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93 ford escort -windshield wipers, heater motor & cooling fan all stopped working at the same time


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last legs
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Jan 24, 2014, 9:19 AM

Post #1 of 11 (579 views)
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93 ford escort -windshield wipers, heater motor & cooling fan all stopped working at the same time Sign In

So this car has been very good to me over the years. It has only been in the last 3 months that things started going wrong. I had problems with the battery about then. I changed the ground cable, but to my surprise it is not only grounded at the block but also on the firewall. why is that? Then came the clutch safety switch under the clutch pedal. Then just the other day the cooling fan on the radiator stopped. so I went out the next morning hoping to find out why, only to find out that the windshield wipers and heater motor also stopped working.
Now I'm no rocket scientist but I'm thinking that this is all related.
I guess my next question would be, "Is their a relay switch that they all share or do you think I have a short somewhere? Please help. It's been a good car with 246,000 plus miles. Starts everytime still and it gets it's oil changed on a regular basis. I really need it to make atleast thru the spring!


nickwarner
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Jan 24, 2014, 9:52 AM

Post #2 of 11 (567 views)
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Re: 93 ford escort -windshield wipers, heater motor & cooling fan all stopped working at the same time [In reply to] Sign In

The reason you have more than one ground is that motor mounts have a rubber isolater in them. This dampens vibrations to make things quieter and smoother for you to drive it. Because of this, it doesn't make a ground connection. The body has many electrical circuits using it as ground, so in order to make the car has proper groud you need to connect the two. Thus you have an engine ground and a body ground. You can get replacement ground straps and add them in too if you choose, they are an inexpensive item at most parts stores. You can have too little ground, but you can never have too much.

I'm really surprised this car is still on the road. You must not drive anywhere with salted roads and be treating the car quite well. Been years since I saw a running one in WI, as the salt eats right through them. Years back an ex drove one and they did seem like a decent little car to get around in.

The cooling fan on the radiator is only supposed to come on when the coolant temperature is high enough that the sensor closes the control circuit for the relay. They can and do go out. Have you checked the fuses with a test light to see if they have power entering and leaving the fuse?

You mention also the wipers and blower motor not working. Does the radio work? I ask because if you have a little play in the ignition switch or the return spring in it gets weak over time this can be a cause. Try this, after you start it hold the key and gently turn it back a little bit. See if the blower and wipers suddenly work. When you turn the key to the start position, it denies power to things that aren't needed to start the car and are controlled by the ignition switch. So wipers, blower motor, radio, cooling fan are not needed to start an engine and are not powered up. When you let go of the key it is supposed to spring back to the run position which will allow power to these things. But if the contacts are getting worn inside the switch or the switch has a worn spring in it then it will come far enough back to disengage the starter but not far enough to turn everything else on. I have seen this with many Fords of this vintage. In fact, the 1990 Bronco I drive does the same thing. Now I'm no rocket scientist but I'm thinking that this is all related.
You don't have to be a rocket scientist, you have good instincts on this one.

Do a little testing with checking fuses and playing with the key a bit. See what you find and post back. If you haven't narrowed it down we will figure out where to test next to keep this going down the road.


last legs
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Jan 24, 2014, 10:02 AM

Post #3 of 11 (562 views)
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Re: 93 ford escort -windshield wipers, heater motor & cooling fan all stopped working at the same time [In reply to] Sign In

thanks man! ya I drove this car all over northern cal. twice from the bay area to ft hood, tx. and back to cal. Then on the third trip I stayed and eventually drove it to ogden utah where I reside now. I bought it with 132,000 miles in nov. 2006 so it hasn't been sitting in the garage.


kev2
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Jan 24, 2014, 10:27 AM

Post #4 of 11 (555 views)
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Re: 93 ford escort -windshield wipers, heater motor & cooling fan all stopped working at the same time [In reply to] Sign In

what is your comfort level with a test light and a wiring diagram?

those two items and time to diagnose will be the way to go


last legs
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Jan 28, 2014, 11:52 PM

Post #5 of 11 (519 views)
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Re: 93 ford escort -windshield wipers, heater motor & cooling fan all stopped working at the same time [In reply to] Sign In

Sorry that I haven't gotten back. I'm still having problems and one more symptom popped up that may answer the million dollar question. Please correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the ignition control in some way the heater, windshield wipers, and cooling fan? A couple of days ago I jumped in and tried to fire it up but all it would do was turn over. Finally I noticed my dummy lights in my dash weren't lit. So I kept turning the ignition on and off and suddenly the lights lit up and it started right up. So if the ignition shuts everything unessential to starting the car, is it possible that it is the problem. I also added another ground to my ground cable. Maybe overkill but maybe not.
It's supposed to snow tomorrow and up into thursday night so I could really use my heater and wipers! thanks guys!


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 29, 2014, 5:37 AM

Post #6 of 11 (510 views)
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Re: 93 ford escort -windshield wipers, heater motor & cooling fan all stopped working at the same time [In reply to] Sign In

Are you talking about all the lights and gauges or just the check engine light?




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Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 29, 2014, 7:14 AM

Post #7 of 11 (504 views)
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Re: 93 ford escort -windshield wipers, heater motor & cooling fan all stopped working at the same time [In reply to] Sign In

Where did you add this ground cable and to what? Does everything work properly again now with that? IMO ground cable from ground metal to other ground metal that are both supposed to be constant ground is fine just use or make the spot to do that.


If grounding existing wires to say body metal aimlessly that's trouble unless you clearly know that was THE ground only wire to something and couldn't find the break, T
_________________________________________
Long retired now


last legs
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Jan 29, 2014, 8:13 AM

Post #8 of 11 (499 views)
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post icon Re: 93 ford escort -windshield wipers, heater motor & cooling fan all stopped working at the same time [In reply to] Sign In

No sir. Atleast on a 93 escort the same ground cable came from the neg. post mounting to the firewall and then continued to the ground on the block. I had others tell me that it can't be grounded enough. Maybe not in those words but you get my drift.
Interesting though, I hope others will give me their opinions too


last legs
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Jan 29, 2014, 8:18 AM

Post #9 of 11 (497 views)
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Re: 93 ford escort -windshield wipers, heater motor & cooling fan all stopped working at the same time [In reply to] Sign In

In all my life I have only had to use one twice back in high school."1978." I have one and I'm not scared to use it.
The cooling fan kicked on while I was letting the car idle to warm up, so one problem solved.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 29, 2014, 8:30 AM

Post #10 of 11 (493 views)
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Re: 93 ford escort -windshield wipers, heater motor & cooling fan all stopped working at the same time [In reply to] Sign In

Agreed about concept of grounding. Straps are placed in assorted places throughout a vehicle frequently just bare braided wire with eyelet ends. Dashboard is bolted to body which should be enough but I see added ones placed anyway from new.


Wiper motor and things are rubber isolated so add grounds one way or another for those. Only possible problem with adding a ground is how it's routed if it rubbed on the wrong things,


T
_________________________________________
Long retired now


last legs
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Jan 30, 2014, 6:30 PM

Post #11 of 11 (470 views)
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Re: 93 ford escort -windshield wipers, heater motor & cooling fan all stopped working at the same time [In reply to] Sign In

thanks for your input ! I certainly need all the help I can get with this car.




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