Big Big Big problems [Archive] - Forum


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12-24-2004, 12:41 PM
Im going a little crazy here, and finally turning for help.


My saga began about a month and a half ago, while driving through the KFC drive-through, as my fiancee and I were talking the tell tale smell of burnt antifreeze began to waft into the interior compartment, and the sound of a waterfall began to come from under the car. Quickly we got home, which was only a few blocks, and turned the car off. I quickly diagnosed it as a heater core issue, and began disassembling the dash the next day after I returned home from work. I took apart everthing on that 1994 grand am, even dropping the steering wheel, pushing back the center console, and finally achieving victory in replacing the heater core. I reassembled the dash over the free time I had, and noticed the interior lights didnt come on when I opened any of the doors, but still turned on when i turned the dimmer all the way, but other than that all was fine, oh the low coolant light never turned off too. Well I dubbed the car driveable again, and picked up the xmas tree, and everything worked fine, that is until....

the next day.

Unexplicably the abs light is remaining on, and the radio no longer powers up (aftermarket), as well as the interior lights dont come on at all, even with the dimmer switch doesnt turn on the lights. Bitterly, I disassembled the dash again and began checking for loose connections (checked all fuses first) None were found, and all the fluids are topped off as best I can tell. I reconnected the stock radio for giggles, and found that it will put white noise on the speakers, but the lcd doesnt lgith up nor can I tune in any stations, which leads me to believe that the radio harness is only getting the +12 from the ignition line, but not the 12 constant.

My greatest folly that I can summize is that I neglected to disconnect the battery terminal during this entire operation, and I may have fried a computer component somewhere.

Now I turn to you my friends in your infinite wisdom, what things can I check that I may have overlooked, and is there a way that I can test the computer components without replacing them? I fear that I do not have a lot of money, but there is a good junkyard nearby that I can get parts from.


12-24-2004, 02:19 PM
My greatest folly that I can summize is that I neglected to disconnect the battery terminal during this entire operation, and I may have fried a computer component somewhere.

OUCH! That is what I was going to ask... Hopefully there's another reason, but it sounds like a lot got fried, considering some of the things aren't even related.

12-24-2004, 09:44 PM
I hope so too... anybody else have any ideas? the car worked fine during the trip to and from the tree lot, and we turned it off while we were there for a half hour. Radio worked and everything, then the next day it took a big nosedive.

One thing I do notice is that the voltmeter is reading a bit higher than normal, instead of staying around 12 volts, its more like 3/4 around 16 or so.

I was told the computer was replaced before we had got the car, maybe it needs to be reset in some way? Is there a way to do that? Im going to try disconnecting the battery tomorrow (Merry X-Mas to me) and see if that resets anything, or get a spark, if I get a spark that should be indicative of a short to ground somewhere.

Does anyone have some electrical schematics that I may be able to take a gander at?


12-26-2004, 09:47 AM
to reset the computer just disconnect your battery for like 15 minutes. doubtful fix tho :(

12-26-2004, 11:39 AM
Actually, I got the same reply on another forum that I posted this issue, and yesterday I had a few minutes to try it out. I dosconnected the negative terminal and 15 minutes later put it back on, and the car started right up. The interior lights and everything are now working, and the abs light turned off. All to do now is reassemble th edash and hope everything still works after that :)

Issue resolved, reset of the computer fixed everything.


12-30-2004, 05:14 AM
Looks like I may have spoke too soon, I went out today to do something on it, and the same problem came back, luckily I knew the fix, however this isnt my car, its actually my fiancee's car, and I dont think she is going to be too keen on unplugging the battery everytime this happens..... Any Ideas on what can be the matter? Could this be related to the alarm system in the car perhaps?

-AM :hang:

12-30-2004, 12:49 PM
I should be heading home soon, luckily i have off of work tomorrow so I can finally spend some time on this issue.

If anybody has any ideas please let me know so I can try them out.


12-30-2004, 01:18 PM
Can you take the car to an autozone and have them run a test. It would be more helpful to see what codes your computers spitting out.

12-30-2004, 03:04 PM
Is it just the ABS light? Stock or aftermarket stereo? Which engine? Do you have the "ignition switch" recall done?

Before going further, check & clean your battery terminals too.

Here are some chassis wiring diagrams...

12-30-2004, 04:42 PM
Thanks Matt, The interior lights arent coming on when I open the door, I dont know if the recall was done on the ignition switch as I am not the first owner, its an aftermarket radio, it has a V6, I think it maybe a 2.4 if that engine exists.. Ill find out more in the morning.

Thanks for the diagrams too!

Oh and the terminals are mighty clean.