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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
My daily driver (140k) has been experiencing some electrical problems;

1) When I first got it close to 2 decades ago, the battery would run down until I put a battery disconnect on it. That seemed to solve the problem but I would have to engage the disconnect whenever I was done with the car for the day.

2) This worked for a couple of years until the point where I would not mess with the disconnect and the battery would not drain. I think I disconnected some cabin/map reading lights.

3) This worked for a couple of years until recently where one day, the door locks and hatch lock started cycling locking/unlocking as if there was a faulty ground. I parked it for a couple weeks until I had the time to focus upon it and found that the battery appeared drained.

4) Had the battery charged and checked out, they said fully charged, holds charge and that the battery is good.

5) In replacing the battery and cleaning up all contacts, when turning the key to the pre-start position all the lights within the control cluster are bright, driving lights are bright.

6) When engaging the starter, the control cluster lights dim and there is a 'click' at the relay but no sound from the starter. The control cluster lights remain very dim.

7) I go mess with the battery terminals again and the control cluster lights are bright again yet the when turning the key to the start position, again the control cluster lights dim and no sound from the starter. I continue this cycle several times and now think is might not be associated with the battery terminals.

8) I'm scratching my head here and could use some advice on how to move forward.

Thanks so much!
 

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Not that I had the same issue, but take a look at the cable from the battery positive to the starter. I had to change mine (and the terminal) after I discovered the insulation was degraded and falling off, allowing considerable corrosion to develop. Look at all the grounds as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Not that I had the same issue, but take a look at the cable from the battery positive to the starter. I had to change mine (and the terminal) after I discovered the insulation was degraded and falling off, allowing considerable corrosion to develop. Look at all the grounds as well.
Thank you for the suggestion.
When I look at the ground coming off the neg terminal, one looks like it connects to the engine block and another connects to the frame by the radiator. Is there more that I might be missing?
 

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While your assistant turns the key to the Start position, hit the Starter sharply. If it starts, you need a new/different Starter.
 

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Yep, you can also try running the starter from the TSI socket and seeing if you get a different result.
 

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TSI socket is a little round doodad at the top of the fuse panel under the hood, right at the top of the fuses.

Pinout is at the top of this diagram -



You can run a jumper wire from #1 to #3 to run the starter... obviously be sure it's not in gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
TSI socket is a little round doodad at the top of the fuse panel under the hood, right at the top of the fuses.

Pinout is at the top of this diagram -



You can run a jumper wire from #1 to #3 to run the starter... obviously be sure it's not in gear.
This is just over-the-top brilliant!

I was discouraged but now feel energized to troubleshoot this, I'll report the result.

Thanks so much!
 
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