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Discussion Starter #1
This is an improved and more educated version of my original post. :p Just got my intermittent wiper function working again, but it does some strange stuff.

First off, when I turn the ignition on, the handbrake warning light comes on for a few seconds, then fades out slowly (isn't this what the seatbelt light is supposed to do?). I know it's hooked up right, because when I pull the handbrake, the light comes on. Also it matches the diagram I have (pink wire and black/gray wire going to handbrake light). Now, if I disconnect the seatbelt timer device, then short the brown and black wires together at the seatbelt device connector (device itself still totally disconnected), the handbrake light comes on AFTER I once again un-short the wires, then fades out after a while (like I'm triggering another device somewhere). If I maintain the short for a while, I blow a fuse (#5, the one responsible for intermittent wipers....interesting).

One thing bothers me about the diagram: it looks like at the connector block for the warning lights, the gray/black wire that goes from the handbrake switch itself to the handbrake warning light, is connected via an orange wire to terminal #1 of the intermittent wiper device. When I disconnect the intermittent wiper connector and check the pin on the end of that orange wire (handbrake off, ignition on), I read 12 volts! That means 12 volts is going to the ground-end of the handbrake light for no apparent reason, and then gets shorted directly to ground when the handbrake is engaged. This can't be right?!?!??? And it still doesn't explain why the handbrake light would come on, since the other end of the light is connected to the pink wire for voltage....two positive leads and no ground. But then when the handbrake light is turned on only by the Mysterious Source, neither of the terminals going to the light are showing a connection to ground....but if I measure between them, I get voltage. ??????? The battery is the only source of voltage in this case, what could that light possibly ground to besides the common ground of the vehicle/battery?!?!

The handbrake light thing is an annoyance at best, but there are other issues: with the engine off, if I set wipers to intermittent, sometimes the fuel pump will run briefly when the wipers start their upward path (but not always). With the engine/pump running, the intermittent setting is very slightly slower. Something is NOT right........but it's taken me several hours just to reach this point, and I'm becoming quite baffled. Any ideas?
 

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1966-2013
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That light says 'brake' not 'hand (or 'parking') brake, and literally what it means. An issue or warning about the brakes.

It's tied into the brake master cylinder, (those 2 wires under the black rubber hat on top of the brake master cylinder next to the fill cap? Those would be it), along with the p-brake so that you can get the warning light when the brake fluid is low (and if you're really good, you can get it to come on in the middle of a tight turn :) ) and will stay on for a few seconds after you turn the ignition on regardless of the p-brake being off as it takes it a few moments to get that signal from the MS and shut off.

Randomly shorting wires in an effort to chase a circut will certainly blow fuses.

**

The seatbelt warning light will come on with the ignition and stay on for as long as the buzzer/chime is doing it's thing.

After several seconds (never timed it) the light should go off on its own. (or mabe it stops with the buzzer, or doesn't even come on if you're buckled before turning the key. I honestly never paid much attention to it beyond periodically checking that it actually worked as it's an inspectable item where I'm at)

**
When the pumps run when you've got the engine off and intermittent wipers on, do you mean they pump for a second or so when you first turn the key on (quite normal) or do you mean with the key on and the intermittant wipers on and the engine off, the pumps occasionally pulse in time or relative to the intermittance of the wipers?
 

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After a bit of wire tracing, it would appear that if the gray/black wire for the brake warning light was switched (or shorted) with the gray/black wire for the light timer ground, the brake warning light would function as you describe.

When I disconnect the intermittent wiper connector and check the pin on the end of that orange wire (handbrake off, ignition on), I read 12 volts!
Normal. With the ground circuit disconnected, and power applied to the bulb, you'll read battery voltage on the ground side of the bulb. A bulb is only a small resistance so voltage goes thru it. Remove the bulb and the voltage will drop to zero.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys, it's a *little* more clear to me now. :p Helps a lot to know that the brake warning light is supposed to be on at startup.....I guess what really got me puzzled about that one is the warning light panel appeared to be connected wrong or something (compared to the diagram), and the brake light was doing strange things like getting varying amounts of voltage depending on wiper motor load.....once I switched some wires around it now comes on solid at startup then fades out (or when the brown at black wires at the seatbelt device are shorted). So my next question here is, what makes it come on then fade out? It can't be the brake cylinder because I disconnected it for testing.........unless the gray/black handbrake ground is indeed getting shorted to the gray/black light timer wire like papajam suggested (thanks for this tip, I'm gonna check it out today....it's entirely possible that whoever "fixed" this wiring before saw the two similarly-colored wires and spliced them together).

It looks to me like the only way any sort of timer could be associated with the brake warning, would be via the intermittent device. Here:

http://theplaceofcoolness.com/alfa_brake.jpg

Notice terminal #1 of the intermittent device has two orange wires going to it....the one that goes off-screen in this pic is the one going to the brake cylinder. As you can see, the other goes to the gray/black brake warning wire. My question is....why??? Why is the intermittent device connected to this system at all? I do understand why it has voltage now after reading papajam's comment.....guess my brain was too tired last night. :p

"Randomly shorting wires in an effort to chase a circut will certainly blow fuses."

:eek: It's not my standard MO, I think I accidentally shorted those two leads together when attempting to power up the seatbelt warning light (by shorting the black ground wires to the red wire going to the seatbelt light), and was puzzled as to why it made the brake light come on. Frankly I'm still puzzled....must have something to do with the intermittent device.

When I first got intermittent wipers going by connected that loose ground lead, my seatbelt warning light started working again (never came on before). It would stay on for a few seconds then go out, as normal (but the brake light did strange things, especially with wipers on). After I attempted to "fix" the way the warning lights were plugged in (thinking this might be causing the brake light weirdness), I fixed the brake light stuff (comes on at startup briefly, and when handbrake is engaged) but I lost my oil pressure light and the seatbelt light. Does anyone have a pic or alternate diagram of how the light cluster is wired? The diagram I have doesn't quite match my car's wiring....I don't have a single pink wire for the exhaust light, but instead an extra lead coming off the black wires that go to the parking/hi-beam status lights. I'm wondering if anything else is different.

Quick question: Does the "light timer" make courtesy lights stay on for a few seconds, then slowly fade out?

Tifosi, the pump clicks on for a fraction of a second when the wipers start their upward movement when in intermittent mode...not every time, but occasionally. Doesn't happen in fast or slow wiper mode, only intermittent. Wonder if it's shorting to the white ignition coil wire somewhere...the wire that leads back to the fuel pump relay....?
 

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1966-2013
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the pump clicks on for a fraction of a second when the wipers start their upward movement when in intermittent mode...not every time, but occasionally. Doesn't happen in fast or slow wiper mode, only intermittent. Wonder if it's shorting to the white ignition coil wire somewhere...the wire that leads back to the fuel pump relay....?
Definitely indicative of something being connected funny, but as to specifically how/where, I'm kinda clueless.

Quick question: Does the "light timer" make courtesy lights stay on for a few seconds, then slowly fade out?
If the lights assemblies are wired properly and in good order, the door switches are clean, connected and in good condition, and the lights are set to be 'on with door opening' then yes, the timer will shut them off (on a quiet day, you can hear the timer actually click when it cuts the lights. No fade, just flat out off) about 10-15 seconds after the door is closed. (they will remain on for as long as the door is open though)

You may find you've got an ignition switch light (it's literally in the keyhole AFA where the light shines out, but not all cars have it) and that is also on the timer system so will come on when the door is opened then off after it's closed and 10-15 seconds have passed.


The curtesy lights proper are a rocking/tilting lense affair where one postion is 'off all the time', the middle is 'on with door tied to timer' and the third is 'on all the time regardless of anything else'.

The door switch proper is actually a ground point rather than a power source supply.

You open the door, the switch button pops out and it makes the ground circut so things begin to happen. So, if the switch or it's wires are messed up, you get either nothing (poor/dirty contact, broken wire) or lights on all the time even if set to 'on with door off with timer' (wire at switch shorting to chassis somewhere fooling the system into thinking the door is open all the time)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As a matter of fact I had the key buzzer switch out, and both courtesy light switches out, to clean them. They were really nasty but appear to be functioning properly now (checked with multimeter). I did notice the key light, I wondered why it wouldn't go off after I hooked it up....kinda forgot about having both doors open. :p

I hate to sound dumb, but....where might I find the actual courtesy lights you speak of? Haven't seen anything like that anywhere on this car..........
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nope, not a trace.

I think I got my light panel woes figured out. Only problem is the "EXH SENSOR" warning stays on.......looks like this is connected to the "30k Maintenance Device" and the brake cylinder (black wire). I assume this device records mileage somehow and triggers the EXH light when 30k is up? Where might I find this device, and how would I go about resetting it?

I'm also assuming the connection of the gray/black brake warning lead to the wiper intermittent device is solely to trigger the light on at startup for testing purposes.....?
 

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1966-2013
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Only problem is the "EXH SENSOR" warning stays on.......looks like this is connected to the "30k Maintenance Device" and the brake cylinder (black wire). I assume this device records mileage somehow and triggers the EXH light when 30k is up? Where might I find this device, and how would I go about resetting it?
clickme


I'm also assuming the connection of the gray/black brake warning lead to the wiper intermittent device is solely to trigger the light on at startup for testing purposes.....?
Ummmmmmm.......

Ummmmmm.......

Y'know, I don't know. LOL
 

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where might I find the actual courtesy lights you speak of?
On the center console side panels.

One near the drivers knee, one near the passengers knee.
Well, on our S3 ('84 model year - with A/C if that makes any difference) there are no lights in the footwells. There is a light in the underside of the rear view mirror (has a switch for 'off' or 'on when door is open') and a tiny light at the igniton switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
LOL, well Tifosi I guess I'll boldly go where no Alfista has ever gone before! That's apparently what a previous owner did.........:rolleyes: Thanks for the link, I'll try resetting it and seeing what happens. A very minor thing, obviously, but I just like to tie up all the loose ends.

ghnl, yep, that's exactly what I've got. And it's an A/C car, FWIW.

I think there may be a minor error in the diagram, posting that in a new thread.
 

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LOL

Now that's funny, and shows the quirks that can happen.

Mine as an 84 manufacture that had the factory AC console ducted panels and curtesy lights, as did the non-AC panels I used to replace them with (no AC, so why have those ducts when I can have legroom, right? :) ) but there's no light on the mirror.

Makes one wonder if it's a case of the harness being there, but the lights being an actual option rather than standard at that particular point in time. Light positioning on both sets of panels is close enough to indicate that they were either stamped out at the factory or there's a template around somewhere that they used to cut it out when installing. (though the cuts are very clean and reminicent of what a die stamp would do)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
OK, new info. Did some checking tonight, and I guess I don't really understand how the fuel pump relay is triggered.

When the pump cuts on with the intermittent wipers, it sounds exactly like it does when you turn the key on: relay clicks, pump runs for the same length of time (pretty short). If the relay is unplugged, the same thing happens upon plugging it back in. Now with the ignition coil disconnected (so it can't send a "run" signal back to the pump relay), the pump doesn't run when I turn the key on....BUT, even with the coil disconnected, if I have the relay unplugged, then plug it back in, the pump briefly runs.

What's sending the signal, the ECU? It's like a capacitor or something gets charged up while the relay is disconnected (or ignition off), then hooking the relay back up closes the circuit and the pump runs until the capacitor is discharged sufficiently. I originally thought the "capacitor" doing this was the ignition coil, but like I said, plugging the relay back in, even with the coil disconnected, still makes the pump run briefly like it's discharging something.

I thought maybe the signal line from the ignition coil was shorted to a line to the wipers somewhere, so I checked it out. I measured voltage at terminal #31b (or 1, as it's printed on my particular relay...the terminal that gets the "run" signal from the coil junction). With the key on, engine off, and coil connected, (and relay unplugged, obviously) it reads ~12 volts. Disconnecting the coil makes it zero voltage, naturally. I ran the intermittent wipers while measuring voltage here (both with coil connected, and disconnected) and there was no variation in voltage other than the slight consistent drop due to the load of the wiper motor.

It's starting to stump me......technically everything "works" now, but this pump interference thing isn't right and needs to be tracked down. It's definitely something unique to the intermittent circuit, since it never happens in the other two wiper speed settings. I guess I need to work on figuring out the inner workings of the intermittent device....anyone got a diagram? :)

PS: I did get the 30k device reset as per Tifosi's link, thanks!!!! All my warning lights are now verified functioning properly. :)
 

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1966-2013
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Hmm.

As I understand it, if the coil is removed/disconnected from the circut, the fuel pump(s) 'shouldn't' be capable of running.

Do you by happenstance have an inertia switch in there? (vicinity of the wiper fluid resevior, two wires, both white IIRC, one button, and around the size of a pack of cigarettes)

If it is there, that may help explain things a little bit as it's sorta built into the whole relay/pumps/ignition part of things. (though realistically, it probably shouldn't act any different whether it's present or not, but hey, one never knows if a PO got creative or not when they couldn't figure out what it was)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
As a matter of fact, the inertial switch was missing when I got the car (wires going to it were jumpered together), and I couldn't get the pump to run at all without hot-wiring it back by the ECU. Turned out the pink-white wire going to the inertial switch up front had a short in it (where I couldn't get to it), so I cut the pink-white wire out completely and connected the wire coming out of the relay going to the inertia switch wire (on the hot side, obviously...black wire, as I recall, pink-white one was going to the pump), right to the wire going back to the pump. Electronically, the circuit didn't actually change (except for eliminating a short, of course). Now the only pump-relevant wires up front are the black wire coming from the inertial switch (which I left connected because, as I recall, it also is used to power the AAV or something) and the coil signal wire.

Now that I think about it, maybe I'll try disconnecting that black wire that was going to the inertia switch.....with that part of the circuit bypassed, and my AAV no longer connected, I don't really need it. It may go through the dash area in the same bundle as a wiper lead at some point, so perhaps they're shorting together.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
OK, it's got me whipped. I tried some more stuff tonight and nothing makes any sense.

I actually ended up disconnecting both wires coming off terminal 31b of the pump relay, and just leaving my "shortcut" wire in place that cuts out all the wiring going to the inertia switch. No difference, pump still randomly cuts on with intermittent wipers. I also noticed that sometimes the pump also cuts on when the wipers come to rest (end of intermittent cycle). Basically it happens randomly when the intermittent device itself closes or opens.

I'm trying to determine what's different with the wipers in the intermittent position vs slow or fast speeds. For one, the intermittent device is opening/closing. Secondly, this device takes over control of the wipers. It seems voltage is sent back from the wiper motor to the int. device via the gray-black wire going to pin 31b of the device...powers off when wipers are in the resting position. There must be a capacitor or something inside the device, that gets charged while in the resting position, then upon reaching sufficient voltage (I think a diode would also be required here) it kicks the relay in the device and the wipers start moving....after the initial kick (once the wipers are put into motion), the gray-black wire is sending voltage to the device and holding it "closed" until the wipers reach their resting position....hmmm. Make sense?

Now I'm not exactly sure how the ignition coil signal thing works. I know that's a pulsing voltage (pulsing with RPM's), yet the pump runs constantly as long as the engine is running. I'm guessing it has something to do with the ECU? Anyway.....I'm wondering now if the closing/opening of the intermittent device is creating an arc inside it between contacts, and causing enough RF "noise" to trigger a signal via the signal wire coming off the coil (since this signal line runs pretty close to the intermittent device and wiper wiring). That would explain why the problem persists even after I disconnect the coil. Damaged/shorted wiring seems unlikely because the problem is so random, sometimes I get 4 or 5 wiper cycles before the pump "spikes" on for a moment, other times I'll get the pump kicking on when the wipers start moving AND when they return to the resting position.

My last test will be to cut the ignition coil signal line temporarily where it hooks to the pump relay, if I can't think of anything better by tomorrow.....yes I'm that desperate.
 

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Now I'm not exactly sure how the ignition coil signal thing works. I know that's a pulsing voltage (pulsing with RPM's), yet the pump runs constantly as long as the engine is running. I'm guessing it has something to do with the ECU?
Nope, it's all to do with that specific tachymetric type relay.

As in, it takes that pulse and through it's internal circutry (it does have a PCB inside complete with gizmonics) and converts it into a steady state 'on' signal.

Same principle as that same type of signal giving you a steady tach needle on electronic tachs and aftermarket electroninc tachs, though it's internal in those devices.

The relay stays on just long enough between pulses to catch the next pulse without any perceived break in the power output.

Same reason the pumps run for half a second when you first turn the key on. that initial discharge of the coil sends one signal that ends up having that half second duration power output at the relay. Obivously a running engine is putting out the pulses much more closely together, so the output is left in a very steady 'on' state while you tool down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Ahhh thanks, that clears up some stuff for me then.

I think I must have been mistaken when I said I had the coil disconnected and the wipers still made the pump run....tonight I was checking voltage on the coil lead with it disconnected from the coil (so it was only connected at the other end, to the pump relay), and the pump never came on. Here's some stuff I just tried:

1. All wires disconnected from the coil except the green voltage wire to the positive terminal, and the fuel pump signal wire to the negative terminal

2. Multi-meter connected to the signal wire and common ground

3. When the intermittent wiper device kicked on/off and made the pump run, I didn't register any strange voltage readings

4. With the green voltage wire disconnected from the coil (white pump signal wire still connected), the "problem" went away: wiper device doesn't make the pump run, ever

5. With the key on, and the signal wire disconnected from the coil, voltage at the signal wire is like 4 volts or so

6. When the engine is running (everything hooked back up to the coil, obviously), in the intermittent setting the wipers run a little slower than with the engine off

7. I actually had the pump kick on briefly again tonight when I switched on the heater fan, once


I think I'm gonna chalk it up to some kind of weird RF interference with the signal/relay circuitry business and forget about it, I'm completely out of ideas. Everything works now (except for the switch in the seatbelt not making contact), I'll just drive it and see how it goes.

There is one other thing that bothers me, I still have that loose black wire under the dash. It comes out of the harness that runs along the driver's side of the interior, comes out behind the dash near the bundle of wires going through the firewall. It's been cut, but I don't see where it could have been cut from. It doesn't connect to ground, and so far it's never read voltage when I checked it (engine on, and off). I don't see how it could be related to my current "problem" anyway.
 
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