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Dragon2

Hi,

Please can anyone help?  It's been totally self inflicted and I feel really stupid but after having a flat battery I connected jump leads back to front by accident and in heavy rain which obscured my vision,  it was from a running car to my polo.  It sparked a bit but as it was driving rain I wasn't too concerned. I tried to turn the key and obviously got nothing. I smelled burning and quickly realised my mistake and switched them the correct way and the car started first time so I took it for a run to charge the battery. During this run I found the fuel gauge,  temp gauge, dash lights,  normal lights and indicators all don't work. The horn does, interior light and radio though.  I've popped bonnet and checked all the old wire fuses with a multimeter and they were all ok. 

Have I destroyed my car or is there hope?  Thankyou in advance. 

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zob

When you went for that run afterwards did the engine behave as normal? If so I should imagine nothing in your ECU has popped but you may well have damaged some relays and/or the board on the dash unit. If the engine is running fine and the battery is alternator is doing its job then hopefully the damage will be minimal. Only way for it is digging around with a multimeter and seeing if voltage is getting to the places it should. Do you have a haynes manual? The wiring diagrams at the back of it will guide you in your probing.

 

If it comes to a new dash unit they come up all the time on ebay and are easy to fit (can swap out your speedo to keep your odometer the same), relays are easy to get hold of. If it turns out you have fried your ECU they come up relatively frequently too.

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zob
20 hours ago, Dragon2 said:

I smelled burning

 

If you were in the car with the doors and windows closed and you smelled it quick then its likely come from just under your nose - I.e. the relays above the passenger footwell or from inside the dash unit.

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Dragon2

Hi Zob,

Can I start by thanking you to take the time to reply and offer advice.  It's very much appreciated as I'm a novice with cars.  To answer your questions,  yes the car seemed to behave fine when driving and will still start after a short run to charge the battery.  It's just the gauges and indicators that don't work.  I was hoping there might be a hidden fuse somewhere! Is it possible it will have blown multiple things?  The dash dials and relays?  When I put the indicators on i can hear a single click rather than the double click you hear as the indicator flashes on and off.  

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steveo3002

no hidden fuses im affraid 

 

does the hazzard lights work?

 

i would pull the lower dash trays both sides and look for melted wires 

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Dragon2

Hi all, 

Thanks for the help.  You've suggested some fantastic ideas and I've got an update!  The lights and hazards and indicators are working!  There is just no lights on dash showing that.  It now surely must point to my instrument cluster being fried! 

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dvderlm

There's a voltage regulator on the back of the clocks. That brings 14v down 5v I think. Doubt it can cope with reverse polarity, was ignition on when you were stupid with jump leads?

 

um, 1994 breadvan... mk2f not 6n.

 

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Dragon2

I suspect you are right.  I'd connected the leads and then turned the key to try start it twice before I realised I'd done something wrong. You are correct,  I was incredibly stupid. I'm very embarrassed about it. I've jumped started lots of cars over the years without issue. I still cannot really comprehend I actually did it. 

I'm watching an instrument cluster right now.  I really think it could be that at fault.  

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zob

Make sure to have a dig around the wiring underneath the dash fascia though - although the clock's voltage regulator may well be shot you could have some melted wires that will cause headaches unless they're sorted. Worth checking thoroughly.

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Dragon2

Will do. Is there any particular area I need to inspect or is just behind the instrument cluster the best choice? 

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zob

I'd say start with taking off the steering column surround (three screws on the bottom of it I think) and the fascia underneath the glovebox on the other side - you can get up behind the dash with the torch then and have a good look. It'll be obvious if the high current got to any of those thin gauge wires.

 

If all of the lights and the engine are working though I'd cautiously say you got off ok!

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Dragon2

Thanks zob. You've been really helpful.  I'll follow your advice.  Everything is working perfect onnn the car and it's running fine too. The only exception is the fuel gauge, temp gauge and the little row of led bulbs at the bottom of the dials. I'm hoping a replacement instrument cluster might solve this but I'm going to check the wires too like you've suggested. 

Thanks again. 

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