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Old 02-14-2010, 03:00 PM   #1
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Default Ignition switch

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I think my ignition switch is bad. Is there anything else that I can check before throwing money at the part?

Here are the symptoms:
-(ACC) Radio turns on at the first click
-(ON) Fuel pump, MS, and radio do not turn on, on 95% of tries. All power dies
-(START) All power dies

I have to get really lucky to get everything to power up in the ON position. If I move to START, all power dies, and when it returns to ON, all power is gone.


I get the same results when using a screwdriver to turn it when outside of the key tumbler.


I took it apart and cleaned it up all of the contact points, and I have the same results.


Yesterday, I was able to get it to power up in the ON position, and used the parking garage ramp to push start it. It ran fine getting home.


Other observations:
-For the past few months, occasionally when I put the key to START it would hesitate for a half second before cranking. I had always wrote it off as the clutch not being all the way down.
-This one is weird: Since this happened the other day, if I turn on the hazards with the car off, it makes very odd sounds out of some box under the kick-panel and the lights do not turn on.


Thanks for the help
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:58 PM   #2
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Check your grounds. We had this happen in a maxima and the previous owner had changed the battery. They took the main ground off by the battery to get more wire to hook it up easier and never put it back on. Exactly like what you are describing.

If you want to test the switch, then get a multimeter and another 12v source and see if you get power from the various outputs of the switch when you turn it.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:17 PM   #3
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Sounds exactly like a problem I had. I went to start my car, all electronics worked on accessory, sometimes things would turn on in on position, and then nothing in start position. Turned out my ground cable broke off in the trunk.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:43 PM   #4
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Those switches do fail. My failed switch caused a intermittent no-start condition. The electrics would come on but the starter wouldn't kick. I took the switch apart in an effort to repair/clean it but it was shot. Little buggers are expensive.
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:29 PM   #5
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Crossing my fingers that it is a ground!!

Least expensive unit I could find is through Finishline Performance for $90 + shipping.

I am going to try to see if I can test it as well before I drop a dime on this thing.

Thanks
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:06 PM   #6
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if you need a switch let me know, i have a back up from a 97 thats in new condition.
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:18 PM   #7
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No luck on the grounds situation. Battery ground is intact along with the other three main grounds that I know about in the engine bay (near throttle body and two by the brake master).

rharis, not sure if this is what you were talking about, but I checked the continuity per the Haynes manual instructions listed below. To my surprise, it was the opposite of what I expected. 5B was the failure, there was no continuity between terminals 3 and 4 in the ACC position.

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An interesting idea was proposed to me, and I have a couple questions about it. The thought is to cut into the wires leading to the ignition switch and run them to a couple of el-cheapo switches to control the RUN and START.

There are a couple of small wiring harnesses going into the key tumbler. What are they, and do I have to bypass any anti-theft devices?

I am starting to search the issue. Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:52 AM   #8
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Have you cleaned the battery cable to battery connections?
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:01 AM   #9
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Does the clockspring factor into this...or is that just for things like horn?
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:25 AM   #10
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Mine started intermittent failure a couple of years ago. I pulled it apart, cleaned it and put in new dielectric grease and it has been working fine since.
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:49 PM   #11
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Default Ugh...

So if you were wondering what an 80amp main fuse looks like when you attempt to remove it without taking off the two 10mm nuts holding it on, then wonder no more:



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Summary: I am still in the same shitty situation, and I need help.


I got a new/used ignition switch, and the results are the same. Powers up in ON, but everything dies at START.

I cleaned the ground going to the battery, the one near the throttle body, and one of the two near the brake booster. I got distracted by looking in the fuse box in the engine bay, hence the above results, and quit after that.


If I hold the key in START, there is a click sound that I think is coming from that mysterious black box that is in the engine bay on the drivers side wall, close to the brake booster. I can confirm it with the wife's help if you think this is of any value.




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Old 02-25-2010, 08:04 PM   #12
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I hate to do it, but I am duel posting over at m.net.

EDIT: In case you care, link.

Last edited by 94mx5red; 02-25-2010 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:46 AM   #13
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From .net

Quote:
Is there power going to the starter? I dont know it the miata has this but if the miata has a starter solenoid thats not a built into the starter itself, it will be bolted on the side of the car, maybe in that black box. So it sounds like your solenoid rather than the starter but could be starter too.... or both. If it has a solenoid you will see 2 bolts in there. If you take a screw driver and connect the 2 bolts while the car is in the on position and out of gear the car may turn over and start. If it does you have an easy fix and a cheap one too. If that doesn't do anything check the starter. Everything is supposed to go off when you turn to start the car. All cars do that.
The lights on the MS also go out...
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:25 AM   #14
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Grab a thick cable (3-4mm should do it) and jumper terminals 1 and 4. Does the dash power up?

1) If yes, then the ignition switch is the problem. Replace it with a 12VDC, 60A switch.
2) If not, inspect terminals 1 and 4 for power. One of the two should have battery power. If one of the two does have power and the car doesn't get power by using the jumper wire, then inspect the other, non-powered terminal for shortcircuits:

a) Remove the key from the ignition switch
b) Remove the battery
c) With an ohmmeter, measure the resistance between the non-powered terminal and the chassis. You should get a "fairly" high number, not something close to 0.
d) If you do get something close to 0, then something after the ignition switch terminal is shorted and all the current is drained there and nothing else gets power. Remove all the fuses in the fusebox until the power is restored.
e) If you do not get something close to 0, like >100, then check your battery. Your battery could be internally "almost dead", being able to provide only a small current (switch in the ACC position with only the radio on), but when you demand a higher current (switch in the ON position), it shortcircuits internally and does not provide any current at all. Try another battery from a fellow mx5er.

Jim
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:10 PM   #15
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and I fail...........




















Battery was fucked. Jump started it Saturday and drove it to my new apartment. Plopped in the new one today, and she cranked right up.

Here is a pic of Saturday night, the first night at the new place, as a consolation prize for those actually following the thread.

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Old 03-03-2010, 07:15 PM   #16
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Default Maybe I should just get a bicycle?

Well the happiness lasted all of about a day. Now the saga continues...

After work today I was treated the the sound of the fuel pump priming, and then nothing..

Push started fine and drove home with no issues.

A few things are different this time:
-new/re-manufactured battery
-power stayed on for everything at START: radio/WB/MS
-no sounds at all in START, except the fans came on (fan settings are screwy)
-outer two lights on MS would be on in RUN, and the middle light would dimly turn on at START


I am very frustrated! What do you think?
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:32 PM   #17
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Do you have an alarm? I have one and had the exact problem...ended up being a wire in the alarm had come off always leaving the car unable to be started with the key but a screwdriver worked like a champ. Follow the power into and out of the ignition switch. If it comes out and you have an alarm check those connections. I just kept following the voltage with my trusty fluke till I found the bad connection.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:50 PM   #18
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Have you cleaned the battery cable clamps and battery terminals? Horn work? Headlights? (engine off)

Last edited by hx1966; 03-03-2010 at 11:00 PM. Reason: horn lights added
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:11 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94mx5red View Post
sorry to thread jack, but if you had something flat, could you pop that part out of the ignition, turn the key hole and start up the car?

thats how they steal hondas.. i hope that it doesnt work like that with miatas or im getting an alarm asap.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:27 AM   #20
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Mine was doing the exact same thing and it was the ignition switch
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