Mopar Action On-line – Tech Questions


Tech Question

Rojohn Soriano, Puyallup, WA, 1972 Dodge Challenger 318

Got an intermittent electrical gremlin I’m hoping you can help solve. Forthe last week, I’ve noticed that at times the accessories such as thewipers, rear defrost, turn signals, and heater fan don’t operate when I turnthe ignition key to “Accessory.” At the same time, I get a “no-start”condition when I try to start the engine. In fact, the starter doesn’tcrank (the solenoid doesn’t even “click”), the gauges don’t operate, and thewarning lamps such as the Brake Warning Lamp don’t come on. However, anyitems not wired through the ignition switch, such as the lights, dome lamp,hazard warning, trunk lamp, and map light operate normally. I’m guessingit’s a bad ignition switch and not a bad neutral safety switch since I’vebeen able to get things to operate normally after a few attempts atreinserting the key, jiggling it, or just waiting several minutes and thatthe electrical accessories are also affected. Any thoughts on this? Asalways, thanks for your help!

Rojohn, either the switch itself is shot, or there’s burning / corrosionat the connector. Pull out the plug (at base of steering column) and look itover. If it looks OK, just plug in a new switch – dangling – and try it out.If that fixes the symptoms, then you can rip apart the column to swap itout. There are other possibilites, but a switch-related gremlin is #1 on thelist.

It can’t be the NS switch, that has no affect on the accessories.



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