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Old 06-20-2004, 06:26 PM   #1
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Default crazy electrical problem

have a 97 ssei loaded. locks, Sunroof, passenger seat, power antenna power door locks quit working at the same time. also the fog lamps will glow dim and the factory alarm may go off and you cannot shut it down. All these things will happen at the same time and go away at the same time. I have cleaned the battery cables but it did not help. I have also checked the fuses and relay block. I would like to solve this problem on my own if possible. Please help
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Old 06-20-2004, 08:46 PM   #2
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What kind of system voltage are you seeing when the problem happens?
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Old 06-20-2004, 09:34 PM   #3
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And did you clean ALL the cables at BOTH ends? I'm betting alternator or battery short of corrosion, but if it'* true, you better replace both at the same time. Try doing that with jumpers attached from another car and see if it solves your problem.
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Old 06-21-2004, 06:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: crazy electrical problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by terry zilis
have a 97 ssei loaded. locks, Sunroof, passenger seat, power antenna power door locks quit working at the same time. also the fog lamps will glow dim and the factory alarm may go off and you cannot shut it down.
That last part, about the dimly-glowing foglamps, tells me that there is a bad ground connection somewhere. Current in one circuit is doubling back through the others that share the same ground connection.

Just so we're clear on this, are you talking about the fog lamps themselves that are glowing dimly, or are you talking about the indicator on the dash? Has the car had any crash repairs done, especially up front? Any aftermarket electrical work inside, such as a replacement stereo system?
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Old 06-22-2004, 06:49 PM   #5
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The fog lamps themselves glow dim, not the dash indicator. The car has never been in a crash and has had no damage. I also cleaned and checked each battery cable connection on bolth ends, cleaned and checked all fuse and relay block connections. Still the problem is there
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Old 06-23-2004, 10:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry zilis
The fog lamps themselves glow dim, not the dash indicator. The car has never been in a crash and has had no damage. I also cleaned and checked each battery cable connection on bolth ends, cleaned and checked all fuse and relay block connections. Still the problem is there
Well, let'* start with the fog lamps, then. They're operated by a relay, which can't really be "dimly" on; it'* either on or off. Assuming the relay is off, the current to light the foglamps might be reverse-feeding up their ground wires.

The dash switch for the foglamps is Off at the time they're glowing dimly; is that right?

Under what conditions do the foglamps glow dimly? i.e. Must the outside lights be on first?

Does it make any difference whether you're selecting High or Low beam?

Do the foglights work normally when they're supposed to?)

Can you follow the foglamp ground wires to see where they go? If they're connected to a good ground, then I'm kind of stumped here, because that might mean that a main ground connection between body and battery is broken.
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Old 06-23-2004, 05:59 PM   #7
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The fog lamp switich is off. Twilight sentinal is always on. When the fog lights start to glow all the rest of the symptoms occor at the same time. It does not matter if it is day or night, the fog lamp switich will not controll the lamps once all the problems start. All other equiptment affected will also not respond to thier switiches. I must tell you that the first time we noticed a problem was with the door locks and the sun roof. As time went on the list of malfunctions seemed to grow, or we just did not notice all of them right away.
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Old 06-24-2004, 11:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry zilis
The fog lamp switch is off. Twilight sentinel is always on.
What do you mean here? The lights are stuck on? If you turn the control ring clockwise until it clicks, it won't shut off?

Quote:
When the fog lights start to glow all the rest of the symptoms occor at the same time. It does not matter if it is day or night, the fog lamp switich will not controll the lamps once all the problems start. All other equiptment affected will also not respond to thier switiches. I must tell you that the first time we noticed a problem was with the door locks and the sun roof. As time went on the list of malfunctions seemed to grow, or we just did not notice all of them right away.
Oh, jeez...

Best I can say at this point is that when this many circuits are affected, there aren't a whole lot of places on the car that they have in common. The only two I can think of right now are the fuseboxes (the one under the dash, or the Maxifuse/Relay Center on the firewall under the hood), or the bulkhead connector where a large percentage of the wiring goes through the firewall between engine compartment and dashboard.

In fact, I think it would be good to methodically work your way through every harness connector you can find under the hood, especially the large ones on and around the firewall. Something'* gotta be loose or damaged there. There may be a problem under or behind the dash, too, but unless someone'* actively under there (e.g. putting in an alarm, remote starter or aftermarket stereo), it'* not likely that the dash wiring harness could go this far wrong by itself.

If nothing shows up above, open up the Maxifuse/Relay Center cover and check that it'* all clean and tight in there, especially the large power cable that comes in at top center.

As you can tell, I'm really guessing here...
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