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majorrich's avatar

Has anyone else had their dashboard lights shorted out by motor oil?

Asked by majorrich (14711points) September 19th, 2015

Here is one for the books! My old Mercedes has a mechanical oil pressure gauge. It developed a leak and shorted out my instrument panel lights! I had to spend several hours repairing burned traces on the circuit board it shorted so hard. I thought oil was supposed to be non-conductive, but apparently the carbon (especially in the case of this Diesel) is quite conductive. What other kinds of freak failures have you guys experienced in your modern, or not so modern cars?

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5 Answers

Coloma's avatar

No, but…I had a new battery installed a couple years ago that flipped my gas gage needle backwards and while it has been spun around again, several times with a magnet, it still flips back into the dead zone every so often. haha Car stuff…PITA!

kritiper's avatar

Never heard of that one although it could be possible.
I was working on a gasoline powered International city delivery van truck some years ago that lost the radiator fan three times in as many days. Took the radiator out, too, of course. Couldn’t figure out what was going on until someone more knowledgeable had the driveshaft balanced. That fixed it!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

My ground strap for the dash module broke on my 1969 BMW 2002 tii. No ground no problem accept the only way for electricity to return to the the frame and engine block was through my speedo cable. I went through two cables before someone figured it out; it melted the lube in the cable and it would drip out the bottom by the transmission.

kritiper's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Those ground straps are important! I heard of a guy who had a freshly painted, freshly reupholstered 55 Chevy. He had just reinstalled the rebuilt engine and started the engine. He forgot to hook up the engine block to cab grounds. The cab grounded through the carb linkage, setting the car on fire. They had to push it outside and let it burn.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Yes @kritiper Ground straps (earth) are most important.

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