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Let the tail light guide you Mike.

February 11 2018 at 10:32 AM
kleandan  (Login kleandan)

Response to When a relay is making a clicking sound with the key on is it low voltage, or bad ground?

The taillights are simple stupid lights. They don't know how to do anything other than turn off and on when conditions are right.
They need power, ground, and a filament...unless they are LED.

The taillights are grounded otherwise they would NOT light.
The taillights are lighting at the wrong time because they are getting power when they are not supposed to.

Use a meter to trace where the taillights are getting incorrect power from and you will most likely find the source of the taillight issue.

The car going in the ditch can cause all kinds of electrical issues in a modern electrical laden vehicle.
The impact can break wires, tear out connectors, pull plugs from each other, pinch or bind wires that later rub open, break cable or wire supports that allow the wire to hang or swing and break or fray. Pinch, bend or twist metal where a ground fastener is located this making that ground either totally ineffective or at least not sufficient for the light load of the circuit.

The possibilities are endless and hard to find at times. Do not discount cracked or broken circuit boards either.

The relay clicking but not engaging is almost always an indicator of low power...either current or voltage.
You need correct voltage and current to fully engage a relay otherwise it may simply flutter, trying its best to make full contact, but never being able to because the electrical power is not sufficient to hole the relay in place.

This quickly wears the relay out too so you may find the cause of the original problem but now you have a bad relay too because of the low power fluttering.

Finding electrical problems is a game of extreme precision and patience. Yes, often you get "lucky" from the get go and clean a contact or ground and all is well. But if the issue is not so obvious you must resort to very methodical practices to eliminate possibilities in order to eventually find the real issue.
Stick to one circuit until you prove that circuit is good from stem to stern...than move on to the next...and the next...and the next.

This methodical issue is why an electrical fire will usually total an otherwise perfectly good car. It is just too time consuming and ends up costing a mint in labor fees to fix.

Good luck.

Oh, of the axe method should become the last resort be sure to video the event and put it on you tube for all to enjoy.
Sell hit tickets and have a bonfire party to celebrate the blessed event.
Be sure to charge for holding a hitters beer while they take their chops.

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