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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

Ignition started smoking today. Pulled over, shut things down, and pulled apart the plastic trim from around the ignition. It was very hot at the black switch section, opposite the key hole. This is the assembly that turns when you turn the key, it has a bunch of contacts in it. The lubricant on the switch contacts is what started smoking, lots of black residue and some arcing. Cleaned it up and it's working not too bad. The switch still heats up, but not to the point of melting or arcing now.

It heats to the point where I can't keep my fingers on the metal solder points when I have electrical load on while driving. Things like the blower motor for air circulation, and especially the rear defogger. These things "on" makes the main leads into the ignition switch very hot. And I had everything on today when the smoking started. So what the heck is going on? Anyone have this issue? Nothing getting wet, no new electrical toys. The only new electrical component on the vehicle is a new battery two months ago. All fuses and links are good as far as I can tell. Is the ignition switch supposed to get hot to the touch?

Thanks for any help, you guys are the best!
Curt
 

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... Is the ignition switch supposed to get hot to the touch? ...
No. It shouldn't get hot.

Either there is something drawing too much current and SHOULD be blowing a fuse. (are your fuses the correct rating?) or your switch is going bad.

I thought that these rigs came with a "load reduction" (AKA Main Power) relay that provides the current to the accessories with out the majority of the current going through the switch... but can not find it on my diagram. But if the car didn't come with one and doesn't have anything "high current" added, it should work as designed.

-- back ground notes:
There is SOME resistance even in a good switch. (Just like there is SOME resistance even in a good wire.) If the current through the switch is to high it will heat up. In some Audi's (late 90's early 2000's) there was a recall due to the switches corroding due to the heat. Then they would heat up even more... until they caught fire! :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Mike. The issue with my Suzuki has been intermittent and ongoing for a couple months at least now that I think about it. I remember smelling the hot plastic smell throughout this winter season from time to time, it just got worse yesterday to the point of smoking. Every time I took a look around I couldn't find where the smell was coming from. They use magnesium chloride on the roads here for ice control and it smells funny when it gets on your exhaust so I thought maybe that was it. I'm going to pull every fuse I can find to see if there is something funky.
 

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The ignition switch runs off the 50 amp fuse in the fusible link box in the engine bay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
The ignition switch runs off the 50 amp fuse in the fusible link box in the engine bay.
Thanks. The fuse looks good, but I'll unbolt it and inspect it closer.

I ran the vehicle today and got the ignition switch to heat up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Not sure if that's hot or warm for the switch. Interestingly, my daytime running lights module is quite warm too. It's connected into the black/blue ignition wire. With the module unplugged the ignition switch is still running around 120 though.

Mine is a 60 amp.

Curt
 

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My '90 Sidekick manual shows a 60 amp "main" fuse and a 40 amp fuse that feeds the ignition switch. I assume it is the same as your '90 Escudo.

By the way...

An Escudo in Canada? Grey market? What is the difference between a "Helly Hansen" and a regular Escudo? I assume it is "up scale" and I have seen different seat covers. But is there any other difference?
 

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Was this Suzuki imported from Japan? Right hand drive? If it was imported they would have added the daytime lighting and maybe a few other electrical item to get it road worthy. Check for modifications. I had a 90 tracker that smoked from the steering column, I blew all the dust out with compressed air and sprayed in electrical contact cleaner. It resolved the problem for me...You could drive it until something starts glowing and you would find your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi guys,

My Escudo is a jdm unit, rhd. A fellow I used to work with started bringing Japanese market vehicles to Canada many years ago. I needed a small 4x4 for my new business I started in 2006, and he talked me into buying one from him.

It passed a provincial vehicle inspection without drl so I added my own special ordered module over a year ago, with the help of some great guys on this forum!

Not too sure what the Helly Hansen model included that isn't on a regular 1990 model. Mine has carpet floor and cloth head liner, cloth seats with split rear fold ups, bronze tinted rear and side windows, and air conditioning. Power mirrors, windows, door and tail gate locks, and steering. Analog clock and barometer on the dash where the center dish usually is. Rear defog, wiper, and washer (two pumps on the reservoir). Auto hubs, wiper delay, aux power outlet opposite cig lighter, stupid speed chime at 100 km/h, trim package matches body colour, road flare clipped under the locking glove box, map lights for driver and passenger. Hood latch is in the glove box, which got me at first. And the gas door latch is under the driver seat.

It had aftermarket crap inside, which I removed. You can see in one of the pictures there were cup holders clipped onto the air vents. A roll and pitch indicator on the dash. And clip on lighted gas and brake pedal trim. :eek:
 

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Nice looking rig!
 

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Can you give information about the roof rack system such as manufacturer and where purchased? Thanks.
 

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I like it. Looks like a 2D tin top with all the options.

Tho I would have to disable the "stupid speed chime at 100 km/h". When I was in Japan all the cars had that tho it was largely ignored by all the drivers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Can you give information about the roof rack system such as manufacturer and where purchased? Thanks.
Hey there. I'll try digging them out to see if they have a label or something on them. As I recall, they do not. And they came with the vehicle which came from Japan, so I presume they're a Japanese product.

When I dig them out I can take close up pictures of the attachment mechanism if that helps you out at all. Just let me know.

Curt
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I like it. Looks like a 2D tin top with all the options.

Tho I would have to disable the "stupid speed chime at 100 km/h". When I was in Japan all the cars had that tho it was largely ignored by all the drivers.
I would like to trade the 100 km/h chime for a buzzer that reminds me I left my keys in the ignition. I've been looking at replacement ignitions because of my overheating issue, and I see a switch on most of them that I presume is for the key buzzer. Maybe they use the key buzzer mechanism and hook it into the speed chime in jdm models?
 

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Originally Posted by cjfin View Post
A roll and pitch indicator on the dash.
Did it say 'Suzuki' on it - it may have been a highly sought after optional extra.
Didn't the early Toyota's have that too?
 

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Didn't the early Toyota's have that too?
Yes they also had them, probably branded Toyota, I don't know what they are worth, unbranded items are also available from eBay. The Suzuki OE optional extra items are quite collectable now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Did it say 'Suzuki' on it - it may have been a highly sought after optional extra.
I don't think so, I believe mine is an aftermarket item. I'll try digging it out from storage just to be sure. The clock and barometer fit so as to look nicely molded into the dash. The pitch and roll thing I think just was stuck on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Update

I took the ignition switch apart today to have a closer look. While the ACC and IG1 wires were getting hot, I could see that the IG2 (yellow/black) and the white/green wires were getting the hottest.

Looks like the white/green runs to the 60 amp fuse in the fuse block under the hood.

IG2 runs power hogs except cranking (per kick-fix).

I ran my drl module ignition line to the IG1. Maybe it should have been IG2? Maybe it doesn't matter?



Thanks
Curt
 

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The switch itself might be just getting old (and corroded) and replacing it should fix the problem.

On a "stock equipped" TracKick that should do it.

But if you have any added any "high power" items it would be good to power them through relays (controlled by the ignition switch) rather than drawing power though the switch.

In fact to make the replacement switch last longer, it isn't a bad idea to reroute some "stock" high power items through relays. Items normally powered though the ignition switch I would consider for load reduction relays are: after-market radios, cigarette lighter (power jack), rear window defogger, heater and AC, and headlights (I do these even if not powered through the ign switch.)

Granted, if you are not handy with wiring.... you might not want to attempt any large scale changes ;)

Thanks for the pictures and info on your Helly Hansen. I am always interested in the special edition models. What I would like to know more about is the concept vehicle for the Vitara X-EC shown at the 1992 Motor Show in Birmingham. (I am assuming this was NOT Birmingham, Alabama, US.) I have only seem one picture and a short blurb.
 
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