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key off...panel ligts on. 1990 348ts

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by NC348, May 25, 2006.

  1. NC348

    NC348 Karting

    Feb 18, 2003
    154
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    James I. Movich
    while trying to get in front felt in shape so the little covers stay on, i got a little froggy and sprayed some contact enhancer on the fuse box since i was right there.

    (where's my note?...)

    the fan came on along with all the dash lights, as if i had put the key in and turned it to the first position.
    cant get them to go out and pulled the plug on the battery

    anyone??

    also need good independent mechanc in Houston....just moved here.
     
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  3. chrisx666

    chrisx666 Formula Junior

    Dec 6, 2004
    562
    YorkshireUK
    Full Name:
    Chris B
    Sounds like the contact enhancer worked too well. Try removing each relay/fuse in turn and spraying some contact cleaner (residue-free solvent type), them dry it out with a hairdryer.
     
  4. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    16,078
    Arlington Heights IL
    Full Name:
    Kenneth
    Needless to say, as you found out you should NEVER use a "contact enhancer" where there are lots of independent circuits close together! That suff can move around and will cause things like what you experienced. In fact, I can't think of a single good use for that stuff in a car (although I'm sure someone else can). It causes problems as opposed to solving them.

    Good luck with the fusebox. It needs to be removed and COMPLETELY cleaned. It's a labor heavy job so you may save money by buying a new one (maybe not).

    Ken
     
  5. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    17,188
    USA
    Full Name:
    Hugh G. Rection
    Get a car that was made since the mid/late 90's and you might change your tune...that is why Ferrari dealers, BMW, VW and others all not only use electrical contact enhancers, but in the case of VW, even stock it in their parts departments.

     
  6. Ricambi America

    Ricambi America F1 World Champ
    Sponsor Owner

    Read the patents on a product like Stabilant-22a -- and you'll agree with Dave (above). These products are absolutely inert on plastics and such; they only enhance contact on metal-to-metal applications.
     
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  8. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    16,078
    Arlington Heights IL
    Full Name:
    Kenneth

    Then I'm missing something here (wouldn't be the first time!). If modern fuseboxes use the stuff, how come this guy sprayed his and it's all shorting out?

    Ken
     
  9. No Doubt

    No Doubt Six Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant

    May 21, 2005
    66,253
    Vegas+Alabama
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    Mr. Sideways
    James, you don't want to pull the plug on the battery, you want to pull the plug on the offending relay...one at a time.

    In other words, turn your battery back on. Now remove 1 relay after another until your fan and dash lights turn off as per normal/expected behavior.

    Then begin adding back relays one at a time until the fan/lights come back on.

    Now remove/re-insert your one relay to verify that you've found your problem.

    What you may find, however, is that whatever you did burned out a dash bulb...so now you may have current flowing backwards in your system (not a good thing).

    Replace the burned out dash bulb with an LED dash light. Insure that the led dash light is installed correctly (it only lights up one way, but can be installed 2 different ways so this is a trial and error process).

    Once installed correctly, current will not flow backwards across that led dash light.

    Obviously if you have more than 1 burned out dash bulb then you are going to have to do this more than once...but all of this is really only necessary if you can't narrow down your problem to a single relay as per above.
     
  10. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    16,078
    Arlington Heights IL
    Full Name:
    Kenneth
    Can you explain what "current flowing backwards" means when a bulb is burned out?

    Ken
     
  11. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    17,188
    USA
    Full Name:
    Hugh G. Rection

    The product is not to blame, the way he applied it is...I am unfamiliar with what comes in aerosol...the ones I have seen are all "painted on" with a brush or Q-tip to the contacts...not indiscriminently sprayed all over a fuse box....

    The products work...that is unquestioned. Misuse is misuse, regardless of product.
     
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  13. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    16,078
    Arlington Heights IL
    Full Name:
    Kenneth
    I see. I wonder what the application of an aerosol conductive spray would be then? I still don't think it has too many applications in a car, modern or otherwise. All my Honda fuses are dry and I think I'll keep them that way. (The Lotus only has 4 fuses total! I keep them dry too.)

    Ken
     
  14. No Doubt

    No Doubt Six Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant

    May 21, 2005
    66,253
    Vegas+Alabama
    Full Name:
    Mr. Sideways
    A burned out bulb (the old fashioned kind) can act as a short in some circumstances.

    If this bulb is close to a ground, then you can have a short to ground in a place in the circuit (like the middle!) that the designer never intended. You may also have enough resistance prior to the ground that you don't blow fuses.

    Since many of the Ferrari circuits are ground triggered (i.e. always have power but only have ground when the key is on), suddenly you can have an active circuit even with the key off due to some burned out bulbs/shorts, and because the location of the short was unplanned, you can have very different behavior for the circuit.

    That's not to say that is what occurred in the 348 for this thread, but it is a possibility.

    It's not even to say that it happens often or most of the time...only that it can happen.

    It is, however, safe to replace an old fashioned light bulb with the same size LED. Current can only flow in one direction through the LED, for one thing, and for another thing the LED won't short out (well, not on its own or due to age, anyway).

    So it is a no downside step to take that may fix some Ferrari problems. Swap out old bulbs for new LEDs. It's cheap. The LEDs draw less current (your battery and alternator will thank you). The LEDs don't permit current to flow in reverse (helping insure that the circuits behave as they were designed), the LEDs last forever, and they don't short out.
     

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