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My wife's 1983 Alto FX auto, only 21500 miles, is usually trouble free but a couple of days ago having driven to a destination a mile away she later found on returning to the car that the engine would start but not keep running. It was now night time.

I was called and realised that the engine would continue to run only if the starter/ignition key was held fully forward. I was not happy to do this for any time thinking I was liable to burn-out the starter motor and/or the bendix mechanism or what-ever disengages the starter drive ordinarily when the starter key is realeased when the motor fires.

I also realised that the instrument panel was not lighting up and neither was the heater fan mechanism working.

All other eletrical circuits are working, I have cheched all the fuses. There is plenty of fuel and the pump is working. Everything is normal other than the ability to keep running when the ignition key is released against it's spring-loaded (start-up) action.

I have studied the wiring chart in the owners manual but cannot really come to any conclusion for further investigation.

From the wiring chart and fuse detail I note there is one cicuit labelled "Optional" which is shown as having "W" (white) wiring. Tracing this route as best I can it seems to run to the instrunent panel, the heater fan and the ignition switch but perhaps I am reading it wrongly and/or hoping too much that I have found a potential cause. Even if I have I do not know what to do next.

ANY ONE ABLE TO POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

i WOULD DRIVE IT TO THE NEAREST AGENTABOUT 12 MILES AWAY BUT COULD ONLY DO THIS HOLDING THE IGNITION KEY FULLY ON AND AS I FEAR DAMAGE THIS WAY APART FROM BEING A DANGER DRIVING SO i AM STUCK.
 
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