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Accessory still on with key off - and alarm going off

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Came home from work yesterday, and heard a high pitch noise coming from my dock area. Upon closer inspection, my Malibu was 'alarming'. When I got in the boat, all the accessory (soft touch panel) was lit up. The boat was off, with no key in it. Dropped in in the water, started it, and issue went away. As soon as I shut it off, the accessory panel backlights stayed on, I could play the radio, turn the heater on, etc. I hit the 'all power off' button, but it just flashed, and the lights stayed on. About a minute later, the high pitch alarm came back on. I disconnected the battery, waited about 30 minutes, reconnected the battery (figured enough time to reset anything), and the lights came on again, and the high pitch alarm as well.

Boat now sitting with battery disconnected. Need help on what issue could possibly be. It seems that when the key is off (out of the boat), the system still is on and in 'accessory' mode.

The boat is a 2010 Malibu LXi. Has zero off and analog gages. On each side of drivers wheel is the soft touch panels and switches, consisting of 5 push button switches on each side. Boat is a key start.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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Sounds like a bad key switch. You cab but one at a west marine or similar. Not a Malibu specific part. Just a 4 post key switch. Sea Choice or Perko are some the most commonly available ones. About $25

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I just replaced my ignition switch as similar things were happening with my boat. I decided to spend the $20 extra dollars to get a Malibu specific ignition vs. generic. It's totally worth the extra money. For starters you get another nice Malibu key, but most importantly it's plug and play with your current switch, no splicing of wires.


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There are no splicing of wires with any switch. They are the same as long as you buy a 4 post screw type switch. Malibu does not make switches. They do however order some key covers from a vendor and put those covers over the keys that come in a switch companies box with the switch that Malibu bought from them .

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks all- I replaced the switch last night, and the soft touch went off as it should. I'll need to watch, as with the old switch this problem was intermittant. (sometimes it would go off, sometimes it would go off, then come on later, sometimes it would stay on after I shut the boat down).

Time will tell-

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, it's back. After a couple of days after replacing the switch, the lower panel stays energized (can access all the soft touch with the key out), and the high pitch alarm is back. Need to disconnect the battery after each use. Certainly the power is staying on, or getting to the accessories without the key in or in the accessory or on position.

Funny thing is, it is intermittent. It does not do it all the time, Also, when the panel is off after I shut off the key, it apparently comes back, as the high pitch alarm goes off, and when I check it, the accessory panel is energized.

Any ideas on how to chase down?

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Speaking about myself, the first thing I ask it what did I just get done doing to screw this up and then work backwards. :) The MUX/soft touch? panel will work as you described with the ACR in the 1/2/1+2 position with no key in the ignition. They will stay on for 10-15 minutes or until you push the "ALL OFF" button on the right MUX switch then they will shut off / go to sleep. They will stay asleep until you push a MUX switch or turn the key to the ACCY or the RUN/START position. My first thought was that the ACCY switch was wired as a constant hot, which would allow you to run the radio w/o the key in. On my '10 the first thing you hear when you turn the key to RUN/START is the alarm then the fuel pump priming. When the alarm goes off, is it showing a LOW VOLTAGE or other warning on the Malivue or no warning at all like a normal start process? When you reconnect the battery or turn the ACR to 1/2/1+2 are you hearing the fuel pump prime? You shouldn't hear the fuel pump prime when you reconnect the power or with the key in the ACCY position. If you do then possibly crossed wires on the switch. My next guess would be the female eye rings touching on the back of the ignition switch making the wrong things hot.

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WDR- Thanks for the info. It is exactly as you described. I checked that none of the connections/ termination points on the switch are touching. There is about 5-6mm air gap spacing between the three terminals, with the fourth terminal being further than the other two closest terminals (about 8-10mm).

I do hear the fuel pump prime when I turn the key 'on' (not yet to start) after I hook up the battery. It does not prime with the key out, and I hook up the battery, but there is power immediately to the MDX panel.

This problem came on about three weeks ago, and did not touch/ change anything mechanically / electrically. I do use items off the MDX panel regularly (radio, heater, nav and panel lights, etc), so seems that there is no unusual usage. It seems that I did use the heater and interior lights the day it started though.

Not sure what you are telling me with the "ACR" and the 1/2 or 1 and 2 position with no key in the ignition. When I hit the "all off" button, it does take all the accessories off (will shut off heater, lights, radio, etc.), yet the panel stays lit, and the alarm (chased the alarm to the black alarm, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, under the dash on the left underside of the console, mounted on a wiring harness), goes off.

I have seen on the Malibu display that the 'port side wedge fault' error. Funny, since I do not have a power wedge, only a manual. Also, since the alarm, I have seen low battery voltage as well recently. Again, funny, as battery is new this year, and have run all year with no problems.

I will check and see the next time the alarm is sounding (again, no key in the ignition), I will start the boat, and see if there are any faults listed on the Malibu display. Maybe they are related???

Any other thoughts / recommendations to check?

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The ACR is the Automatic Charging Relay switch which is a rotating switch with 4 positions. 12 o'clock OFF, 9- 1, 6- 2, 3- 1+2 and it should be located on the wall above and to the right of the battery's if equipped. I have 2 batteries so you may not have one. So... If you didn't change anything, the LOW VOLTAGE alarm is coming on and you don't have a PW and you are seeing a wedge fault my next guess is that you have a bad MUX switch. I am guessing that there is probably something wrong on the inside of the MUX with the 2 buttons (right side MUX/right 2 buttons) that would normally control the PW if you had one. Look under the dash and unplug it from the backside. Then cycle through on/off a couple times and see what you get.

Edited by wdr
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I pulled the connector off the right MUX, and the right went off (obviously), but the left MUX stayed on, and was active. I pulled the left MUX (and reconnected the right), and same thing, the right was active without the key in the ignition and the switch to off. So I'm guessing it is getting the power from upstream of the MUX panels.

Any ideas?

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If you unplug either MUX switch and reconnected them they will both go active (because they are receiving power) and stay on for (according to the owners manual) 30 minutes not 10-15 like I originally told you. If you unplug either MUX switch do the warnings and the problem go away? I would disconnect the battery, and unplug both MUX again. Then leaving the MUX disconnected, reconnect the battery to see if you still have the problem. Then connect only one MUX at a time to see the problem reappears.

Edited by wdr
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Ok. Will try:

- Disconnect battery

- Pull connectors off both MUX's

- Reconnect battery

- Let sit (for 30+ minutes) and see if alarm comes on (with both MUX's disconnected)

- If yes, come back to forum

- If no, connect right, wait 30+ minutes. if no alarm, then disconnect right

- connect left, wait 30+ minutes, if no alarm, connect right (both connected)

- wait 30+ minutes.

- Come back to forum with results.

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OK- Did all of the above. Alarm comes on still, yet I am now getting an error message:

"Battery Voltage 11.3 Threshold 11.5 volts"

So, I charged the battery. Volt reading (by multimeter was 12.2 volts) at the battery terminals.

Ran the boat a while (about 20 minutes - ski run, and trip around the lake). Put up on the lift, shut it down, and boat starts alarming again after about 10 minutes, with "Battery Voltage 11.3, Threshold 11.5 volts"

Battery was new this year (no problems with old, just was 4 years old, and replaced as part of preventative maintenance).


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:Frustrated:OK, now it's doing more weird things:

1. At the end of a ski run, the boat alarmed with "Engine Overtemp". Shut off the key, and the error code stayed, with the alarm going off. Disconnected the battery, waited a couple of minutes, reconnected, and the fault cleared. When I restarted (less than two minutes), the temp reading was 137' F.

2. THIS ONE SCARES ME! After skiing, pulled the boat into the lift, and turned off the key. THE BOAT STAYED RUNNING WITH THE KEY OUT!!!! Put the key back in, switched it to on, then off - no avail. Switched to accessory, then off, boat continued to run. Wiggled key back and forth, boat stayed running. Disconnected battery, ENGINE CONTINUED TO RUN!!! Had to remove air filter element, and choked off the Throttle Body to stall the engine! Put it all back together, and key works to start and stop engine. (for two cycles of start and stop).

Although once off, the alarm comes back on, with no error codes.

Seems like a trip to the dealer is in order. Problem is, closest dealer is about 70 miles away.


Edited by funlife
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  • 1 month later...

OK. Went to the dealer. Had boat about two weeks. After a lot of diagnostics (and of course a lot of my money), the dealer traced this down to a wearing through of the wiring harness in the engine compartment, between the rear of the engine and the transom. He could 'turn on and off' the problem by moving the wire harness, which was chaffed through (A wire support grommet was broken). He cleaned it up (slices and heat shrink), and secured the wire harness. No more error messages. No more alarms. No more boat running with key in off position and key out of ignition. (at least for about 30 minutes of run time).

All looks good. Just in time to put away for the winter season. Hope that this problem is behind me, and the issue of the wiring harness was indeed it, and no further issues present themselves next spring/ summer with additional time on the boat.

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  • 1 year later...

Latest issue with MUX (soft panel accessory switches)....

Panel lights up, and shows what each button is for. Yet, when I push the button, the display shows on for a fraction of a second, and then goes right back to off. This is on all items... horn, bilge, blower, lights.

Boat runs fine, just will not activate any accessories from MUX (soft panel).

Any ideas??



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