2009 Ford Fiesta No Front Washers

Tbis vehicle came to us with front wash fault. Rear worked fine and as this is a single motor with a direction valve the motor was obviously ok.

When front wash stalk pressed the motor remained dead. Plugging  in a diagnostic machine and looking at live  data it showed when stalk was pressed so we knew stalk is ok and the wiring to the BCM behind glove box is OK, so the trouble was either the BCM or wiring from BCM to the motor. With accurate wiring diagrams we can test wiring circuits and be sure of our diagnosis. In this case the wiring was ok.

A new unit was sourced and programmed in to the car,  not a cheap part but we can be confident in our diagnosis process and can fit parts with confidence

 

Top tips on rewiring a motor vehicle

Is wiring a vehicle easy to do?

Cars are complicated. Especially engine – it needs to be fed the proper amounts of air, fuel, and spark. The suspension and brakes must be in tip-top shape. The wheels and tires, transmission, cooling system, gauges—even the seats—must all function properly.  With all these being really important, many often neglect the importance of the vehicles electrical wiring system.

Poor wiring will keep your electrical components from operating at full potential.  Many people would never consider the idea of wiring a vehicle. It can be daunting. — so we’ve put together a few tips to help you understand the basics.

Round Up The Right Tools  – Start with a quality set of wire strippers – they will usually include a group of holes to fit most wire gauges. This enables the stripping of the insulation off your wires without accidentally cutting into the wire conductors. A wire cripper is necessary when you install solderless connectors. Most quality crimpers have two or three sections on the nose to fit various lug sizes. You can even get crimpers with wire cutting and wire stripping sections.

A soldering Iron is needed for splicing wires or securing oversized connectors that cannot be crimped. You will need solder designed specifically for electronics and wiring . Here are some other items that should be in your electrical toolbox:
• A wire brush for removing heavy corrosion, oil, or grease before soldering
• A volt/ohm meter to measure voltage and resistance levels in your circuits
• A test light to test for power within a circuit
• Shrink tubing to insulate connections from outside elements. The tubing slides over the connector or solder joint and permanently shrinks when heated

Gauge Your Wiring Needs
A factory wiring harness includes the necessary wiring for standard electrical components like windshield wipers, horn, headlights, etc. However, when you add electrical or electronic components to your vehicle, like high-end audio or racing electronics, you need to choose the proper wire on your own. There are three factors to consider: size, material, and color.

Wire size is measured by gauge—the smaller the gauge number, the larger the wire. The gauge you need depends on the current draw of the accessory and the wire length between the accessory and the power source. In general, the larger the current draw, the larger gauge wire you need to properly power the accessory.

One factor to consider with long lengths of wire is voltage drop. The longer the wire, the greater the voltage drop. You can offset voltage drop by increasing the size of the wire. As a rule of thumb, try to maintain a less than .5% voltage drop to assure maximum performance.

Wire material is usually aluminum or copper. For automotive purposes, we recommend stranded copper wire for the greatest flexibility and conductivity.
Wire color may not seem important at first glance, but it becomes crucial when you try to trace a faulty circuit down the road. To keep yourself from tearing your hair out, color-code your wire by accessory. It will help you keep track of which wire goes where during installation and troubleshooting.
Make the Connection
There are two main types of connectors: soldered and solderless. Soldered connectors are necessary with oversized wiring or if you’re splicing wires together. Solderess, or crimp, connectors can be used for most other wiring, and we’d recommend using them wherever possible.

Solderless connectors are the easiest to use and provide a good, strong connection. Usually, solderless connectors come with color-coded insulators, so you know which gauge wire they are designed for. Solderless connectors come in a variety of configurations:

Butt connectors are shaped like cylinders and are ideal for joining two wire ends together. A wire end is inserted into each end of the connector, which is crimped to complete the connection.

Spade connectors are ideal for components that are removed or serviced often. A male connector on one end of the wire fits into a female connector on the other end of the wire, completing the connection. To disconnect, just pull the connectors apart.

Ring connectors are used to secure wire to screw-type terminals; they are secured by the terminal screw.
When installing any type of connector—soldered or solderless—it is a good idea to use shrink tubing. Shrink tubing is relatively easy to install and provides added protection against electrical shorts and outside elements.

Choose the Right Components

There is more to wiring a vehicle than, well, wire. For example, you will need some sort of overload protection to protect your expensive electronics. The three basic types of overload protection are fuses, fusible links, and circuit breakers:

• Fuses are designed to blow when the circuits they protect are fed more power than the fuses are rated for. Fuses are rated by amperage; popular sizes are 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 25, and 30 amp. Always use a fuse rated slightly higher than the accessory. For example, if an electric fan is rated at 19.5 amps, use a 25 amp fuse.

• Fusible links are another option. They are special wires made from an alloy with a lower melting point than regular copper wire. The link is spliced inline with an accessory’s power wire. In the event of an electrical overload the link will melt, preventing power from reaching the protected accessory.

• A circuit breaker will switch off power to the protected accessory in an overload situation. When the overload has been corrected, the circuit breaker is reset. Circuit breakers come in manual reset and automatic reset versions, and in the same popular amperage ratings as fuses.

You should also install relays with your wiring if your electrical accessories require a bigger current draw than a standard power switch is rated to handle. And since most switches are designed to work with very limited currents, relays are required just about every time to wire a new aftermarket electrical accessory.

Relays are extremely useful for handling high-amperage electrical accessories like large electric fans, fuel pumps, and HID headlights. They are activated by an electric coil and controlled by a switch. When the relay is closed, no power goes to the accessory in question. When you flip the accessory switch, an electric coil in the relay opens, sending power to the accessory.

There are plenty of other products to make your wiring tasks easier, including switch panels, multi-circuit main and auxiliary fuse blocks, toggle, push-button, and remote-mount switches, and of course, wiring harnesses for everything from fog lights and gauges to complete vehicles.

Map Out a Plan

Before you begin your wiring project, map out a plan. Lay out the wiring or wiring harness so you know where each wire goes and that you have enough wire to complete the job. Locate the fuse box in an easy to reach location like your glove compartment or center console. Place the necessary relays, fusible link, or circuit breakers at connections between your power source and your electrical accessory.

If the wiring isn’t labeled already, label each wire or harness with the name of the components they route to. If the wiring or harness will be going through the firewall, use a grommet in the hole so the sheetmetal won’t cut through the wires. Don’t secure the connectors until the wiring is through the firewall.

Choose a spot on or near the firewall for the common ground point for the harness, and one point for a chassis ground on the negative side of the vehicle. This method gives you a single path to the negative side of the vehicle and provides a more effective ground. Use 10 gauge or bigger wire to connect the common ground to your chassis ground.

Please note these are only tips. We in no way recommend doing this if you are not confident or qualified in this field. If you are unsure, they please do get in touch and we will be happy to help

2007 Mini


DSC_1545

Recovered to us this Mini was a non runner. The recovery guy said it was a fault with the key. The steering lock would not engage and the ignition wouldn’t switch on.

Screenshot_20170310-194329

There were faults in various modules alot relating to traction control.

Knowing these systems we accessed the module and read live data

DSC_1546

As you can see on this data the 2nd to last reading says the vehicle is moving. This is the reason the steering lock won’t engage.

The information from the traction control unit goes to the CAS unit behind the dash. Reading live data the 4 wheel sensors were ok. So knowing this system we know an open circuit can cause a false reading like this. With accurate wiring diagrams we were able to trace the correct wires and find a damaged wire in the loom.

DSC_1550

You can see green residue on the grey wirer where the copper core has oxidised and broke. A simple fix and the car is up and running again.

Only if your experts in the complex electronic systems on vehicles can you work out a fault like this.

The Grand Tour

The Grand Tour: Jeremy Clarkson’s first show since Top Gear praised:

The Grand tour – We all know Jeremy Clarkson’s name from Top Gear. Since he left BBC and the show, followed by Richard Hammond and James May, The Grand Tour will be he’s first programme, also with the presence of the last two. This new show was launched on Amazon Prime streaming service and it’s been said that is basically “Top Gear with a boost”, since there are more means, financially speaking. The cost of production, the scale of the programme and even the technical support is bigger than he had before and that can be noticed in the quality of the first episode already aired.

What people are saying is that this new show tastes really like Clarkson and his mates, what means that Top Gear fans will be happy. But while The Grand Tour is being reviewed so well around the globe, the BBC attempt to revive Top Gear is not. These are good news to Clarkson, Hammond and May. We can already expect three seasons, throughout three years of twelve episodes each. One episode will approximately have an hour and they will be freed one per week.

Some say they should be shorter a bit, but throughout Twitter you can mainly see good critics from the fans, even though Amazon does not release the viewing numbers to tell for sure if the pilot was a success. From my point of view, the programme will be fine if they keep the quality as good as this first episode. It’s funny, it talks about cars, it shows you around the globe (in the pilot we can see the desert of California, United States, and then Algarve, Portugal, for example), it has all the things it needs to be a success. The only thing missing is the celebrity driving car to see how fast it can go and the score board to tells us who is the best. Apart from that, there’s nothing missing. Probably, it has more than he had in Top Gear.

2013 Audi A3 Blower inoperative

dsc_1288

The vehicle was brought in with no Blower. We stripped the dashboard to gain access to the motor and control module

dsc_1286

The motor was found to be open circuit which would normally mean a new unit. But hear at Widnes Auto Electrical we are experts at repairing electrical motors for various applications.

dsc_1287

The motor was stripped and repaired saving the customer over £175 against a replacement unit.

 

2009 DODGE JOURNEY

dsc_1251

Recovered to us not running. Cars like this can be hard to work on because information and diagrams are scarce, but with our experience and proven test process we can be confident in tackling these sorts of jobs.

Customer said they pushed the internal button for central locking and car cut out.  Vehicle started but wouldn’t change gear as it’s automatic.

It was found that fuse 38 listed for central locking and mirrors was blowing as soon as ignition was switched on .

dsc_1254

Using specialist equipment we can trace the source of the short in the most efficient way.

Disconnecting all doors made no difference. Then disconnecting the relevant loom narrowed it down to the engine bay. More testing confirmed that the problem lay within the fusebox/body control module  itself.

dsc_1252

A new part was priced at over £500,but we were confident in our diagnosis to tell the customer of our findings. Luckily we managed to source a 2nd hand unit. Once plugged in and all the fault codes cleared and various systems reset, the car started first time and ran great.

MERC C63 AMG

DSC_0814

 

 

 

DSC_0815

This fine example of the C63 came in via another garage with headlight trouble.

The wiring to the lights was checked first as to gain access to the bulbs and hid controllers the bumper has to be  completely removed.

The wiring was found to be ok so with the bumper removed we tested the bulbs and controllers

DSC_0813     the testing found one of the HID controllers to be at fault. An o.e unit was sourced, another happy customer.

2010 Ford Fiesta non runner

 

DSC_0709

This Ford was brought in to us with intermittent non start issues. When the fault was apparent it was dead on the key and the immobliser light flashed quickly.  Through experience of these faults we knew this signified that there was a communication issue between the GEM module and the ECU in the engine bay.

Accurate wiring diagrams and test procedures are key to finding these kind of faults. Through proven test procedures the fault was traced to a damaged plug in the engine bay. The plug repaired and a test drive later all was well

DSC_0708

 

Another car with water ingress

We are seeing more and more cars with water ingress into wiring looms and control modules especially Fords and Renault.

Here we see a GEM unit with water ingress causing all sorts of sporadic faults with wipers, warning lights and intermittent starting. The water here was from condensation off the heater matrix DSC_0568Here at WIDNES AUTO ELECTRICAL we are experienced at the removal and repair of these and other similar control units.

DSC_0567

 

2007 Honda Accord


IMG_20151201_205746Into our workshop this week was this Honda with a parasitic drain which was switching between 200 ma and 400 ma at regular intervals. The first thing we had to do is to find which circuit the discharge was on. Once this was found by checking which fuse when removed made the discharge dissappear, we had to trace all the components on thus circuit.

Due to the nature of the discharge we didn’t suspect wiring as these type of discharges tend to be more erratic. So we started the process of disconnecting the various components. When all the components were disconnected the discharge was still present. But through experience we knew that one of the systems on the circuit which was the Stereo/satnav system would also have Bluetooth capabilities and the module for this was buried behind the dashboard. When we eventually got access to it, it was warm to the touch even though the car had been off for a while. The component was disconnected as the customer had no use for it, the car reassembled and a happy customer picked up the car knowing his problems had been sorted.

The Bluetooth module was buried deep behind the centre console.

The Bluetooth module was buried deep behind the centre console.