I can’t remember what I said exactly, but to paraphrase: “We’ve been driving around all morning, and it hasn’t broken down!” These words would soon haunt me.
On Saturday, September 15th, my fiancé and I were driving around scoping out venues for our wedding reception. The car was performing great. After I dropped her off at home, the car began to sputter. Quickly realizing what was happening, I pulled off to a side street before it stalled. Not again!
So I instantly thought that the problem from Breakdown #2 had not been resolved. During the last troubleshooting session, I had swapped out the RPM (Fuel Pump) relay, which had no effect. I also had my RPM Relay replaced after the June Maintenance-Fest. More on that later.
So I let the car cool down, and was able to drive it back to my parent’s house. After that, it didn’t want to start at all. I called Ken K to do some troubleshooting. Got out the Volt/Ohm meter, and began testing all things electrical, and it all looked good. So I took off the air box, and dumped some fuel down the intake. The car started for a second or two. So we guessed it was a fuel problem. Since the accumulator was the only part of the fuel system that had not been replaced during the refurbish, we suspected it to be the problem. The symptoms seemed correct. Replacing this thing wasn’t going to be easy for me…
After a few hours of sitting on my parents couch, I thought “if it’s a fuel issue, why not try swapping the RPM Relay?” I swapped it out with my spare, and the car started right up. Arghhh!
So take a look at the burn mark on the old relay:
Ken K advised me to clean out the female spade connections for the relay, and if any looked bent, to bend them back. The burned prong’s matching connection looked like it could be loose. I cleaned it with some sandpaper, and crimped it to be a tighter connection. I got some Dielectric grease since it’s highly recommended for the DeLorean’s electrical connections. It supposedly fills in the gaps in electrical connections. It does NOT conduct electricity, but rather is an insulator. This insulating effect causes electric to not arc out thereby preventing heat and eventually a fire hazard or at least a bad/burnt connection. So I smeared some of the grease on the female spade connectors, and the relay prongs. Hopefully this won’t be a problem in the future.
Two bad RPM Relays in only a few months. I bought my spare RPM Relay at SpecialTAuto.com. For my next RPM Relay, I’ll probably use a different vendor.
RPM Relay from SpecialTAuto.com: $29.95 plus shipping
Dielectric Grease from Murray’s Auto Supply: $8 or $9?