A Nissan Sentra blows its fuse(s).

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | May 01, 1993

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a 1985 Nissan Sentra with 125,000 miles on it. The 20 amp "Engine Control" fuse blew as I was driving. After replacing the fuse, the same thing happened again. I was in the process of accelerating both times. I've checked over the engine and cannot see anything loose. What could be causing this overload?

RAY: I can think of two possibilities, Kerry. One is that you're getting a current surge from an overcharging alternator.

TOM: My brother once tried to get a "currency surge" by overcharging for an alternator, but the customer complained and put an end to that.

RAY: If it's not a faulty alternator, it could be a short circuit. You may not realize it, but when you accelerate, things under the hood move around. You feel your back push against the seat when you step on the gas, right? Well, the same sort of thing happens in the engine compartment, and a wire may be shifting just enough to short out when you accelerate hard.

TOM: If you've had an accident in this car, I'd look carefully in the area of where the accident occurred. It's possible that a wire is somehow being pinched by the body.

RAY: That's one of the problems with these Sentras. The blinding acceleration has let to all kinds of problems like this. I guess that's the price you pay for owning a car capable of breaking the sound barrier.

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