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Electrical gremlins

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:40 pm
by tejb1
Hi all, I have a few odd electrical gremlins which I'll outline below. Wanting to see if anyone has any thoughts or advice to suggest. Including all the detail I can think of even if not relevant!

Firstly, the heater blower motor has been a bit squeaky for a couple of months, and just recently has taken to not working sometimes when the car is started. After a period of time it starts working. This is normally a minute or two when the car is off choke tho it was a good 20 minutes the other night coming home late. (Hmm could relate to available current??) I guess this needs replacing which I've read is a fiddly, albeit not actually too difficult, job.

Secondly, noticed a couple of times the wipers seeming to struggle returning as the screen dries. On one occasion I had used them and noticed as the screen dried they were slowing, flicked the switch stalk to off and they stopped dead mid sweep! Prodded them and they finished the return ok which was odd. Again could this be a sign of a wearing out wiper motor? How much is common between this and the heater, may make sense to do them together.

Finally I think this is wholly unrelated but had a fault with the headlights, about half the time they'd go up to side light mode fine, but move the lever up and nothing more, though the relay could be heard clicking. So getting full lighting was tricky but once on they stayed on. Sprayed stalk contacts with switch cleaner to no avail. Removed the box in the engine bay cleaned up contacts and replaced 4 rather perished fuses and seemed to be ok. But have not been out since!

I'd appreciate advice as to whether I'm thinking along the right lines or not, if I am will order the parts from the factors next week and fit when I have a free weekend.

Re: Electrical gremlins

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:04 am
by D366Y
If you have a multi-meter I'd say to check any connections to the components that you can to check the current and see if they are getting the right power in the first place, if not then its worth the £15 investment to have one, I use mine all the time!

I'd also take the fuses out of the headlight relay and the main fuse box, clean up the ends of the fuses with a bit of sandpaper along with the contacts as well and check the spade connections off the fuse box to make sure they aren't corroded - always the first thing I do with any electrical issues just to make sure that there's a good connection with them all.

The headlights I'd also say check the earth point (typically in the headlight bucket unless it's been moved previously) as this might have rusted a little or be causing a bad earth so might need a quick clean up as well.

I can't help with the heater motor unfortunately, I've never bothered to fix mine as it's always been broken! I'd say check the current to the wiper motor as well if you can - if its getting enough current then its fair to say it's had it, if it's not getting the right current you can try and trace the wiring issue instead.


Re: Electrical gremlins

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:52 am
by Paul G
I agree with Danny about the headlights, could well be dirty earths in the headlight bowls.

With windscreen wipers the spindles can partially seize up causing them to slow down, remove the wiper arms then the plastic covers over the spindles (the bit the wiper arm bolts to) and with the wipers turned on spray WD40 or similar down over the spindles and leave them running for 30 secs or so, give them another dose and then put it all back together. Worth a try, but if it doesn't work then possibly suspect wiper motor getting tired.

From the look of where the wiper mechanism is located I would guess the heater box will have to come out to get to it so you could possibly kill two birds with one stone, as they say.

Re: Electrical gremlins

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:56 pm
by caprikid61
I would also check the battery to make sure its holding the current I has loads of problems with mine a few years back and slow wipers was one of the problems . After I went to halfords and bought a new battery the problems were cured .

Thought it was a bit strange that the old battery would start the car but not work the wipers . I also had a problem with the full beam headlights the front and rear left indacatior would stay on when I used full beam but the left hand side full beam light didnt work also the blue full beam light and the green indactior lights on the dash would stay on !!

Turned out to be a bad earth so all I did was trap a bit wire under the metal bit that pushes on to the front headlight from the back then screwed the other end into the hole with the self tapper that holds the black plastic cover in place . That sorted that problem out .

Re: Electrical gremlins

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:43 am
by tejb1
Wrote a reply the other day but got caught by the problem with the site logging out! Thanks for the tips. Had a check of the headlamp earths and they look a bit crusty, couldn't find my stubby screwdriver to get in to undo it so had to go out and get a new one from Screwfix in the evening during which lights worked perfectly! I have changed all fuses under the headlamp relay unit and checked the ones in the main fusebox (and will swap the blower one when I've bought more, if only to rule it out). Will report back!

Re: Electrical gremlins

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:13 pm
by 340truck
Earth, earth, earth and when you've checked them and they are ok I'd check the earth s again. Electrical gremlins on capris are almost always down to earth problems....electrickery always follows the path of least resistance so it is possible that "appliances" earth back through othe appliances live feeds and cause all sorts of weird effects.

Re: Electrical gremlins

Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:53 pm
by Not_Anumber
caprikid61 wrote:
Thought it was a bit strange that the old battery would start the car but not work the wipers .

I had this when I first picked up mine, I later realised the previous owner's 'upgraded' blade type fusebox was the issue. When i replaced it with an original style fusebox I found the conversion had relied on some pretty thin wire between the aftermarket fusebox and the loom's multiplug. With that restored to spec the wipers, headlamps and blower motor etc all worked much better.

Re: Electrical gremlins

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:22 pm
by tejb1
Finally had some time to look at this properly. Cleaned up both headlamp bowl earths and re fitted, nothing. Checked earthing strap on the relay unit, again, nothing. Measured resistance between all the above earth points and the -ve terminal, again all ok. I'm fairly sure that the relay is working as have heard it throwing since this started, but I guess could try taking the cover off and measuring voltage there. Any other thoughts?! The wipers and blower don't seem to have had any issues so maybe there was an earth issue affecting them?

Re: Electrical gremlins

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:59 pm
by tejb1
Just to tie this off, I eventually took the relay unit apart and cleaned up all the connections, following which it has worked fine.
Just thought I'd update for the benefit of anyone who may have a similar issue in the future.
The blower and wiper issues did sort out when the earths were cleaned up so it seems to have been two discrete issues.

Re: Electrical gremlins

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:49 pm
by Jasonmarie
Yes always great to here what was wrong , seems the earthing points on our capris have a lot to Answer to .

Re: Electrical gremlins

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:09 am
by pbar
tejb1 wrote:
Firstly, the heater blower motor has been a bit squeaky for a couple of months
It is possible to lubricate that whilst it is in place -

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