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Old 09-09-2016, 04:54 PM   #1
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Strange electrical issues

So I'm having a very strange issue with my 03 SVT.

While driving, occasionally the car will stop accepting input from the gas pedal, the voltage readings will drop to 13, and my gauge cluster will light up like a christmas tree (CEL, ABS, Alternator, seat belt). It acts like the car is sitting and waiting to be started up essentially. HOWEVER, the engine is still cranking, the radio still runs, and the gauge cluster is still going, but the engine loses RPMs slowly and won't accelerate even with the gas pedal being pushed. Eventually the car will pick back up and accept input again. I found out today that pushing the clutch all the way to the floor while driving basically fixes the problem. I can release the clutch after all the dash lights turn off. I have no codes being thrown.

I thought this was caused by the alternator, but I just replaced it with a 200 amp $380 dollar alternator (planned audio upgrades in the future). I thought that had fixed the problem, because for a few weeks, I had no issues. The problem cropped back up today, and caused me to grind gears at a FULL STOP (trying to switch from 3rd to first).

Any one ever experienced this? Any ideas?


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Old 09-09-2016, 06:42 PM   #2
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Can't tell from the description if the engine actually stops running or not. It'll continue to turn even if "off" as long as it's in gear. Gauges work, radio works, etc..

You didn't mention if the engine runs by itself with the clutch pedal down, or if it restarts with a lurch when the pedal is raised again.
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:28 PM   #3
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The engine does stay running. The engine is running even when it stops accelerating. It's just that I'm now required to push the clutch all the way to the floor, as though I'm starting it, in order to be able to accelerate. No restart, no lurch, just goes right back into working with no change. I definitely feel like the plugs are still firing. I mean, I can hear the exhaust and everything. It's running, just not accelerating at all, until I push the clutch completely in, then let it back out.
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Old 09-10-2016, 09:57 AM   #4
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Power supply or ground issue. 50 other places besides alt you can have that with.
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Old 09-10-2016, 10:07 AM   #5
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All of my grounds *seem* to check out. There are quite a high number of them in the car, well over 10 under the hood. It's just weird that pushing the clutch in magically makes everything better for a random amount of time. I'm investigating the neutral safety switch as a possible culprit, due to the functionality of a clutch pedal. All it really does is put some pressure on a hydraulic line to disengage a clutch disc, to my knowledge. There are two sensors attached to the pedal, but as far as I'm aware, those are the only "electrical" functions of a clutch pedal.
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Old 09-12-2016, 10:17 AM   #6
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It's easy to check...pull the switch off the pedal, strip a tiny bit of insulation off both wires to the neutral safety switch and bridge them (or twist them together). If that doesn't fix it, tape over the cuts and replace. If it does, replace the switch and you're golden.

I kinda doubt that's it, though. Normally that switch is only in play for starting the car, not once it's going.
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Old 02-15-2017, 12:06 PM   #7
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So I'm kinda necroing the shit out of this thread, but whatever. The problem was one of two things. I'm still really unsure, with the first sounding absolutely insane, but carries a lot of coincidence.

First, I had a USB charger plugged into the aux power port. It was a super shitty CVS brand craptastic device, and I noticed it would turn itself on and off a lot (has a bright blue LED). My problems really only started AFTER plugging that in, and mysteriously, they went away after I unplugged it. Odd.

Second, I figured out by mistake that depressing the clutch to engage the NSS actually fixed the electrical bug, until it occurred again. Depressing the clutch always made it go away though. I ended up replacing the NSS as well, but I did so after my problems had already stopped.

I'm really not sure in the end which one of these was my issue, but since then, all problems have gone away.

Last edited by Chriax; 02-15-2017 at 12:10 PM.
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