Fuelab Tech Tips: Loose Wires

FUELAB Tech Tip: Loose Wires

Friendly PSA/Reminder: If you’re having problems with anything electrical, take the simple steps below along with a simple visual check before assuming your ________ (insert random part name here) has failed. In many cases, simply jiggling some wires is all the troubleshooting you’ll need to do in order to find the problem – no fancy meter or tedious steps required!
Often I get a tech call from someone that suspects they have a pump failure. One of my first questions is whether or not they’ve checked their wiring. I almost always get some version of “Yeah, it looks fine!”. There’s more to wiring than just how it looks, and I experienced that firsthand as I found myself on the side of the road last Friday morning with a suspected pump failure. Granted, this was with an OEM pump on an S10 that has experienced 23 years’ worth of Midwest rain and road salt, but it still serves as a good example to my point. At first glance, the shared ground for the fuel pump and rear signal light looked OK – light corrosion/rust but nothing outside the norm for a daily driver, the ground bolt was tight, the ring terminal was in good shape and the crimp was still tight. It seems over the years, the wire finally broke inside the insulation. From the outside everything looked fine, but it wasn’t until the wire was moved that the problem presented itself. Simply cutting the wire and installing a new ring terminal got me back in action….after a 3mi walk home and a tow bill. I’d have been awfully frustrated had I went through the expense and hassle of installing a new pump, only to have the same issues I had previously. More times than not, the fix is something simple – don’t just “check” the basics, actually CHECK them. 

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