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Posted: 12/18/2003 6:25:43 PM EDT
i have this new problem with my car. It got hit a week ago and somehow the transmission computer got fried in the process. The thing wouldnt shift gears and first gear was non existent (only 2nd worked) its a 1991 camry 4 cyl automatic.
Now I have been having some electrical problem. I believe it has to do with some sort of a ground wire. Three idiot lights come on and off usually when i hit the window, brakes, lights or something electrical. the idiot lights are for the brakes, battery and lights.

Now the car was working fine after the transmission "brain" was replaced. Today it starts its bullshit and stalls out on me at every light I go to. The car also went completely dead on the highway twice today. I pulled onto the shoulder of the road and started wiggling the positive terminal wire to the battery and heard it make a clicking sound. The thing then was able to start up. I had to do this at every light as well. Also when i did manage to get the car to start from a stop it would make a sort of grinding/vibrating noise and wouldnt have any pickup like it did before. It was just like when you are driving a car with a 5 speed and throw it into 2nd from the start instead of first. that slow acceleration and grinding like noise.

Do you have any idea whats going on here? Any ideas for a quick solution? Is it a problem with the wire coming to the positive terminal of the battery or is it deeper than that? Also what causes the stall? I just dropped $500 on it last week and its on the credit card becase im broke (active duty army doesnt pay shit)
Any ideas on what to do please let me know. Im hoping its just a loose wire somewhere but with my luck its something major

I cleaned the terminals on the battery "just in case" it was a problem due to that. Well, it wasnt a problem at the terminals. the battery is in good shape and the car starts every time after wiggling the wire to make it live again.
Link Posted: 12/18/2003 6:45:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/18/2003 8:55:03 PM EDT by Skibane]
If wiggling the wire still makes any difference, it probably still isn't making a good connection to the battery. Since you cleaned the battery terminals, check where the wire goes into the battery post clamp. Also, most cars have a connector several inches further down the Positive battery cable that is often prone to corroding. Find it, unplug it, clean it with WD-40 and a toothbrush, and then reinsert it. You may have to replace it, or cut it out entirely and splice around it.
Link Posted: 12/18/2003 6:46:23 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/18/2003 8:09:54 PM EDT
Clean and recheck your connections again. Make sure they are good electrically and mechanically. The computers need a good steady 12 volt source. Is your charging system keeping the battery up to snuff? I had a problem out at Calico and Yermo and my truck kept dying on me (If you ever get to the NTC at Ft. Irwin you know the areas. My kid liking trains wanted to see the old yards. Nothing like having car trouble where the population is all meth labs or anti-social recluses) Turned out after two jumps, two tows and a very helpful mechanic in Barstow (Gawd thought I was going to wait all weekend until the Chevy dealer opend on Monday) Battery would show 12 volts without a load but as soon as it loaded it dropped to about 10 volts. It appeared to be charging but wasn't. So I found out that the computers need a good reliable 12 volt source. Are they side terminals or top terminals? Could you have overtightened a side terminal? That can break the internal connection and leave the connection looking good. Check your path to ground. You may have a broken weld, trying to get through paint or an intermittent connection in there. Especially after an accident. I have an amateur radio license and I have played hob finding good grounds some times when putting a radio in or extra lights or power points. Now I just run a dedicated ground wires back to a terminal strip that I install and run a ground right to the battery terminal. Run a temporary ground wire back from the computer or it's ground attachment to a known good ground and see if that helps
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