Cigarette Charger was sparking and smoking from a dime falling into it

Tiny
MOOTSIE32
  • MEMBER
  • 1993 INFINITI J30
Car will not start now only head lights.I changed a few fuses and issues from underneath the motor the ignition fuse will blow as soon as the car was given a jump and the like panel will light up and soon shut down I removed the harness from behind the cigarette charger looks like a -0 and positive wires are melted together the 1 that connects to the cigarette charger. Do I need re wire these and this why the ignition fuse blows?
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Monday, March 23rd, 2015 AT 9:05 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Obviously wires aren't meant to be melted together so that would be the place to start.

A simple trick to finding a short is to replace the blown fuse with a pair of spade terminals, then use small jumper wires to connect them to a 12 volt light bulb. A brake light bulb works well. When the circuit is live and the short is present, the bulb will be full brightness and hot so be sure it's not laying on the carpet or against a plastic door panel. Now you can unplug electrical connectors and move things around to see what makes the short go away. When it does, the bulb will get dim or go out.
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Monday, March 23rd, 2015 AT 9:32 PM
Tiny
2CARPROS MIKE
  • ADMIN
Mootsie32
March 23, 2015.

I want to say thank you very much for helping me with my question.
I totally thought this was just a couple of wires that were melted. Omg. Let Me just say ooh no ! Come to find the wires had melted all the way threw, up and over, behind the panel to fuse harness?
Last person that fix car prior, had to have placed the wrong fuse for Cig Charger. My luck!
I give up. Lol. : )
Thank you again
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Friday, October 16th, 2015 AT 4:03 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
First let me give you my standard reply, then you can decide if it has merit in this case. Beginning Electrical students almost always guess to "run a new wire" for this type of problem, but the fact is you need to find the break or short so you can see what caused it and if any other wires are affected. For example, on some cars a plastic clip can break and let a wiring harness fall down onto hot exhaust parts. When the insulation on the first one melts through, that wire will be shorted to ground and cause a problem. If you were to just run a new wire, you'd have to cut the old one off on both ends to remove the short, but how long will it be before the same thing happens to the next wire? That second or third wire could leave you stranded many miles from home, ... On a Saturday night, ... After midnight! If a mechanic was responsible for replacing that first wire, you can be sure he's going to hear about you having to walk home.

In this case we know what probably caused those wires to melt, but unlike other wires developing the same problem due to hot exhaust parts or sharp edges on metal brackets, it's those melted wires that could have melted into other wires for other, totally unrelated circuits. This is where you can have things like the wipers turn on when you turn on the head lights. If those other wires haven't melted together yet, there's a good chance they never will at this point. You might be able to cut the melted wires at both ends and run replacement wires. If other electrical problems develop in the future, you'll have the advantage of knowing where to start looking.

Many years ago you could run to a salvage yard too to find a replacement harness. There were a lot of them that were just a few feet long and easy to replace. Today, however, it is common for harnesses to go from one end of the car to the other and cost over a thousand dollars for new ones. Those can take many hours to replace. You're better off repairing the harness. Replacing those can lead to forgotten screws and mis-positioned parts that cause rattles and other annoyances.
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Saturday, October 17th, 2015 AT 9:27 PM

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