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Fuse #12 keeps blowing...
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ProspectiveOwnergon
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:20 pm    Post subject: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

So my fuse #12 (1990 camper) keeps blowing ever since I took ownership and got home. Prior, my power mirrors worked, my ac fans blew (warm). Now, once I put the key into the ignition, BOOM...fuse blows.

Since ownership I've done:
1. New radio (had to fox the driver front speaker wire that was grounding against the master cylinder)
2. Installed a new radiator fan relay
3. Disassembled the front driver door panel (found PO or prior, someone had snipped the black/yellow to the power mirror switch with a bigger red wire). These connections seem solid.
4. Attempted to use rear wiper...nothing, just liquid sprays

No idea what to check or how to diagnose now. I have an AC appointment on tiesday and if fans aren't running, they can't diagnose anything...


Last edited by ProspectiveOwnergon on Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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vanagonjr
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

Should list year and model details,
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ProspectiveOwnergon
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

vanagonjr wrote:
Should list year and model details,
in my head I kept saying... type the year... type the year... guess what I forgot... Haha.

1990 Camper
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:57 am    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

While not a solution to your #12 fuse issue, you CAN get power for the A/C from the always powered section of the fuse panel. I think there are a few open on the back, in the P section.

Careful, P's are unfused.

Read this one...
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2814987
Not sure where tencentlife pasted the info from, but it was a post prior to that one. I looked around a bit, couldn't find the original.

EDIT:
tencentlife wrote:
The earliest surviving instance is here:
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=239158

I think the original was lost in the server failure that happened back then.



So that explains my confusion; from post -> https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=239158



More info.. quoting thatvwbusguy: "S12 refers to Fuse 12" in this thread:
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=619094

Hence, don't use G1 & G3 if you want to avoid fuse 12, if using the G's (ignition on)
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Last edited by bobbyblack on Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:53 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:22 am    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

Quick tip: put your type and year model in your signature.

Fuse 12 on your van is for:
    Cruise control
    A/C
    Power window
    heater fan
    power mirror
    Rear wiper


If you're out if time, and need to get ready for tomorrow's appointment, unplug all of these except the A/C. Hopefully the A/C is not the culprit, if so your fuse won't blow and they'll be able to work on it.

Now, for proper diagnosis: you see that all of the elements on that list are electric motors. If the fuse blows, one likely cause is an electric motor is seized. Turn everything off (fans controls to 0), etc), put a new fuse in, and turn these things on one by one. When the fuse blows, you've got your culprit.

For others: could this be the ignition switch?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:59 am    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

Quote:
Not sure where tencentlife pasted the info from


From an earlier thread where I first posted the list that I developed, that's where.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:18 am    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:
Quote:
Not sure where tencentlife pasted the info from


From an earlier thread where I first posted the list that I developed, that's where.


Ahh, thanks. I found that listing quoted a few other places, but not the original post. I was kind of interested.

And to the OP, How about disconnecting the wiper motor in the back. Got to take off the wallboard, ya, but since it is probably seized, and causing your trouble, try it?

-bobby
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:35 am    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

ProspectiveOwnergon wrote:
So my fuse #12 (1990 camper) keeps blowing .... once I put the key into the ignition, BOOM...fuse blows.


Since the ignition switch has a switch that's operated as soon as key is inserted.....

Do you mean that S12 fails literally when you insert the key?

Neil.
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ProspectiveOwnergon
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

Vanagon Nut wrote:
ProspectiveOwnergon wrote:
So my fuse #12 (1990 camper) keeps blowing .... once I put the key into the ignition, BOOM...fuse blows.


Since the ignition switch has a switch that's operated as soon as key is inserted.....

Do you mean that S12 fails literally when you insert the key?

Neil.


I haven't checked WHEN it blows and if it is once inserted or turned to aux position. Will test tonight.

VicVan wrote:
Quick tip: put your type and year model in your signature.

Fuse 12 on your van is for:
    Cruise control (CC)
    A/C
    Power window (PW)
    heater fan
    power mirror
    Rear wiper


If you're out if time, and need to get ready for tomorrow's appointment, unplug all of these except the A/C. Hopefully the A/C is not the culprit, if so your fuse won't blow and they'll be able to work on it.

Now, for proper diagnosis: you see that all of the elements on that list are electric motors. If the fuse blows, one likely cause is an electric motor is seized. Turn everything off (fans controls to 0), etc), put a new fuse in, and turn these things on one by one. When the fuse blows, you've got your culprit.

For others: could this be the ignition switch?


Will put in my sig!

I don't have CC, PW.

Is the heater fan the one under the rear bench?
Can I just unplug the connector at the mirror controls in the panel to see if it's that?
Rear Wiper, where is the easy disconnect for this?
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

ProspectiveOwnergon wrote:
Vanagon Nut wrote:

Since the ignition switch has a switch that's operated as soon as key is inserted.....

Do you mean that S12 fails literally when you insert the key?

Neil.


I haven't checked WHEN it blows and if it is once inserted or turned to aux position. Will test tonight.


Cool. I took what you wrote quite literally partly because it's electrical stuff but also because who know's what someone may've done with the wiring. My guess is that the Su circuit triggered by key insertion, is not involved.

A fuse popping like that typically means there's a short between positive, ground. Since wires have been cut, a positive wire could be contacting ground.

I'd disconnect the batteries then measure for a short (continuity) between S12 contacts in fuse box and ground.

Neil.
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ProspectiveOwnergon
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

Vanagon Nut wrote:
ProspectiveOwnergon wrote:
Vanagon Nut wrote:

Since the ignition switch has a switch that's operated as soon as key is inserted.....

Do you mean that S12 fails literally when you insert the key?

Neil.


I haven't checked WHEN it blows and if it is once inserted or turned to aux position. Will test tonight.


Cool. I took what you wrote quite literally partly because it's electrical stuff but also because who know's what someone may've done with the wiring. My guess is that the Su circuit triggered by key insertion, is not involved.

A fuse popping like that typically means there's a short between positive, ground. Since wires have been cut, a positive wire could be contacting ground.

I'd disconnect the batteries then measure for a short (continuity) between S12 contacts in fuse box and ground.

Neil.


Having never done a continuity test, but just watched a YouTube video, if I hear noise when touching a ground, that means I am shorting a wire. If I DON'T hear anything, then what's my next step?

Btw, on the fuse, is it the top or bottom connection that gets it's power?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

ProspectiveOwnergon wrote:

I don't have CC, PW.


That leave us with:
    A/C
    heater fan
    power mirror
    Rear wiper


ProspectiveOwnergon wrote:


Is the heater fan the one under the rear bench?
Can I just unplug the connector at the mirror controls in the panel to see if it's that?
Rear Wiper, where is the easy disconnect for this?


No, it's the one in the dash, blowing air to windshield and footwells. Put it on 0, or better yet, disconnect the plug behind the switch.
Yes for power mirror connectors
Rear wiper, maybe there's a plug behind the hatch cardboard, as I think was suggested by somebody else above.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

ProspectiveOwnergon wrote:


Btw, on the fuse, is it the top or bottom connection that gets it's power?


Depends on the year model Razz
So test it with a voltmeter.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

ProspectiveOwnergon wrote:
Having never done a continuity test, but just watched a YouTube video, if I hear noise when touching a ground, that means I am shorting a wire. If I DON'T hear anything, then what's my next step?

Btw, on the fuse, is it the top or bottom connection that gets it's power?


By "noise" I assume you mean the tone (or buzz?) some VOM's emit when seeing "0" Ohms. aka continuity.

IIRC, this testing stuff is shown in the Bentley manual and is likely explained far better than I can but I'll try anyways. Wink

It'd be prudent to test for a short to ground at supply (gets power) and load fuse contacts but since the fuse blows, if there's a short, it'll be on the load side. If no noise and/or 0.00 Ohms, under those circumstances, there is no short (fault) between circuit(s) on that fuse and ground (vehicle frame). But....

A short could happen once a load is turned on. i.e. positive wires post switch, the part itself, shorts to ground once energized. Along with VicVan's comment, disconnect all loads on that fuse. If fuse doesn't blow, add one load at a time till it does.

Years after I started using a VOM, oddly enough during my tenure as a Vanagon owner, I got into the habit of connecting the meter probes together to check meter and probe function. For most of us, the meters we can afford tend to have cheap probes that fail soon leading to false readings.

I'm no expert and I don't mean this in a snarky way but by using your VOM to test for a short you're not "shorting" a wire. You're testing (measuring) for continuity between two points. Sometimes we want see continuity, sometimes not. e.g. seeing unwanted continuity (short) between the positive and negative sides of a circuit.

You want electricity to flow from battery to load, then through load to ground. If a positive wire were to break away and connect to ground,or vice versa (ground wire to positive) it's a "short" or fault. Electricity is now taking a shorter incorrect path to ground.

Neil.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

Ok... you get ONE guess as to what the cause of my fuse blowing is. Here is my rear wiper motor (I unplugged and electrical taped the wire from the harness)

Rear wiper motor
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Last edited by ProspectiveOwnergon on Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

Did the wiper motor case actually rust through or is that hole due to heat damage?

The motor had seized I assume.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:34 am    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

Vanagon Nut wrote:
Did the wiper motor case actually rust through or is that hole due to heat damage?

The motor had seized I assume.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


It looks like it burned through as the insulation doesn't have rust and there is no rust on the hatch. Additionally, the hole is on the downward side. Taped the lead wires but left the motor in there as it was 9pm and I wanted to go to bed. Next time I have the rear hatch panel off it will come out.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:39 am    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

Did you disconnect, reconnect loads to determine that wiper motor was the fault?

This thread shows heat damage at connector to fuse panel as cause of rear wiper (etc.) not working:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=649073&highlight=rear+wiper

Your post has reminded me to double check what's going on inside the rear hatch on my '88. IIRC, this connector is for the wiper motor:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

Vanagon Nut wrote:
Did you disconnect, reconnect loads to determine that wiper motor was the fault?

This thread shows heat damage at connector to fuse panel as cause of rear wiper (etc.) not working:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=649073&highlight=rear+wiper

Your post has reminded me to double check what's going on inside the rear hatch on my '88. IIRC, this connector is for the wiper motor:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


My connector had a LITTLE burning as I had to crack the plastics apart, but nothing like that. Will have to check out the back of my fuse oanel I guess for added measure. Though...I can't get it out due to a MASSIVE relay at the top hanging up against my dash
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Fuse #12 keeps blowing... Reply with quote

Thanks for that info.

Back in 2013 or so, I assume I at least cleaned the connector contacts, maybe wrapped some tape on wires but frankly can't recall for sure. Of late, I've seen intermittent wiper behaviour. (doesn't always park). I assumed it was due to a the relay but maybe not. Embarassed

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