Mysterious Electrical problem - 1991Renult Trafic

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Barclaybasher, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    Just back from a trip to Spain, the van went really well but caused a few anxious periods as electrical equipment went 'bonkers'.
    On the way I noticed that sometimes if I put on the heater blower the rear view camera (permanently on) would switch off, move the control to off and it would come on again.
    When I got to Mallorca the van suddenly became harder to start (glow plugs?) - to be on the safe side I bought a new engine battery but that only improved things a little.
    On the journey back the wipers went 'random' - sometimes they would work, then sometimes not.
    I made one stop in France, the van started OK in the morning but no heater blower or reversing camera.
    Parked it up last night and noticed the (electric) power steering was not so good.
    I thought on the journey back that the housing round the steering wheel (light stalk, wiper stalk and ignition) seemed warm - but put that down to imagination.
    I'm taking it in to have it checked next week - seems that everything through the ignition is losing electric power
    Grateful for any ideas as to problem

    ......
     
  2. Jonkil

    Jonkil Funster

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    Sounds like an "earthing" issue. Essentially a poor grounding of part of the loom.....or
    If you believe that the 'steering column' area is heating it could well be the 'ignition contact' on the rear of the ignition switch.
    From memory the traffic has heav(ish) wire to the ignition switch and therefore is dependant on power being switched through the ignition switch.
    Auto electrician should find it pretty easily, the older stuff is pretty straightforward unlike the pesky new fancy CAN Bus systems.
    Keep us updated.
     
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  3. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    Will do - thanks for the post
     
  4. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    The first place I'd check is the earth strap from the battery to the chassis and engine.. poor or corroded connections..
     
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  5. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    I think the first thing I would check is the body earth straps on the chassis/body... (y)

    Woops.... posted same time as Jim`s..
     
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  6. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    Yes , another vote for earth faults. On mine it has individual earth wires run back to multiple connectors ,from a single heavy cable point, from the battery earth .
     
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  7. jenny and mitch

    jenny and mitch Funster

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  8. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    Update
    @Jonkil @ScotJimland @old-mo @gus-lopez

    When I bought the van in July the seller said that both batteries were 'nearly new' - not true - but my fault, I did not check

    The leisure battery was knackered - I found out in Mallorca that it wouldn't hold a charge

    The engine battery was old but OK

    I left the leisure battery on on the trip back, new engine battery, old engine battery carried charged up in the hab area as a spare

    Swapped the old engine battery for the leisure battery yesterday and things started working again

    Seems the alternator couldn't keep up (because of the leisure battery)

    Might now need a new alternator but we'll see how things go
     
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  9. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    Update on the update
    The leisure battery was dead, now replaced
    The main 'culprit' was a poor fuse connector - fuse looked OK but the holder wasn't holding tight enough and failed to deliver enough current when under load
    Whilst checking everything it was discovered that the earth WAS faulty so yesterday I fitted extra earth leads to both sides of the engine compartment and the engine, and added another earth strap to the leisure battery - result - the batteries now show over 14v with engine running

    @Jonkil @ScotJimland @old-mo @gus-lopez

    Thanks again for the 'heads up'
     
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  10. Jonkil

    Jonkil Funster

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    Glad you got it sorted, happy travelling.
     
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  11. Bluestar

    Bluestar Funster

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    Yes glad your sorted, electrical problems can be a pain my last problem turned out to be high resistance in a plug/socket right under the dash a real pain to find.
     
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