A: Finding electrical problems is always a treat. The great part of this problem is that your car is a 1984 model, and therefore uses a single computer for engine management and a straightforward lighting system. First thing you want to get is a slow blow resettable fuse of the same amperage that keeps blowing out on you. Replace the fuse with the slow blow resettable. Turn on your lights and walk around the car to look for one light that is much brighter or much dimmer than the others. That is going to tell you on which circuit the short to ground exists. If that does not reveal the offending light, then you can purchase a short circuit finder, which will send a frequency through the circuit. With a pick up wand you will run the vehicle around the car until it sounds the loudest. That will be the area of the short to ground. If you recently changed a bulb on the car just before the problem started, that would be a good place to start. In case you don’t want to go through all of the above, take the vehicle to a repair shop that is ASE certified, and has the tools and experience to locate the problem at a minimum cost.
Car Care Tip: When was the last time you checked the air pressure in your spare tire? While you’re in that area checking the pressure, look at the car’s jack and wrench for rust. Cleaning and lubricating a jack now will pay off when you need it on the side of the road.
Larry Rubenstein is a master technician who owns a North Shore service station. His column appears every Saturday. Write to Larry at The Salem News, c/o Auto Scanner, 32 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA 01915, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.