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Old 04-23-2006, 02:00 PM   #1
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Running Lights blowing fuses

I have a 2005 25' safari. I seldom use the trailer running lights since I drive in daylight. But a month ago I had the rear top corner panel replaced, the one that has one of the running lights. A few weeks ago Nissan, on a warranty recall, replaced the towing harness in my Armada so it now includes an inline 10A fuse for the running lights. Airstream says that my running lights will draw 9A. After their installation, I was testing the running lights and found that the running light fuse was burned out. I replaced it and the same thing happened again when I tuned on my headlights. Thinking that 9A is close to 10A I tried a 15A fuse and it burned out too. So I am now suspicious that the running light wire going to the light on the replaced panel may be at fault. I removed the light cover, but no wires are visible. The wires are all below the light bulb fixture. The running light base is sealed to the aluminum panel. I guess I will have to remove the sealant and lift the light fixture base plate in order to see if the wire is connected properly.

Are my assumptions true or is there any other way to check which witre of the running lights is at fault?

Thanks,
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Old 04-23-2006, 05:53 PM   #2
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When something goes wwrong, look at the last thing monkeyed with. If your cleareance light is like most I have seen, you will need to drill out the two aluminum rivets holding the fixture tot he panel. The fixture will then come off, (hopefully) exposing the bare part of wire that is touching the panel. Repair or replace the wire as needed. If nothing looks bad, try turning on the running lights with this one not attached, and see if the fuse blows. If it doesn't, you have your problem narrowed to that light.
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Old 04-23-2006, 07:12 PM   #3
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I'd say they hooked the clearance light up wrong. Pull it and see if the connections are correct.
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Old 04-23-2006, 08:12 PM   #4
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I had the same problem with my running lights; it was blowing the 15 amp fuse in the Suburban I was driving. The advise that I got was that it was more than likely a short. Probably a wire to one of the lights that had the insulation that had rubbed off. After checking all of the running lights, I back fed 12 volts through the circuit and they worked fine. I replaced the trailer 7 pin connector and it solved the problem. My guess is it's the wiring harness in your tow vehicle.
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Old 04-23-2006, 08:25 PM   #5
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I have a feeling it is not the automobile wiring harness or connector in this case because I have a Tekonsa conector tester. I plug it into the trailer connector on the car end and it lights and stays lit appropriately.

When I connect the suto to the trailer and turn on the headlights, the fuse immediately blows.

However I do want to test the trailer end. I've been looking for a wire tester with an inline glass fuse but have been unable to locate one. Today I bought the parts to make one. My plan is to jump the trailer's 12V pin to the clearance light pin and see if it blows a 10 amp fuse. And then if it blows a 15 amp fuse. This test should show there is a short in the trailer clearance light wiring, and as previously suggested, I think the problem is with the light on the exterior panel I recently had replaced by an airstream dealer.
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Old 04-23-2006, 08:27 PM   #6
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You definately have a grounded wire. When this happens resistance goes down , current goes up, in this case as in most, more than the fused amount and the fuse does what it's designed to do. It sounds as though you're assuming the problem lies in the trailer but have you tried it unplugged?? It's very possable the problem{shorted circuit} could be in your tow vehicle. Pieman
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Old 04-23-2006, 08:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.ervin
. My plan is to jump the trailer's 12V pin to the clearance light pin and see if it blows a 10 amp fuse. And then if it blows a 15 amp fuse. This test should show there is a short in the trailer clearance light wiring, and as previously suggested, I think the problem is with the light on the exterior panel I recently had replaced by an airstream dealer.
If you use an ampmeter in the same way you plan on using the fuse holder you're building you can measure the exact amount the circuit is drawing.
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Old 04-23-2006, 08:52 PM   #8
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Try an auto-reset circuit breaker in the offending fuse holder. This will give you a pulsating amp draw that you can trace and measure.
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Old 04-24-2006, 04:00 AM   #9
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For what it's worth...

I had a similar clearance light shorting problem on a return trip from Florida. After isolating the problem to the trailer, I checked all the wires that were accessible on the inside where the wires enter the cabin. They all seemed to be okay. I then replaced a clearance light bulb that I remember went out just before the fuses started blowing and the problem disappeared, and hasn't returned since. Hopefully, it won't.
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Old 04-24-2006, 08:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.ervin
I have a feeling it is not the automobile wiring harness or connector in this case because I have a Tekonsa conector tester. I plug it into the trailer connector on the car end and it lights and stays lit appropriately.

When I connect the suto to the trailer and turn on the headlights, the fuse immediately blows.

...... My plan is to jump the trailer's 12V pin to the clearance light pin and see if it blows a 10 amp fuse.......
Sounds like you're on the right track with this method of testing. Isolate the two vehicles and test separatly. I used a jumper simular to the one you describe to trouble shoot bad grounds and shorts on my Overlander when I rebuilt all of the running lights.

And I agree with Terry, look at the last thing that was monkeyed with, that is the most logical place to start. I'll bet Airstream pinched a hot wire going to those running lights when they replaced that panel and that is now causing a short.

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Old 04-24-2006, 09:09 AM   #11
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one last comment --Always check the simplest things first. It could have something as simple as the wrong bulb.---pieman
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Old 04-30-2006, 08:37 PM   #12
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Funny, my running lights worked fine Saturday morning.

The dealer did a 'slap on the skin' near the suspected light. Nothing happened. The light continued to work. But it was so funny that as he turned to me and shrugged his shoulders, a good 30 seconds after the last 'slap', the light went out on its own. He decared the bulb defective as the glass bulb would rotate. He replaced the light and all was well. It worked great for a 3 hour stint after that.

Thanks to all for their suggestions.
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