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Author Can a dodgy earth cause a car to cut out?
kz
Member

Registered: 9th Aug 02
Location: Southend, Essex Drives: Mini Cooper S
User status: Offline
17th Jun 15 at 22:02   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Should be in Help Zone really but I need a quick answer!

I've got a dodgy earth somewhere on my car... I can get it to fire up straight away by connecting a jump lead to the battery negative and to metal in the engine bay. What I'm wondering is, is could it cause the car to cut out whilst driving along or is it literally just when first firing up? Hoping I can get myself to work tomorrow
Jambo
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Registered: 8th Sep 01
Location: Maidenhead, Drives: VXR Arctic
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17th Jun 15 at 22:58   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Yes of course it can.
kz
Member

Registered: 9th Aug 02
Location: Southend, Essex Drives: Mini Cooper S
User status: Offline
18th Jun 15 at 07:50   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Bugger, okay. Just asked because after using the jump method, I can then take it off and the car carries on to run fine... and I drove forwards and backwards without it cutting out. Won't risk a long journey though.

Anyway... on a Clio 182 there's 3 earth points. 1 under the gearbox, 1 behind the wheel arch and 1 obviously from the battery. Now if I can jump start the car using a lead from the battery to the chassis doesn't that mean it must be that earth that's at fault!?
DaveyLC
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Registered: 8th Oct 08
Location: Berkshire
User status: Offline
18th Jun 15 at 08:57   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

There are 2 main ground (-12v) connections:

1) From the Battery to the body
2) From the engine to the body.

Then there will be a myriad of other GND connects from various components/sensors all over the car.

If the engine->body GND has failed the car wont start but everything else should power up.

If the battery -> body GND has failed then nothing should work.

As far as individual components go, its luck of the draw!

[Edited on 18-06-2015 by DaveyLC]
kz
Member

Registered: 9th Aug 02
Location: Southend, Essex Drives: Mini Cooper S
User status: Offline
18th Jun 15 at 09:54   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Okay thanks for that.

To be honest every time I try the car something different happens! I've had dash lights on and nothing else... absolutely nothing, i.e. not even clicking in the engine bay... had things running absolutely fine and everything including the engine coming on... had it completely dead but continuous clicking from a relay under the glove box...

However the majority of the time. Nothing has worked at all, so going by what you said, it's mostly likely to point towards the battery to earth? See I'm wondering if it's worth just trying the easiest thing first and cleaning the lead connections coming from the battery. It does go to the chassis and then on to somewhere else which I can't see though, unless I start pulling things out the engine bay (wouldn't be a problem really)

See... if the car is working fine when attaching the jump lead from battery to chassis like I said in my first post, couldn't I, in *theory* just leave that there permanently and it'd work fine
DaveyLC
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Registered: 8th Oct 08
Location: Berkshire
User status: Offline
18th Jun 15 at 13:34   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

You are hooking up the leads around the right way yes?
kz
Member

Registered: 9th Aug 02
Location: Southend, Essex Drives: Mini Cooper S
User status: Offline
18th Jun 15 at 13:45   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Just using the one lead... surely even I can't get that wrong lol.
DaveyLC
Member

Registered: 8th Oct 08
Location: Berkshire
User status: Offline
18th Jun 15 at 13:50   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Some cars have a Black +Ve and Brown -Ve which if your a little colour blind can look like Red so its not un-common for people to get things mixed up!
kz
Member

Registered: 9th Aug 02
Location: Southend, Essex Drives: Mini Cooper S
User status: Offline
20th Jun 15 at 11:14   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Well left it at my mates garage and he kept trying it throughout the day and driving it around and he couldn't get it to go wrong... I also managed to get it to and from the garage without a hitch; really weird!

Had something similar with a previous Clio 182 actually where it fucked up totally one day then never went wrong again. Maybe it's just one of those things will try short journeys over the weekend before I attempt anything bigger.

 
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