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Power stays on when key off - Ignition switch toast?

I found my 951's battery dead a few days ago, so I hooked it up to the charger and noticed the fresh air blower going (with the key off).

I pulled the G1 relay and the fan went off, so I figured the relay was toast and ordered a new one.

I got a new relay yesterday and plugged it in and the fan still ran with the key off.

Investigating further, I found the power windows work, as well as the radio and the rear window defroster. The wipers have some power to them - you can hear their relay click when you push the lever, and the wipers shiver a little. But not enough power to run the wiper motor.

None of the instruments light up with the key off or out and the car starts and runs normally.

I know there's a feature described in the owner's manual that the windows will work with the key removed until one door is opened and closed. But I don't see anything in the manual about the other equipment operating. The equipment still doesn't go off when you close the door with the key out.

Which leaves the ignition switch as culprit? Anyone ever had a switch fail in this manner?
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83 944 NA - Black on black
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:45 AM
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I recall that the radio works with the key in place. There might be other systems that do as well but I don't know about that. Perhaps this key-in-radio-on feature has failed for your switch, or maybe it just thinks the key is still in the ignition. I know it sounds stupid-simple, but have you tried lubricating the ignition switch to see if that helps?
Old 01-08-2009, 11:20 AM
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No, I haven't tried lubricating the switch. I may, but I don't think that's the problem. The switch turns easily, without hesitation. The detents for each position seem firm, with no slop.

I was playing with it, turning it on and off, and after maybe five minutes of this, everything went off when I turned it off. I repeated this several times and each time, everything went off - I was feeling good. I figured it had cured itself.

So I pulled the radio, intending to hook up the antenna amplifier. As I was working on the antenna wires, I heard the relay click and the power came on, by itself.

Just for the helluvit, I pulled on the antenna wires, jiggling them, and the power went off. This happened several times, and seemed to work each time.

Then I was standing at my workbench and heard the heater fan come on. This time, no amount of jiggling of the wires in the radio area would make the power go off.

None of this makes any sense, of course. Either the power going on or off was completely coincidental to the jiggling, or I must have some really nasty wiring problems...

Jiggling the wires directly at the back of the ignition switch produced no results.

I s'pose it's possible there's something broken in the switch (resting partially across the terminals) which could account for the intermittant problems. Although it seems odd that with me out of the car, the power would come on by itself.

I should probably take the switch apart and look at it.

I spent some time looking at the wiring diagrams, but haven't been able to figure out exactly how the "windows work when the key is removed till you open a door" is accomplished. I figure it has to be another relay, but am unsure which one. If that relay was broke, that could produce the same sort of effects I'm having - in theory.

Or, maybe the car is haunted?
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Last edited by mikepellegrini; 01-08-2009 at 07:21 PM..
Old 01-08-2009, 07:16 PM
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What I meant was lubricating when the key goes in and out, not when you turn it...
Old 01-08-2009, 07:38 PM
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I hadn't thought of that but you're right. I'll try it.
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:51 PM
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The next time your car gets haunted, how about reaching under dash and pulling the round black molex connector off the back of ignition swith. If all return to normal, then it might point you to the switch
Old 01-08-2009, 09:06 PM
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The plastic/electrical portion of your ignition lock can go bad though most are the early 944s that are problematic (I bought 10 of those ign switches last time I ordered and only have 3 left since most of them are cracked). The late models are normally better and I can't remember the last time I had to replace one. I would look into a bad installation where the antenna power out or amp out to the radio is hooked up to the radio ign power input to somehow channel 12v or something along that line from an alarm system.
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:07 AM
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Yeah, next day off, I'll take the switch out, take a good look at it, and take a good look at the wiring in the area.

If the problem persists with the switch unhooked, then obviously it's a wiring problem.

If it were an early car, I'd throw a new switch in it just for the heck of it (they're less than $5), but the late switches are about $65...
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:58 PM
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I disconnected the switch and the power was still on.

The circuits affected: Heater fan, radio, windows, rear window defroster and a small amount of power to the wipers (enough to make the relay click when you turn them on, but not enough power to make the motor run - weird!).

I believe all those circuits have their own relays and fuses. So the short - if there is one - must be inbetween the ignition switch and the central electric.
I'm still wondering if it couldn't be a relay - the one that powers the windows till the door is open and closed.

While I was under the dash, I pulled on and jiggled all sorts of stuff but nothing happened. Same with the wires in back of the radio.

All the wiring looks just great. It looks like it was all fresh from the factory, without any "improvements" made by anyone.
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Old 01-10-2009, 01:55 PM
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It's going to take a few minutes with the circuit diagrams to work out what might be shorted to what. You might have thought a fuse would blow somewhere.

Start pulling unrelated fuses and see if and when the power dissapears to the wipers or rear window. These circuits are supposed to be off when the ignition is off, so something is keeping them alive. Of course nothing may happen until the wiper and rear window heater fuses are pulled anyway. Grab a DVM and see what the voltage is that is still available; it might be less than full battery voltage.

Maybe you can find a particular circuit that is providing power to this portion of live circuit, or maybe you will find that if the fuse for the wipers or rear window are the only ones left in, that they are supplying power to other circuits.

Anyway, you might get some more info about where your problem is, which might point you towards wherever your short is...

Best of luck, cheers
Russell
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Old 01-10-2009, 03:28 PM
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It appears to have been the heated seats circuit. I pulled fuses and relays till I found it.

Fortunately, I don't have heated seats, so I'll just leave the fuse out. If that is indeed all it is, I'll consider myself very fortunate.
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:09 PM
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The same thing just happened to me, turn the car off, pull out the key and open the door and the radio still plays and the windows still roll.

I took out the heated seat relay and nothing changed. I started taking out other relays and when I got to the G14 x terminal or ignition relay the radio and fans stopped going on their own. I have another relay that I put in the g 14 and it all turned back on.

I can turn the key in between 0 and 1, so its not to the aux stage yet the fan and radio stop. I can hear some sort or relay that appears to be under the dash clicking inbetween the key turns. Am I hearing something that exists? Possibly getting closer?
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:37 PM
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Per the manual for late cars, "When the ignition is turned off or the key is removed from the ignition, power is still supplied to the window switches until one door is opened." That's gotta be a relay.

G-7 is listed as "window winder." If you pull that and the windows still work, then perhaps it could be the relay you hear under the dash.

These sorts of problems are real PITA's.
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:46 PM
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"until one door is opened" - Your logic regarding the relay seems sound, but what about the door switch, if you have a faulty door switch that is not opening when you open the door it would keep the circuit alive. Doesn't explain all of the issue, but it could be a factor.
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Old 10-20-2013, 04:29 AM
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The relay for that circuit is just to the right of the steering column in early cars, not sure if its in the same spot on later cars.....its attached to the side of the center console just under the dash, on early cars there is a removable black plastic panel that hides it....
It turns on the radio, windows and the UN secure part of the sunroof so you can take it out.....

Last edited by bell; 10-20-2013 at 04:56 AM..
Old 10-20-2013, 04:54 AM
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I'm almost definite that it is the radio relay problem. I found a post where someone solved it, and there is a picture of someone else, but the picture was from an early '44 and mine is a late. Ive spent a good amount of time wiggling upside down under the dash with a flashlight trying to find something that looks like a relay that could be taken out.

I've been looking inbetween the key and the radio and also above the clutch (a black plastic shield that doesnt want to come down) When I turn the key I can hear clicking out towards the plastic shield area... But I still havent been successful in finding this friggin relay.

Am I getting hot or cold? Pictures?

Thanks

This is the link I was talking about with the picture of an early.
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Last edited by cro-cro; 11-16-2013 at 12:00 PM..
Old 11-16-2013, 11:55 AM
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you need to remove the black plastic cover, the relay should be under there.....should only be held in place with a few phillips screws, 2 iirc are on the side of the console then one above.....
Old 11-16-2013, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
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you need to remove the black plastic cover, the relay should be under there.....should only be held in place with a few phillips screws, 2 iirc are on the side of the console then one above.....
I found two 9mm nuts and one spinning nut...


I'm still not seeing a relay under there. Is it inside this plastic piece? I don't wanna open/break anymore than I have.


I was picturing a regular looking relay like one in the fuse box, but I'm no expert.

Thanks!
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cro-cro View Post
I found two 9mm nuts and one spinning nut...

I'm still not seeing a relay under there. Is it inside this plastic piece? I don't wanna open/break anymore than I have.

I was picturing a regular looking relay like one in the fuse box, but I'm no expert.

Thanks!
I've been away from my car and should be around it tomorrow. Does anyone know if that is the right thing to take apart? Is there a replacement for the relay that has gone bad???

Thanks
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:29 PM
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