Need help with a relay (I think)--1992 SSEI - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 03-25-2005, 02:13 AM   #1
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Default Need help with a relay (I think)--1992 SSEI

Hello,

First of all I'd like to introduce myself--I'm Josh from Calgary, Alberta, and I've just recently purchased a pretty cherry 1992 SSEI (107k, very clean). I'd been looking for a 92-94 SSEI for quite a while now, but most things I saw were high kms, and/or looked and felt bagged on. I came across this one, and the guy who owned it used it strictly as his 'when he was in town' get around car. Blah Blah Blah... I'll post pics soon...

Anyhow--Hello and I look forward to being involved (finally) with the Bonneville Club community.

The reason for my post now...

Right next to the fuse box on the PASSENGER side there is a little black box that looks like: http://www.sourceresearch.com/potter/autorlay.cfm (the VBA series about half-way down). It has this written on it: VBA 2001 Potter and Brumfeld. This is obviously a relay. What does this relay control? My hunch is that it is power door locks as the doors are locking and unlocking (very annoying while driving) and intermittently losing all power. Where can I purchase a new one of these, and will a new relay solve the problem, or could it could be something deeper? I.e.: a short? Do these sometimes just wear out?

I apologize for the zillion questions, but I am truly unfamiliar with relays, and was hoping to find out whether or not it is a common (ish) occurrence.

Thank you!
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Old 03-25-2005, 03:17 PM   #2
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HI Josh, welcome to Bonneville Club!

My '92 Factory Service Manual shows that the door open and close relay is located on the bottom of the relay center behind the passenger kick panel at the bottom of all the other relays. It is rectangular in shape instead of square, and bigger than all the other relays.

I could not follow the link you posted to GMparts direct to see exactly what you meant.

Hopefully one of the guys here with a better head for electronics will step in, but it sure sounds like something is shorting.
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Old 03-25-2005, 04:50 PM   #3
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Hi Bill,

Thanks for the reply. I edited the link above to now take you to the correct location where the VBA relay can be seen. I have no idea why I posted a gmparts direct link before...loosing my marbles I suspect.

To be clear, the relay is making a loud clicking noise (car running or not, key in or not) intermittently, and the power locks will sometimes work and sometimes not.

Thank you again, and all of your feedback is appreciated.

Josh
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Old 03-25-2005, 05:05 PM   #4
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It sounds to me that the relay is actually working fine but it is being triggered by something intermittently. A short to ground would not trigger the relay as it requires +12v instead. Do you have any aftermarket accessories in the vehicle such as an alarm or remote starter that may be connected to the lock/unlock circuit?

Quote:
intermittently losing all power
Can you explain this further? Are you saying that sometimes when the lock/unlock switch is pressed, nothing happens?
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Old 03-25-2005, 05:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randman1
Do you have any aftermarket accessories in the vehicle such as an alarm or remote starter that may be connected to the lock/unlock circuit?
I was going to say much the same thing: I wasn't aware that Potter and Brumfield was a GM supplier (heck, I never heard of them until just now), which makes me wonder whether you're looking at an aftermarket installation of something.

How is it installed? i.e. Is it plugged right into the car'* wiring harness as if it belonged there? If so, what color(*) of wires are connecting to it?
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Old 03-25-2005, 05:52 PM   #6
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The relay in the link looks very much like the OEM lock relay so I'm pretty sure that'* what he'* looking at. There'* not many applications for a specialized double relay like that. Installers would simply use two standard relays instead.

Nevertheless, an aftermarket component can still be connected somewhere else along the circuit.
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Old 03-25-2005, 06:43 PM   #7
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That is exactly what the unit looks like, and those are the wires that are going into it. It is attatched to just under the right side fuse panel with a spring clip.

It does have a Command Start car starter installed <--came with it.

Sometimes it makes the click, click, click, sound and the door locks sound like their locking and unlocking, only louder. Then, when I go to use the power locks on the door there is no power there whatsoever. They don' t lock or unlock.

Also, this may be related. The lumbar portion of the seat adjustment control panel loses power intermitently as well. I haven't noticed if the timing is the same as when the door locks lose their power.

My hunch now is that it could all be stemming from the Command Start, but I truly don't know.

Any help/advice is appreciated.

Josh
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Old 03-25-2005, 07:22 PM   #8
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That certainly looks like the OEM lock relay but I didn't expect to see the GRY and BLK/GRN wires. May just be a difference in the years. My theory is similar to yours---> an aftermarket problem.

If the remote starter is randomly activating the locks, it could also be applying a steady trigger rather than a pulse. This would cause the actuators to be already extended or retracted. When you push the lock buttons it appears to be dead but in reality, the relay is already doing work and won't accept another input.

Does the remote for the starter work the locks too? If so, try to locate the lock outputs from the remote starter. Common colors are green and blue and sometimes they have their own plug into the module. They may also connect to two standard relays somewhere along the line to convert a negative module output to +12v for the OEM relay. If you can't locate them, snap a picture of the module and post since you're good with the camera.

I think the best bet is to first determine if the car is at fault or it'* something extra. We can do this by temporarilly disconnecting the remote starter wires.
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Old 03-25-2005, 09:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randman1
That certainly looks like the OEM lock relay but I didn't expect to see the GRY and BLK/GRN wires. May just be a difference in the years. My theory is similar to yours---> an aftermarket problem.
Okay, that is indeed the lock relay, as configured for the AU0 remote keyless entry option. The Black/Light-Green wire serves the Left Front Isolation Relay, that bit of extra circuitry that allows the first press on the remote to pop only the driver'* door, and hold off on triggering all the others until a second press on the remote. That wire is not present in the standard power-lock system, only with the Remote Entry option.

I would not arbitrarily rip out all the wires for the remote starter; only two connect to the lock circuit (Lock and Unlock). I would definitely take a real close look at them, though.

By a strange co-inky-dink, my BulldogSecurity remote starter has recently decided it'* not going to lock the car, only unlock it. Haven't checked into that yet, but I'm hoping it'll just turn out to be a bad relay, and not the whole controller going dain-bramaged on me.
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Old 03-25-2005, 10:28 PM   #10
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yes my car will not lock its self or pop the trunk with the remote, but it unlocks with the remote 100% of the tme, all other functions are fine
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