Car will not turn off

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by 76 camaro car 1, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. 76 camaro car 1

    76 camaro car 1 Veteran Member

    2,350
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    Apr 23, 2010
    St.Augustine,Florida
    Today I went out to start my 76 camaro and the battery was dead. I hooked my charger up to it and put the charger on 225 amp (jump start). The car started right up. I let the car run about 15 minutes and turned the key in the off position but the car kept running. I pulled the negative cable off the battery and the car still kept running. Finally I pulled the ignition wire off the coil and the car shut off. What could have happened to cause this? It has been around 19-23 degrees outside the past 4 or 5 nights but don't know if the cold had anything to do with it or not. Any help on what I should check is appreciated.
     
  2. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    Apr 14, 1999
    Bismarck, North Dakota
    Cold shouldn't affect the car. These cars have been driven in far colder temperatures for decades since they were built. Some things that can cause this are a defective ignition switch. You can check that by testing the coil for power with the engine shut down. With the ignition switch off, there should be no power there. Also, if you have an electric fan or other similar electric device, they can act as a generator and backfeed to the coil.
    Look first at any modifications from factory. Then troubleshoot for power at the coil.
     
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  3. jimrr

    jimrr Veteran Member

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    Jun 12, 2016
    sarasota
    Might just have been an anomaly. Id try it again and see how it goes.
     
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  4. 76 camaro car 1

    76 camaro car 1 Veteran Member

    2,350
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    Apr 23, 2010
    St.Augustine,Florida
    I don't have any aftermarket stuff spliced into my wiring harness. My alternator is bad, could that cause it to keep running? When I start the car my alternator does not charge until I hold the RPM's at about 2000. When it starts charging it squeals for about a minute and then will keep charging until I turn the car off. I will check tomorrow for power at the coil.
     
  5. Rdobbs1977

    Rdobbs1977 Huge Guns N Roses Fan

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    Dec 1, 2014
    Nashville
    sounds like you have a one wire alternator, if so, its not bad at kicking in at 2000 rpms, that's what they supposed to do. other things that would keep a car running would be to much timing advance and type of fuel being used.

    i like the advise gary's given.
     
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  6. orkin

    orkin Veteran Member

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Georgia
    +1 for the ignition switch. If nothing turns off or on with the key, I would also check the linkage between the key and the ignition swich. Pulling the battery is a common way to test a alternator. After the car starts it should be able to run on just the alternator. The squealing could be from damaged and/or loose belts. For the first minute or two the alternator pulls a large load to recharge the battery from cranking.
     
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  7. 76 camaro car 1

    76 camaro car 1 Veteran Member

    2,350
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    Apr 23, 2010
    St.Augustine,Florida
    I think the squealing is from me tightening the alternator belt to tight and I ruined the bearings. A lesson learned the hard way.
     
  8. jimrr

    jimrr Veteran Member

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    Jun 12, 2016
    sarasota
    Doubtful... the squealing would be from the belt not tight enough. Tighten it up and it should stop. Hold a bar of soap carefully on the inside of the belt while the belt is spinning to dress it. Old timers trick. I also doubt that the bearings are bad in the alternator, it sounds like there's nothing wrong with your alternator.
     
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  9. McCune

    McCune Veteran Member

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    Aug 22, 2015
    st.george utah
    It sounds like you have the alternator plugged in backwards. Unplug the alternator then see if it shuts off.
     
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  10. 76 camaro car 1

    76 camaro car 1 Veteran Member

    2,350
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    Apr 23, 2010
    St.Augustine,Florida
    Had a few minutes to mess with the camaro this afternoon. Started the car and let it run awhile, turned the key to off and same thing. The car kept running. I did as Gary suggested and checked for power on the wire going to the coil with the key off and it has power to it all the time. I believe Gary was right about the ignition switch. When I turn the key to start it starts right up and I can feel the normal resistance and when I release the key after it starts it goes to the run position like it should. But when I turn the key to off it move very easy with no resistance like the rod is not pulling the switch to the off position. On a separate note, I could not get the alternator to charge at all today. Volt meter stayed around 11 no matter what RPM the engine was running at. I am almost positive the alternator and ignition switch problems are not related. I have been having problems with the alternator for awhile now. Just going to buy a new one.
     

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