I can use the lights without the key in, my fan runs fine without the car started. Unplugging the battery from the car after it's running results in a still running car. It's a carburated engine which will not idle down it stays above 2K and will creep up towards 3K. Very occasionally the idle will drop, but once engine is revved over 2K it sticks there.
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If any aftermarket devices were installed and used these wires for power or ground can cause these issue.these wires are the main communication center for the whole car very hard to repair without specialty tools Dealer repair.
Get a volt meter, start your car and see how many volts your car is producing while running. Should be around 14 volts. May want to watch the meter for a while since your electric seems to fluctuate. Most voltage regulators are internal of your alternator. If you are getting a lot more or less than 14 volts while running, replace the alternator. If it is not charging, voltage will drop as vehicle runs, until battery is dead.
The day time running light module on the back side of the front drivers fender likely needs to be replaced to fix your problem.Unplug it and the lights will work normally from the headlight switch but the day time running lights won,t work and also the high beam indicator light in the dash won,t come on when you switch to high beam but all the lights will work properly.You should replace the drl module as soon as you can but unplugging it will at least keep you from having to remove a battery cable.
When you say "turn key dash lights go out and all is dead", do the lights come back on when you turn the key back to "off"?
With key off, try turning on your headlights- are they bright?
Flip to high beams-do they get brighter?
**If lights get dim while trying this, it's the battery-(dead/needs charged or replaced-which may have been caused by a bad alternator).
Leave lights on, now turn your ignition switch to "on"-do the lights get dim or go out?
Try and start the car-anything change?
If the lights were fine until you tried to start the car, more than likely your battery terminals need cleaning/tightening.
The lights should at least get dim when you try and start the car but only while the starter turns over: when the engine is running your lights (as well as all your other electrics) are powered by the alternator.
If you do all this and lights are okay all through this procedure, your problem is probably in your starter circuit. (Starter relay, ignition/key switch)
check fuel pressure, try cycling the key to the on position an couple of times not the start position to cycle the fuel pump then try to start it. could be the cold start circuit. once its warm does it start easy ?