bunch of fuses and try to find where the wire was cut. I banged around the fender, pushed and pulled the wires, and eventually found a cut wire in the trunk lid that was rubbing against the metal and causing the fuse to blow when i hit a bump.

This should give you a start. They are the same circuit.

Just to clarify, the circuit/fuse under the hood drives a number of circuits under the dash.

Because your instrument lights are out and your parking lights/tail lights are out, the fuse under the hood is probably the one that is blown.

I hope I helped you. If you want more info, please re-post and i'll try my best.

The exact same scenario happened to me.
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Old 05-01-2005, 05:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeeey
If your front parking lights light up when your directional is on there is a bulb shorting out. First replace the parking lamp fuse then unplug the rear light assm. from each light one at a time. If it's not one of the rears then it's one of the front light causeing the problem remove each buld one at a time until you find the one causing the problem. I doubt the alarm is at fault. It def. sounds like a shorted bulb. Not to hard to find

The turn signals are on a separate circuit from the tail lights and parking lights. brake lights are on a separate circuit too.

From the fuse under the hood (I forget which fuse. its at the top right corner I think or one below it)- there is signal sent to the dash fuse box. In the dash fuse box this signal is split and fused separately into the parking/tail light circuit and the interior instrument lamp circuit.

Being that both the instrument lamps and the tail/parking light circuit is out, i suspect the guy has a problem in the hood fuse box - dash fuse box circuit.

electrical problems are a pain in the rectum. And mine happened when it was 8 degrees out. And it took me about 18 hours total to find it.
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Old 05-02-2005, 07:05 AM   #7
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The bulbs are all good, they have been checked. My car is at an audio/alarm installation center and Im paying by the hour to troubleshoot this problem because I have no knowledge or tools or time to do this, so PLEASE HELP ME FAST OR ILL BE BROKE!!!

Paredline- you were right about the bulbs not being the problem. I forwarded your post to the people working on my car. DO you have anything else to tell them so they can fix my wires and not break my bank?

Also, you seem to be able to work on the car well. Can I pay you to install a y-pipe and b&m short shifter? I live 30 min from NYC and will be back home from college in less than 3 weeks. Now im thinking it might be stupid to try and get this wiring fixed here when I could wait and maybe pay you to do it.
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1996 Maxima SE 155k miles (sold)
B&M Short Shifter
Bomz Intake
Greddy SP2/Hi Flow Cat/Warpspeed Y-pipe
Red/Clear Taillights
Springtech / KYB GR-2
18" Motegi DP6 Chrome Wheels
Viper Alarm and Remote Start
Blue L.E.D.s in factory gauges
Optima Yellow-Top Batt & 2 Orion 12" subs

new car - 97 M3
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Old 05-02-2005, 09:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueice
The bulbs are all good, they have been checked. My car is at an audio/alarm installation center and Im paying by the hour to troubleshoot this problem because I have no knowledge or tools or time to do this, so PLEASE HELP ME FAST OR ILL BE BROKE!!!

Paredline- you were right about the bulbs not being the problem. I forwarded your post to the people working on my car. DO you have anything else to tell them so they can fix my wires and not break my bank?

Also, you seem to be able to work on the car well. Can I pay you to install a y-pipe and b&m short shifter? I live 30 min from NYC and will be back home from college in less than 3 weeks. Now im thinking it might be stupid to try and get this wiring fixed here when I could wait and maybe pay you to do it.

Hey man. I wish I could help you and my parents live in Roslyn Heights so it wouldnt be too far at all to Melville. BUT I'm in medical school right now in Savannah, Georgia on rotations and don't expect to be back in NY before June-July.

Where is your car? I can't really help you aside from the forum right now. I can however refer you to my shop where my buddies work and they do a great job. I have referred a few maxima.org people there and never had any complaints. I've known these people since I was a kid and the guy there always tells me how my friends go there and want all kinds of stuff that they dont need. So he refuses to do it. They have ethics. But they charge $85 an hour for electical work-on the sign. Andy will work with you though.

Let me know.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:57 AM   #9
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Whats the name of the place? I will probably go there this summer if i need anything.
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Old 05-02-2005, 12:08 PM   #10
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P&S Shell Service Station
221 Hempstead Turnpike
Elmont, NY 11003
Phone (516) 437-4169

The guys there are Andy (manager), Gary, and Vinny (owner).

Talk to Andy Decime. If he's not there, come back. If he's out on a test drive then wait.

Tell him Anand Davies sent you from the Maxima website.

They aren't the cheapest but they're good people and wont rip you off. Andy's worked on maximas for a very long time
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Old 05-02-2005, 02:52 PM   #11
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thanks, and BTW they fixed my problem.

Apparently, the place that installed my alarm, ILLUSIONS CAR AUDIO, in queens NY left a wire wrapped around a screw with electrical tape over it. I dont know why all of a sudden it started grounding out, but it was grounding itself out and this caused the short circuit. It was somewhere under the dash.

The place that found this didnt charge me, because they charged me 120$ to fix my alarm the other day and it wasnt fixed until i came back the next day and they took 2 minutes to disconnect my hood sensor. So they said that 120 went towards the 11 hours it took to troubleshoot and find this screw, and they let me off the hook.

The kicker is, that when they handed me my keys i noticed the screen was all blacked out on the 2 way alarm remote. It looks like a cell phone that was dropped hard. So now they are losing money on me because theyr buying another viper 2 way remote for me which is like 200 bucks. Go figure.

Honestly, between the alarm, this light problem, the stone racing y pipe that couldnt fit, and Katana racing's manufacturing defect which prevented the 19 inch wheels i got from fitting on the maximas lugs, I have had some seriously bad luck with my maxima which i got in oct. Ive dumped more than what i paid for it into it already by far. I hope the next 6 months are better than the first.
__________________
1996 Maxima SE 155k miles (sold)
B&M Short Shifter
Bomz Intake
Greddy SP2/Hi Flow Cat/Warpspeed Y-pipe
Red/Clear Taillights
Springtech / KYB GR-2
18" Motegi DP6 Chrome Wheels
Viper Alarm and Remote Start
Blue L.E.D.s in factory gauges
Optima Yellow-Top Batt & 2 Orion 12" subs

new car - 97 M3
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Old 05-02-2005, 02:52 PM
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