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Discussion Starter #1
My friend has a 2011 LX. He went away for a couple of months and the car was idle. He comes back and the battery is stone dead. He bought a new battery (not sure why he didn't just use cables or a charger) and when he hooked it up, the ABS control motor ran constantly and the car wouldn't start. He asked for my help. I connected the battery and not only was the ABS control motor running, but a relay was buzzing. The car wouldn't start, like it wasn't getting fuel. I checked power to the fuel pump and it was fine, but pump not running. Bought a new fuel pump, still not starting. Finally got it to start, wouldn't shut off with key turned off and taken out. Disconnected battery. Still wouldn't shut off. Pulled Ignition coil relay to shut off engine. Had car towed to auto electrical shop. Nice guy, seems honest. He gets friend to bring used computer and swap and he says program the used computer and now the car starts and shuts off. ABS control motor still runs all the time. No signal lights. Also, the little green indicator light to show what gear its in in the dash is always on next to the D. ABS light is on on the dash. I bought an ABS control and plan to swap it. Electrical mechanic guy says we also have to replace the in-the-dash fuse box because these cars don't have a relay for the signal lights and hazard lights - that is all built into the fuse box. Is that true? Anyone else have doubts about that? I've never heard of a fuse box going bad for no reason, but I do think the guy is experienced. (I think.)
I asked him if he had ever had such a weird case where so many things electrical had gone kind of crazy. He thought for a minute and said no.
Do my next steps seem wise? Swap out the ABS control unit and replace the inside fuse box as electrical guy advises? Or should we just light this car on fire? Or what?
Scott
 

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Please tell me the battery is not hooked up backwards.
Doing so Triggers your turn signals and your ABS pump to run. And possibly burns your main fuse in the best case scenario.

...Check that.. then update us ASAP.
Please, Thankyou.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
It definitely isn't hooked up wrong now, and when my friend put the battery in he swears he did so correctly. Given the way the posts are configured I think it would be nearly impossible to do it wrong anyway - the terminals wouldn't reach if anyone tried to do it backwards. I'm 65 and I've played around with cars my whole adult life. More than a decade of that was doing collision work for a living and I've dealt with wiring issues aplenty on cars that had been smashed. Never seen anything quite so mysterious. I'm heartened by the fact that it starts and shuts off with the computer swapped. Maybe whatever tweaked the computer did the damage to the ABS module and signals and hazard too? Is there really such a thing as an interior fuse box going bad? Is the signal and hazard relay really built into the interior fuse box? More I think about it the more I doubt it.
Anyway, thanks for your quick reply and any advice would be great.
Scott
 

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I guess since it is running now there is no chance the battery terminals are labeled incorrectly? Extremely rare but it does happen. Assuming you are using the same battery.
 

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I guess since it is running now there is no chance the battery terminals are labeled incorrectly? Extremely rare but it does happen. Assuming you are using the same battery.
No, its running now and I've swapped the ABS unit for a used one and now that seems to be working fine as well. So the thing that's still puzzling me is the question of the interior fuse box. The guy that I paid to swap the computer said that he thinks the reason the signal lights and hazard lights are not working is that the fuse box is bad. He says that the relay for those is wired into the fuse box and is urging me to just swap it out. I want to believe him - he seemed confident and competent. But I have nagging doubts about that. I checked the bulbs and they're not burnt out, so maybe he's right. Does anyone have an opinion? Is there a relay located somewhere else that I might look for and check? Also, I forgot to mention previously, that the DLR in the instrument cluster is on too.
 

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The signal/hazard lights trigger are built into the MICU (Multiplex Integrated Control Unit) which is part of interior fuse box (there is no replaceable relay). The MICU is difficult to service as it's essentially a printed circuit board. You are better off replacing the whole interior fuse box. Allowing the battery to completely drain is a known cause of interior fuse boxes going bad. Next time, your friend should just disconnect the battery terminals when going away for a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you so much! This was my plan because that is what the electrical guy said too, and although I was skeptical at first, the more I poked around the car and browsed the internet for answers, the more confidence I had in that solution. But it sure feels good to have someone very familiar with the issue confirm that I'm headed in the right direction. Cars sure have changed. I think they're better, but there is definitely a learning curve for us graybeards.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
UPDATE: Okay, I swapped out the fuse box, which was a real PITA - such a confined space to unplug the connectors and then get them all back in. But, anyway, done. Signals and hazards work now. But it was starting and running before swapping the fuse box, and now it starts for a couple seconds and then stalls. Poking around on the internet, my friend, (car owner) was led to information that the problem is the factory installed alarm/immobilizer. He noticed that the little green key in the cluster stays lit now. Can that be reset by us or do we have to get it towed to the dealer to do that?
 
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