Finding an Electrical Short

Posted on Feb 7, 2014

Over time, many things can cause electrical problems with your Mustang. Components will get old and worn or a wire can rub against something and expose the wire to metal. I have seen where a body shop will inadvertently crimp a wire when they install a body panel. Sometimes, when mechanical repair is done, the wiring just gets in their way. This i

Finding an Electrical Short
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s unfortunate because the wiring of your Mustang is it`s nervous system. If it isn`t in good shape, then things won`t work properly. In the worst case, this can cause an electrical fire. One condition that can cause problems is an electrical short. Let`s examine what a short is and then how to find it. Current normally flows from the battery positive cable, to the starter solenoid, through the main wiring harness back into the dash, through a fuse, then to an electrical device, and then to ground, which is either the metal body somewhere or a ground wire in the wiring harness that attaches to the body. An electrical short is where current flows from the battery, and then somewhere directly to the body chassis or metal which is a direct ground and full unchecked amperage. Since current flows from the battery then direct to ground, it has taken a "short" cut to ground thus creating an electrical "short circuit". If a wire is shorting to ground without going through a fuse, it will get extremely hot and burn through if current flows long enough, sometimes taking only a few seconds. If a short exists on a fused circuit, then the fuse gets too hot and quickly melts the element inside, thus breaking the circuit and protecting the wires of that circuit. When a fuse blows for any reason, then obviously there is a problem. Be happy that the fuse is doing it`s job and giving up it`s life for the cause, otherwise wires can melt or,...

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