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I have a 2000 4x4 4.3l 5spd. A while back I was having trouble with my trucks gauges going crazy, then it got worse over the months and started bucking then finally shutting off. The gauges would bounce all over the place. I ended up changing the ignition switch and that seemed to solve the problem. But then 2 years later it started doing it again. I put a new switch in and it was good for about a year. Now about 8 months later this is another switch. I would like to find out whats wrong. But for the time being I'm going to the junk yard and pulling switches out of a couple trucks. $9 for a used one sure beats $55 for a new one. expecially at the rate I'm starting to go through them.

Any insight on this would be greatly appriciated.
 

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Sounds like you have a parasitic draw somewhere in your electrical. After having changed the switches 3 times, I personally would begin to take stuff apart and find out where youre losing current. A slow but steady trickle may be whats causing you to lose power in the gauges. Start with that ignition switch and trace wires. Good luck
 

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what, parasitic draw causes the battery loose charge

may not be the switch but the act of changing it, moving around the wires and connections, like the wiggle test to find bad connection
 

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What brand of new switches did you replace with?

What happens when the contacts go bad?
For the 98+ trucks, the most common issue is the "security" light on the dash illuminating. But the problem can also be an inoperative fuel pump, unresponsive cluster, ABS and/or SIR lights being illuminated on the cluster, as well as a no start condition (either related to the inoperative fuel pump or a failure of the starter to turn over). The ignition switch can also cause PASSLOCK issues.

What goes wrong?
Since some of the circuits can have a fairly high current load on them when you start your truck, the arc that happens when the contacts close can be pretty intense. Over time, the contacts will erode/corrode and will loose their conductivity to each other, usually in the form of a higher resistance.

The internal contacts of my factory switch


What circuits have power for a given key position (ACC, LOCK, OFF, RUN, & START):
  • IGN 0 (small white wire) circuit has power in OFF, RUN, and START
  • CRANK (small yellow wire) circuit only has power in START
  • ACC/RAP (large brown wire) circuit has power in ACC and RUN
  • IGN 1 (large pink wire) circuit has power in RUN and START
  • IGN 3 (large orange wire) circuit has power in RUN only
 

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Jimmyfied
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i am having the same problem im using Duralast with the life warranty. so i have to replace it one a year but it is free and it is a pain but i would like to know why this is happeneing and what i can do to stop this thank you sorry for the hijack
 

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contacts can burn up quicker if you have current load in excess of what the switch is designed to handle, too many additions, something shorting, or poor design or quality

can add relay to reduce load through switch
 
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