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Diagnosising Electrical Shorts

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1996 Saturn SL1 with over 270,000 miles. Runs like a champ but I noticed a few electrical issues.


Horn doesn't work and I saw the blown fuse. Went to plug in a new 10 amp fuse and it immediately blew. Short somewhere. Dirty ground connections?


The lighter doesn't work either and the power door locks don't function, although I hear the solenoids clicking.


I have no idea how to work on cars or the electrical system. Is this something that would cost a bunch to fix? I figure a place specializing in automotive electrical could fix this easily, if one exists in the Atlanta area.


I'm trying to sell the car and don't want to put another cent into it.


Anyone care to chime in?

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it is not a dirty ground connection


You have a dead short...straight power to ground somewhere.


I would go buy a package of fuses and start unplugging stuff.


unplug the horn its self first, and put a new fuse in. If the fuse dont blow you need a new horn.


Usually the switch in the steering wheel controls the ground side of the horn so i would not think that is the problem.


The door locks sounds like a different problem because if the fuse it blown you wouldnt hear the solenoids click.


But the lighter could be on the same circuit.


Personally i would just sell the car is it is, 270k on a saturd your lucky if it still runs and dosent use a quart of oil a week.


But if you got any other questions id by more then happy to help any way i can

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The horn fuse pops each time I plug in a new one.

I'm hoping to sell the car as is, but I've always prided myself on getting rid of a car that still in great condition. This Saturn runs like a champ, doesn't burn oil and gets great mpg.


We bought it for my mom to run around town in. It had close to 260K miles when we bought it. It's amazing how hard it is to find a cheap (less than $2K) used car in good condition. Any piece of junk that runs gets $1,000. More probably when gas was real high.

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