Electrical

Tiny
DAVESTER8022
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 DODGE RAM
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 98,000 MILES
I keep having wires break/melt. What would cause this?
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Thursday, May 12th, 2011 AT 1:30 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
DAVESTER8022
  • MEMBER
Sorry, should have been more specific. Small wires in the engine compartment going to different engine sensors
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Thursday, May 12th, 2011 AT 1:39 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
What's melting, the copper wires or the insulation? There is extremely little current going through those wires even if one were to be shorted to ground. Any chance some chemical got on them?
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Thursday, May 12th, 2011 AT 1:54 AM
Tiny
DAVESTER8022
  • MEMBER
I'm not really sure on the melting part, it does it just in one spot and the wire is completly broke but it looks like the insulation is melted slighty where the break is, I cant tell if the copper is or not. I havent had the hood open in awhile before the first time this happened so I dont think its a chemical, the wires broke a couple of days apart from one another. The first time it was one of the wires that went to my bully dog, the second time 2 days later that same wire broke in a different spot along with the 2 wires that run to the coolant tempurature control sensor.
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Thursday, May 12th, 2011 AT 2:11 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Any chance you can post a photo? I'm trying to imagine what kinds of things can happen on a five-year-old truck.
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Thursday, May 12th, 2011 AT 2:26 AM
Tiny
DAVESTER8022
  • MEMBER
Well, ive already fixed the wires I cant really send you a pic but the best I can describe it is. The 2 wires that go to the coolant temp sensor broke right across from each other about a 1/4" before the plug that goes into the sensor. One was seperated all the way through andthe other about half of it, the insulation was melted about 1/16" in length on both wires and the copper was a little freyed, kind of fanned out. The other wire that goes to the bully dog from the fuse box was a pretty clean sepperation all the way through almost like it was cut but the insulation was just very slightly melted an the very ends with no copper exposed.
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Thursday, May 12th, 2011 AT 2:53 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Wires typically break from flexing or from being tugged on. Constant tugging will usually pull the terminals out of the connector or the wires will break right next to the connector body. Flexing occurs from the engine rocking, which is normal, but that affects wires where they span between the engine and body. They can also rub through if the harness is laying on top of a sharp metal bracket.

The bottom line is the cause has to be mechanical in nature, not electrical. Too much current in a wire might overheat it but it will melt the insulation all along that wire, not just in one spot. It's rare for the wire to burn through. Only 5.0 volts feeds those sensors and if one becomes grounded, the Engine Computer will just shut the power supply down to protect it. There are internal resistors in the computer too that limit the maximum current to almost nothing. That means you do not have to be thinking about electrical problems. Now that the wires are repaired, be sure there is plenty of slack in them and they are anchored and not flexing. You're looking for a mechanical cause.
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Thursday, May 12th, 2011 AT 3:19 AM
Tiny
DAVESTER8022
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Alright, ill watch for that. Thanks very much for you help!
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Thursday, May 12th, 2011 AT 3:23 AM

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