Cost of Auto-Sparky

Submitted: Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 22:10
ThreadID: 103697 Views:1704 Replies:5 FollowUps:8
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G'day Team,

I have a 1999 Toyota Hilux that keeps blowing its tail light 10A fuse. I have tried to diagnose it myself with no luck. Does anybody know a ball park figure for what an auto electrician would charge to fix this problem?

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Reply By: lancie49 - Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 22:25

Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 22:25
Anthony, I'm afraid that length of string comes into play here. How long is it ?

Most tradesmen charge by the hour and unfortunately tracking an electrical fault could take 10mins, or 5hrs, or more.
Quoting a job like that would be just about impossible I think.
Perhaps state your approx location and someone may be able to direct you to a reputable AE in your area.
AnswerID: 516160

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 08:01

Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 08:01
Yours spot on, it could take 10 minutes to diagnose and find the problem and another 3 hours to get to the problem and repair it.

As mentioned below it is only a simple fault....... everything is a simple fault no matter what it is , the only thing that varies is the amount of time taken to fix it..... yeap everything is a simple fault. LOL

FollowupID: 795473

Follow Up By: Ross M - Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 10:37

Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 10:37
It is a pity some people just comment with no substance or guidance.

Anthony F1 is asking for some help not erroneous meaningless comment which is of no use at all.
FollowupID: 795485

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 12:12

Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 12:12
It's funny how the title of the tread was "Cost of Auto-Sparky" and he went into detail about his attempted to fix it and he is asking about the cost of an auto elec.

Obviously some don't read the question and take it in there own view that Anthony like many others knows it all and was asking a question of "how do I fix my electrical problem" NOT "cost of auto sparky".

I think Iancie 49 and my self answered his question sensible without getting off track and what else could both of us say.

I don't see anywhere in his post; him asking how to fix the problem.

Bit like someone asking about staying at a caravan park..... and the replies they get are about how to run a caravan park, both similar and to do with caravans but both very different.

If Anthony was asking how to fix the problem then I apologise to all involved for misunderstanding the original question..... and I'll go a hide under my rock.

Good on you Anthony for having the brains and the guts to admit the problem is over your head and you want professional help..... it would be nice if some others had the guts to admit their limitations.
FollowupID: 795490

Reply By: Ross M - Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 22:32

Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 22:32
Anthony F1
Usually the problem is a simple fault. ie short circuit to chassis or negative.

If you have a trailer plug it would be the first place to look. Inspect the wires going into it to make sure they are not damaged, squashed, broken etc.

The internal of the plug will have 7 terminals and any wires in it should be secure in each spot/connector pin and not touch any of the others.

If it is a round 7 pin the centre is the tail lights / brown wire pin 7 and the no 3 pin is the earth white wire..
These are close to each other and any strand of wire or broken wire can short across and continually blow fuses. The same can be happening in the plug and base.

Only a few screws to check it out. If fixed then you are the auto elec. Legend.

Ross M
AnswerID: 516161

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 10:53

Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 10:53
Clean all muck out of the inside of the plug and when dry get a magnifying glass and look carefully at each connection. A common fault is a single tiny thin strand of wire poking out and touching a neighbouring connector or even another strand from the next wire.

I have a very tiny pair of side cutters and a good wire stripper. If it looks messy at all get yourself some and redo every connection, carefully and neatly. Even if this does not fix it, at least it shouldn't cause an issue in the middle of the desert or in Sydney CBD.

I would say that a sparky could start at $100.Mine charged me $50 to replace a length of 100 amp wire to go to an accessory fuse box on one occasion and about $60 on another time to hook my wiring for the fog light switch in the console to the car's looms so that the fog lights operated legally.

If your in Canberra I could do it. Or introduce you to my autoelectrician.

FollowupID: 795487

Follow Up By: Ross M - Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 17:53

Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 17:53
That is good advice, and may save Anthony some money, unlike the advice of others whoa re happy to see him spend money.
The O Great 1 won't like your comment either.
Ross M

I'm in the naughty corner.
FollowupID: 795501

Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 20:09

Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 20:09 could say sorry for shooting my mouth off.....After re reading the original post I realised you did actually answer the question and there was no need for my initial comment?
Just a thought?
FollowupID: 795508

Reply By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 22:34

Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 22:34
You don't happen to have a 7 pin round diecast trailer plug do you?

Often the little retaining screw will fall out and a pin or pins will short out on the metal cover.

Check this first if you have one and the hourly rate may be irrelevant??
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AnswerID: 516162

Reply By: Anthony F1 - Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 17:22

Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 17:22
Thanks for all the replies guys.

I attempted to diagnose the problem myself by disconnecting both the tail lights and the number plate bulbs. Then I connected each one individually and tested it the fuse would blow. This isolated it to the back left tail lights. I couldn't find an obvious short so I replaced the bulbs on a suggestion and this worked for a day. Now the problem is back.

I must be honest and say that my knowledge/experience with electrical circuits dates back to high school science so I am out of my depth.

AnswerID: 516185

Follow Up By: dbish - Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 19:24

Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 19:24
What i use for tracing shorts in vehicle wiring, is wire a 55W 12V headlight globe across the blown fuse. If there is a short it will be bright, then go searching along the afected circuits untill the globe either goes out or dimms.
FollowupID: 795505

Follow Up By: cookie1 - Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 21:46

Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 21:46
So does it blow without the light in - try taking them out and changing the fuse, turn the parkers on for 5 minutes, if it blows then look to what Ross M & PJR were telling you, if not, then look at the wattage on the globes and confirm that it is correct from the users manual - someone may well have replaced them with higher wattage units and this incombination with the rest of the load on that circuit may blow the fuse.

cheers & good luck
FollowupID: 795510

Reply By: Penchy - Monday, Aug 12, 2013 at 13:17

Monday, Aug 12, 2013 at 13:17
You can get off the internet and get on the blower and find out for yourself?
AnswerID: 516290

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