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Old 08-15-2013, 05:00 PM   #1
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Question 99 Intrigue - HVAC Issues After Battery Replacement

Hello! I apologize in advance if this has been posted elsewhere... I wasn't able to find tips that applied to my specific problem; all I could find was for ECC (Electronic Climate Control), and I do not have that option.

Vehicle is a 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue GX, 3800 Series II, with (as of today) 199,601 miles. I won't go on about how wonderful this car has been, other than to say I am saddened that Oldsmobile is now gone and the Intrigue is no longer manufactured.

Anywho, the battery crapped out. My mother freaked (it'* her car now), but considering it'* the 3rd battery since the Intrigue rolled off the assembly line, I assured her it was expected and "normal" for batteries to fail after 5 years or so (especially Walmart ones).

We replaced the battery, and now air blows out of ALL vents (defroster, floor, panel) regardless of what mode is pressed on the control unit. The control unit was replaced once under warranty, and two days after the warranty on the head unit expired, we started having minor issues again - intermittent and random on/off cycling of AC and flashing of the AC indicator LED. The 134a level is good, and there are no refrigerant leaks, so it'* a minor annoyance.

The real problem is the fact that now, after the battery replacement, the air doors do not seem to be operating. I know that the dealers have a way to make the panel re-learn the proper door positions, and I've also heard that sometimes the panel needs to be reset to compensate for warpage of the plastic doors inside the air box.

My question is this - is there a way to make the head unit recalibrate itself without taking it to a dealer and spending money we don't have? I had heard that this was possible, and had done it once years ago, but I cannot find the procedure now. Before the battery replacement, the HVAC performed flawlessly (aside from the previously-mentioned on/off of the compressor when the head unit does its occasional brain fart).

Or *shrugs* will this straighten itself out over a few weeks of driving?

Thanks for any help you may be able to provide!
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:02 PM   #2
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Oh, I forgot to mention this - I made sure the HVAC system was off when the car was parked, and thus the HVAC was off when the battery was disconnected. I had heard that actually matters, so I made sure to do it the "right" way. LOL
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:49 PM   #3
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Electronic or vacuum controlled?
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:57 PM   #4
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appears on ebay, they are all electronic?
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:32 PM   #5
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To my knowledge, the system is completely electronic - either the standard controls (manual temp, fan speed, airflow) and Electronic Climate Control (auto temp, outdoor temp, etc).

The car in question has the manual controls, which are still electronic. I read somewhere that to go from regular to ECC, all one has to do is swap out the control units.

If it'* on the internet, it must be true, right? LMAO!!

As an added benefit, er, I mean HEADACHE... Now the Security light is illuminated on the dash when the car is running, which is somewhat odd because I don't have the Passlock system (key with the resistor in it) although the key Mom uses is a copy of the original and has been starting to give us engagement problems - I have the one original key that hasn't been lost or stolen, so I can always make a new key. I bought the car off lease with 27k on it; it does NOT have a factory alarm, so I'm scratching my head on this one. *shrugs*
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:36 PM   #6
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Oops, I typed too fast without proofreading. What I meant to say was "to my knowledge, the car has two electronic systems available: standard controls or optional ECC, both of which are operated by an electronic control unit.

I have a spare unit if that'* the issue, but being right after a battery change and no voltage applied to the various brains for 45-60 min, I don't think it'* the head unit completely failing, as it seems too coincidental.
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:27 PM   #7
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Here'* an update: the HVAC system fixed itself. So yay, kinda-sorta.

We are still having intermittent "Security" light issues, and after the light illuminates while driving, it will usually not start the next time. My original thought was a bad ignition key, despite the car NOT having the VATS system (no pellet in the key). So I took the one remaining original and had a decent hardware store cut the key (instead of Walmart'* automatic machine, which I have gotten many bad copies from). The new key works better than the copy my mother was using, but still occasionally doesn't turn right away (sometimes have to reinsert the key).

I know it'* obvious that the ignition cylinder is flaky. I had to bring Mom to work today, and she woke me after I had only a few hours of sleep, and after I came back home, the car started fifteen perfect times out of fifteen perfect attempts. Of course, I am using the original key, since I am the only one who hasn't lost the one remaining original key (and this particular key I kept stored safely when I owned the car).

Could the "Security" light be caused by the lock cylinder being worn out? I am really stumped because of the complete lack of a factory alarm, no Passlock, and still getting the Security light. My mother swears the answer to our problems lies in the misplaced owner'* manual (and I can't convince her otherwise)... LOL!
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:52 PM   #8
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Found this online... Is this accurate? It says the VATS system has the sensor built into the lock cylinder, not into the switch itself. I'm leaning towards the VATS system being the issue (my mother has been using this crappy key for a few years, despite me telling her a gajillion times to get a new key made) and I feel comfortable assuming she helped wear the system down...

Am I on the right track here? Or am I just randomly guessing?
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:52 PM   #9
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:38 PM   #10
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When I worked at the dealer we had many problems with aftermarket keys and the VATS system. As far as the security light and the lock cyl not turning they are different problems. The 10 tumbler lock cylinders were notorious for sticking and having mechanical issues. As far as the key it'* self it'* kind of get what ya pay for thing, a GM PK3 keys is 60 bucks for a reason. I do remember a procedure to relearn the new key. Try starting it with the new key, it it doesn't start and the security light flashes leave the key in the run position for 15 min until the light stops flashing, turn ign off and try to start the car. You just need to make sure the battery is fully charged and all the accys off and if possible disable the DRL because leaving it in the run position for 15 min will drain the hell out of a battery.
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