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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
First time using the Mazda 6 Club.
I am trying to figure out a weird electrical issue with daughters 2008 Mazda 6.
So, the other night she told me that the Taillights and parking lights were out.
I checked the next day and found that fuse 31 in the fuse box under the hood was blown.
I replaced the fuse and the lights came back on and thought we were good to go.
My daughter then took the car out and found that as soon as she switched on the Tail lights the dashboard would freak out (all lights on and the Tach and speedometer drop to 0) but the car is still running.
So I went through and did some troubleshooting and could not yet find the problem.
I did confirm that if I remove fuse 31, and switch on the Taillights (obviously they are not lit) then the issue does not happen.
I also confirmed that the car does not need to be running to recreate the dashboard all lights on when switching on the Taillights.
I guess I am thinking a faulty wire or short of some sort, but I would think a short would blow the fuse again immediately as soon as power is applied to the circuit.
Any thoughts?
Thanks very much in advance for your input.
Tony
 

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Welcome aboard.

Perhaps a bad ground? These cars can be prone to that.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input.
There was one tail light bulb blown that I had known about before, I replaced it at the same time I replaced the fuse.
I have since gone through and unplugged all the tail lights as part of troubleshooting but the problem still happens even when unplugged.
The other thing that has been happening with the car over the last year plus has been the low-beam headlight bulb will blow every couple months.
It's usually just one side at a time but it does alternate between sides.
Thanks, everyone for your input.
Tony
 

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So it happens with the tail lights unplugged? Did you unplug the ones in the center? Tag lights? It almost sounds as if there is water somewhere inside the lights. I was going to ask about water in the tail lights but if they are unplugged then I don't think it's that lol. However there are other lights on that circuit. Does it happen only when the headlights are on or parking lights?

If it does it with the parking lights then anything that comes on with the running lights would need to be checked.

If It doesn't do it until the headlights are on, look towards the headlights. On my 03, the insulation on the wires inside the headlights are cracked down to bare wires in some spots, when i go to do my retrofit i will be rewiring them to take care of that issue.

If there is no water to be seen, I'd start looking at each plug and any wiring near them. Sometimes these fray over time if there are tight bends near the bulbs/plugs.

Good luck because it sure does sound like you have your work cut out for you.
 

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Electrical problems can be a beast indeed. Go for the obvious things first as @DJ Raydiate suggests. Bad bulb sockets, water in bulbs/connectors etc. After that it comes down to testing impedance on every circuit. Basically if there is a wire on the circuit running somewhere you will have to test it with an ohmmeter to see if there is a break. [sigh]



As far as the headlights go, if you touch them with anything that has oil (eg. hands) they will fail very quickly. I clean all my bulbs with acetone and install them with fresh nitrile gloves or while holding them in the acetone towelette.



Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for your replies.
So I am still digging into this issue, the problem only occurs when the parking light switch is on.
I drove it around with the switch on and both the tach and speedometer will drop down and up intermittently and all the dash lights will light up and go out at same time.
Its very strange, car does not stall out or hesitate when it occurs.
So today, I removed the Tail light, parking light, license plate light fuse (#31), confirmed that 12V is applied to the right connector pin.
I then did a continuity check on both fuse pins and the left side reads nearly 0 Ohms (meter is beeping).
I then removed the other fuse right below that is (#32) same rating of 10A, it is listed in the manual as Dashboard illumination, and I get the same results, left side reads nearly 0 Ohms (meter is beeping).
So based on these results I would think I have some type of short, but when both fuses are in and the car is running and turn the parking switch, these fuses do not blow.
I have experience with electronics, so I'm no stranger to using a meter and measuring voltage and ohms etc..., but this is strange.
I even pulled out the Tail relay which is right next to these two fuses and have same results as far as the continuity check on the left fuse pin.
I even did some random checks on some of the other fuses in the fuse box and they do not read continuity and any side of the connection.
Am I missing something obvious or unique with this circuit?
Thanks in advance for your input.
Tony
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hello all,
Good News, problem solved.
There were 2 other bulbs in the same circuit that I did not know were there.
There are two mini parking lights tucked up above the high beam lights, they are mini buld types.
I could not see them at first because my headlight lens were abit foggy, which I now have cleaned/restored with toothpaste.
Both of these bulbs were burnt out, I removed both bulds and then tested the car and the problem was gone.
I replaced the bulbs with new ones (Sylvania 2825) and all is good.
I had thought that the lights on the side (orange lens) were the front parking lights, but those are the "Side Marker lights".
Can't explain why burnt bulds would cause this issue, I did a quick ohms check on the bulbs and no short detected.
Anyhow, all is working good now and I feel a hell alot better.
Thank you all again for your input, it was very much appreciated.
Tony
 

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Can't explain why burnt bulds would cause this issue, I did a quick ohms check on the bulbs and no short detected.
Sometimes it's weird. I remember my neighbor, his dashboard will flicker until they found out that it's because of the wrong bulb capacity that was installed by the technician. So it was like this, 10 Watts is required but 20 Watts was installed.

Congratulations for fixing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hello all,
Well, the issue has come back.
I thought I was done with it.
Was working fine for about 6 days when my daughter was driving home from the store last night and it came back.
I checked it again myself today and yup, same thing.
If the taillight/parking lights are not switched on then it's OK.
I confirmed that all the lights are on, no fuse is blown.
The last thing I did, when I thought I fixed it, replaced the two burnt out parking light bulbs.
I did try and remove the new bulbs that are in there but no change still happens.
If I remove the #31 fuse which does not allow any of the taillight/parking lights to come on then there is no issue when I turn the switch on.
I have a tough time believing there is a short in the circuit since all the lights are on and fuse is not blown.
Maybe there is an electrical control module that is malfunctioning under load?
Scratching my head.
Anybody have any ideas, I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks
Tony
 

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Hello all,
Well, the issue has come back.
I thought I was done with it.
Was working fine for about 6 days when my daughter was driving home from the store last night and it came back.
I checked it again myself today and yup, same thing.
If the taillight/parking lights are not switched on then it's OK.
I confirmed that all the lights are on, no fuse is blown.
The last thing I did, when I thought I fixed it, replaced the two burnt out parking light bulbs.
I did try and remove the new bulbs that are in there but no change still happens.
If I remove the #31 fuse which does not allow any of the taillight/parking lights to come on then there is no issue when I turn the switch on.
I have a tough time believing there is a short in the circuit since all the lights are on and fuse is not blown.
Maybe there is an electrical control module that is malfunctioning under load?
Scratching my head.
Anybody have any ideas, I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks
Tony
How about a loose terminal or a loosely connected bulb? I remember I had this issue, the left turn signal light will flicker very fast if I am depressing the brakes but will flicker normally if I'm not.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hello all,
I am 99.9% sure I have resolved the issue.
I had to take a few days from working on it but finally made some time this weekend.
Here is what transpired, Saturday morning started up the car and turned on the lights and everything was working fine, turned everything OFF back On and all was working. None the less, I knew that this was just temporary so I decided to start checking bulbs and cleaning ground connections etc...could not find anything of overwhelming significance. Put everything back together and still working fine.
So on Sunday night, I decided to retest everything again before giving the car back to my daughter for her to use on Monday for work, well a new problem appeared, both turn signal lights came on anytime I set the turn signal either right or left and it flickered faster than normal. And, this only happened when the parking lights are ON as well. Needless to say, I was pissed OFF.
Did some searching on the forum and found this;
https://forum.mazda6club.com/newbie-section/262900-turn-signal-problem-every-bulb-flashing-very-fast.html
Anyhow, I went deep into trying to isolate this problem by unplugging bulbs one at a time, I was seeing some differences in the symptom but still could not fully isolate what was the cause. Then I finally started wiggling wires and then lights started flashing, the issue was this ground connector under the air filter box. You can see it in the attached photo, its that white rectangular connector in the center of the photo, I wiggled it and could induce the issue. It joins 4 ground connections in-to-one and screwed down to the body. Now I did unscrew this connection earlier and clean the bolt and the contact point on the body but that was not enough. I opened this connector up and found the wires were rusted out pretty bad. I actually had the cut them all off the connector and I spliced them all together and bolted it down on the body. Now I feel the ground is solid and I checked with an Ohm meter and it beeps. The lights and turn signals are now all working fine.
I know some of you guys mentioned several times that it was probably a ground and I should of jumped on that sooner, anyhow you live and learn. My fingers are crossed that this issue is finally fixed. I'll shoot you all an update later on.
Thanks again for your input.
Tony
 

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Hello all,
I am 99.9% sure I have resolved the issue.
I had to take a few days from working on it but finally made some time this weekend.
Here is what transpired, Saturday morning started up the car and turned on the lights and everything was working fine, turned everything OFF back On and all was working. None the less, I knew that this was just temporary so I decided to start checking bulbs and cleaning ground connections etc...could not find anything of overwhelming significance. Put everything back together and still working fine.
So on Sunday night, I decided to retest everything again before giving the car back to my daughter for her to use on Monday for work, well a new problem appeared, both turn signal lights came on anytime I set the turn signal either right or left and it flickered faster than normal. And, this only happened when the parking lights are ON as well. Needless to say, I was pissed OFF.
Did some searching on the forum and found this;
https://forum.mazda6club.com/newbie-section/262900-turn-signal-problem-every-bulb-flashing-very-fast.html
Anyhow, I went deep into trying to isolate this problem by unplugging bulbs one at a time, I was seeing some differences in the symptom but still could not fully isolate what was the cause. Then I finally started wiggling wires and then lights started flashing, the issue was this ground connector under the air filter box. You can see it in the attached photo, its that white rectangular connector in the center of the photo, I wiggled it and could induce the issue. It joins 4 ground connections in-to-one and screwed down to the body. Now I did unscrew this connection earlier and clean the bolt and the contact point on the body but that was not enough. I opened this connector up and found the wires were rusted out pretty bad. I actually had the cut them all off the connector and I spliced them all together and bolted it down on the body. Now I feel the ground is solid and I checked with an Ohm meter and it beeps. The lights and turn signals are now all working fine.
I know some of you guys mentioned several times that it was probably a ground and I should of jumped on that sooner, anyhow you live and learn. My fingers are crossed that this issue is finally fixed. I'll shoot you all an update later on.
Thanks again for your input.
Tony
Wow!! Great find!! I'm going to have to check mine now lol. I never thought about that. I don't like unexpected electrical issues so I try to check my grounds regularly. I hope that works for you!
 

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You either have a weak + or a bad ground.
Run a live + wire from the battery to fuse 31 and 32 (battery side, not the dash side so the fuse still protects) while the dash is acting. See if things change when you supply a reliable +. Your fuse box could have a bad + connection and not have enough "juice" when lights are on.

Next thing I'd check is the ground to your light switch, take it off and do the same but with a - wire. If that switch doesn't have good ground it will pull it from anything close to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hello all,
Its been almost 2 weeks and no re occurrence of the problem.
So, the bad ground connections was the issue.
Case closed.
Thanks all
Tony
 
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