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

February 10 2018 at 5:42 PM

Mike U  (Login mtrain)
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I'm still working on that pos 05 Nissan, and for some reason I can get it to briefly run on starting fluid, but the injectors aren't pulsing.

I bought another used ecm, along with the matching key, ign switch, and immobilizer [security box].

So now I'm getting fuel to the injectors, and voltage with the key on, but they obviously aren't opening.

When I turn the key switch on the fuel relay starts clicking, along with the fuel pump. I disconnected the pump, and the relay is still clicking. I swapped two different relays from a spare fuse box, and still get the clicking.

Fuse going to the relay is testing good for 12v.

I'm going for a hail Mary, and taking the POS to a local shop to let them scan it as I'm still getting the same U1000 code I've gotten with three different ecms.

On a happy note, there is someone interested in my Shell Valley Cobra, and I was able to get the battery charged up, and the engine running this week so it wasn't a total loss.

Man it was good to hear the sound of that old FE vs that POS Nissan I've been working on.

New cars suck.

FTR, if the shops scan don't turn up something definite the Nissan is going on Craigslist for a very cheap price, as I'm done with it


    
This message has been edited by mtrain on Feb 10, 2018 5:43 PM


 
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Anonymous
(Login jmlay)
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Re: When a relay is making a clicking sound with the key on is it low voltage, or bad ground?

February 10 2018, 6:33 PM 

Could be either or both. Checking the grounds would be a good idea. If it turns over strong I would guess the battery is fine, throw a meter on it to read the voltage static and while cranking. I assume you are aware of this document.:
P
https://www.autocodes.com/pdfview.php?pdflink=https://www.autocodes.com/uploads/nissan/NTB06-009a.pdf

 
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Mike U
(Login mtrain)
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Yeah, I've already checked all of the grounds, and even added a few more as it didn't com

February 10 2018, 7:33 PM 

I even added more grounds from the engine to the frame as the car, from the factory, didn't come with enough.

 
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FElony
(Login FelonyFord)
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You only need one

February 10 2018, 8:59 PM 

Arbitrarily modifying the factory design will put you in the Can-of-Worms club in a hurry.
====

 
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FElony
(Login FelonyFord)
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Do you live

February 10 2018, 6:55 PM 

in a corrosion-prone part of the country? Have you doused the contacts that the fuel relay plugs into with CRC Electronics Cleaner or similar? Is there another module between the relay and the pump, like an inertia (impact) shut-off switch? Any wires/connectors in that circuit that are indirectly exposed to weather?
====

 
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Mike U
(Login mtrain)
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Not living in a corrosive zone. No wires that I know of are exposed. nm

February 10 2018, 7:34 PM 


 
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Mike U
(Login mtrain)
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Another odd thing is that the parking lights now come on with the key on. My wife ran the

February 10 2018, 7:42 PM 

My wife ran the car into a ditch a week before all of the problems.

After getting the car home I inspected it, took the bumper cover off, and everything is fine.

I pulled the wheels off, and cleaned the wheel sensors, and drove the car around local for about 15 minutes with no problems.

We didn't drive the car again for a few more days, until Christmas eve when we drove around looking at lights. We drove for about 30 minutes, and the engine just died.

One day while I was working on the car I noticed the parking lamps would stay on with the key on. I tried starting the car with them disconnected, but still no luck.

There was a wire on the wheel sensors on the front passenger side that had rubbed to expose wire. I noticed this about a year ago, and tapped it with electrical tape.

I just read the other night where if one of those wheel sensors go bad the ecm will shut down the fuel injectors. I've ordered a new set of wheel sensors, but I can't see how they would be affecting the fuel relay.

 
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FElony
(Login FelonyFord)
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"My wife ran the car into a ditch..."

February 10 2018, 8:54 PM 

LOL. Left out that little detail, huh? Multiple weirdnesses after that would have me going straight to basics. Something got jolted. Starting with the battery, remove, clean, and reattach all the power and ground connections you can find. I'm gonna bet a ground connection frayed/twisted or whatever and is not sufficient to do its job. Hard to troubleshoot from a distance.
====

 
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DaleP
(Login Posi-67)
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Drove it off a cliff would have been....

February 10 2018, 9:12 PM 

a preferred scenario for me. That is, assuming your Wife was able to jump clear prior. Multiple mid air explosions for no reason then crashing into the rocks before landing in the ocean would have ended this saga.

 
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Mike U
(Login mtrain)
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Dale you have no idea how many times I've almost taken an AX to the damned thing.

February 10 2018, 9:24 PM 


 
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DaleP
(Login Posi-67)
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Not nearly as dramatic though and

February 10 2018, 9:29 PM 

unlikely to win an award for best cinematography...

 
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Mike U
(Login mtrain)
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Oh, but it would have felt better. I've told you the Gerald Vice story?

February 10 2018, 9:46 PM 

I'm sure I told the Gerald Vice story here, Oh well, it won't hurt to tell it again.

Back when I was working autoparts my father had lost his first store to his ex so he went independent.

We worked out of a small store with just the two of us. Bad thing was that dad gave just about all of his old buddies, schoolmates, etc, credit.

Gerald Vice was a friend of his, and was a pulp wood trucker most of the time, other times he was a shade tree mechanic.

Ol GV built an engine for a guy, and installed it into the car. Well, the engine ran hot, so GV pulled it, and bought new gaskets, and a new waterpump, and built it again.

Well, the engine ran hot AGAIN. So GV pulled it yet again, took it all apart, put it all back together, and this time bought a new radiator.

After getting everything back into the car, starting the engine, guess what................yep, it ran hot AGAIN!!!!

This time GV didn't get mad, he went, and got his trusty AX, and chopped the ever living $hit out of that old car. He chopped the battery, split the carb damned near perfectly in half, all of the tire, all glass, there wasn't even a 3" radius between chop marks on the body. GV said he chopped so much he had to sit down, and smoke a cigarette then finish the job.

Most everyone who heard about this laughed their ass off, all but my father, and the owner of the car.

I saw the car, and wish I had taken a few picture of it. Now I think this story has been circulated around the net, but it originated with me, and it did happen.

So yes, I have came VERY NEAR pulling a GV on this car. Nobody is going to buy it like it is, as some new cars just can't be economically repaired.

The only true option I have, since I sell cars, is just to buy another Altima, same year, tran, options, and just swap parts until the engine starts, then buy the part that fixed the problem. Then sell the used car. [unless it is a ground, or wiring issue.]

FTR, I bought a new battery, checked the fusible links, fuses, cables, and still haven't found the problem.

 
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paulie
(Login Paul_Lovett)
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An axe to a car? Come on guys.

February 11 2018, 4:54 AM 

Everybody knows a splitting maul is the right tool for that job. An axe is way too light, and the fine sharp edge is gone after the first hit. With a splitting maul and some irritability, you can practically disassemble a car.

just sayin'

paulie

 
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Rory McNeil
(Login RMCJ428)
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Re: An axe to a car? Come on guys.

February 12 2018, 12:35 AM 

Prehaps, but being a Japanese car,I think a Samurai sword would be the correct tool for the job.

 
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Mike U
(Login mtrain)
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Yeah Felony I didn' think about something getting "jolted". I was just looking under the c

February 10 2018, 9:31 PM 

I was just looking under the car for something obvious like a wire pulled out of place, or a big dent into something electrical.

Since its a U1000 code [can line communication] I might have to check every ground yet again.

Those parking lamps staying one was making me think issues with a ground.

However, wouldn't disconnecting the parking lamps [amber colored lamps] get rid of the U1000 code? [as I've tried this, and unplugging all modules one at a time then doing a scan, but still get the U1000 code].

The only time I didn't get the U1000 code was when I pulled the Transmission control module. When I did that, and scanned there was no communication with my scanner.


 
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Bob
(Login machoneman)
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Not intentional but a fellow I knew....

February 11 2018, 5:36 AM 

let his Riviera burn to the ground as the engine caught on fire while driving down a highway! He said that rather than save it, if it burned bad enough (and it was a total loss) he'd get insurance money to cover another car rather than fix the Riv and end up with a iffy ride.

 
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Ross
(Login Bad427stang)
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FElony gave you good advice, and it's not just ground circuit

February 11 2018, 6:11 AM 

Modern ECMs run low voltage circuits, you have assumed it's a ground, and the lights lighting up could be, but that doesn't mean your ECM positive circuits are right either.

Also, eliminating the backfeed doesn't fix the lack of a good circuit for the ECM or the pump. At this point, the entire wiring harness would be suspect, and especially those areas up front, or around the tank if it took a good shot there. The first start would be resetting ever plug and finding every ground using a wiring diagram

This is one of those jobs nobody likes to take, because it could as easily be a plug under the dash as a ground on the radiator support.

That being said, you should be able to test each leg of the relay circuit, then potentially jump that circuit. If the pump stays on, then it is either the trigger circuit to the relay, or a ground. If it doesn't pump, then it is likely post relay.

However, my hunch is that a plug somewhere is damaged, loose, or corroded causing the U1000. Often there are multiple CAN bus circuits in a vehicle and the harness can run anywhere. Recommend if you don't have one, you get a wiring diagram and look under the carpet, dash, and anywhere the harness will run


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- 70 Fastback Mustang, 489 cid FE, Victor, SEFI, TKO-600 5 speed, 4.11 9 inch.
- 71 F100 shortbed 4x4, 445 cid FE, headers, RPM intake, 1000 HP series Holley, 4 speed

 
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kleandan
(Login kleandan)
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Let the tail light guide you Mike.

February 11 2018, 10:32 AM 

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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Mike U
(Login mtrain)
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I found out something last night. When I pull the fuel pump fuse, the front blinker lights

February 11 2018, 7:43 PM 

When I pull the fuse under the dash that controls the fuel pump, the front turn signal lights no longer come on when the key is on.

However, the inverse isn't the same. With the fuse for the fuel pump plugged in, when I pull the fuse in the relay box under the hood for the turn signals, the fuel pump relay still clicks when the key is on.

Anyway, last night we had some rain, and look how close this dead tree came to smashing the POS Altima. By all rights it "should" have hit the car, but for some reason the top of the tree broke off RIGHT AT THE CAR!!!!

[urlhttps://imgur.com/zW74Yxk][img][linked image][/img][/url]

[urlhttps://imgur.com/rEogrjp][img][linked image][/img][/url]

 
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Tom P
(Login tomposthuma)
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tree failure

February 12 2018, 1:55 PM 

Too bad that tree didn't put the Nissan out of it's misery.
You know Adam Sandler had a song about that car back when he was funny...

(NSFW warning: As the title of the song may imply some words could be considered profound and derogatory and it may be best not to play this at full volume in the midst of your grandma, kiddies, boss, pastor or other judges of immoral character.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Fw0OvKFKhw

 
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