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intermittent electrical problems


RF600
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Hey all, I know, another electrical thread. I have searched with no luck.

 

To start off I have a 95 pathfinder with a manual transmission. At random times when I start the rig first thing in the morning, the radio won't turn on. It has only been a few times so I really didn't worry about it. Yesterday morning it would turn over but not start. I switched the fuel pump relay out with a used one, it started right up. Today the rig started, but no radio, or wipers, dew on the windows. Maybe 15 seconds after I started it, the radio turned on and the wipers worked.

 

When the radio does randomly turn on in the mornings, I can hear a clicking like a relay energizing around the fuse block area.

 

I messed with a couple relays with no luck.

 

So does anyone have any ideas?

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Sounds like a sticking relay. Check the wiring diagram to see what the radio and wipers have in common on both power and ground sides. Either a relay stuck, not getting power or ground, or the components not getting ground.

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This also sounds like a problem I had with the green Pathy. drove me nuts.. It would usually start, but sometimes the lights would work, sometimes they wouldn't, other times the radio wouldn't power up. I never tried to make a connection with the wipers though.

 

What it ended up turning out being was the ignition switch. the back had come out just enough that allowed the key to sometimes get pushed in too far and cause some of the connections not to be made when the key was turned to the on position.

 

It wouldn't hurt to have a look maybe? I do not remember the clicking of the relay however if a connection was being made, broke, made broke in the ignition switch it would most likely have an effect on the fuel pump and/or starter relay under the hood no? (the trigger was when he said that sometimes it wont start at all)

 

anyhow just thought I would toss this in here.. Drove me nuts for a good couple days trying to figure it out. Soon as I replaced it with a new one. worked like a charm.

Edited by MrEviLDeD
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I'm at 248k right now. I have retired the factory key. It always worked in the ignition cylinder, but would have problems in the door locks.

 

I have already cleaned the grounds behind the kick panel, and the rest of them that I could find.

 

I did change out the fuel pump relay because of a nostart the other day. It's been good since.

 

Yes it does sound like a relay, I haven't found anything in the manual around that area that goes to the radio. I did see an accessory relay that I haven't located yet. I forget if it's under the kick panel or not.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So it happened again today. So besides the wipers not working, I had no a/c or blower. I haven't had time to go hunting yet for the issue.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Please check the ignition switch. It wont hurt and could very well be the problem. Those devices are all tethered to the ignition switch, if there are not full connections being made then some devices will not work. I am not saying there is anything wrong with the key, what I am suggesting is that the black plastic connector on the back of the ignition switch itself is loose it will be opened when the key is inserted into the key slot and some of the devices cannot get any current/voltage.

 

I am repeating myself here because this is the kind of thing that happened to me. Drove me nuts for about a month as it was so intermittent.. Eventually I just worked back to the ignition switch. Moment I replaced it with a new one. Never had a problem since...

 

What finally broke it down for me was when the Pathy wouldnt start.. In my case the black plastic part on the ignition switch has turned slightly in the housing (pushed past the tongs holding it in place.... And the truck just couldn't spin the ignition switch enough anymore to make the starter connection...

 

Please at least check it and rule it out maybe?

Edited by MrEviLDeD
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It makes sense. The ignition switch controls a lot of things. As many times as it has been started in its life, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the problem. Now to find time to look at it. Thanks

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I believe you are correct MrE. The radio has not been coming on latley. I have been fiddling with the key, and the radio will turn on. I have ordered a cylinder and will be replacing it next week, hopefully. Thanks for the assistance on this.

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  • 1 month later...

So I finally got around to replacing the ignition cylinder. I have not had any issues since. The key is very snug in the new cylinder compared to the old worn out cylinder. Now I have to remove the door cylinders and have them re-keyed. The front doors are easy. I'm sure the rear hatch isn't too bad?

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Good to hear that did it! I don't imagine the hatch is any worse than the doors. The PO of mine didn't bother, so I've got a key for the doors and a key for the ignition, which is workable but annoying.

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Good to hear that did it! I don't imagine the hatch is any worse than the doors. The PO of mine didn't bother, so I've got a key for the doors and a key for the ignition, which is workable but annoying.

Factory GM back in the day. It took GM awhile to figure out that one key could do both.

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I remember having 2 seperate keys for a vehicle. At this point, those days are over.

 

So I had the door and hatch cylinders re-keyed. Having electric door locks, there is some kind of something attached to the cylinders on both doors. I don't know what they do, but I assume they have to do with turning the key twice to unlock all doors? I broke one. Put some plastic bond on the broken piece. The door locks don't know the difference, it worked well.

 

So all is well. I am back to having 1 key.

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