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Electrical Woes


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Sheesh, what a time to be stranded from my computer for two weeks. Been on vacation and furlough for a bit now, and finally took over dad's computer tonight to get some much needed help from you guys!

Here's the timeline of any issues that may or may not be related.

Second week of January - Noticed gas mileage dropping drastically in my 240, from approximately 24 mi. per gal to 18 mi. per gallon, and also heard my car backfire for the first time (should also mention that it did it multiple times after that first time) in the year that I have had it.

Somewhere around Jan 16th or 17th, my starter stuck one morning when I was ready to leave for work. It was humming even after I turned off the key and took it out. After trying frantically to figure out what to do, I hit it with a hammer and finally it quit. I had my headlights on as it was dark out and I needed to see what I was doing (I rough it out in the country now... I live with solar power, no phonelines, etc...). The interior lights were on as well. I tried starting it again, to no avail, as the starter was obviously fried. I shut all the lights off and rode to work with my sister.

I removed the starter on the 18th, took it over to Nissan for the replacement on the 22nd. (Under warranty.. I had gotten the now-fried one about three months ago.) I finally got the time (and the tools! I guess my dad finally got sick of me gaffling his..) to put the new one in on the 27th. Tried to start it, and nothing. Not even the glow of the parking brake light in the dash. I flipped the headlight switch on and asked dad for a report... nothing. Tried my interior lights, nothing. Checked all fuses, Good. Rechecked wiring to the starter and the negative battery connection, ok. Cleaned negative battery terminal, reconnected, still nothing. Checked battery charge, a little weak (about 11 1/2 to 12), so we tried to jumpstart it, still nothing.

Any insight to this would be much appreciated...

...and (a longshot for sure!) if anyone is *really* curious and wants to come up to Morgan Hill to check it out, I can offer a nice visit with my family's Arabian horses (I can only promise grooming and feeding carrots... experienced riders may be able to talk themselves into a horseback ride) and a BBQ complete with a beautiful view of Lake Anderson in return. =)

(I don't really expect anyone to take me up on that, but it's worth a try!)



Morgan Hill, CA

'72 240Z - auto/reconditioned head - Used to run like a dream!

'85 300ZX - No longer the storage unit on wheels, promoted to DD!

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There is a wire pigtail that comes off the power post of the starter(the one that the + battery wire goes to). It plugs into a wire that goes in the wire harness along the frame rail. That wire feeds the entire car. If it was left unhooked or is corroded, broken,etc. that would probably be why theres no juice even when you try to jump start it. It's a place to start anyway. Good luck!


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Thanks, I will definitely take a closer look at that. =)

Another strange thing about the car that I forgot to mention in my earlier post...

About a month or so ago, it started making a strange noise whenever I had the interior light on and the driver side door open simultaneously. Eventually I realized that the noise was the seatbelt buzzer, which was disconnected by the P.O.

He was a nice enough guy and all, but I have found some things on the car that have prompted, "What was he thinking?!?!" Little things like obviously using a wrench to tighten the carb whodads (sorry about my lack of knowledge in terminology, but it's the part you're supposed to tighten by hand), not putting back all of the screws on the fuel access door after reinstalling the gas tank, careless replacement of the windsheild wipers after having he windsheild and gasket replaced (one of the wipers seized on a rainy day, I thought it was a problem with the motor until the damn thing came flying off on the freeway!)....

I love my Z, but all of these things have made me seriously rethink promoting it back to DD status when I get it running again, until I get it thoroughly checked out by someone I trust. God only knows what else was done carelessly on this car, and I'm not looking to get myself stranded somewhere, especially since I'm living out in the country now.

thanks again!


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You probably should also check the starter relay, as well as the fusible link at the starter. It is even possible it burned out the relay and the ignition switch I suppose. Depending on how long the starter ran it could have gotten the wiring hot enough to fry a couple things. I would start at the starter and work back the fuse panel and then to the switch. Sorry, can't tell you much more without seeing the car, in which case if you think something is questionable, replace it. Only then can you start ruling out possibilities.

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Hi sorry tp hear of your problems, I would try by using a test meter and checking for a twelve volt feed, at the back of the ignition switch, as you have no power at all I would check the ignition first hope fully as 2manyz says it's burnt out and you can fix it by just changing that component. good luck let us know how you get on.

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