No power to anything on ignition system when turning the key

Tiny
BILLDO99
  • MEMBER
  • 1990 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 2.2L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 180,000 MILES
Have power to starter and alternator no power to stereo blower motor etc. Lights and buzzers work fine engine will not turn over no warning lights all fuses I could find are good.I changed blower motor accidently hooked wires up backwards saw smoke and heard sizzling of wires coming from area near the starter. Also have changed the starter and no change
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Monday, October 20th, 2014 AT 2:43 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The larger starter terminal on GM cars is used as a tie point for other electrical circuits. You'll find some small wires bolted to that terminal along with the fat battery cable. Those small wires start out with a short "fuse link wire" spliced in. Those are a smaller diameter than the wires they protect so they're the weak link in the chain, and the insulation will not melt or burn.

You test a fuse link wire by pulling on it. If it's good, it will act like a wire. If it's burned open, it will act like a rubber band. Auto parts stores have replacement fuse links. You'll get a piece long enough for two or three repairs. The color is chosen according to the current rating. Common colors are dull green, gray, black, white, and orange.
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Monday, October 20th, 2014 AT 3:02 PM
Tiny
BILLDO99
  • MEMBER
I have power after both fuse links
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Monday, October 20th, 2014 AT 3:13 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
How did you determine that? Did you disconnect a wire from someplace or was the rest of the circuit still connected? Did you use a digital voltmeter or a test light?
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Monday, October 20th, 2014 AT 4:15 PM
Tiny
BILLDO99
  • MEMBER
Test light farther down the line after I cut out the fuseable link. Ur answer really seems to make sense am gonna try checking farther down the line
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Monday, October 20th, 2014 AT 4:35 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Keep using the test light because it draws current to work. I've seen very experienced co-workers make a wrong diagnosis when using a high-class voltmeter, because those draw almost no current to do their thing. A burned-open fuse link wire will leave a carbon track behind where it arced when it burned, and that carbon will conduct enough current to allow the voltmeter to detect a voltage, ... As long as that circuit isn't loaded down with its normal stuff, like a heater fan motor. That falsely tells you the wire is good up to that point. You won't make that mistake with a test light. You won't be able to get enough current through that carbon to run the light.
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Monday, October 20th, 2014 AT 4:52 PM

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