Author Topic: Need advice for a electrical probe  (Read 250 times)

Offline Mamushka

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Need advice for a electrical probe
« on: July 14, 2022, 07:03:26 PM »
So I'm fighting an intermittent problem with a power window in my F150. I'm at the stage where I need to monitor some wires when the fault occurs. There is no good way to access some of the wires due to the style and location of the connectors. I was looking at something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Goupchn-Automotive-Extension-Diagnostic-Repairing/dp/B092J8GCKQ/ref=sr_1_9?keywords=Wire+Piercing+Probe+Clip&qid=1657839318&s=industrial&sr=1-9

Basically I will be driving around with the wires probed so as soon as the issue presents itself I'll turn on the Fluke and read the values. Some of these wires are buried in the door so there is no good way to probe them without having a remote "tap" on them. I also want to keep the insulation penetration's as small as possible as it's an automotive environment,

Are these probes reasonable or is there a better way that I'm overlooking?
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Offline k7

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Re: Need advice for a electrical probe
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2022, 07:43:28 PM »
what's the issue? you're not the first person to have that issue. check out online forums.

i'd say your motor is on it's way out...without even having a clue what it's doing.

or your master switch bank is messed up.

good luck.
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Offline Mamushka

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Re: Need advice for a electrical probe
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2022, 10:51:44 PM »
what's the issue? you're not the first person to have that issue. check out online forums.

i'd say your motor is on it's way out...without even having a clue what it's doing.

or your master switch bank is messed up.

good luck.

Unfortunately it's a uncommon but known issue. Found at least 20 different people/boards discussing the issue and no one has found a solution.

Sometimes when you start the truck the drivers window will be dead, like you blew a fuse level of dead, all other windows always work fine. Restart the truck (sometimes takes a couple of restarts) and the window will work perfectly until you shut off the truck again.

I have done as much troubleshooting as I could: checking fuse/holder, yes this window has it's own dedicated fuse, checked connectors, wiggle tested the harness, put in a new OEM master window switch (the switch has built in circuits) reset the BCM, etc. I just got the wiring diagram today so can get a bit more precise in my digging around. Trying to figure out why a window motor needed 5 wires was a mystery until I got the diagram  :)


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Offline k7

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Re: Need advice for a electrical probe
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2022, 11:17:39 PM »
the "works when restart", is weird.

on my mini, my window motor was dead. i could slap the door, and occasionally, it would kick on and work, short term.

i slammed the door. window motor never failed again. :P

i'd try that. hold the down window switch, and slam the driver door.

BCMs are a pain in the ass car inventions. they can cause seriously the dumbest issues.

low tech repairs.
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Offline Richie107

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Re: Need advice for a electrical probe
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2022, 10:36:16 AM »
Sometimes power windows need to be recalibrated. I have heard that you need to do a certain procedure to adjust them. Maybe the sensor is sensing the window is like at the end of limit switch or something and won't let it go up or down. I forgot what manufacturer I saw this online for but this may be a possible fix?

Offline wsrainc

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Re: Need advice for a electrical probe
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2022, 10:58:32 AM »
Depends on the year, but many vehicles use bus systems with independent controllers. In cases like this, if the controller is flaking out it would work after a restart, but fail later. Failure can come from the module detecting a fault when it tries to operate a command.

That being said, backprobe pins are what you are looking for, and what you linked. They pierce the insulation slightly and allow you to test without being too intrusive. You can set a trigger level on some Flukes and wait to see if a value crosses a threshold.

But if it is a bus based controller / module, you will see a digital signal, not just a 12v. So your fluke might not tell you very much.

A good ODB2 scanner may show a fault if it is a controller moduel.

As a final note, check where the wires go from the door to the main chassis. I have a car that I had to fully re-pin both Amphenol door connectors due to wires breaking inside the insulation due to the flex of the door opening and closing, causing the windows to be slow or fail to work at all.

Personally, I'd take the door panels off and have someone operate the window while I wiggled all the connectors to see if you can isolate it that way. Tried and true diagnostics. :)

Good luck!
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Offline Hamster

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Re: Need advice for a electrical probe
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2022, 11:37:30 AM »
your door module is not detecting the CAN Bus Key On Command... Ford(s) modules are crap, the KeyON CAN Bus is normally on the low speed can bus, the Low Speed and High Speed Can Bus are actually bridged via the Instrument panel..

But since its only the driver side door module, i suspect its a faulty crappy door module...  or the signaling to the door module is picking up noise ( but then it would affect all modules on the same can bus )

You would think ford would keep sending the key on message, but can bus messages 00000040 and 00000046 are only sent when the key is first turned on.. and all the modules are suppose to wake up.

ForSCAN is a great Tool for sniffing the canbus... but wont do you much good actually looking at the door module signals.
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Offline Hamster

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Re: Need advice for a electrical probe
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2022, 11:41:17 AM »
fun fact.. cars that have keys, did you know turning the key doesn't actually flip a starter solenoid like the old days?  you can actually just quickly "tap" the key to start, and let go, and the starter will stay engaged to start the car..   most ignition switches now are just a holder for your key :D hence why many cars just have a push button.

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Offline Mamushka

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Re: Need advice for a electrical probe
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2022, 10:09:34 PM »
For the moderators, it seems reasonable to move this thread to the auto section. I was just asking about what electrical probes to use, but it has clearly expanded beyond that scope.  ;D

I do appreciate the suggestions and hopefully I will answer the recommendations below:

Window needs to be reprogramed: The window works perfectly using auto up and auto down when it's working. This shows that the window programing is correct.

Using the OBD2 port to see if there is a fault: I am using FORScan. This is a very powerful tool (far exceeds most OBD2 scanners) to evaluate my truck. There were no codes or issues seen, I also used this to reset the the Body Control Module (BCM).

Window not receiving Key On Command, looking at the diagram  the Key On Command is tied to all the windows. So they should all work, or they all will not work.

From what the wiring diagrams show. The BCM only passes line voltage to the window switches and window motors. It looks like there are logic circuits in the master window switch (I already replaced this with a OEM Ford part) and/or the front window motors (the rear window motors are "dumb" only have 2 wires, do not have 5 wires like the front motors).

I just made sure the front window motor has a solid ground (sanded off paint under the connection). If that doesn't work I will start to probe wires.

So... does anyone have a suggestion for insulation piecing wire probes  ;D
« Last Edit: July 15, 2022, 11:05:14 PM by Mamushka »
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Offline Hamster

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Re: Need advice for a electrical probe
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2022, 01:33:35 AM »
Yeah, I put a Nav DVD Player from a Lincoln into my Ford Edge and reprogrammed it via ForSCAN :D works great.

Keep in mind, each door module is independent, so if the driver door doesn't detect a key on, and the others do, they would still work.

Bad ground is a good call.
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Offline Mamushka

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Re: Need advice for a electrical probe
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2022, 09:22:05 AM »
For those of you who gave advice I thought I would share what I hope was the solution to my problem;

I did up buying a new window regulator/motor (you cannot buy the motor separate as they are pretty well integrated). Replaced the regulator and it seems to have solved my problems. I had pretty much figured the motor had some "brains" so looking at the old motor I saw there were a few screws near the connector. I pulled them out and sure enough there is a little circuit board in there with some IC's and a relay. Additionally there are 2 forks/connectors on the board that connect to the motor. My guess is that there was a weak/intermittent connection with these forks to the motor.

Getting back to the original topic. I did get some sweet Fluke wire piercing probes  ;)
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Offline k7

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Re: Need advice for a electrical probe
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2022, 07:11:32 AM »
what's the issue? you're not the first person to have that issue. check out online forums.

i'd say your motor is on it's way out...without even having a clue what it's doing.

or your master switch bank is messed up.

good luck.

2 points, red! :P

those motor brushes wear out in every car. working, not working = motor 99% of the time.
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