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Old 16-01-16, 07:53 PM   #1
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Location: Cranleigh, Surrey, UK
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Default Electrics completely cutting out while driving

Hi all, I've had a quick look but haven't seen anything that matching my problem anywhere.

This problem has happened twice now (on different days) and it's a bit of a concern. I was driving along and suddenly all electrics just completely cut out, including the headlights, dash, stereo, heater and everything just went off. I was driving at about 50mph at night in the dark when it happened both times which makes it even more dangerous. Luckily there were enough other cars on the road that I could see to safely pull over and stop but it could have ended up a lot worse.

The odd thing is the engine still ran fine no issues there at all, power steering was fine, mechanically it was operating as it should but the loss of headlights at night was particularly dangerous.

Has anyone ever seen this before or know where I can start troubleshooting? I turned off the ignition and restarted it which resolved the problem both times but I'm just worried it's going to get worse and result in an accident if I can't pinpoint the cause.

At the moment I have run a temporary switched supply direct from the battery to the headlights that I can flick on should it happen again so I should be safe in that respect but I'd love to know what has caused these two occurrences.

My first thought was that it could be a bad earth somewhere but I thought most of the loom is probably earthed in several locations so didn't think it would cause absolutely everything to cut out like it did. Where should I start the troubleshooting?

Also I'm not sure if it's related but a few days ago the climate control was also playing up, temperature set on the maximum of 30 degrees but the air coming out was ice cold for about 10 minutes, hot for 5 mins then back to cold again. I can live with that if need be but the other things I definitely need to get resolved.

Another thing may be worth mentioning, we've had a lot of wet whether recently and it's starting to get very cold and icy at the moment too if that could be anything to do with it?

I was wondering if maybe it could be a faulty relay or ignition issue possibly?

Car: 2002 406 LX 2.0 HDi 90

Last edited by fitzy89; 16-01-16 at 07:57 PM. Reason: Added car details
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Old 16-01-16, 08:19 PM   #2
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Default Electrics completely cutting out while driving

I had this happen many years ago and I traced it to the earth strap might be worth checking all nuts are tight or even renewing main earth strap, I only had to hit a bump in road and all the electrics would go no lights or wipers.
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Old 16-01-16, 08:25 PM   #3
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Hasn't got a cd changer in the boot by any chance?
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Old 16-01-16, 09:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ianoak999 View Post
I had this happen many years ago and I traced it to the earth strap might be worth checking all nuts are tight or even renewing main earth strap, I only had to hit a bump in road and all the electrics would go no lights or wipers.
Glad I'm not the only one it's happened to and thanks for the advice, where is the earth strap located? I always carry a jack and toolkit with me for roadside repairs where necessary which could come in handy.

No Mr Lee this one doesn't have the CD changer, it originally had the standard CD head unit (which I have since replaced with a motorised touch screen head unit).

Interestingly I've just found a very similar problem someone else has had but on a 206, almost the same as mine but mine required a restart to get everything working again, and my headlights go off where this one on the 206 they stayed on: https://www.peugeotforums.com/forums/...-remain-19414/
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Old 16-01-16, 09:31 PM   #5
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Earth strap is the battery - lead that connects to engine and body work so check that and clean battery contacts
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Old 16-01-16, 09:32 PM   #6
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HI, there has been lots of rain in the last few weeks, and this does sound like there could be water ingress.

Have you got a sunroof? If so then get the drain holes cleared as they block and overflow into the car by the top of the 'A' pillar.

The main culprit is the drivers footwell - it could be dry on top but properly wet underneath where one main connector sits in a puddle...

As already suggested, if you have a saloon then sometimes the rear light leaks and puts water into the cubby where the CD player goes - you may not have the player but the connector could still be in a puddle...

The heater going off is a bit weird, makes me think it could be the 'engine running relay' but I don't really know enough about it, sorry.

Hope you get it sorted.
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Old 16-01-16, 09:56 PM   #7
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Thanks guys oh I didn't realise you meant the battery connector, assumed you meant another strap between the body and something else but will check that. I did notice when I was looking under the bonnet a few days ago it was very very wet around the battery area directly between the headlight fitting and the battery box, the other side wasn't looking wet at all. Will check out the cables though and clean up the battery terminals.

Thanks Ginger for the advice again, you've been great with some of my other posts in the past too. No sunroof on this model and no sign of damp anywhere inside the car, have looked in the back and no water anywhere and all carpets/footwells are dry so will assume the issue must be somewhere under the bonnet.

I've never looked at heating issues before so I'm not too sure how the temperature is controlled, not the most important issue at this stage but just wondered if it could have been related.

So my instincts to suspect a dodgy earth were probably right, will hopefully have a chance to look into that tomorrow and clean it all up.

Thanks as always for the helpful advice from all of you
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