Onboard compass - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 10-17-2002, 11:28 AM   #1
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Default Onboard compass

The compass on my car used to work, but now it just stopped working. It has done this before but it could be fixed by holding the button next to it and turning in circles in a parking lot. Now the compass just says CALIBRATE across the top and will not give me a reading on my heading. Does anyone know how to fix this problem or does the dash need to be taken out and sent out to be fixed? Help me please, I want a compass.
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Old 10-17-2002, 11:33 AM   #2
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The normal calibration procedure doesn't work? I'd disconnect the battery for 10 or 15 minutes, then go recalibrate. If you don't have the procedure, I posted it up in Techinfo.
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Old 10-17-2002, 11:35 AM   #3
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Have you put in aftermarket speakers in the rear at all? I have aftermarket Alpine'* in my rear deck that are causing my compass not to function anymore. If this isn't it you can check the connections at the compass sensors. There is one up front right next to the hood latch (small black box) and another in the trunk (below the passenger side speaker on the bottom I believe).

Hope this helps some.
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Old 10-17-2002, 11:39 AM   #4
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95, that little black box by the hood latch is an impact sensor for the airbag circuit....we don't wann be messing with that. You got the under the rear deck part right, though! BOOM Hey, where'* the Jiffy Pop?
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Old 10-17-2002, 11:45 AM   #5
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Yeah I knew that black box theory wasn't right. I knew right away that it was the air bag sensory. I was thinking to myself, "That'* not a compass sensor, that'* the airbag doohickey." Well I think I'm gonna have to go check out that sensor in the trunk now. I have wires and an amp and speakers very close to this sensor and I hope maybe I can get the sensor free from the vicinity of the speakers. Is there any way I can relocate the compass sensor or am I doomed to have a faulty compass until I get rid of the speakers?
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Old 10-17-2002, 11:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
95, that little black box by the hood latch is an impact sensor for the airbag circuit....we don't wann be messing with that. You got the under the rear deck part right, though! BOOM Hey, where'* the Jiffy Pop?
Whoops! I remember hearing that there were two sensors, one in front and one in back but that may have been wrong.

I know that my speakers were the cause of mine since it stopped working the instant my new speakers went in.
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Old 10-17-2002, 11:52 AM   #7
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Well, I've heard from a few people that had speaker conflicts with the sensor, and just lived with it, but I'd be real curious to see someone actually try to FIX the problem! I don't know how long the harness is, but it wouldn't be too difficult to lengthen it a bit......you might actually only have to move it a couple inches to the rear. The trunk light might be an issue then, but might not, either. I'd see if the harness was long enough, then tape the sensor in the new location and see if it'll calibrate. This would be a good one to post in Techinfo under common problems if it works! Might allow others to go ahead and upgrade speakers without sacrificing 'directional stability'
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Old 10-17-2002, 12:07 PM   #8
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Well, I'm at school right now and I won't be home for a couple of weeks so we'll find out then. I will definately try to fix the problem and let you know how it turned out.
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Old 10-18-2002, 11:56 PM   #9
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Default Compass Problems

FYI I was having problems with my compass a few months back. Get this: It was spinning the wrong way!

I tried to degauss the trunk. The service manual tells you to degauss the trunk because metal parts on the car can sometimes become magnetized, like a tape deck head or a computer monitor.

That didn't work. So I tried ordering a compass module from a junkyard, and that fixed the problem. The module in the trunk had obviously gone bad.

The dealer wanted $140 for a new module, but you should be able to find it at a junkyard for much cheaper.

Keep in mind that other types of magnetic fields in the trunk may confuse the compass, such as different speakers or big metal things (like toolboxes or jacks).
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Old 10-19-2002, 12:14 AM   #10
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Default compass

when i recalibrated mine i never had to drive in circles ..just let it do its` own thang
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