Hi, how to determine or what is exact dif between a short & a leak (paresite drain) and is any 1 knows electric system On 1990 Celica HB 2.2 Really well, than pls help, Iam stuck. Tnks in adavnce


Asked by Jan 02, 2017 at 11:41 AM about the 1990 Toyota Celica GT Hatchback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

By doing a fuses pulling out test, has found out that there is ida a short or a
drain in the IGN circuit wi fuse 7.5 V  but nothing is blowing. Has removed the
batery from the car compkeatly and disconected  every single component in
the engine bay  trying to traice. A problem.. A  main power wire from ignition  
switch showing a very very small short when connected to a car ground
through Voltmeter.  Iam no Pro but know 4 sure that when cheking between +
& - or (Grnd) of the car with a voltmeter and put on continuity mode (test) it
shouldnt even move  Or respond in any way, but in my case when selecting
setings on 200 k to get a sound long beep on continuity across a positive wire
in the Ignition circuit with Car ground, there is no long sound beep, but the
numbers are coming up  like 940 or 0348  on the digital voltmeter.. Hope it did
make sense, as english isnt my 1st langv.. Sorry and Thank u

6 Answers


Volt meters can be confusing, so put the battery back in and hookup one cable as it should be, make sure everything is off, then put a test light in between the battery post and the terminal end, if you get a bright light then you have a draw that can kill a battery overnight, then do the fuse pulling after you first electrically disconnect the alternator, if the draw goes away when you disconnect the alternator then you have found your problem, if it doesn't then proceed with pulling fuses until the light goes out, when it does then find out what systems are on that circuit and repair or replace the offending component. Note: the test light might glow dimly when connected, this is a parasitic load and not a draw, it will not kill a good battery overnight.


Be aware that opening the car door can keep one or more computer modules active and drawing more current than when they "sleep." Opening a door to access the interior fuse panel can keep them active for up to ten minutes, and can give a false high reading on current draw when doing a parasitic battery drain test. You either have to pull the fuse(s) for the door to prevent the computers from remaining awake when opening the door, or have someone remain in the vehicle to pull fuses and keep the door shut.


Short or leak can describe the same issue, basically a short is a broken wire or link in a circuit. Leak is this break in wire or device is allowing power to drain away from the circuit to another or to the negative side of a device thus to the block or frame by means of the grounds to them. A short can happen with or without a drain, Leak is simply a common symptom of a short. Either your short is also in contact with a part (metal) connected to frame or body somehow or its in contact with a negative wire that will lead to frame or body or its in or at a component that has failed and is allowing current to pass along it or through it to the negative side. These often times requires the need to trace back those wire involved to the part or component its connected to (not just the wire showing the drain) but also the part or component and those connected to it or those that pass along near or in its wiring harness depending on the condition of those other wire, you may also need to trace all wiring to find this short (bare or broken wire or defective part) as the current may simply be passing from frame or body to ignition wires. Below I will post a picture of one device that is fair price that may help locate such shorts it is sold at Amazon online and others can be found elsewhere and if used should be looked up on line to learn all possible ways to use them as instructions are limited in packaging and are from an assumed expert level from the intended user.


Thnks Mark 4 answering and trying to help, like i said initioly i have a problem circuit already and it the IGN on line with a 7.5 v fuse and ibelive it controling a Front Fan Relay. It now has been going just over a yaer as iam ripping more in to car wiring system ( originaly iam fully rebuilding it and insterd of going firward lol iam going backwords, really it should v been alredy on the rd 4 that year so trying to remember when it started, I put the key in an turn to acc ( after it was off 4 the knight and fully cold ) and the fan came on, now I than was thinking that is wierd as fan only kicks in on it when the engine has been idaling 4 like 20 min and car just standing, so basicly when engine gets hot, but like i said at the time it happend car was off and cold so it shouldnt happen.. So wnen. Tracing 4 that short now and finding out on what circuit the problem is. As i said it on that 7.5 v. Fuse of ign circuit, and that fuse controls them fans, so it makes cense correct -?!?!?! But the wierdest and most bizar that I have disconected every component and every sensor or any electrical connections including the fan off and kept tracing the wire from engine bay back to the cabin under the stearing rack and main fuse box in the engine bay is fully a part and every con in it is also disconected, bdw every relay in that bax i have replaced and tested after an still showing that a + wire is in contact wi car ground somwhere, so it not any of the relays that could v been shorted inside or stuck open correct -?!?!? So as u see i have also checked that possobility alredy, now reg all the door swirches and other componets, they all have been disconnected alredy in side the cabin in the side kick panels, so all components an wiring from the back side of the car including every lock switch ilumm lights an even speker wires hat are in the doors has also been disconevted and pushed a side lol and reg that tester u sugested yeah have seen it also but had orderd the 1 wi the box 1u connect in line and have a second device just moving along wires or harnes to find the short, and was exited that it will finaly help an locate the problem.... no luvk lol it only good i belive on long distances right, but when thetes is a million wires and loops ander the stering rack (weel) it is totaly usless, unless thers is a secret there and iam not aware of it lol.. See now thers no battery at all..so . all iam doing is tracing the + wire (problem wire ) on that IGN circuit and testing wi the car Grnd till I find a problem spot. And I have a feeling it is somthing so minor somwhere. Just dont know where, coz on ohms resistance continuity text 200 k it dasnt even beep but numbers are running so again Iam not a pro, but bellive that is an indication that it not a fully open short but rather a component faliure or evn wire melted in a harness somwher on that circuit an ida bearly touching Grd or other wire in the harnes -?!?! What u recon -? But again see iam fighting wi my self as if that would be the case, the continuity test wohld just beep as a + wire is now in direct contact wi the Grnd !! Correct -??? So see i hit the wall and freaking out


Enginecreator !!! ☝️☝☝☝. What are your thoughts on last repky - ???? Tnks


Well I gota say that was had to follow.The one I showed The picture of you need harness all hooked together for most part and it pushes power threw the circuits and you take the wand looking part and walk around the car until it goes off then you start to look for it in that area on another setting and it will show a spike on meter when you get to that one wire and it can go to that wire even if 50 or more wires are bundled there together.

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