Columbia has no power with key in ON position

Discussion in 'Heavy Duty Diesel Truck Mechanics Forum' started by gekko1323, Mar 1, 2024.

  1. gekko1323

    gekko1323 Road Train Member

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    Good evening folks. So, I've been going out to the truck every few days to get things ready before I hit the road. Today, when I went to crank her up, the electronics/dash controls didn't react. No beep, no cycling system check...nada. I checked the voltage on the batteries and they were at 12.4V. So it isn't the batteries. I have been cranking her up and idling her for about 30 minutes every time I go out there to keep the batteries charged. So today was a surprise.

    So what can it be? I'm no mechanical genius like the rest of you here, but if it was the starter or ignition switch, wouldn't the dash electronics function with the switch in the "on" position anyway? Any insight will be appreciated as always.
     
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  3. Diesel Dave

    Diesel Dave Last Few of the OUTLAWS

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    Throw a charge on the batteries or a jump and see what it does.
     
  4. BoxCarKidd

    BoxCarKidd Road Train Member

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    Voltage reading at battery connections on starter? Then three terminals on right side on fuse box?
     
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  5. gekko1323

    gekko1323 Road Train Member

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    Thanks Dave. But the batteries are good. The voltage reading was 12.4. Also, all the electricals inside work.
     
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  6. gekko1323

    gekko1323 Road Train Member

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    Okay, I'll get on that tomorrow. Thanks. But wouldn't the power go to the starter switch first? What is the normal circuit order from the battery? Are there any fuses or relays I should look at also?
     
  7. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

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    Sounds like a bad ground. That’s the standard answer for all electrical problems. Lol. Follow the grounds from battery to frame, Should be the 2 big cables and hopefully 1 or 2 small wires, for the ecm. Carefully remove the nut from the post on frame. Might be rusty. Don’t want to break it. Wire brush and grease everything and put back together. Hopefully when you turn key on your dash warning lights and buzzer will all be working, and it’ll crank. If not, leave the key on and start wiggling wires, listen for the buzzer, might get lucky and find a bad or broken wire.
     
  8. BoxCarKidd

    BoxCarKidd Road Train Member

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    Yes positive to starter solenoid on starter. Dave is probably thanking about low voltage disconnect but I don't that that knocks out the ignition switch.I was assuming you had no power in cab.
    Maybe check fuses - breakers and for power the ign switch?
     
  9. Diesel Dave

    Diesel Dave Last Few of the OUTLAWS

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    I’ve had loose battery cable connections but that only dragged the starter at start up. Could be a loose battery cable somewhere also, like by the starter……. I would chase down the cable connection ends. Also, my current truck sometimes won’t kick over, I’ll cycle the key, but doesn’t kick over, so I’ll cycle the key again maybe once or twice then it kicks over. I’m still trying to figure that issue out.
     
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  10. uncleal13

    uncleal13 Road Train Member

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    In a Century there are two master relays, one powers the engine and the other everything else. Not sure if the Columbia has the same setup. Although I would think if it was the engine one, then all of the accessories would still come on.
    I’ve also had a bad ground that would stop it from cranking over, but everything else still came on initially. But easy enough to clean and check that connection.
     
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  11. gekko1323

    gekko1323 Road Train Member

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    Yeah, Columbias are considered "Century Class", so I'm sure it is the same. I will look at things tomorrow and give you guys an update. Are those relays in the fuse box under the hood or the one in the passenger dash? Here are two pics of the ones under the hood.


    20240224_125243.jpg

    20240224_125254.jpg

    I get the feeling that the previous owner didn't do things correctly, judging from the pics.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2024
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