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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone! New here so bear with me.
1991 Geo Tracker RWD, 106k miles, 5spd

Car has run fine since I bought it and then went to go wash it the other day. No problems but drove it the day after washing, started and drove fine, no issues. stopped at auto zone to get some Wax, and boom. Won’t start. I get 1 click and then the fuel pump relay (I think? It has the green connector on it) goes nuts clicking very fast. Also all the lights on the dash and the headlights are SUPER dim. And the lights go flat when I try to crank it over. If I let it sit with the key in the ACC position, the beeping slowly starts and gets louder along with the dash lights getting brighter and looking more normal, but then still won’t crank. I also don’t hear the 3 second fuel pump hum that I’m used to. All the fuses in the fuses box by the battery are good (need to check connections to it from batt). I don’t believe it’s the starter because I have had no issues yet and not sure why a bad starter would cause the fuel pump relay to click like crazy. Below is what I’ve tried so far (as of posting) and what I will do to start diagnosing. Let me know if you had a similar issue! :) any help or tips is appreciated so I can enjoy this baby this summer with the doors off.

COMPLETED Today:
-new battery —> still getting the dimmed dash and dim headlights with brand new one

TO DO Diagnostic List:
-switch the relays to see if it’s just a bad fuel pump relay (hope so)
-check behind the left tail light to make sure the fuel pump is grounded well (maybe water got in while washing?)
-pop open the ECM and see the condition
-check to see if the distributor is getting any juice
-ground the pink wire by the fuel pump relay and see if it even cranks over
-check connection to the fuse box by batt
-going to start checking the connections from the battery to different points/components on the car (any suggestions as to good spots or components to check would be helpful!)

It’s probably a good weekend ahead of me getting very familiar with the old volt meter but let me know what you guys think! The dim headlights/dash lights part is what’s confusing me and making me think there is a bad open ground somewhere where water might have settled?

let me know your thoughts!
Thanks,
Sam
 

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If it doesn't crank, start there - you either have a bad battery, a bad battery connection (check both positive AND negative - BOTH ends of the cables), a bad starter - or - the starter control circuit, so bypass that by jumping from the battery positive to the blade terminal on the starter solenoid.

Everything you've said points to a flat battery or a bad connection - you say you have a new battery, so that leaves a bad connection....

Forget everything else - relays, ECM fuel pump - EVERYTHING ELSE - until you get it to crank - when it cranks, if it still doesn't start, let us know.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the feedback @fordem! I will give that a go this week and report back! Thanks for grounding me (Badum Tss) because I was getting too wrapped up/focusing with the other potential issues listed.

Okay I will take my terrible puns and get to work 🤣

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the help! I can’t believe I overlooked something so simple. The terminals were clean where it makes contact with the battery post but the area where the copper is sandwiched into the Lug under the red protected covering was also corroded. A little wire brush did the trick to clean it up and boom! Got her running with no issue.

lesson: don’t jump to conclusions and clean your battery terminals :geek:

thanks!
Sam
 

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99 Tracker, 5 door, 2L, 4x4
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Always start with Power/Grounds on low voltage issues..
 
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Thanks for the help! I can’t believe I overlooked something so simple. The terminals were clean where it makes contact with the battery post but the area where the copper is sandwiched into the Lug under the red protected covering was also corroded. A little wire brush did the trick to clean it up and boom! Got her running with no issue.

lesson: don’t jump to conclusions and clean your battery terminals :geek:

thanks!
Sam
Replace those clamp style with decent solder or crimp lugs and stud types, those clamp up ones are always known for bad connections and never clamp properly
 

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tnxs, never seen either, but i'm a bike guy

so, yeah, good to know, was thinking i was going to need something like that to hook the locker compressor harness and later on the winch.... now i know what to look for!
 

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tnxs, never seen either, but i'm a bike guy

so, yeah, good to know, was thinking i was going to need something like that to hook the locker compressor harness and later on the winch.... now i know what to look for!
Same deal, bikes usually have a crimped on lug onto the mandatory 6mm bolt on the bike battery terminal. I like the same thing but the car ones are either 8 or 10 mm, and allow for several lugs to be stacked. I toss the wing nuts and use a nut and spring washer. Never have connection issues.
The saddle clamps work, but allow verdigris and other corrosion into the strands, degradation of the connection and the cable results.
A crimped lug if done properly is actually a "cold" welded connection and air tight so no corrosion in that connection point at least.
 

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I've been using the below marine grade equipment for many years now...highly recommend these.




Cheers
 
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