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Electrical Help!

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so ive been having bugs in the system. car still has an unknown battery drain, so i have been unhooking battery, and also will not start with key when its wet or cold. when its dry, no problems. Iam suspecting neutral safty switch.  all this is on hold.


now what i cant figure is my right right tail lights are out, (left still working) with no voltage at the bulb.

and my brake lights are also not working, replaced switch recently and they were working. and fuses are all fresh.

any ideas as to what could be a good place to test next?


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Check your wiring. My right tailight was out, and I found a bundle of crappy connections hidden under the rear seat. Just do a continuity test and when the meter stops beeping, you know you have found the break. 


Neutral safety switch? I don't believe our cars have one. 


unknown battery drain can be a failed diode in the alternator. if it hasn't been replaced, replace it. get a nice 85 amp. 


Check your grounds. All of them. clean them with some sandpaper and make sure there is no corrosion. 

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Some troubleshooting suggestions:


To find the current drain:  Leave the battery connected, and remove one fuse at a time each night until the battery retains its charge overnight.  That'll narrow down the culprit to an individual fuse; then check each component that's protected by the fuse and you'll find the problem.  Even easier, you can eliminate all the fuses that protect circuits that are only live when the ignition is on, since you don't leave the ign on overnight. 


Unless you have an automatic, you don't have a neutral safety switch.  Not on a 2002.


For both the tail light and brake light problem, check the fuses first.  Don't just wiggle the fuse in its holder; remove the fuse, check the ends for wear (they do wear out) and cleanliness, also cleanliness of the brass clips that hold the fuse.  Most inop electrical problems can be traced to bad/worn/corroded fuses and holders.  Always check 'em first.  Wouldn't hurt to check across the fuse with a voltmeter, either...


Not starting when wet/cold, but OK  when dry.  Remove dizzy cap, clean inside of the cap with carb cleaner to remove any oil film.  The oil will attract moisture and be conductive, thus allowing spark to dissapate rather than passing through the spark plug wires to the plugs.  Wouldn't hurt to clean off the wires (or even replace 'em!) and plug porcelains.  The cleaner they are, the better the car will start when it's wet.




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yes, it is an 1973 automatic. forgot that part.

I should clarify, its not that it wont start cold, its that there is no electrical conection being made. i have to pump the starter from the test plug to the battery. then it starts up right away.


the fuses are just replaced. when I was testing the conections there, I did the test where i pulled one side of the battery and bridged the fuse conectors. none had any electrical current going through them.


If i just pulled out the fuses to see what it did, id have one shot battery! 

ill go through and clean up the tail lights and see if that helps.


is there a way to test for the bad diode in the alternator ?

thanks again guys

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