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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 9:56 am 
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keywords: battery dead dying won't start won't hold charge no charge parasitic chronic voltage power drain door switch problem advisory bulletin FAQ

I'm authoring this FAQ, because this is a rather important issue detailing an otherwise small electrical malfunction that could leave a vehicle stranded due and cause a discharged battery, and no one else seems to have discovered my prior posts on the subject. If an admin could make this sticky that would be nice too.:wink: [EDIT: nevermind, did it myself :mrgreen:]
This is an FAQ based on my contributions to this thread:
http://www.teamswift.net/viewtopic.php?p=42761#42761

On 2003 12 09 Lihtan wrote:
Quote:
I've been in the last few days having a chronic problem with battery drainage in my own vehicle. After checking for parasitic voltage drains across all the fuse panels (dash and engine compartment) I found no defective circuits, but something was still putting a 12 volt drain on the system. As of yet I haven't actually solved the problem yet, and I'm suspecting either the battery (less than a year old, so probably not) or the alternator (which BTW passes the failure test in my repair manual). I just found this interesting bit of tech info on the internet: http://www.forparts.com/techsuzuki.htm

Quote:

1993 Suzuki Swift - Discharged Battery

In case you encounter a '93 Suzuki Swift (3 door models with VIN#s up to JS2AC35S3N5101623 and 4 door models with VIN#s up to JS2AE35S9N5101362) that have lost their get-up-and-go (repetitively discharged battery), check the door switches that control the dome light prior to changing the alternator. (Bosch Reman. p/n AL4500X, AL4501X) The original design of the switch has a flange which breaks away from the barrel or housing. This causes the switch to remain closed, in turn causing a constant drain on the battery. If you find a suspect or damaged switch, replace it with a late style switch (Suzuki p/n 37670-60A01).


On 2003 12 09 Lihtan wrote:
Quote:
Well I had a chance to test my suspicion about the door switch today. I had an appointment today and didn't have any more time to examine the electrical system. I popped off the rubber cap for the door switch, disconnected the wire, capped the end with some heatshrink, shoved the wire back in and put a few layer of electrical tape over the hole in the door pillar. I jump started my car and crossed my fingers I wouldn't get stranded at my destination.....

As it turns out...
The factory door switch was defective, resulting in a short that would continuously drain the battery.
Since severing the wire from the door switch I've had no further problems with dead batteries. If your battery is always dead, and you've noticed symptoms like not always being notified if the door is ajar or your key is in, I bet you all the karma I have on this board that your door switch is to blame.


On 2003 12 17 Lihtan wrote:
Quote:
Yesterday I had another electrical failure in the car. This time it was the passenger side door switch!
I shoulda yanked that thing when I fixed the first one... :roll:

All is well

for now.....

This problem seems to afflict MK3s, but I also severed the door switches on my MK2 just to be on the safe side.
The door switches govern warnings issued if the door is ajar, if the key is left in the ignition, or if the headlights are left on. The door switches also play a roll in the dome light's "auto" function. Some or all of the above may function sporatically or fail if the door switches are dying. When the doorswitches fail, they cause a dead short to ground which can quickly kill a battery, and burden the alternator when the engine is running. Symptoms to look for are
  • trouble idling (low idle, sputtering, stalling)
  • dimmer than normal lights
  • lower than normal voltage levels (get yourself a voltage gauge)
  • difficulty starting
  • battery supposedly unresponsive to external charging
  • battery responsive to external charging if removed from vehicle
  • no parasitic drains present on any fused circuits
  • alternator passes diagnostic tests
  • not always alerted to "key in", "lights on" events
  • false positive alerts for "door ajar" events
  • malfunction of domelight

Disabling Your Door Switches:
  • Remove rubber cap from switch, this may already be cracked or torn with age
  • Pry switch out from door sill. The door switches may be a bit troublesome to remove, if you're having trouble it may help to remove the interior trim panels in the rear passenger area, and go at it from the back.
  • Remove screw that is holding the wire to the switch
  • Insulate end of wire with heatshrink tubing
  • Shove wire back into hole
  • Cover hole in sill. (a couple of piece of electrical tape will work for now)

Once the door switches are disabled you will no longer have warnings if you leave the headlights on, or the keys in the ignition. I've always seemed to notice if my headlights are on, and I have a habit of making sure I have keys in my hand before I lock *any* door. On the plus side you can now leave your door open when you're parked with the stereo on and not be hassled with that annoying beeping noise.
For those opposed to the idea of loosing your door switches thing about this: This is a convenience item that can leave you stranded and kill your battery. It *did* leave me stranded.
Image

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Last edited by Lihtan on Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:39 am 
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the real question everyons wants to know, where to get a nice rubber plug for that hole ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:52 pm 
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The MK2s are the same way but it is the body not the switches that cause the problem. On my 90 metro the hole where the switch sits was rusted this caused it to not ground when the door was closed and set off the "key in alarm" that was anoying becouse for one I leve the keys in the ignition of my car most of the time and for two the key was hard to get out of the swtch cuse of the shifter thingy that only lets you remove the key with car in park was brokin and it took 3 hands most of the time to get the key out.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 1:17 am 
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Take the housing off your shifter, there's an adjuster to set the cable tension for the park-ignition key lockout. If you have too much play in it you'll have problems trying to get your key out.

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jaguar,vettes&sprints wrote:
...can you inlighten me about lihtan's
( miracle pour hole)
maybe a picture Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 1:01 am 
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wow, I have every single one of those symptoms you described hah. I knew when I bought it the dome lights didnt work with the door jamb switches because they were rusty and I didnt really care cause the car was cheap and I needed a beater. But it starts hard, shudders, etc. I'll have to pull them out and unplug them.

This site is awesome, I'm glad I found it.

-Thomas

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:35 pm 
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I just flipped my dome light switch to off to combat this problem. If I have the key in the ignition and the car off, it will beep at me if I bump the door but I am having no battery drains because of it.

Just thought I would throw that in incase someone doesnt feel like pulling all their door pins.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:38 am 
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I never used my domelight, yet I found myself with a battery drain situation that was seriously pissing me off. I found it easy to say "bye bye door switches!" :wink:

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jaguar,vettes&sprints wrote:
...can you inlighten me about lihtan's
( miracle pour hole)
maybe a picture Thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 1:15 am 
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n1tr0 wrote:
the real question everyons wants to know, where to get a nice rubber plug for that hole ;)


Just cut or tape up the wire and put the pin switch back in disconnected.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:54 pm 
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Hmmm, do MK1's have these switches? cause this has happened to my 88 sprint and I have a new battery and it was tested good. And I changed my alternator with a spare one I had and it was tested and passed, yet I am still getting my battery drained and yesterday it started to stall out when I press the gas down and was idling extremely rough. I was thinking my carb could have been bad, but now it might be this.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:05 pm 
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the domelights in these cars suck anyways,ive always had issues with these little switches,no matter how clean i get them 2 or 3 weeks later the same problem,dim interior light or none at all,royal pain in the ass with car alarm/starter setups,i have replaced plastic switch with a metal door switch,drill new hole,use a speedy nut on the back(and some petroleum jelly to curb rust),hooks up same as plastic one,no issues to date,found chrome plugs at hardware store to plug old holes,use black tape on chrome plug edges to stop the rust from starting =)

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:02 am 
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I've also seen that when the door hinge (pins and bushings) get extremely worn, and don't get replaced, they keep the door from closing all the way. The driver will exit the car, shutting the door; hearing it click; and walks away. Problem is, upon returning the next day, the door had latched, but it didn't latch TWICE. Was the the door closed?-yes. Was it locked and secured so that no one could easily get in?-yes But was the door button down far enough to keep the domelight from coming on?-NO! The door and rear quarter panel even looked even until you went to pull on the locked door-then-VOILA! door is pooched out 1/4" from the side of the car; but still latched.

Proof that ole skool maintenance absolutely SLAUGHTERS those damn Gremlins

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:56 am 
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i used door hinge pins&c clips from a chevy chevette to fix worn hinges on my firefly,you can get new kits from most autoparts stores :D

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89 1.0 turbo firefly
2"exhaust,no cats/resonator
3 tech 6*gear
3 tech turbo grind cam
3 tech cylinder head/w/port,polish,blend,oversized s/s valves
gti brake swap
89 white gti twincam....need I say more?
92 metro aka ''blue lump of coal''
92 white metro lsi vert
91 blue chevy sprint (gas sipper)


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