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Thread: Car will not start - electrical maybe? Funny HVAC Panel light behavior...

  1. #1
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    Car will not start - electrical maybe? Funny HVAC Panel light behavior...

    Hello all!
    It has been about a year since driving my D regularly.
    After having to change the fuel lines earlier this year, the little guy was running strong again!
    Shortly after, there was an incident where when I turned the key to crank it, the lights went dark/off on the HVAC panel and cluster. No noise (silent) at that point and when the key went back to first position, the light were fine again. I left it overnight and it was turning over just fine the next day. At this point, I had been wanting to tidy up some electrical anyway (thinking if something was shorting I would see it), so I removed the center console and worked on that. After putting everything back together, things were fine again. I just tried to start the car and now we are back to the same thing. Though one thing I noticed is after trying to start it (lights go off), then in position 1 lights are back on, but then when I turn the key to OFF, the HVAC panel lights stay lit and then slowly dim down for about 10 seconds until the are completely off (they are LED). I don’t recall that ever being normal behavior?
    My knowledge is average when dealing with issues on the DeLorean and have been very lucky.
    Might anyone have any thoughts before I have to tow it to DMC?
    Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!
    I am fairly confident my harness cleanup behind the control panel/HVAC/Radio on back to the change holder under the center console is solid.
    I am happy to try and provide more detail if guided.
    Thank you in advance!
    Matty
    Last edited by kajcienski; 12-30-2020 at 08:06 PM.
    DeLorean VIN 16793 - 1983
    Loving my power steering!

  2. #2
    Delorean Guru
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    My advice would be to start with the battery. Remove it, fully charge it, and have it load tested. If it is over 5 years old just replace it. Make sure the terminals are clean and shinny. See if that helps. Batteries do not store well unless cared for. Even then they get old and go bad. Keeping a battery fully charged during storage will minimize it's aging especially if you don't drive the car.
    David Teitelbaum

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    If your battery is good the first thing to check are the two feed through bolts and nuts behind the rear deck board. You have to remove the vertical board by removing the hooks on top which hold the net. Those feed through bolts often get loose and that provides the 12 volts and ground for all your electrical in the car.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by David T View Post
    My advice would be to start with the battery. Remove it, fully charge it, and have it load tested. If it is over 5 years old just replace it. Make sure the terminals are clean and shinny. See if that helps. Batteries do not store well unless cared for. Even then they get old and go bad. Keeping a battery fully charged during storage will minimize it's aging especially if you don't drive the car.
    Hi David!
    Battery less than a year old, has been tested. It seems like a bizarre acting short - are the dimming HVAC lights normal when turning key to OFF?
    Iím hoping this isnít a ďhunt and peckĒ type electrical short issue.
    My experience is limited with diagnostics.
    Sigh...
    DeLorean VIN 16793 - 1983
    Loving my power steering!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitsyncmaster View Post
    If your battery is good the first thing to check are the two feed through bolts and nuts behind the rear deck board. You have to remove the vertical board by removing the hooks on top which hold the net. Those feed through bolts often get loose and that provides the 12 volts and ground for all your electrical in the car.
    I guess just to clarify, lights, hazards, windows, antenna, etc. are all working strong when key is in position 1. When I turn key to TRY and crank, cluster light dim, HVAC lights go out immediately - dead silence (starter never engages). I stop crank position and everything pops back on and normal. I turn key position to off and HVAC lights start to dim (after car is off) for about 10 seconds. Battery is a year old and charged.
    Last edited by kajcienski; 12-30-2020 at 09:08 PM.
    DeLorean VIN 16793 - 1983
    Loving my power steering!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kajcienski View Post
    I guess just to clarify, lights, hazards, windows, antenna, etc. are all working strong when key is in position 1. When I turn key to TRY and crank, cluster light dim, HVAC lights go out immediately - dead silence (starter never engages). I stop crank position and everything pops back on and normal. I turn key position to off and HVAC lights start to dim (after car is off) for about 10 seconds. Battery is a year old and charged.
    When you go to key position 2 your adding more load so a bad connection could make that feed through go open and kill everything. If it's not the feed though connections then you will need to trouble shoot with a voltmeter and schematic.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitsyncmaster View Post
    When you go to key position 2 your adding more load so a bad connection could make that feed through go open and kill everything. If it's not the feed though connections then you will need to trouble shoot with a voltmeter and schematic.
    Oh boy... sounds like fun 😣.
    Iíll check that connection!
    DeLorean VIN 16793 - 1983
    Loving my power steering!

  8. #8
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    Oh man...

    Okay - I checked the connections that Dave mentioned - all good there.
    However the way I had described it now appears to be different slightly.
    - Position 1: All normal. Lights, antenna, windows, etc. are working and strong.
    - Position 2: Does not try to turn over - complete silence. Red instrument cluster lights stay fully lit. Both radio and HVAC lights go dead. Antenna starts to go down.
    - Back To Position 1: All lights return to normal.
    - Off Position: HVAC lights immediately go out. Previously I had been getting a strange thing happen where the HVAC lights gradually dimmed for 10 seconds and then were off. Bizarre, no?
    DeLorean VIN 16793 - 1983
    Loving my power steering!

  9. #9
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    well, does your starter relay click ?
    is your starter stuck ? (Hammer)
    are wires wires to the starter loose ? below the red rubber thing ? use a 13mm...

    Multimeter and Schematic are also always helpful.

  10. #10
    Delorean Guru
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    Still *could* be the battery. Last thing to try is to use a jumper box or jumper cables with another battery. If you get the same results you probably have a bad starter.
    David Teitelbaum

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