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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Short version: is it safe for me to drive my car just to test it, if I have removed a fuse that ONLY powers non-essential things like dome lights? I have confirmed that nothing important (brake lights, etc.) is on that circuit. Obviously the goal is to fix the root problem, but is it safe for me to drive it around to see if it's running right with that circuit disabled? I'm hoping to find out if the entire problem is on that circuit, and luckily I don't need any of the things that that circuit powers.

Details: I'm new to working on my car's electrical system, so this is likely a dumb question, but I have located an electrical problem on a specific circuit in my PT Cruiser Convertible. Had posted several weeks ago here, and got a lot of good advice. Thank you. I have since then bought the manuals with the electrical diagrams, learned a lot about how to use a multimeter, etc.

My original post: PT Cruiser Dying, stalling, electrical problems

I have been able to determine that I have a parasitic draw (a bad one). If I remove Fuse 13 in the Fuse box (the one under the steering wheel, not under the hood), the parasitic draw goes away entirely, or occasionally reads a steady 0.04, which from everything I've read is fine. My manuals say that this fuse is on a circuit that powers the dome lights, power door locks, thermometer and compass in the rearview mirror, power side mirrors, vanity lights on the visor mirror. Nothing essential.

The car had been dying, having the oil pressure light come on, and had been doing some really crazy lurching. Clearly I have a short in the electrical system. The fact that the parasitic draw goes completely away when I remove Fuse 13 from the fuse box makes me hope that maybe the entire problem is on that circuit.

I searched the Internet and found all kinds of "NEVER DRIVE A CAR WITHOUT A FUSE!!!", and obviously my whole goal is to fix this, but didn't removing the fuse simply "disconnect" that circuit temporarily? Removing the fuse has caused all of my dome lights, keyless entry, etc. not to work at all, but that's totally fine while I work on the car. I don't need those things while I'm diagnosing and fixing things.

Can I safely drive around for a while, to see if this has fixed the lurching and dying issues, which would then tell me that hopefully the whole problem is on that circuit? I have verified that the car runs fine without it, I have turn signals, brake lights, all the essential stuff is working fine without that fuse.

Thanks in advance.
 

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"The car had been dying, having the oil pressure light come on, and had been doing some really crazy lurching."

I would do a load test on the battery and test the charging system. When batteries and/or alternators die in modern cars, this is exactly the behavior they exhibit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"The car had been dying, having the oil pressure light come on, and had been doing some really crazy lurching."

I would do a load test on the battery and test the charging system. When batteries and/or alternators die in modern cars, this is exactly the behavior they exhibit.
Okay, that's very useful information. I haven't tested the alternator at all yet, and that's an important point. Thank you very much!
 
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