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Front windows going down when ignition switched off, Galaxy Mk1 1999

Started by i7555p, February 26, 2022, 04:29:01 PM

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I thought is worth sharing my experience with this one, the front windows going down when ignition switched off, ( rear windows are manual on my car). This problem started out of the blue then dissappeared for week or two before coming back. also found the windows down a couple of times in the morning although they were up the night before.

Internet searches only pointed to water under the passenger seat, well mine was dry and the control box isn't there on mine, it is incorporated into the fuse box under the driver's side dash. this area was also dry.

I suspected that the insulation on the wires in the link to the drivers door may be breaking up and causing shorts. ( I had repaired such damage to the tail gate lid many years ago). I unplugged the big round connector by turning the plastic ring castle nut which forces the plug from the socket.  Turning the ignition on and off again made no difference to the problem i.e. the passenger side window went down. disconnecting each door in turn made no difference.

I opened the tail gate to get something out and found the problem gone!  I investigated the tail gate flexible wiring inside the rubber boot on the driver's side and found several wires with very hard and cracked insulation.  Fortunately the wiring harness unplugs behind the rear lighting cluster, so this allows a good length of slack to pulled up to allow the rubber gaiter to be pulled away exposing the wires.

I find the best way to splice a new wire in after cutting out the bad section, is to solder and then heatshrink, the stuff with internal adhesive is the best sort to use. in my original repairs made to this some years ago I fitted some 'socking' over the repaired wires. I think the wires that have just failed must have looked ok when I made previous repairs.

Sorry not many pictures as the phone didn't focus well on most of them.  I was surprised that the tailgate was where the trouble was but it does seem the the wires and rubber are twisted quite sharply at the moving end.

Finally, a question, does anyone know what the theory is behind the windows going down? it has been suggested that this is a safety feature to aid escape should the car find its self in deep water. If this is so then where is the sensor that would invoke this in these circumstances?  Wires shorting together would certainly be expected to have unpredictable results but necessarily this one?

Best Regards

Ian

There is global opening/closing you trigger by holding the key in the lock/unlock position. Unlock is open, lock is closed. In the case of rear door and rear quarter panel windows being electric, those will also open/close.

This also I think (not 100% sure without trying it) opens from the boot lock.

Wires shorted or broken in the boot gaiter are commonplace on these due to the design. Also your best to avoid making joints in the bit of the loom that flexes, as they tend to break at the joint again. Best idea is to run a new bit of wire and join it to the loom either side of the boot gaiter where it lives in the door or car body (the bits of wire that don't get bent everytime the boot is opened).

 Very practical and impressive tip
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all. Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Thank you for the replies.
I should have worked out the answer to my own question
"does anyone know what the theory is behind the windows going down?",
as I already knew that holding the driver's door key in the locked position will make the windows go up, in fact this was the only way I could close the windows after getting out of the car. I didn't twig that the opposite also worked to lower the windows from the key.

So presumably the wire to the 'key locked position' switch in the tail gate was shorting on to something live (or earth if it works that way round).

I did replace at least 6" of the cracked wires in the rubber gaiter, with a joint at either end.  I didn't make the best job of it as I hadn't got any of the best heat shrink sleeving to hand, I may do it again in warmer weather.  PS the best heat shrink sleeving in my option is the self adhesive lined stuff, it grips and seals the joint.

The tailgate is a problem area. Mine currently doesn't detect the boot being open which is annoying if your in the boot as the lights go off after 30 seconds, followed by the alarm going off shortly afterwards if you have used the remote to unlock the car and only gone in the boot. Keep forgetting to fix that when I've got the time to do so!

I'm not sure which way it shorts out or if thats exactly what happens, but the damaged wires are clearly the cause as you've found so fixing them is the solution.

Glued heatshrink is a good fix when you can get it to work for what your doing. Be aware that making the wire too stiff is likely to cause premature failure (even virgin wire that hasn't been soldered eventually suffers in that location). The more flexible that section can be the better chance you have of it lasting a while.

Also use stranded wire rather than single core as it is more likely to survive being flexed
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all. Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Quote from: brianh on March 07, 2022, 10:39:11 PMThe tailgate is a problem area. Mine currently doesn't detect the boot being open which is annoying if your in the boot as the lights go off after 30 seconds, followed by the alarm going off shortly afterwards if you have used the remote to unlock the car and only gone in the boot. Keep forgetting to fix that when I've got the time to do so!

That's prime 'locked the keys in the boot' territory as well :)
03 Ford Galaxy 1.9 TDI 115 Ghia in Spruce Green Metallic
With cream leather interior, Full Bodykit, Remapped at 145bhp, Lowered on 18's
13 Porsche Cayenne 3.0 V6 Diesel in Umber Metallic
262Bhp AWD and Factory fresh...for now!
58 Ford Transit 2.2 TDI 115 in Frozen White
With retrofitted everything except another slidey door! :)
LAUNCH X431 Pad PRO - Scanning & Coding for all makes and models done in Wiltshire in exchange for winegums! :)

Quote from: Mirez on March 10, 2022, 02:45:57 PMThat's prime 'locked the keys in the boot' territory as well :)

That is a very good point. Really must fix it!

Now fixed that, replaced 6 wires in total in the boot gaiter and now the interior lights work, so that should stop the alarm going off when I'm in the boot. Found the brown wire snapped in two, several others with broken insulation.

Good work! It's amazing how many manufacturers suffer wiring breakdown as well, and I wonder if its bad implementation (angle, tightness etc?), poor quality wiring or a combination of both.
03 Ford Galaxy 1.9 TDI 115 Ghia in Spruce Green Metallic
With cream leather interior, Full Bodykit, Remapped at 145bhp, Lowered on 18's
13 Porsche Cayenne 3.0 V6 Diesel in Umber Metallic
262Bhp AWD and Factory fresh...for now!
58 Ford Transit 2.2 TDI 115 in Frozen White
With retrofitted everything except another slidey door! :)
LAUNCH X431 Pad PRO - Scanning & Coding for all makes and models done in Wiltshire in exchange for winegums! :)

I think the fact that all the doors on the galaxy seem to suffer suggest its partly design, though poor quality wire isn't helping much either. Though mine is now nearly 21 years old so somewhat expected. Probabbly should check the other doors actually now I think of it.

The original Galaxy I had was a nightmare for door wires from previous bodges where repairs had been attempted. I did have a few days where I couldn't actually get the doors to stay locked at one point before having to repair wires in every door. The boot was particually bad!