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    Thread: Electrical Gremlins

    1. Member beckyg60's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 12:52 AM #1
      So, here's the story:

      Driving on interstate and I hit a bump. The car starts to buck/lose power from the engine. Within 5 minutes the car is dead on the side of the road. Turn the key: nothing. Not even the starter click. Dash, headlights, and interior lights work.

      Battery was brand new. We can hook a battery up right to the starter and it tries to turn over but doesn't ignite. We tried to replace the ignition switch, still didn't start. There is voltage getting to the starter, but turning the key doesn't do anything.

      We did manage to get it started and running for like 3 minutes. It killed itself- no one touched it or anything. That was with the old ignition switch.

      Also worth mentioning- when we were trying to start it with the new switch there was smoke that came from the dashboard.

      There is a red and yellow wire that we aren't sure what its connected to in the cluster of wires below the driver's side dash-by your feet. It looks like it runs over to the ecu though we are unsure. But, that wire gets REALLY hot when you try to start it.

      The car is stranded. If anyone has any suggestions of where to start looking please share. Also, what the heck is that wire for? We are starting to think maybe something in the ECU is toast

    2. Member petethepug's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 02:29 AM #2
      • Backtrack any recent mods or work that's been done on the car.
      • Check the ground strap that runs from the top of the drip tray (by the coil) down to the bolt on the valve cover. It loses its insulation and can SAW through stuff in there. It may have been removed.
      • Your headlight switch may have died. Mine smoked until the green lite inside burned out. This happened at night. Pull your switch and see if it smells like the culprit.
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    3. Member beckyg60's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 10:46 AM #3
      is there a way to test an ecu other than just swapping a different one in?

    4. Member petethepug's Avatar
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      Orig Owner 90 G60 & 02 Allroad 6Sp Man w/ 3rd Row Seat 97 Triple White New Beetle 2.5 6SP Auto (JUA)
      06-11-2012 12:14 PM #4
      Not really but if your leaning toward the ECU check the vac lines to the ECU & tb.
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    5. Member xtremevdub's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 12:49 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by petethepug View Post
      Not really but if your leaning toward the ECU check the vac lines to the ECU & tb.
      And if the car has a TPS (cali cars or automatics) under the TB check the lines.. if they are broken/brittle the car wont run. The are close to the Exhaust.

    6. Member beckyg60's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 12:56 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by xtremevdub View Post
      And if the car has a TPS (cali cars or automatics) under the TB check the lines.. if they are broken/brittle the car wont run. The are close to the Exhaust.
      manual. Would it help to scan it??? Or is that even possible. I know I did it in my last one, but that was an auto.

    7. Member crazynorweegian's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 01:01 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by xtremevdub View Post
      And if the car has a TPS (cali cars or automatics) under the TB check the lines.. if they are broken/brittle the car wont run. The are close to the Exhaust.
      Yeah, check for damaged wires in the bay, but you had smoke coming from your dash. I'm no electrical engineer, but I would start there. Was that a brand new ignition switch? Double check your wiring of it and look for aftermarket relays anywhere under the dash; VW Corrados do not have any exposed bosch style 5 pin relays visible from under the dash. If you have any, then the car has an aftermarket alarm/ immobilizer installed. I ripped out the alarm my PO put in, but the immobilizer(s) are still in there somewhere and it caused me an afternoon of headaches one weekend.
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    8. Member Grits 'n gravy's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 02:01 PM #8
      You have a short somewhere, try to instigate the smoke again and pin point where its coming from and check for some burnt up wires.
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    9. Member beckyg60's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 02:58 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Grits 'n gravy View Post
      You have a short somewhere, try to instigate the smoke again and pin point where its coming from and check for some burnt up wires.
      I didn't see the smoke. Hubby and friend were the only ones that saw, and they can't really seem to remember exactly where. They just say 'by the dash' so there's that. And, I'm not going to try and cause it to happen until I pick up a fire extinguisher!! I think I found one at wal mart for electrical and flammable liquids though. So, that shouldn't really be an issue.


      No one with any clues as to the red and yellow wire, what it goes to and why it would be so damn hot from just trying to start?

    10. Member crazynorweegian's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 10:59 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by beckyg60 View Post
      I didn't see the smoke. Hubby and friend were the only ones that saw, and they can't really seem to remember exactly where. They just say 'by the dash' so there's that. And, I'm not going to try and cause it to happen until I pick up a fire extinguisher!! I think I found one at wal mart for electrical and flammable liquids though. So, that shouldn't really be an issue.


      No one with any clues as to the red and yellow wire, what it goes to and why it would be so damn hot from just trying to start?
      Well, it is shorting out or at least taking way too much load, that is why it is hot.

      Were they drunk or something? How do you forget where smoke is coming from inside a car?

      Also, do not use that extinguisher if you see smoke. Pull the battery cable and check for a flame. Once the battery is disconnected, you may use water to extinguish it. The extinguisher you found will say "dry chemical" on the side and may be corrosive to your car if not completely cleaned off. If you want the correct extinguisher, you need halon or some other type that does not damage electrical or computer equipment.

      The function of the wire could best be found by looking through your Bentley manual, if it is stock.
      Stephen
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    11. Member petethepug's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 02:30 AM #11
      Hate to say it but the Bentley manual may have that info in there but it's very hit and miss. What page shows a yellow wire(s) in the dash?
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    12. Member beckyg60's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 06:10 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by petethepug View Post
      Hate to say it but the Bentley manual may have that info in there but it's very hit and miss. What page shows a yellow wire(s) in the dash?
      It was the only red/yellow wire i saw down there, so at least theres that. Im not sure where the bentley went during the move but i'll find it. but, just because it was that wire that got hot, dosnt mean its the issue

      this is gonna suck

    13. Member vdubCorrado's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 12:04 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by beckyg60 View Post

      No one with any clues as to the red and yellow wire, what it goes to and why it would be so damn hot from just trying to start?

      open the hood and check your ECU pin out to see if that Red/Yellow wire is the same on the ECU plug as the one behind the dash that you're having issues with (I.e. same color)

      if so it is for your Fuel Pump relay power. in the fuse box it should be in the plug G1

      check your Bentley to find which this is or check out www.a2resource.com (amazing source for information. your car is Digifant 1. as asked before, these computers are not scannable)

      if you trace that wire and it never makes it to the ECU then it should be your injector power wire.

      but since the wire started melting i would assume it is fuel pump relayed power. check and replace your fuel pump relay

      with that being said be very weary of turning that car over again. last thing you want to do is replace a fuse box and wiring... it's not very fun, trust me.

    14. Member petethepug's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 01:07 PM #14
      I have the hard copy of the Bentley and the CD. The 7lb book is MIA somewhere in my house. Right now the Bentley CD is safe in the PC tower until the kids find it . The only time I've had to check out the threads lately is on the tapatalk. That's for help'n the poor guy out who's probably got his car in the garage most winters.
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    15. Member vdubCorrado's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 03:53 PM #15
      Bentley manual doesn't show the color of the wire by the location, you need to know what circuit that wire belongs to and then read the wiring diagram to find what circuit specifically is labelled with that color wire...

      Fortunately I have had more than enough MK2's and G60's to know that VW usually used red wire with yellow stripe for fuel on CE2. Probably from spending hours F'ing reading the Bentley and tracking crap down on A2Resource.com

      So with that being said to the OP read my first post... Then start with the relay for the fuel pump. Pull it and test it. If it does not click then obviously it is bad and causing the short circuit making the wire become excessively hot. If the relay is still goodbthennit is most likely the fuel pump. May not be the pump itself but possibly the ground for it...

    16. Member beckyg60's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 06:50 PM #16
      She should be coming home this weekend and we can start really diggin in. A lot easier to trouble shoot from your garage than on the street 45 miles away :*(

    17. Member beckyg60's Avatar
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      08-06-2012 11:58 AM #17
      been a while....

      We finally figured it out! Brett wiggled some wires around and it was working, so hey! Works, right? I drove it to Dubs in the Valley this past weekend. 2 hour drive... the thing starts cutting out but we push it as far as we can. It ends up dying like a block away from where we were staying.

      So, the next morning, we're searching for this stupid short.... found it! One of the little yellow wires for the fuel rail (or something over there anyways) had frayed and was touching the intake manifold thus causing EVERYTHING to short out. Covered it with some tape and she ran all weekend! Got her home safe, too.

      Now we just replace that wire and should be good!!!

      We knew it would be something really ridiculous like that. Oh well, it'll make a good 'remember when the Rado broke down on the way to.....' story.

      Even went home with a trophy! What a weekend of ups and downs...!! Life with a g60.....



    18. Member DUBZAK's Avatar
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      08-06-2012 12:36 PM #18


      Door handles look awesome BTW.
      |Corrado SLC 2.9LVR6|Corrado Keyless Entry | A8 "Grape Ape" | SPOONFEDTUNING |FOURSEASONTUNING|DUBNUTZ|
      Quote Originally Posted by pileofredparts View Post
      Do you guys remember the time that Ryan kid started mixing and matching rods and end caps and then his motor wouldnt turn over? I do

    19. Member beckyg60's Avatar
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      08-06-2012 01:39 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by DUBZAK View Post


      Door handles look awesome BTW.
      glad you like them. You can kinda see the weld lines close up though.

    20. Member RedYellowWhite's Avatar
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      08-06-2012 06:30 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by beckyg60 View Post
      been a while....

      We finally figured it out!

      So, the next morning, we're searching for this stupid short.... found it! One of the little yellow wires for the fuel rail (or something over there anyways) had frayed and was touching the intake manifold thus causing EVERYTHING to short out. Covered it with some tape and she ran all weekend! Got her home safe, too.

      Now we just replace that wire and should be good!!!

      We knew it would be something really ridiculous like that. Oh well, it'll make a good 'remember when the Rado broke down on the way to.....' story.

      Even went home with a trophy! What a weekend of ups and downs...!! Life with a g60.....


      Quote Originally Posted by dogger View Post
      ... (Corrado) might be the greatest collection of bad VW ideas ever put into one car.
      My Corrado (sort of) build thread / On Database
      My MK1 build thread
      SpoonFedTuning

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