What's wrong with my '90 Tracker?

05-27-2005, 08:11 PM
What's up? I have a question about my 1990 Tracker. I bought it back last October from a guy on Ebay. When I went to pick it up from him, I noticed the check engine light was on. He told me that it didnt mean anything, that it was on due to a faulty wire or some sh!t like that. Anywho, it has been running great....until 2day. I drove it like 2 miles down the road to a gas station to pick up some soda, when I was driving back home I went to put my wipers on since it started to rain, and as soon as I did that my radio went off. The wipers slowly worked, then died. I tried putting my lights on, and even tried using my signals, but they would not work at all! When I got home, I got the radio to turn back on, but could not turn anything else on at the same time, or else nothing at all would come on. When I finally turned the car off, I could not and still can not get it to start up again. However, I can get the lights to come on, or radio if I only do one at a time. So I'm thinking, maybe it's the battery???

I just went out and popped the hood to take a look, and the battery looks pretty old. There is a GREAT deal of crusty corrosion on the wires that hook into the battery. In fact on the right connector, the crust is SUPER thick and is light blue in color. Is there a possibility that due to this crusty substance, that my battery no longer works? Could this be the cause for the check engine light? Thanks!

06-04-2005, 08:45 AM
The crusty corrosion, while not a good thing, wouldn't cause these problems. It's simply a by product of how batteries work. It can be cleaned off with a baking soda/water mixture and a stiff brush (careful not to get any in your eyes, the crusty stuff is an acid). It sounds like a wiring or fuse/relay problem is the root of your problem. You may have blown a main accessory or ignition fuse, if the car won't even crank (or if it cranks and won't catch). Replacing the fuse may or may not fix your problem, as there was probably some reason the fuse went in the first place (shorted wiring, chafed wire casing, etc). Find a good mechanic with wiring experience to trace the problem (most mechanics around here know engines, but not wiring very well). It may be as simple as replacing a couple inches of wiring, or maybe a connector on the fuse panel. Good luck

08-09-2015, 11:51 PM
I just bought a '90 Tracker...same problem.

Long Story Short - Take the battery post connectors TOTALLY apart and clean them and put back together.

If yours are like mine, the Wire Clamp on each one was so corroded that any electrical connection was nearly impossible.

You need METAL to METAL contact - The More the Better - w/o crusty corrosion between the Metals....


I took mine apart, wire brushed all parts that touch the Cable, did same to cable ends, greased cable end
and cleaned clamp surfaces, re-assembled it and it has worked FINE since then.

Buy one of these for each of your cars and use it. Keep it in the car !


Grease your clamp clamp AND the Battery Posts and re-assemble.
Lousy battery connections screw up everything electrical.
Can leave you or your wife stranded !

Even a Neat Modern Cable Clamp will get corroded between the cable and the Battery Post....
use the above to clean the surfaces and the GREASE them to keep acid out.

This post is done 8/2015....that makes the '90 Tracker 25 years old - Lord God !


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