Hello. I have an electrical short but not sure where it is coming from. All
myguages aren't working. Alerts on my dash are on such as fuel even with a
full tank and brake light is on even when brake is not. Radio light is on
but radio doesn't work and neither do any of the buttons. My upper gauge
for temp, dte, extra odometer...lights are on but guages don't work. Fuses
are all ok. Does anyone know what this could be? Engine is also running
You've come to the right place! We can help you remove your shorts.
Seriously... You may have had a short at one time, but now you have an
open. Shorts usually blow fuses (which causes an open) and melt wires.
Opens usually just make things not work.
Any electrical trauma to the truck lately? Such as: got a jump start,
gave a jump start, left lights on and ran down the battery but the truck
just barely turned over and started, tried to tow a trailer and the
trailer lights didn't work, snagged your toe on a wire bundle under the
dash? Is there any aftermarket electrical equipment installed, like a
stereo, DVD, alarm, remote starter, etc?
How did you test? With a test light, or just by looking at the fuses?
Looking at the fuses can work, if you pull each one out of its socket
and look at it with a strong light. If you're just looking at the fuses
while installed, it's easy to miss a blown one. Also make sure you find
_all_ the fuse boxes... sometimes there's one under the hood AND one in
the dash. Your owner's manual will say for sure.
If you want to test with a test light, the best kind for this is the
kind that looks like an ice pick with a wire coming out of it. First,
pop the hood, put the alligator clip on the battery negative terminal,
and poke the pick at the battery positive terminal. If the test light
doesn't light up, the test light is bad. If it does light up, first
check any fuses in the engine compartment. Most fuses that are 30 A and
under will have a couple of metal spots on the face of the fuse. To
test, you leave the alligator clip on the test light connected to ground
(like the battery negative terminal, or a bare metal bolt that goes into
the engine block or body), and poke the pick at each metal spot in turn.
If both spots makes the test light light up, that fuse is good. If only
one spot makes the test light light up, that fuse is bad. If neither
spot makes the test light light up, that circuit doesn't have power at
the moment and you can't draw any conclusions about that fuse. Usually
you need to turn something on (ignition key, headlights, A/C) and try
that fuse again.
If you do find a blown fuse, replace it with a fuse of the same current
rating, and try again. If it doesn't blow right away, keep an eye on
it. Every once in a while, a fuse blows because it's Tuesday, but
there's usually a good reason. If it does blow again right away, you
either need to chase the things that are powered from that fuse, or
If you don't find any blown fuses, probably the next thing to look for
is loose connectors. Start under the hood, then go under the dash... as
much as you can reach by taking off the trim panels over your toes.
Anyplace there is a wire connector, try to push the two halves together.
If it moves and goes "click" when you do that, it was loose. If it
moves but doesn't go "click", inspect it carefully... most connectors
have plastic locking tabs and one of them may have broken off. If this
has happened, sometimes a carefully-applied zip tie will keep the
Also, take a look at the individual wires immediately outside each
connector. They probably disappear into a plastic tube or under
electrical tape pretty quickly, but usually you can see a little of the
wire. If you can see the wire, make sure it doesn't look burnt or
charred. Sometimes a pin in a connector goes bad, which makes the
connection heat up and melt the wire insulation. Follow the big bundles
of wire around to make sure they aren't lying on anything hot or moving.
Don't freak out if you find some connectors with nothing plugged into
them. Some of them are for test purposes and some of them are for
options your truck doesn't have.
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