How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Amedee Your Own Question
Amedee
Amedee, Mazda Technician
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 24774
Experience:  ASE Technician advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
279429
Type Your Mazda Question Here...
Amedee is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a 2001 Mazda tribute with the V6. I believe someone

Customer Question

I have a 2001 Mazda tribute with the V6.
I believe someone put the battery cables on backwards .
The alternator got fried and the battery cable that connects to the alternator was melted at the end .
The funny thing is the car still starts runs and drives but the key won't come out of the ignition until you disconnect the battery .
When I check continuity between the positive and negative terminals on the battery I have continuity.
I also have continuity between the fuse box and the negative battery cable even when I take the positive off of the battery .
I removed the two red wires either side of the main 120 amp fuse on the fuse box and the fuse box still has continuity to the negative battery cable .
I need to find the short .
I'm not sure if I need to test the ECM or test the ignition switch or see if the fuse box itself has shorted somehow.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Mazda
Expert:  david craig replied 4 months ago.

Hi Im David, please allow me a moment to review your question, thanks

Expert:  david craig replied 4 months ago.

I think ill opt out of this one and let an electrical tech chime in. thanks

Expert:  Tool Hut replied 4 months ago.

Hi, My Name is ***** ***** for posting your question to just answer. I am a independent contractor for just answer. ASE Certified Master Auto Technician with 20 years experience. I am confident we can resolve your problem together.Please remember I don't know your skill level. I can't see, smell, hear, or touch the vehicle. It may take a few back and forth replies to get to a satisfactory resolution.There will probably be some equipment needed for a proper diagnosis. If you are not comfortable with this or do not have any test equipment please let me know ASAP. I also give you all of the information you may need in good faith expecting a positive rating. I am not compensated for my time until you leave a positive rating. Your rating should be based on the service you received.

Do you have a scan tool? Are you familiar with doing a voltage drop?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
No I have not done a voltage drop
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
hello?
Expert:  Tool Hut replied 4 months ago.

Do you know how? Do a voltage drop to the ground connection at engine.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I don't know how, but I have a very good volt meter
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Do I just check battery voltage at the battery and at the engine block ?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Or do I check resistance between negative battery terminal and engine block?
Expert:  Tool Hut replied 4 months ago.

Put voltmeter on 20 volt dc scale. Place 1 lead on battery negative and other end on engine block. crank engine. Observe reading

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok
I will check that tomorrow when I am back with the vehicle
Expert:  Tool Hut replied 4 months ago.

Also check positive same way to alternator positive wire. Have you checked all of the fuses for power with a test light?

Expert:  Tool Hut replied 3 months ago.

Hello, I have not heard from you in a few days. Do you still need assistance? I also noticed you haven't left a rating. I have assisted in good faith and am only compensated when you leave a positive rating. Please let me know if there is anything else you need to leave a positive rating. Conversations can always continue after a rating is received.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok the engine block to battery ground reads 1v
The alt power cable to battery positive reads from 1.5 to 3 volts
Expert:  Tool Hut replied 3 months ago.

wow you have bad connections. A severe bad connection is .5 volts. Clean your battery connections thoroughly and retest.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The connections are new
Expert:  Tool Hut replied 3 months ago.

OK. I will opt out and see if someone else has any ideas

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Can you tell me where the alt wire goes?
I need help finding where my positive is getting in the ground circuit
Maybe the wiring diagram?
Expert:  Amedee replied 3 months ago.

Hello! Different expert here.

Which problem would you like to address first?

Are we going after the key issue (not being able to remove the key from the ignition)?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
No
Continuity between battery cables first
Expert:  Amedee replied 3 months ago.

Can you take a video or picture of this and upload it to this page so I can see?

Thank you

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
What?
I take my volt meter selected to beep and have continuity between negative battery cable and positive.
I am not near the car now.
Did you read the above conversation?
Expert:  Amedee replied 3 months ago.

Yes Sir

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Any advise?
Expert:  Amedee replied 3 months ago.

The continuity you are getting is normal. So thats not an issue.

Expert:  Amedee replied 3 months ago.

Hello! Are you ready to continue?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
the continuity is normal?
I checked the same thing on my truck and did not get it.
maybe the alternator melted because of corrosion on the cable?
the last expert had me check voltage drop test and the results told him there was a problem.
if it is fine, I guess we can move to the ignition issue.
Expert:  Amedee replied 3 months ago.

I just checked this on my vehicle (that is starting and running normal). YES, there is continuity between the positive and negative post using my $300 fluke 87

Expert:  Amedee replied 3 months ago.

I would move on to the ignition issue at this point.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok
I was afraid to put it the new alt before I was sure I wouldn't burn it up.
Let's do the ignition
Expert:  Amedee replied 3 months ago.

You mean the key stuck in the ignition correct?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
If I disconnect the battery, the key comes out.
Otherwise, the key won't turn back all the way
Expert:  Amedee replied 3 months ago.

Thank you for that information. Give me a few minutes while I gather some info for you.

Expert:  Amedee replied 3 months ago.

Ok, if all of the fuses and wiring are good, this is most likley caused by a bad brake shift interlock actuator.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Where is that and can I test it?
Expert:  Amedee replied 3 months ago.

Simply unplugging the connector allows the key to be removed, and the park indicator circuit passes, suspect a failed brake shift interlock assembly. Thats the test. Here is a pic

Expert:  Amedee replied 3 months ago.

I am glad I can help!

It has been a pleasure working with you. Please dont forget to honor your good faith deposit by rating my answer as "5 STAR SERVICE" for assisting you today.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I can't tell.
Is it on the brake pedal?
Expert:  Amedee replied 3 months ago.

YES, or right above it.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I unplugged both switches on the brake pedal and the key still won't come out unless you disconnect the battery .
I did just notice there's a click near the ignition switch when you step on the brake pedal
Expert:  Amedee replied 3 months ago.

What color wires go to this switch you just disconnected?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Grn/red
Red/grn
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I guess it's actually light green with red stripe and red with light green stripe.
The other plug is light green with red stripe and light green
Expert:  Amedee replied 3 months ago.

I think your on the wrong one. This actuator has 7 wires going to it. Here is a wiring diagram.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Where is it?
Expert:  Amedee replied 3 months ago.

Again, here is a picture. Lower right side of the pic

Expert:  Amedee replied 3 months ago.

And here is a diaram of that the connector looks like. It is the one on the left side.