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    Thread: A burned up ground wire...

    1. Member
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      11-11-2010 05:49 PM #1
      So I have noticed when I start my car (key turned to the start position) if the car doesn't start right away I will see some smoke coming from under the dash.

      Over the past week it seems like the starter isn't always getting power, it will try to crank but won't turn over completely. I initially thought this was due to my ignition switch. I replaced that a few days ago and I am still experiencing the same problem.

      Up until this morning it would eventually start for me. This morning there was finally enough smoke this morning for me to see where it was coming from.

      It was surprisingly a ground wire that connects to one of those circular ground posts under the dash.

      It had a plastic brown end to cover the spade on it, that burned first and was probly why there was little smoke initially. Now the insulator wrap is burned away and the wire is black (burnt).

      So what would cause this? A blown fuse? A broken relay?

      Rocco in question is an 85
      Last edited by Roc'N'Green; 11-27-2010 at 10:08 PM.

    2. Member Rocco_julie's Avatar
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      11-11-2010 06:18 PM #2
      What ever circuit it belongs too is causing a tremendous current draw. But thats seperate from the starter issue.

      The 2 large wires on the ignit switch go from the fuse, through the switch to the starter solenoid. Nothing there requires a ground as the starter body grounds that circuit.

      Follow the burnt wire (this is fun, just did this the other weekend) to its resulting object.
      Make sure the burned wire did not damage other wires by exposing wires that can short to something else.

      If its a really heavy wire, could be the fan ground....

    3. Member Rannoch's Avatar
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      11-11-2010 07:42 PM #3
      Oddly enough that wire is burnt on my '83 as well.

    4. Member TheTimob's Avatar
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      11-11-2010 08:03 PM #4
      You might have a broken ground somewhere else from the battery to the transmission - the starter could be grounding itself however it can through your harness. Check your grounds underhood, and see if you can fix it.

    5. Member
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      11-11-2010 09:28 PM #5
      I was going to trace the wire this morning, but something told me getting to work was more important. So I walked and was a half hour late....Ahh yes I missed the days of daily driving a mk1.

      trace the burned guy, see where it goes, check grounds in the engine bay.

      Thanks for the info, maybe this is related to the drain on my battery......

    6. Member
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      11-12-2010 07:43 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by Rocco_julie View Post
      If its a really heavy wire, could be the fan ground....
      Just had this on the brown 85. The blower motor bearings going bad created excessive resistance and melted the outside of the spade connector at the fuse box ground lug. Thank goodness I had another blower motor/fan assembly in the parts car.

      When I got the old one out, I could barely turn the fan by hand.
      85 Scirocco (Walt), 85 Scirocco (Roxanne), 87 Scirocco 16V (Donnie Donor)

    7. 11-14-2010 12:33 AM #7
      On another note the alternator warning light fails to come on when key is turned or at all for that matter! Wire burned under dash (initially) while attempting to start without the ignition coil grounded. Once the coil was grounded to the engine the car started and has ever since slowly gotten worse on starting most noteably after the battery was drained and a new alternator was installed. What are the most important components when starting the car that require a ground at the fuse box? Could this be related to the blue wire bulb circuit? (for instance melted bulb metal fused together causing the ground to complete with the power on the blue wire circuit) Just a thought... You got hijacked son lets see what happens!!

    8. 11-15-2010 07:46 AM #8
      Try looking for any hot wires that could have went to any after market stuff. Like to a amp ,fogs,ect. could be a hot wire lay on metal . Shorting out an the thin wires under the dash burn an puffs smoke.

    9. Member
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      11-27-2010 10:05 PM #9
      An update...

      This issue has been frustrating me, I have been walking rather than attempt to fix this. But for some reason I am at it again even though the car spits in my face at every turn.

      Here is what i am working with...



      here is the burnt wire, it comes from this block...



      The wire here circled in red goes out to the engine bay where it is currently grounded to the upper trans mount.



      The 4 grounds circled in red here go various places and are hard to trace.



      One of them is a ground for one of the plugs that goes into the back of the fuse panel.
      Two others go up into the dash, and the last is still a mystery.

      After I dropped and disconnected the fuse panel, I noted a red wire (i assume a power wire) has a cut in the insulation... It is pictured here.



      Here is my plan of action;

      -tidy up my grounds in the engine bay to ensure they are making proper connection
      -Repair the red wire pictured above
      -Remove the burnt ground and replace with a new wire (Need some ideas of how to remove old ground)
      -hopefully fix car even if temporarily

      So first does anyone know how to remove that old burnt up ground from that connection...highlighted picture for clarity...



      Help, insight, tips, tricks, reassuring comments are all appreciated.

      Thanks.

    10. Member Rocco_julie's Avatar
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      11-28-2010 12:07 AM #10
      Follow the burned wire along and check the other wires it crosses. The heat could have damaged the insulation....

      Its a heavy ground so it may be the ground for the blower

    11. Member
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      11-28-2010 01:10 PM #11
      The burn ground goes from that ground block pictured to one of the spades on the round ground post next to the fuse panel, the burnt ground wire is seriously 6 inches long.

      Nothing else seemed to be damaged.

      This is the odd part about the whole ordeal. It was just this one wire that goes into a block of 4 other wires. And the wire would only burn or smoke when I would try to start the car.

    12. Member
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      11-28-2010 08:20 PM #12
      Well I did my repairs today. I made some better grounds and gave my best shot at cleaning up the wiring.

      The car started

      When i start the car it is still hesitates a bit before the starter turns the car over, but it doesn't smoke anymore!

      So now to sort out the other drive-ability issues!

      However after it sitting for the last 17 days, it sure was nice to drive it again

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