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Thread: 73 beetle keeps blowing signal fuse

  1. #1 73 beetle keeps blowing signal fuse 
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Hi all,
    At the collision center I work at we just repainted a mint condition 73 Super beetle with only 53K orig miles. When I say this car is mint, its truly MINT! Original owner and completely unmolested since new. Full service history since 73'. Original everything in perfect condition. Its literally a little old manís car. Itís his pride and joy.

    Anyway, it keeps blowing fuse number 12 as soon as you turn on the signals. I'm thinking its a ground on either the front or rear signal lamps. Also when turning on the hazards it pops that fuse too.
    Any ideas?

    MRO Supply

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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    Dec 2013
    use a continuity tester and track it down

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  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman
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    Mar 2014
    Usually just abrasion of the wire bundle going to the back.
    If the insulation is cracking a new harness is called for.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman
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    Sep 2014
    i don't think it will be a ground, remember fuses only blow when they have to much amps going to them. if you have a bad ground then it just won't turn on.
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  6. #5  
    flattened rat 甘肃人's Avatar
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    Sep 2014
    Oh! At first glance I thought you had written that seventy-three beetles had blown a single fuse! Like these same beetles kept crawling into the fuse box of your home, chewed through a wire and shorted the same fuse over and over, and that you had actually taken the trouble to count the culprits. (Sorry, I have no advice for your real trouble.)
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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  7. #6  
    Forum Bachelors Degree One beer's Avatar
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    May 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by majorawesome View Post
    i don't think it will be a ground, remember fuses only blow when they have to much amps going to them. if you have a bad ground then it just won't turn on.
    I think Matt was talking about a short (circuit) to ground, which would blow a fuse.

    Matt; teaching someone via a forum how to find a short circuit will not be easy. You basically have to break the circuit down into smaller and smaller parts, until you have isolated the fault. I would use my multimeter on the resistance function, disconnect the car battery and take the indicator bulbs out and 'look' at the resistance between the bulb contacts in each lamp fitting. You might find a dead short on one of them, and if so, you will have to trace the positive wire feeding that lamp fitting back to the switch to find where the short circuit is. This may involve disassembling the loom wrapping.

    Another thing to try would be to remove the flasher unit - they usually just plug in, like a relay - reconnect the battery and then select the turn signals and check the fuse afterwards. If the fuse doesn't blow this time, then the flasher is faulty.

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  8. #7  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    Given: Both directional and hazard usage blow the respective fuse.

    Two separate causes would be very rare, so most likely only one cause exists and it is common to both circuits.

    Basically, the circuits consist of the battery, switches, relays, wiring, sockets and bulbs.

    The battery is common to other circuits, which work okay, so you can eliminate the battery.

    I guess that the directional bulbs also act as parking lights, so you could turn on the parking lights to see if one of the bulbs doesn't light (or the fuse blows). Bulbs almost always fail by opening*, not shorting, so they are most likely not at fault. Besides, you can check them visually or with an ohmmeter.

    This leaves the switches, relays, wiring and sockets to troubleshoot.

    Okay, so I cheated by googling your problem, and found ...

    If you have owned bugs before then you already know about the socket problems.

    I'm guessing this means that the sockets have some sort of propensity of shorting to ground.

    Good luck!

    * Incandescent filaments are made of tungsten and act like fuses. Their resistance is a function of their temperature ó low when cold, high when warm. So, when you turn on a bulb, a high current flows through it. As it warms, its resistance rises, causing the current to decrease. When the filament has degraded sufficiently, the turn-on current surge is too much, and it blows the bulb. That's why incandescent lamps almost always fail at turn on.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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