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Discussion Starter #1
This is odd....

I recently posted about the SatNAV screen above the stereo occasionally crashing to a blank screen - would only ever do it first drive of the morning, and by the time I shut the engine off at the gas station long enough to get a coffee, all would be working for the rest of the day....

So recently I've been leaving for work at 2am, and the usual crash continued most days.

Today, in the darkness of night, I noticed something odd when it crashed - firstly, all 8 of my switch lights were WORKING (Usually, the left four DONT work, but the right four DO....) ....AND.... my fog lights DONT work while the computer/screen is crashed....

This baffles me somewhat, but then again, I do not know what important roles the screen plays in the rest of the car - if these are truly linked, and they appear to be, then it plays a much bigger role in the car than I previously thought.

Once the screen comes back (again, only after the car is shut off and rested for a few minutes), only the right half of the 8 switches work, and the fog lights will work again.

I attach 2 (blurry - sorry!) pictures of the 8 switches, (working, screen crashed; not working, screen ok) for clarification....

I remain completely bemuzed!!!!

Any thoughts / knowledge / advice??
 

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I'm thinking there's a ground problem, though most all of those things (plus a whole bunch of others) are all fed power through the #10 fuse in the passenger's side under-dash fusebox. Check the list an the diagram below - it does seem awfully coincidental that those things all seem to be fed power by the same circuit, though the list of other things that should also be out is kind of long.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Could he have a bad alternator and it's frying the electronics?
The fault is intermittent - first drive of the day is the most notable; and everything comes back to life once I've shut the engine off for 3-4 minutes (enough time to grab a coffee).

If it was frying stuff, I doubt they'd come back to life?

The confusing part is that the 4 left lights on the console are out when everything else is ok, and they're back ON when the other components fail.

At this stage I'm thinking a bad ground is the most likely - though now the question is, where do I start the hunt......
 

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Chasing intermittent connections / components is a bear. If you're lucky, it's a bad connection (which kind of makes sense, since the cold will tend to make a marginal connection worse by shrinking the parts that are just barely touching). You might get lucky and be able to wiggle wiring harnesses around (after opening up the console) and work out what's flaky by watching the lights come on and off. The fact that a few of the items that are failing are on the same power feed means you will at least be able to narrow down the field a little bit.

I have to admit I'm perplexed by the fact that those left lamps are 180° out of phase with the rest of the failures. Can't imagine why that is, but you might be able to use them as a good starting point to start tracing with a voltmeter (or a test light, if you don't have the meter). Good luck, and let us know what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It’s getting more confusing.

The first mile of my journey every morning is a very bumpy road. Today I took it real slow and the nav system did not crash.

The four switch lamps were not on, but I tapped the dash pretty solidly above the lights and they came on.

Then I noticed the lights that illuminate the gears by the selector were not on. One slap in that area and they came on.

So on my drive in today, after 2 hard slaps, I had all lights on and no nav crash....

Gotta be electrical grounding, no?

And possibly coincidental and not directly related to each other???


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #7
**that said, the nav would only crash on my first drive of the day, not subsequent trips.... even if said subsequent trip was from home....


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I'd suggest just pulling panels off and jiggling wires. You've got something loose, though it's a bit confusing that you have separate problems all around the area. Probably one bad connection that branches out to those separate circuits (whether power or ground). Once you have access to the actual wiring going to (for example) those upper climate control lights, you should be able to force a failure by moving wires and/or wiggling plugs. That alone might show you where the problem is, but if not, a voltmeter will.
 

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To check the connectors and wires, a couple notes from pulling my Nav and head unit on an 06 X.

To remove the bezel around the nav without damaging the vinyl dash material, works well to remove the ash tray to get you fingers behind and up along the bottom horizontal section of the bezel. Push on the bezel posts so it pops outward and that will get you a good gap to start working the bezel out. I would recommend a thin plastic trim tool from Harbor Freight ($7 for a set of 4 or 5 different tools) but a small putty knife or screw driver covered with a layer of tape could work. You have to very carefully work up the sides and top which have some spring clips. Putting some blue low stick painters tape on the vinyl at the gap would help protect it too from accidental bumps as you remove the nav. You-Tube has some videos too.

Re grounds, if you have trouble finding ground or exactly where the circuit is open for a wire that is supposed to go to ground, I have found that adding a new ground wire and screwing it to the dash chassis is sometimes easier. You?ll have to make sure that part of the chassis is actually a grounded section. You can splice into a known good section of wire.

Re connectors, if someone previously was back there to install or uninstall a iPod player or similar, they might heave not seated the connector so to be sure, even if it looks connected, you might want to disconnect, have a look for damage, and reconnect.

Good thing you tracked it down with rattles and bangs - just like the movies! Good luck!
 
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