I left keys in the ignition overnight with it in the ON position. Now I have an issue

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by DissFigured, Aug 16, 2007.


  1. DissFigured

    DissFigured New Member

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    I stupidly left the keys in the ignition overnight with it in the ON position (engine not running of course)

    First: What can be damaged by doing that?

    I got the battery recharged and it turns over fine but won't start.

    1. I replaced the starter coil but no dice

    2. The only fuse I see blown was the fuel pump which is weird because mine is mechanical

    3. I am getting no voltage reading from the multimeter when placing on the pos and neg of the coil w/ the key in the on position. (so I assume no need to check for spark as this indicates it is the primary circuit failing)

    Fuel pump is working fine.


    Also can anyone tell me how to hot wire the thing from under the hood so I can try and start the car while under the hood? Being able to do that might make testing some of this stuff easier.
    #1
  2. iskwezm

    iskwezm Advanced Member

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    do you have points still?
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  3. DissFigured

    DissFigured New Member

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    No points.
    I installed some mid grade optical system that uses a beam of light and a disc with notches in it. Don't recall what it was called but works well.
    #3
  4. Rusty67

    Rusty67 Well-Known Member

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    You need a wire comming from the battery directly to the coil to give the car juice for spark. To make the engine turn over from inside the engine bay, you need to jumper power from the battery to the S terminal on the starter motor relay.
    #4
  5. ForceFed70

    ForceFed70 That's why they call it "dope" Founding Member

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    If there is no voltage at the coil with the key in the ON position, My guess is that you burnt out the ballast resistor/wire.

    Try putting a jumper from the + battery terminal to the + coil terminal and see if it starts.
    #5
  6. scrutmonkey

    scrutmonkey New Member

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    try the above ...coil changed...hmm
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  7. DissFigured

    DissFigured New Member

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    I will try that today.

    I am not sure I have a ballast resistor/wire. Would I have one if I rewired the car w/ the EZ Wire harness?
    #7
  8. BlwnGazkit

    BlwnGazkit Member

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    Yeah, you should still have one unless the new kit uses a different Coil than original.

    The resistor wire is critical for the coil, has to have it for the External Resistor type coils that we use.
    #8
  9. DissFigured

    DissFigured New Member

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    what is the quickest way to tell if I burnt out the ballast resistor/wire?

    Should I be able to see it?
    All my wires look like they are in good shape.
    #9
  10. BlwnGazkit

    BlwnGazkit Member

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    Well, you should have power on the positive coil wire when the key is in the on position.

    If not then either the wire to the ignition is damaged, the ignition switch is damaged, or the wire from the ignition to the coil is damaged.

    The coil gets voltage from the key in two positions, RUN & START. Unless I'm backwards, the voltage in START is battery voltage and while in RUN it's powered through the resistance wire.
    #10
  11. gjz30075

    gjz30075 Member

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    I wonder if you burnt out the LED. Put the points back in to see if it makes a difference.
    #11
  12. ron67fb

    ron67fb Founding Member

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    What happened to your fuel pump issue? Now it's the coil? Did you finally get it started after changing the fuel pump and now it won't start because you left it "ON" all night? Or has it been dead since the fuel pump change? You're going in circles here which is why you need to keep it in one thread. Not everyone has read about your fuel pump problem.

    You check the coil with an ohm meter, not volts, across the terminals. Voltage you check from + post to chassis ground, not coil negative. During cranking you get battery voltage on coil "+" from the "I" terminal on the solenoid and when it's running you get whatever voltage it is after the resistor wire.
    #12
  13. ratio411

    ratio411 Founding Member

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    Usually leaving the key on only runs down the battery, kills the coil, and burns the points (or ignition module).

    When you said you replaced the "starter coil" what does that mean?
    If you replaced the ignition coil, then that's fine...

    Maybe someone else can answer this:
    Will the switch left on kill the starter solenoid?
    I didn't notice if he said the engine would spin over or not... :doh:
    #13
  14. BlwnGazkit

    BlwnGazkit Member

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    Switch left on will NOT damage the starter solenoid. Only prolonged use of sstarting can damage/burn the starter solenoid.
    #14
  15. DissFigured

    DissFigured New Member

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    I separated the threads because I have noticed if I ask 3 questions in a thread, only the last one ever gets answered.

    I will attempt to re-ask all of my questions. Please be thorough in your response because I am dumb when it comes to this stuff.

    1. Fuel pump was replaced. I assume this is not the issue because I detached the fuel hose from the carb, turned over the engine, and gas flowed out of the fuel line. Is this a correct assumption?

    I replaced the ignition coil

    2. when I place the pos of the multimeter on the pos of the new ignition coil and the neg to the neg, I get no reading no matter where I set the multimeter. I did this with the key to the on position. I assume this means that the problem is in the wiring. Is that a correct assumption?


    3. The car turns over fine so I assume the ignition module is fine. Is this a correct assumption?



    4. All my fuses are intact. I had to replace the fuel pump fuse but I do not have an electrical fuel pump that I know of. Any thoughts on this?



    All of my wires look great. I am not sure where I could look to see if the resistor wire or whatever it is called is blown. I see no damage.

    I will gladly give anyone in the Dallas Metroplex a case of the beer of their choice if they want to come out and take a look at the car and help me get it started. :D



    Just some history:

    Car ran fine.
    Got the oil changed. Started running funny like it was lacking power when cruising at high rpm (ie highway) Not sure an oil change could lead to this.
    Changed the fuel pump
    Accidentally left keys in ignition and battery died
    Got the battery charged.
    replaced the ignition coil.
    Can't get it to start. That's where I am today.
    #15
  16. ratio411

    ratio411 Founding Member

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    If the ignition module is blown, the car will turn over all day, but won't start.
    #16
  17. DissFigured

    DissFigured New Member

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    OK, here is where I am retarded.

    What / where is the ignition module?

    I don't think I have one. I have the key that goes to the ignition switch w/ wires leading to the starter solenoid. that has wires that go to the battery, starter, and coil.

    Do I have an ignition module?


    I googled it and this is what came up:<img src="http://www.slickcar.com/products/MSD6200a.jpg">
    I do not have one of these.
    #17
  18. gjz30075

    gjz30075 Member

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    Usually, the "ignition module" is an aftermarket term for whatever replaces the points in the distributor. It's a broad term and the MSD box from your Google search can also be a valid "ignition module". In your case, you said you installed some " mid grade optical system that uses a beam of light". The disk with notches breaks the beam of light to trigger the coil, much like points.

    I'm still leaning toward this beam of light thing that I believe no longer has its light. Replace it with a new one or put your points back in and try it.
    #18
  19. GNGREN

    GNGREN Member

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    You said above you put one in.... :rolleyes:

    Sounds to me that you burnt your ignition module up. I know in my Pertronix kit it says very blatantly DO NOT LEAVE KEY IN ON POSSITION WITH ENGINE OFF. Possible damage can occur. So stick a set of points back in it and see if that solves the problem.
    #19
  20. BlwnGazkit

    BlwnGazkit Member

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    The ignition module (the "mid-grade optical system") is the most likely cause. They can be damaged from leaving the key on for extended periods with the engine off.

    As for when you checked the ignition coil, you did it wrong. To check for voltage, you should check between the positive terminal of the coil and a ground on the engine or frame! The ground on the coil comes from the ignition module or points, so if thats damaged or in the open position you will not get a complete circuit.

    As for not get ANY reading with your multimeter from the coil, regardless of setting, thats simple! The only reading you should get from a coil when measuring between it's terminals is an ohm reading (resistance). BUT this only works correctly when the coil is disconnected from the other wiring.

    The ohm meter of the multimeter works by sending a charge through the coil and measureing the loss. If you have a high enough resistance then it reads as no connection or no reading at all. When the coil's still connected to the car, you're not just measuring the coil's resistance but that of all the wiring in the car!
    #20

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