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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, you can roast me later (no pun intended), but I was doing some work late at night on the alternator on my 2002 WRX (I really needed the car first thing in the morning) and touched the alternator ground to metal while I forgot to unplug the battery. Contact was only for a second, but some sparks flew/ The only electrical things that work on the car are the chime for the keys, the light on the dash that tells you the door is open (although it is very dim and flickers), and the accessory port. Turn the key, don't even hear a click so I am guessing no current is reaching the starter. All the main fuses look fine, however when I test some other fuses, they do not light up but when I pull the fuse it looks fine. Any ideas?? I suck with electrical. My Hanes manual says it could be a fusible link?
 

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If you test a fuse and it's bad, but it looks good then it's bad.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ah, the XJman coming to save the day! Much thanks for always being the first to reply. So you are saying the fuse could still be shot even if the linkage inside is intact? I tried checking the 80amp fuse, the one in the engine compartment, and it looks fine and tested ok. Should I replace it just to be safe?
 

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If it tests fine, it's fine. If it tests bad it's bad. Eyes can be wrong

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Update: I replaced the main 80 amp fuse and all other fuses that were testing negative with no success. I am going to have it towed to a shop tomorrow, assuming wires are shorted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Just jumped in the car, and all the lights were working. However, when I tried to start the car, they went out again. weird. Anyone with experience in electrical?
 

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You may have a ground that shorted or burnt when the system shorted out. I had a similar occurrence on an old Mercury cougar.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You may have a ground that shorted or burnt when the system shorted out. I had a similar occurrence on an old Mercury cougar.

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I am hoping it is just something like that and not a whole harness! A fix like this is not too bad is it?
 

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Probably not. So as others have said about a bad ground, since nothing is working right I would check the battery cable connections at both the battery and the other end of the cables. Especially the ground cable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
To all who replied, thank you. It ended up being a bad battery terminal, as the p/o had painted them, and the spark of the alternator had melted some paint, getting in the way of the connection. Scraped all the paint off and the car has full power again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Previous owner PAINTED the battery terminals?! Is that seriously a thing?

If it is, its not a very smart thing.
Apparently so. Was not the smartest thing to do. Really want to know the reason of painting them. If you can't tell the negative and positive apart you should not be even thinking about working on the electrical systems of something as complex as a car IMO.
 

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If you test a fuse and it's bad, but it looks good then it's bad.

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Xj any chance you can help I did the same thing but on a 97 legacy wagon idk if I have a battery fuse or not any help is appreciated please and thank you
 

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I have purchased painted terminals before. They sometimes come that way. Also, it may also have been terminal protecting. I always spray it on after cleaning the terminals.
 
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