Two problems at once

OT for home repair??
Two problems at once.
A friend in a 2002 Nissan Frontier pickup skidded on wet leaves in the rain, and hit the guard rail with the front right corner of his car. The right front turn signal went out, and so did his tail lights, dashboard lights, and the beeper that beeps when he leaves his headlights on.
We took out the light cluster on the right, and the turn-signal bulb glass was smashed, and the filament missing, but the two metal posts that held up the filament were not bent. We replaced the bulb and the turn signal worked again.
We looked in the engine compartment fuse box, 12 to 18 inches from the light cluster, and the tail light fuse was blown. Replacing that made everything else work again.
Could hitting the guard rail blow the fuse? Ever heard of this happening? How?
He's 99% sure everything worked prior to that. Although one can drive wihtout tail lights and not know it, It was dark during the accident, and he would have noticed if the dash lights weren't working before.
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Looking at how the turn signal is situated, is there any chance that the two posts might have touched the guard rail? Are there any pieces of metal (or plated plastic) trim missing?
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On Tue, 29 Nov 2011 01:11:18 -0800 (PST), Larry Fishel

Not the guard rail. They and the socket were probably still within the reflector of the turn signal or in empty space behind it. (Couldn't see it before the assembly was removed) The socket used a bayonet mount into the relector, and the collar of the reflector was broken off for most of its circumference and back a quarter of an inch opposite where it was still attached. He taped the socket to get it to stay in place.
For contacts, the bulb had two loops of thin wire, race-track shaped minus one end, and folded back against the glass. The whole base was intact. When I pulled the bulb out by the center glass post and the two little metal posts, the socket was in good shape. .

No. The body was scuffed and the heavy plastic holding the light assembly was cracked in several locations, but only one crack went all the way through to detach from the rest of it. .
More importantly, the turn signal wasn't on the same fuse as the tail lights, since replacing the bub made the turn signal work, but the tail lights still didn't work until their fuse was replaced.
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Was it blown, or mechanically broken? Was there any metal deposited on the glass?
It's entirely possible for fuses to fail due to shock, especially if they are old. The new plug-in types are better in that regard than 3AG types. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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On 29 Nov 2011 10:14:15 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

I thought he showed it to me, but now I'm not sure I got a good look.
I believe the center part, 3/16 of an inch or so, was missing, but don't remember any metal on the plastic.
It's an ATM mini fuse

Speaking of new fuses, the high current fuses, 30 and 40 amps, in my new 2000 toyota have metal parts shaped like a cross, with two 90 degree folds near the bottom, so the metal is horisontal, then up, and then horizontal again. So it looks like there is an empty black spot in the middle of the metal, like it's blown. What kind of crazy design was that?
With the one that is 3" behind the opening in the dash, I have onliy one perspective, and it looked blown. I had to take it out get a better view of it. I can find no puller for these big ones, except a hoolk on one side, so it fell in between the plastic knee panel and the metal one, so I had to ake off the plastic to get at it. What a pain for a fuse that wasn't even blown.

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Yes
Yes
Impact grounded a hot wire in an unprotected loom near a sharp piece of sheet metal and caused a momentary short. Fuse blew. Wire loom moved away from sharp metal edge and new fuse worked for some time. Later mysterious fuse failures finally traced to fault. Happened to be behind instrument cluster in dash of a BMW. Given the situation described, it would be wise to keep off rough roads and carry extra fuses for a while.
Joe
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on the other hand staying on rough roads and off the pavement would allow to avoid exploring the truck tire grip limits on wet asphalt covered with wet leaves :^)
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I only see one problem:
A driver who didn't slow down enough based on the driving conditions at the time. I treat wet leaves the same as I treat ice and snow - drive on them as slow and as carefully as reasonable.
Anyway, the fuse could have been jarred enough that the filament broke or a bare wire or connecter could have made contact with a ground during the impact causing a temporary short. For all we know, there was water hanging around some low spot in the engine compartment and it splashed on an electrical connection causing a brief short.
Things can shift (violently) during an accident so it's really hard to say what could have caused the fuse to blow.
I had a '66 Rambler that blew the radio fuse whenever I went over a large bump. I never did find that problem, but I learned to slow down - a lot - on bumpy roads. ;-)
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On Tue, 29 Nov 2011 12:51:19 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

So you've never skidded.

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Sure have...and it was a doozy.
As an aggressive youthful driver, I approached a 90 degree turn that I had made many, many times before. Perfectly dry, sunny day. Yes, I was taking the turn at a rate of speed that some might not have considered prudent, but my youthful inexperience told me that I had done it before and I'd be fine.
What I didn't know was that the fire hydrant just around the curve had sprung a serious leak and there was a couple of inches of water sitting on the road. The old rear wheel drive Dodge Coronet that I was driving hit the water, fish tailed a couple of times and then slid sideways right into that d@mn fire hydrant. It punched a hole in the back door and bent the post between the 2 doors into the side of the front seat. I don't think it blew a fuse, though. ;-)
I learned to slow down after that.
P.S. The doors didn't work until I took the car to the shipyard on Coast Guard Base Governor's Island where I was stationed. I hooked one end of a come-along to the post and the other end to a 50,000 lb buoy sinker and cranked away until the post straightened out. After that, other than the hole, the doors were fine.
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On Wed, 30 Nov 2011 09:09:29 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

My friend is not an aggressive driver. All I asked for was a discussion of t wo problems at once, not a lecture from someone who has also skidded into something.

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news:6eaf7bb0-619e-4c09-b5f8-
<stuff snipped>
<< I only see one problem:
A driver who didn't slow down enough based on the driving conditions at the time. I treat wet leaves the same as I treat ice and snow - drive on them as slow and as carefully as reasonable.>>
I feel compelled to say you can drive as safely as you want and still get nailed. I slow down considerably for wet leaves but the woman behind me didn't and hit me hard enough to leave an impression of her SUV license plate on the back of my little Honda. Fortunately, accidents on snow, ice and wet leaves tend to be less injurious to people (but not cars) than those on dry pavement because there's less friction.
She even had the audacity to ask me why I stopped for the stop sign! "No one else does!" (This was one of those weird streets with parallel side streets where people routinely just blocked the intersection during rush hour.)
The only time that topped that was when a college student backing out of driveway T-boned me as I waited in a line of cars. "Didn't you see me backing up?" Well, yes I did, and I was honking the horn listening to my back seat passengers screaming "She's going to ram us!" Jeez. It's a pretty funny feeling to see certain trouble coming from 100 feet away and being powerless to stop it.
Almost as good as time someone pulling out of a parking lot into heavy traffic hit me (traveling below the speed limit in the relatively clear right hand turn lane). She insisted on calling the cops because she was sure she was in the right and I had been speeding. The cop insisted on giving her a ticket once he saw that the exit's design prevented her from seeing *anything* except a huge truck coming. (-:
-- Bobby G.
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