Problems with our 2001 Pajero Exceed after plugging in our camper

We have just purchased a camper trailer on the weekend, and after plugging in into our 4x4, we pressed the hazard switch to check if the lights were working.
And that's when things went terribly haywire!
We now have warning light galore on the dash, and no indicators, tail lights or brake lights.
Our holiday is over before it started, and think we might have blown major ECU
Has anyone experienced this before, and possibly give us an idea where to start, or what might have happened?
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Reply By: Member - Andrew L (QLD) - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 15:29

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 15:29
So where do think the problem started at..?

" just purchased a camper trailer on the weekend, and after plugging in into our 4x4, we pressed the hazard switch to check if the lights were working.
And that's when things went terribly haywire! "

You nay have blown a use or 2, and sounds like an auto leccie is your better bet to help you.

Is the vehicle trailer wiring also new..?..you need to determine if the problem is actually the trailer or the vehicle auxilliary wiring.
AnswerID: 493263

Follow Up By: Kerles - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 16:40

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 16:40
Thanks for your reply Andrew..

Yes it's going to be a process of elimination..we found a couple of fuses blown, and fixed them, and was hoping that's all it was, but it looks like a bigger problem than that.

Hubby is a Mitsubishi mechanic, and he suspects a bigger problem, but he's not an auto electrician, so it will have to go to be checked out by one.

We did leave the vehicle to cool down over night, and everything was working again in the morning, but as soon as the hazard switch was pushed in again, everything stopped working again.
So we will try a new Hazard switch when he gets home from work, to see what happens.

We are having someone come around to check the camper, just so we know if it has a problem or not.
But for now we need to get the Pajero back up and running..

We just thought someone might have experienced something like it!
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FollowupID: 768838

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 17:19

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 17:19
I very much doubt that you have damaged the ECU. The blown fuses should have prevented further damage. But............

1. Do not fit a new hazard switch until the vehicle has been inspected by an auto electrician.

1. Do not operate the hazard switch again before going to an auto electrician.

2. Have both the vehicle and trailer inspected by an auto electrician.

From the above you can see that I recommend engaging the services of an auto electrician!
Is the "someone coming around" a competent auto electrician or do you want to risk more damage to your vehicle and camper? I think you should already know that you "have a problem or not".
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Member - Denis R (NSW) - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 15:32

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 15:32
First thing to check would be all Fuses and Relays to do with the lights and Indicators.
Also check the Trailer plugs do not have a short circuit.
AnswerID: 493264

Follow Up By: Kerles - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 16:49

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 16:49
Thanks Denis!

Have found a couple of blown fuses, and replaced them, but it is going to be a process of elimination now to see what's happening.
We just hope we haven't damaged the ECU

Hubby is a Mitsubishi mechanic, and suspects something a bit more, but it looks like it will have to have an Auto Elec look at it.

Camper trailer is going to be checked in the next couple of days, but we need to get the Pajero back on the road asap, so hears hoping it's not as bad as he thinks!

We just thought someone might have had the same thing happen to them at some stage of their travels..
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Reply By: Steve D1 - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 16:41

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 16:41
sounds like the towbar wiring ECU. caused by probably incorrect wiring on the trailer. have it checked out. these are usuall around $120.00 mark. obviously check fuses aswell, but it will be the trailer causing it. get that checked for correct installation.

steve

AnswerID: 493272

Follow Up By: Kerles - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 16:53

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 16:53
Many thanks Steve..

Will check this as well..once we find out what the prob is..I will post again.

Thanks for the in put, it's most appreciated!

Thankyou!
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FollowupID: 768842

Reply By: Ross M - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 18:59

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 18:59
It is fairly common for a trailer plug to be wires wrongly fitted but this would only make odd lights come on.
The most likely reason will be the wires in the trailer plug have stray strands of bare wire in the terminal section and they are touching each other and causing a short to earth of lights and indicators. Possible partially severed wire cable too.

This should be obvious to anyone with a small amount of mechanical knowledge.
The faults are not rocket science and is one of the most basic wiring items on a vehicle, just a simple lining up of correct with correct.

The trailer can be checked with a battery chargers output before ever connecting to a car.
AnswerID: 493280

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 19:11

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 19:11
I wouldn't try a battery charger either until the wiring has been checked for shorts.

A simple circuit tester or multimeter should identify the problem if one knoes what they are doing.

Bill


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Follow Up By: Ross M - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 21:38

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 21:38
All the trailers I have wired up have been checked with either a service battery or a power source like a battery charger.
Seeing you are trying to check lights in sequence and brake activation, the battery charger is quite good and you can vary the power input with a globe resistance in series so the circuit activates but no short can occur.
The battery charger allows you to check the charge path of the trailer battery if fitted.
I used to do many in field work and during maintenance schedules and still use the same procedure each time.
A 21w globe in a test light on the vehicle socket will present a load to the vehicle base so it will show the flow is ok where a multimeter will indicate but doesn't check the ability to provide a current flow only a voltage level.
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FollowupID: 768870

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 07:31

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 07:31
No problems with your approach Ross, but you and I obviously know our stuff and checking in this way is more about testing for poor connections rather than dead shorts.

For folk checking unknown wiring, the resistance method, then voltage check is better I think.
With a battery charger, you may be replacing the fuse for the 240 volt power source as not every charger has an internal fuse and few would consider placing an inline fuse in the output circuit.

Bill


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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 07:43

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 07:43
And that's the nub of it....... knowing your stuff.
Where is the point of nominating testing techniques for someone who is electrically unskilled?

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Ross M - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 15:18

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 15:18
G"day Allan B
The person involved here is, as stated by his good lady , a Mitsubishi mechanic.
If he doesn't have the basics to check a trailer plug and the associated circuits then he wasn't paying attention at Trade school or Mitsubishi school, was he!

So he should be aware of testing procedures and series and parallel circuits at a bare minimum. Diagnosis is also a skill taught at trade schools too.
It would be pointless to attempt to give testing options to a person who won't have the basics.
I'm not trying to be harsh on anyone , just realistic.

The bad part of these situations is, you take the vehicle with small wiring issue to a workplace and the people can't solve the relatively straightforward problem, but the same workers are completing mechanical work which requires infinitely more mechanical nouse than the wiring does, and they are trust them to do the mechanical work. Makes me shudder.
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FollowupID: 768920

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 17:37

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 17:37
Well Ross, His good lady said "So we will try a new Hazard switch when he gets home from work, to see what happens."

That's hardly "testing procedures" or "diagnosis" is it? Changing components willy-nilly until maybe it works or maybe blows something else up is hardly good troubleshooting technique.

So prescribing "checking with a battery charger" without comprehensive step-by-step procedure is unlikely to be productive to someone who rather obviously does not "know his stuff".

I know that you were trying to be helpful but I still think the best advice is to seek the assistance of a skilled colleague or auto electrician.

Cheers
Allan

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FollowupID: 768929

Reply By: awill4x4 - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 22:52

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 22:52
It is a common problem on the Pajero forum.
The hazard fuse is only 10 amps and if it blows then all the warning lights light up like a christmas tree.
It usually only occurs when a trailer is connected and it seems that the extra loading by the trailer lights is enough to blow the fuse.
The usual remedy on the Pajero forum is to replace the 10 amp fuse with a 15 amp one instead.
The hazard lamp fuse can be located under the bonnet in the fuse box near the battery.
Regards Andrew.
AnswerID: 493301

Reply By: patsproule - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 06:07

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 06:07
It's the HAZARD LIGHT FUSE. Guaranteed. Change it and all will be good again. Better still up it to a 15 amp one. They are well known for lighting up the entire dash board when a trailer takes out the hazard fuse. Stupid I know but quite a common issue. If you have a bullbar on it with repeater lights,the additional current draw of these plus the trailer is often enough to blow the fuse as it's a bit marginal. Alternatively if you have a problem with the trailer wiring it can do it too.

Pat
AnswerID: 493304

Follow Up By: patsproule - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 06:13

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 06:13
Sorry Andrew - repeated what you said.... great minds ? :)

CHeers - Pat
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FollowupID: 768885

Reply By: PajDIDauto - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 13:29

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 13:29
Hi Kerles, out of curiosity do you have an ARB bullbar fitted? There can be problems with that bars indicators causing blown fuses on Pajero's when hooking up the trailer, it's quite common and you can do a search for it on the Pajero Club of Victoria website.
AnswerID: 493330

Follow Up By: PajDIDauto - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 13:31

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 13:31
Oopps, someone beat me to it!
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FollowupID: 768911

Reply By: Ross M - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 18:11

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 18:11
A little testing to make sure the circuits work normally, easily done with the power source I mentioned earlier and safe to do.
With everything working as it should the quick addition of the amps for each lamp in the circuit will immediately point to the fuse being not big enough because the instantaneous amp load of all the indicator globes in the circuit is far greater at startup, around double and the supply fuse blows.
The PAJ boys have found this to be the case.
AnswerID: 493348

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