Fuses & Getting Turn Indicators Working - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Fuses & Getting Turn Indicators Working

I've got an 83 Spider. It has been great w/few problems.

Recently, I brought it to a well-known Alfa mechanic for some work and found that afterwards the turn indicators weren't working and the stereo stopped turning on.

The two things that were done at the shop were

1) replaced the driver's side drain hose under the cowl.
2) clutch pedal - He fixed the known issue with the pivot arm

It's possible (?) that while doing this work some wires became undone or disturbed, whatever. Or maybe not?

I have never messed with the fuses in the 6 years I've owned the car but mechanic said to start there. Should I just go ahead and replace all the fuses and while doing that clean the connection points?

Any recommendations are much appreciated.

LASTLY, the plastic cover on the steering column seems to be missing the screws. I labored to find the right size. IDEAS PLEASE?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jckevin
...I brought it to a well-known Alfa mechanic for some work and found that afterwards the turn indicators weren't working and the stereo stopped turning on...the plastic cover on the steering column seems to be missing the screws....I have never messed with the fuses in the 6 years I've owned the car but mechanic said to start there.
Hmm, he breaks some electrical circuits, loses hardware - and he tells you to find the problem - that's some mechanic you have there!

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Should I just go ahead and replace all the fuses and while doing that clean the connection points?
You could replace the fuses and clean the connection points - that's always good preventative maintenance. But unless one or two fuses are visibly blown, I doubt that's the issue. It is unlikely the fuses just decided to corrode while your car was at the mechanic's.

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It's possible (?) that while doing this work some wires became undone or disturbed
Yes, that's certainly possible.
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'67 Duetto
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 11:03 AM
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I wholly agree with Jay, I would ask/tell the mechanic to fix what he broke! I feel pretty confident he pulled something loose welding/ fixing pivot arm
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 11:16 AM
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Is that mechanic famous or infamous? I dont know if the fuse box on your car is where it is on an S2, but on the S2 it is right where this guy will have been working. It is likely to be an easy problem to fix with a multimeter and some knowledge of the wiring, I'd have a bet that its not a fuse but some wire pulled off somewhere under the dash. However good he is, he should not be above offering to fix for you something that might be traced back to work he did.

Daily drive is a Giulia 2.0 MA, wife drives a 939 Spider in the summer and a Abarth 595 in the winter. For special sunny days we have a S2 Spider Junior in the garage.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 07:03 PM
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Agree with Top Down. A wire from the fuse box may have been accidentally pulled loose from the relay as he was working on the clutch pedal. Shine a light there and pull the wires to see if it's loose/hanging. Might help if you know the color of the wire from the turn signal.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 12:12 AM
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...LASTLY, the plastic cover on the steering column seems to be missing the screws. I labored to find the right size. IDEAS PLEASE?...
an old post dealing with those 'phillips head' screws (on a pre monopod clamshell) was this, it might help....

https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/482999-post5.html

Dom - Alfa Spider 1990 S4 - formerly: Alfa 101 Sprint, 2600 Sprint, Montreal - family classics: Jensen Interceptor II, '58 Hooper RR Silver Cloud I, Shadow II, '60 Corvette.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 09:37 AM
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I'll disagree a little bit with some of the people on here. I lose my headlights and my turn signals about once very month to six weeks. It's always the fuses. I have cleaned the connectors and bought different fuses and it doesn't seem to matter. Every time I reach down and touch the fuse corresponding to the light that is out, Voila, it works again.

Just one of the many quirks of owning an old car.

Ventura Alfa
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by VenturaAlfa View Post
I'll disagree a little bit with some of the people on here. I lose my headlights and my turn signals about once very month to six weeks. It's always the fuses. I have cleaned the connectors and bought different fuses and it doesn't seem to matter. Every time I reach down and touch the fuse corresponding to the light that is out, Voila, it works again.

Just one of the many quirks of owning an old car.

Ventura Alfa
Sounds like you'd do well investing in a new fuse box, sounds like the fuse holders have lost their 'spring'.

Daily drive is a Giulia 2.0 MA, wife drives a 939 Spider in the summer and a Abarth 595 in the winter. For special sunny days we have a S2 Spider Junior in the garage.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by VenturaAlfa View Post
I'll disagree a little bit with some of the people on here. I lose my headlights and my turn signals about once very month to six weeks. It's always the fuses. I have cleaned the connectors and bought different fuses and it doesn't seem to matter. Every time I reach down and touch the fuse corresponding to the light that is out, Voila, it works again.

Just one of the many quirks of owning an old car.

Ventura Alfa
Are any of your fuses aluminum, or are they quality copper/brass Flosser type? If they're aluminum, the dissimilar metals can cause corrosion and lead to problems similar to what you describe.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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I'm going to look into the fuses but agree with others: likely not the issue. Someone else told me that the left and right turn indicators work off different fuses -- and both are non-operational. Plus the stereo (maybe that one is a fuse).

Going into the shop one of the turn indicators was a "fast" blink -- so there was an issue of some sort. But it worked. The guy told me that the wrong lights were blinking in the front, and that the car was incorrectly wired. So he's sort of hiding behind that when he says "I didn't break anything."

But he did supposedly fix the drain tube on the driver's side and he did do the pedal box / pivot arm work. I would think there's a chance that wiring was disturbed.

Sadly, he definitely refuses to have a look again unless I pay the $120/hour.

It troubles me that he took my $1400 and let me drive home without making sure the car was roadworthy. C'est la vie.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by jckevin View Post
I'm going to look into the fuses but agree with others: likely not the issue. Someone else told me that the left and right turn indicators work off different fuses -- and both are non-operational. Plus the stereo (maybe that one is a fuse).

Going into the shop one of the turn indicators was a "fast" blink -- so there was an issue of some sort. But it worked. The guy told me that the wrong lights were blinking in the front, and that the car was incorrectly wired. So he's sort of hiding behind that when he says "I didn't break anything."

But he did supposedly fix the drain tube on the driver's side and he did do the pedal box / pivot arm work. I would think there's a chance that wiring was disturbed.

Sadly, he definitely refuses to have a look again unless I pay the $120/hour.

It troubles me that he took my $1400 and let me drive home without making sure the car was roadworthy. C'est la vie.
The fact that he says the wrong lights were blinking in the front says you probably have a bad ground. I would try running a jumper from the neg post of the battery directly to the ground on the turn signal housing and see if it starts working (correctly) again. If it does, you know where to start looking.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jckevin View Post
I'm going to look into the fuses but agree with others: likely not the issue. Someone else told me that the left and right turn indicators work off different fuses -- and both are non-operational.
I've never worked on an '83 spider, but strongly doubt that its left and right turn indicators work off different fuses. On '70's era spiders, the left and right headlights work off different fuses. Might that be what you had heard?

Quote:
It troubles me that he took my $1400 and let me drive home without making sure the car was roadworthy. C'est la vie.
Well, see what the causes of the problems are before blaming the mechanic too quickly. But if he was the cause, and refuses to repair his damage, I'd find another mechanic.

Jay Mackro
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'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L

Last edited by Alfajay; 07-19-2019 at 02:13 PM.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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So, good ending today. The shop called, I swung by, he got into the fuses...we are back working again. There are a few minor electrical gremlins, still, but at least I have turn signals again. He recommended I go through the engine compartment and clean most or all of the connections, advising me how to go about that. Now I can run the Spider about all weekend.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 02:26 AM
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So, good ending today. The shop called, I swung by, he got into the fuses...we are back working again. There are a few minor electrical gremlins, still, but at least I have turn signals again. He recommended I go through the engine compartment and clean most or all of the connections, advising me how to go about that. Now I can run the Spider about all weekend.
I have been systematically working my way through my wiring changing all the terminals for soldered ones, adding insulating covers. One I hadnt done anything to was the ones to the horn relay and because it was a lose fit one came off, so no horn. Where did this happen? The one place in the world where you really need a horn, in the Turin rush hour during my summer tour!

Daily drive is a Giulia 2.0 MA, wife drives a 939 Spider in the summer and a Abarth 595 in the winter. For special sunny days we have a S2 Spider Junior in the garage.
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