Weird electrical problem... - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 07-17-2003, 09:27 AM   #1
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Default Weird electrical problem...

Ok, I just got my car back after getting a new tranny put in. The problem I am having however started well before the tranny came into the picture.

I'll get in my car, turn it on, and everything runs fine. I'll pull out of the driveway, start driving down the street, and then I will see the gauges reset. I'll go a little bit father and then it will do it again. Every now and then I will see EVERYTHING go dead for up to 2 seconds, and then everything will come back on and reset.

This happened this morning for the first mile or so from home as I was going to work. It has done it in the recent past (about 3 months ago it started to some extent) but since I got my car back it is doing it more. The kicker is that after it did it today for the first mile it was then fine for the next 10 into work.

I am thinking it might be a loose or bad battery connection, but the fact that it only really seems to happen when the car is first running makes me wonder if it is. I am going to clean and reconnect the battery cables / terminals tonight to see if that helps.

Any one got any ideas???
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Old 07-17-2003, 11:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: Weird electrical problem...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSEi95
I am thinking it might be a loose or bad battery connection, but the fact that it only really seems to happen when the car is first running makes me wonder if it is. I am going to clean and reconnect the battery cables / terminals tonight to see if that helps.

Any one got any ideas???
Yes, check all your heavy cables at both ends. You're getting a momentary interruption in power, which keeps the engine spinning okay (if the ignition system is even being interrupted in the first place; I don't know), but it'* enough to cause the dash controller(*) to reboot, as if you were just starting it for the first time.

You might want to check your ignition switch, too. (Not the lock where you put the ignition key in, but the actual, electrical switch that the key operates, which is a little further down the steering column.)
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Old 07-17-2003, 02:12 PM   #3
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Scrub and clean the battery terminals and the wires that attach to them. Also clean in-between each of the cables.
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Old 07-17-2003, 02:16 PM   #4
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Try to verify if this is a total electrical dropout, or only the dash cluster. Jseabert has had BOTH problems. 2 different fixes. Battery and cables fixed it the first time, a total disassembly/cleaning/reassembly of the cluster fixed the second problem.
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Old 07-17-2003, 02:19 PM   #5
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I loose everything. No lights on, no radio, no climate control...nothin'. It seems like a mass power issue like the batt. From the way it is acting I highly doubt a cluster, any control module, or anything like that.

I was out driving for lunch today and it didn't do it at all. And this morning it did it about a dozen times... so who knows.

I'm still gonna start with cleaned and reconnecting the batt cables when I get a chance.
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Old 07-17-2003, 02:24 PM   #6
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Don't forget the possibility of a terminal broken INSIDE the battery. I've seen that cause the same type of problem. Sometimes temperature related, too.
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Old 07-17-2003, 03:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSEi95
I loose everything. No lights on, no radio, no climate control...nothin'. It seems like a mass power issue like the batt. From the way it is acting I highly doubt a cluster, any control module, or anything like that.
Well, if you could create the same effect while driving just by reaching down and switching the ignition key on and off, then it _could_ be the ignition switch, but certainly rule out the easier-to-check stuff first, such as the battery cables (at both ends of all cables).
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acg_ssei
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSEi95
I loose everything. No lights on, no radio, no climate control...nothin'. It seems like a mass power issue like the batt. From the way it is acting I highly doubt a cluster, any control module, or anything like that.
Well, if you could create the same effect while driving just by reaching down and switching the ignition key on and off, then it _could_ be the ignition switch, but certainly rule out the easier-to-check stuff first, such as the battery cables (at both ends of all cables).
How about this though... My car has the 20 minute delay on the accessories after the key is removed. If it was the ignition wouldn't it just restart the dash and related systems, and not power off the radio and accessories too? Normally when I turn the car off the radio is unaffected by it. The only time the radio goes off is when I go to turn the car on (it shuts the stereo off while cranking. My stereo goes off with the power (all dead for 2 seconds or less), not when the power comes back on. Make ay sence?
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSEi95
How about this though... My car has the 20 minute delay on the accessories after the key is removed. If it was the ignition wouldn't it just restart the dash and related systems, and not power off the radio and accessories too?
Mmm, yeah; good point. Well, check your cables first anyhow. It does sound like you're having a slightly massive power interruption there someplace...
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Old 07-17-2003, 05:45 PM   #10
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I'd say the battery and cables for it could be a culprit. Maybe your ground is bad too? Like it'* getting crossed with a positive cable etc.... If your ground is bad then all electronics will have problems, and the engine might be good on its own cause it has the ALT.

Id say..
1. Clean connections/check connections.
2. replace battery
3. get pissed
4. have shop look at it
5. nuclear war with electrical system...
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