AutoTech's?

Squilly

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 17, 2012
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I'm in need of a bit of assistance. I'll try to make a long story as short as possible. I bought a used car in NY and the owner was protective of it in installing security features. There was an aftermarket alarm system drawing power from one of the cylinders to misfire. Went to the dealership to get it cut. Misfire stops. Fast forward 2 months. My battery died and got jump started. Worked fine for two weeks. Died again. Jump started. Anyone would think it's a dead battery, right? Got it tested; it performs better than perfect @ something like 659 cold cranking amps. I got left with another surprise. When my mechanic was checking the battery, he saw the fuse box as well, which is a huge concern to me right now. It seems as though everything is electrical taped. I don't know if it's for organization or if they were messing around too much. Mechanic said it looked like a backyard job. The catcher: there's a resistor connected somewhere, which I nor he could explain. Attached a picture, just below the center is the resistor. My car has been acting fine for the last couple weeks but I'm wondering if these are any tell tale signs of unnecessary power draw or if massive electrical work will need to be (or should be) done? TIA.

Fixed but of course, now there's another issue. Check most recent post here.
 

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bwhinnen

macrumors 6502
Apr 15, 2010
285
18
San Diego
What is the aftermarket relay used for at the front of the box (bottom of pic) orange and red wires leading to it.

There are also some spliced wires in there that do not appear factory:

Orange (spliced to smaller red). *
White with black stripe (spliced to green).
Red (spliced with smaller red). *
Black (spliced with black with white stripe).
Pale orange (spliced with yellow with red stripe).

* both appear to go to the unknown relay.

As to what they are and do is questionable. As to a total fix up, not really, I've seen worse. Remember that factory uses electrical tape too as well as heat-shrink, but factory doesn't splice like that, the dealership might or aftermarket but not the factory :D

Simply get anything added afterwards checked out, heck you can do it yourself, usually these wires are very easy to trace.
 

Squilly

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 17, 2012
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Cut the orange one.
How sure are you?

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What is the aftermarket relay used for at the front of the box (bottom of pic) orange and red wires leading to it.

There are also some spliced wires in there that do not appear factory:

Orange (spliced to smaller red). *
White with black stripe (spliced to green).
Red (spliced with smaller red). *
Black (spliced with black with white stripe).
Pale orange (spliced with yellow with red stripe).

* both appear to go to the unknown relay.

As to what they are and do is questionable. As to a total fix up, not really, I've seen worse. Remember that factory uses electrical tape too as well as heat-shrink, but factory doesn't splice like that, the dealership might or aftermarket but not the factory :D

Simply get anything added afterwards checked out, heck you can do it yourself, usually these wires are very easy to trace.
I don't know where any of it leads to. There's an auto electrician I was going to bring it to that has excellent reviews but I don't want to shell out a lot of $$$ if it's completely unnecessary. Don't know why different colors are spliced together. I'm going to assume it's all related to an aftermarket alarm though. On another note, I'm getting A LOT of work done to my car later today - remote start, sub, amp, steering wheel controls, back up camera - this won't interfere with the fuse box mess will it? Thanks for the help.
 

prostuff1

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2005
1,484
18
Don't step into the kawoosh...
Without make and model of car and the make and model of the aftermarket alarm it is very hard to give any advice that would be accurate. And even then they may have "changed" or extended wires with different colors to get them where they needed to go.

Unless you are willing to mess with it yourself take it somewhere. Aftermarket alarms are not a huge mystery to install/troubleshot but you have to know which one you have and be willing to spend a couple hours figuring out where stuff runs to.

An alarm system can be connected in such a way that when it goes off the car will not start but it should not be drawing power from any cylinder connection.

Your battery issue sounds like a bad alternator or something that is drawing power when the vehicle is off. You can remove the alternator and have it tested at AutoZone.
 

Squilly

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 17, 2012
2,260
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Does your ride have an aftermarket stereo? Possibly with an amp (or two)?
Not that I know of. I am getting one installed today though. As well as an amp.

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Without make and model of car and the make and model of the aftermarket alarm it is very hard to give any advice that would be accurate. And even then they may have "changed" or extended wires with different colors to get them where they needed to go.

Unless you are willing to mess with it yourself take it somewhere. Aftermarket alarms are not a huge mystery to install/troubleshot but you have to know which one you have and be willing to spend a couple hours figuring out where stuff runs to.

An alarm system can be connected in such a way that when it goes off the car will not start but it should not be drawing power from any cylinder connection.

Your battery issue sounds like a bad alternator or something that is drawing power when the vehicle is off. You can remove the alternator and have it tested at AutoZone.
I have a 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe 3.5SE V6. I don't recall the name of the alarm though. Some cheap $50 alarm from audiovox I think.
For what it's worth, when the wire was cut from the old alarm system, power levels were returned to normal. Before that, power levels were way off. I'll be really disappointed if the alternator has an issue.
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,331
9,380
Vilano Beach, FL
Not that I know of. I am getting one installed today though.
Well, it should be pretty obvious if the current system is OEM or aftermarket[?]

If there’s any janky wiring, it will show up in a stereo install.

Personally, if I was having undiagnosed electrical issues, the LAST thing I’d do is introduce more potential issues with aftermarket parts that involve the electrical system (especially high power drawing parts like an amp)

I'll be really disappointed if the alternator has an issue.
It happens.

True story: I got my brand new RX7 turbo home from the dealer, and it had starting issues and had a bad alternator with < 50 miles on the clock. :)
 

Squilly

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 17, 2012
2,260
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150% sure!
You were right. It was an old remote starter I didn't know about.
Well, it should be pretty obvious if the current system is OEM or aftermarket[?]

If there’s any janky wiring, it will show up in a stereo install.

Personally, if I was having undiagnosed electrical issues, the LAST thing I’d do is introduce more potential issues with aftermarket parts that involve the electrical system (especially high power drawing parts like an amp)



It happens.

True story: I got my brand new RX7 turbo home from the dealer, and it had starting issues and had a bad alternator with < 50 miles on the clock. :)
It was a stock radio. The remote start appears to be the relay & battery issue. Getting it removed.
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,331
9,380
Vilano Beach, FL
You were right. It was an old remote starter I didn't know about.


It was a stock radio. The remote start appears to be the relay & battery issue. Getting it removed.
Yeah, some always on accessories will kill a battery. One of our cars isn’t driven very much (mostly because it’s a 2-seater, but it’s getting swapped for a 4-seater ... different topic :D ), anyway, had an accessory that was drawing some power, wound up with a dead battery.

Not that I’m into car audio all that much, but what kind of stuff are you getting installed?
 

Squilly

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 17, 2012
2,260
3
PA
Yeah, some always on accessories will kill a battery. One of our cars isn’t driven very much (mostly because it’s a 2-seater, but it’s getting swapped for a 4-seater ... different topic :D ), anyway, had an accessory that was drawing some power, wound up with a dead battery.

Not that I’m into car audio all that much, but what kind of stuff are you getting installed?
Strange cause the remote start doesn't exist anymore. Just the relay for it. But anyways:
JL Audio 10w3v3 10" sub
Alpine MRX-M55 amp
Back up camera
Pioneer AVIC-8000NEX
Steering wheel controls
Remote start using original key fob
 

12vElectronics

macrumors 68040
Jul 19, 2013
3,927
1,222
California
Strange cause the remote start doesn't exist anymore. Just the relay for it. But anyways:
JL Audio 10w3v3 10" sub
Alpine MRX-M55 amp
Back up camera
Pioneer AVIC-8000NEX
Steering wheel controls
Remote start using original key fob
Squilly, why didn't you consult with me first?
 

Squilly

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 17, 2012
2,260
3
PA
Squilly, why didn't you consult with me first?
It's all (kind of) fixed now. Parasitic leak is possible cause battery keeps dying (battery tests perfectly at two different shops). Everything else is installed. Gotta go back for a steering wheel control programming issue though.
 

Squilly

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 17, 2012
2,260
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I have an ASWC-1 in my car and it works flawlessly. You sure it's hooked up and programmed correctly?
Yes. Tried multiple times, the car doesn't accept it at all. Rejects every command. Also tried multiple modules of the same ASWC-1 so it's not a lone unit defect.
 

12vElectronics

macrumors 68040
Jul 19, 2013
3,927
1,222
California
Tried ASWC-1, didn't work. Tried an older one and worked but now programming is all ****ed up and stopped working. Waiting for an idatalink maestro SW to come in and trying that next.
Wtf... Don't you have a 2008 Altima? You don't need the Maestro unit. Have you tried the PAC SWI-RC?

I have an ASWC-1 in my car and it works flawlessly. You sure it's hooked up and programmed correctly?
Yup! The only times I've ever had problems with the ASWC-1 is when it's not supported to work on that car ;)

Yes. Tried multiple times, the car doesn't accept it at all. Rejects every command. Also tried multiple modules of the same ASWC-1 so it's not a lone unit defect.
Try the SWI-RC or the SWI-CP5.
 

Squilly

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 17, 2012
2,260
3
PA
Wtf... Don't you have a 2008 Altima? You don't need the Maestro unit. Have you tried the PAC SWI-RC?



Yup! The only times I've ever had problems with the ASWC-1 is when it's not supported to work on that car ;)



Try the SWI-RC or the SWI-CP5.
That's what I used last time. PAC SWIxx (don't remember last two). It doesn't work. Got the maestro in today, hope that one works.
 
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