1994 Bonneville SSE Oil gage malfunctioning - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 04-14-2007, 11:15 PM   #1
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Default 1994 Bonneville SSE Oil gage malfunctioning

Hello -

I've been scouring the forums and although I've found lots of posts about non-functioning gages, my symptoms are a bit different than others I found, so I thought I'd go ahead and post. I'd asked some of the same questions about the oil gage in the thread referenced below, but I'm fairly convinced now the problem is electrical, and as the original point of that thread has now been acheived, I'm reposting here. Apologies if this is bad ettiquite.

Symptoms:
Oil gage sits at zero during idle. Slowly creeps up to around 30 at highway speed, drops to zero again at idle. 'Check gages' illuminates, bell sounds.

Other info:
1. The motor was just swapped, and these exact symptoms were not previously present. With the old motor, the oil gage would occasionally go low, and the alarm would sound, but only in the warmer months. I'd always thought the gage was correct, and that I had an oil pressure problem. After I spun a bearing (leading to motor replacement) I was wishing I'd of payed more attention to the gage. Now I'm not so sure that the gage didn't also have a problem all along. History of that expedition is here:

http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...=74692&start=0

2. In the past, I'd had a problem with the entire instrument cluster going dead and then coming back on again. Battery connections cleaned and reassembled, no problem since.

3. The driver information portion of the cluster will occasionally flicker, or portions of it go blank (odometer, and/or segments of the vehicle graphic disappear). This happens only in cold weather, and always returns to normal after the interior has warmed up to about 70F.

Actions taken so far:
1. Replacement of oil pressure sending unit.
2. Oil pressure test with mechanical gage (checked good).
3. Inspection of ground buss on both driver and passenger side. Looks good, no sign of corrosion, connections tight.

Question:
I'm thinking the next step is to pull the cluster (as per techinfo) and check for any loose connections there. Before I do that, does anyone have any suggestions based on the above symptoms?

Thanks!
Matt
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Old 04-15-2007, 03:38 AM   #2
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Well, I pulled the instrument cluster, disassembled/cleaned it, still the same symptoms.

Googled around the internet a bit, and found a post that said a bad engine ground can cause gage malfunctions. I'm hoping the mechanic didn't forget to ground the engine, but this would explain why the gage worked before the engine swap and not now.

Can anyone tell me where the engine ground cable for a 94 SSE would be located?

I'm going out to ebay now to buy a factory service manual.

Edit - OK, so I'm an idiot... followed the ground from the battery for 6", and saw that it goes straight to the block. I saw a post somewhere that said a bad ground strap between the transmission and engine can cause problems, I'll check that out tomorrow.
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Old 04-15-2007, 11:08 AM   #3
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Take off the battery cables from each point at each end. Remove the boots at the battery end. You can't see the corrosion unless you do. Clean and use dielectric grease on ALL ends of each cable. Both the cable terminal and the point they ground to. There are 4 grounds total at the ICM bracket-front head. 3 small, one large.
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