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 98 riviera electrical problem

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Mariner
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Name : Mariner
Joined : 2019-08-07
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PostSubject: 98 riviera electrical problem   98 riviera electrical problem EmptyWed Aug 07, 2019 12:16 am

Hi, need some help with a recent problem. While driving home from work today the ac blew cold, then blew warm air, then cold again. Then the right headlight went out, right turn signal indicator lamp glowed, and the windshield wiper wouldnt work. I disconected the positive cable in the engine compartment and reconected, with no improvement. Any suggestions appreciated. Thank you!
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Rickw
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Name : Rick
Location : Lancaster, MA
Joined : 2008-09-13
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PostSubject: Re: 98 riviera electrical problem   98 riviera electrical problem EmptyWed Aug 07, 2019 4:34 am

Have you checked the voltage of the battery. Need to pull the rear seat bottom and do it from there.
While the battery is visible remove each battery terminal to check, clean and torque the terminals.
Perform a battery load test while your under the rear seat also. If the Batt can't hold a charge then you know what the problem is.

This problem may require a good look at the wiring diagram to see see what could be shorted out that would affect all these different systems at once.

Do you have a set of Factory Manuals.??

What year is your car.? I have a couple of set's of FSM's. A set for a 1998 and another for a 1999 for sale.

Sorry just noticed the heading of your post and you have a 98.
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Mariner
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PostSubject: Re: 98 riviera electrical problem   98 riviera electrical problem EmptyWed Aug 07, 2019 8:25 am

Thank you, the car starts fine with no hesitation. The horn is also barely audible when the remote is used to lock the car. No FSM's. What are you asking for the FSM?I will do a load test, but the battery is less than 2 years old.
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albertj
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albertj

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Location : Finger Lakes of New York State
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PostSubject: Re: 98 riviera electrical problem   98 riviera electrical problem EmptyThu Aug 08, 2019 10:07 am

Mariner wrote:
Thank you, the car starts fine with no hesitation. The horn is also barely audible when the remote is used to lock the car. No FSM's. What are you asking for the FSM?I will do a load test, but the battery is less than 2 years old.

This gen of Riviera, if everything else is OK, will start with a bad battery.  Ask me how I know....

Horn issue may or may not be battery-related. You may simply need to replace the horns.  They wear out.  For a replacement that will plug right in, try this: https://fiammcomponents.com/en/southamerica/avvisatori-acustici/prodotti/gm-and-chrysler-oe-replacement-horn-assembly-(7201622)-fti.aspx

"Battery less than 2 YO" is *meaningless.*  You need to know if the battery is taking/holding a charge, and  you *might* want to get a battery charger.  I got one of these: https://www.stanleytools.com/products/automotive-tools/power/battery-chargers/15-amp-battery-charger-with-40-amp-engine-start/bc15bs - the bad reviews seem to me to be baloney. This charger has a battery reconditioning cycle which I have found useful, especially in getting an AGM battery to work right.  

Finally, you might want to take a day (at least an afternoon) and clean all the grounds (at least the ones you can easily reach). Lube them with NoAlOx or dimethlypolysiloxane (tune-up grease) as you put them back together.
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Mariner
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PostSubject: Re: 98 riviera electrical problem   98 riviera electrical problem EmptyFri Aug 09, 2019 1:15 am

Mystery solved! Bad ground in the engine compartment. The ground went from a fuse box behind the right headlight to the frame / body below the washer fluid reservoir. The bolt holding the ground to the frame was broken off. Re-bolted the wire and now everything works. Thank you all for your suggestions!
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Jack the R
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Jack the R

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PostSubject: Re: 98 riviera electrical problem   98 riviera electrical problem EmptyFri Aug 09, 2019 11:54 am

Under the back seat, there's a cable that goes from the battery into the fuse box. Mine had almost worked completely loose. You might also want to check the cables around the starter motor.
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Rickw
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Name : Rick
Location : Lancaster, MA
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PostSubject: Re: 98 riviera electrical problem   98 riviera electrical problem EmptyFri Aug 09, 2019 2:26 pm

I wonder what made the bolt break. It's Not like it's a load bearing bolt. Just curious.

Glad you found the problem without too much of a hassle and as usual Albert comes to the rescue with the suggestion to check all ground cables or straps. Good call on that one.

I wasn't even thinking of a bad ground but looking back at the various problems that seemed so random a bad ground should have come to mind especially since the car would start and the engine ran well.

Mariner, regarding the 3 volume FSM for a 98 I'll sell it for $25.00 + shipping. The post office doesn't charge to much for shipping books if you let them take the slow ride. Takes about a week but the discount is worth it.
Let me know if your interested.
Rick
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