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BMD
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:51 pm

Thank you very much for your help and input Albert, it is very much appreciated. But if the seats and memory settings work, then wouldn't it mean that the breaker is OK, eventhough the mirrors do not work?
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:15 pm

So in that case most likely you are replacing the mirror or the mirror switch, or finding/repairing where a rodent chewed the wiring... seriously, one problem area in your year Riv is the place where the wiring passes through the door jamb from behind the kick panel. In early Rivs this wire bundle would chafe thru the insulation and you'd get various problems due to shorts. If your thermal breakers are cool you probably don't have a short and probably don't have this problem. Others who have had/fixed this problem might chime in.

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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:19 pm

I'm trying to find a common area in the 1998 wiring diagram and I keep coming up with a common ground as a possibility or the module itself.
I'm not done looking though.
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:37 pm

Common ground for the mirrors, amongst many other things, is S290: Located in the body harness, approximately 28.7 inches from the P100 pass-through.
P100 = Left (drivers side) rear of the engine compartment, near the base of the strut tower. Or is the ground point 28.7" forward of the strut tower.? Need to find the pass through point and measure from there.
If you find a cluster of wires secured to the body with a screw or bolt remove it and clean all connectors with a small wire brush or some fine sandpaper. Then coat them with dielectric paste to help prevent future corrosion.
Being in the engine compartment and exposed to the elements corrosion is a strong possibility.
As far as troubleshooting the Module under the seat you'll need the manual as the procedure is much to lengthy and somewhat complicated to duplicate here. If you follow the troubleshooting guide step by step with a multi-meter it is not difficult.
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:20 am

Thanks guys very much for your advice and help with the investigation. I strongly feel that the mirror switch is OK and that the thermal breaker is OK. I believe that there is no power getting to the motor becuase you don't here that "kick" when you press the buttons to move the mirror on either side. So somewhere along the path, there is a problem with the wires. Troubleshooting the module will have to wait until I obtain a manual. I will try and locate the ground area you spoke of Rick when I get a chance and I will post whatever findings I come across.
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:46 am

Well, I checked behind the kick panel, no sign of chaffing or rodents. But what do you make of this, by accident, I hit the Driver 2 memory button and the seats and mirrors moved. That tells me that the mirror motor works and power is getting to the mirror??? scratch
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:35 am

This is where the troubleshooting guide in the FSM would become very useful to you.
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:41 am

Please go back and review all the suggestions offered early on in this thread. Then find yourself a FSM and look through the troubleshooting steps. Factory Service Manuals can still be purcahsed new through Helm Inc. They are pricey, but still worth it. Less expensive than two hours labor of a "professional" chasing wires.


albertj wrote:
Please go check the underseat wiring as was suggested; the mirrors are wired through the seat control module, which is under the drivers seat, and that is the location of the memory device that remembers teh different settings for different drivers if your Riv is so equipped. If your riv is not so equipped, guess what - the wires run under there anyway, only the memory module is missing (replaced by a plug jumper).

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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:12 am

The core of the problem here is that the Riv is a relatively early implementation of powered electricals under electronic and software control.

Unless and until BMD gets an FSM, it will be difficult if not impossible to troubleshoot. And anything I might say, sage as it may sound, just gets him "one car length further into trouble."

I empathize with him, though. Many professional service techs don't want to read the FSMs, either.

That said, sounds like the plug to the memory module under drivers seat may be loose or there is a chafed wire under there.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:29 am

Getting an FSM is something that I will do eventually but because my mirrors are positioned properly, its not an emergency to get one A.S.A.P. I would definately buy one before paying someone to track it down. Its just annoying that they don't work and I was hoping that with all the experience on this forum that perhaps we could figure it out. I definately will go back and review some steps, especially under the seat to check the connections to the module, after I check the ground points that Rick was talking about. I'll keep looking thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:36 pm

Hmmm... actually, with all the experience on this forum, the problem *was* figured out.

I agree with you that the problem is annoying. Rick mentioned I burned my fingers on one of those thermal breakers, I won't even go into the rest although it's pretty funny.

The thing that might be bugging the others on this Editboard is that the manual you need is easy to get. Here is one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/1996-BUICK-RIVIERA-OLDS-AURORA-SERVICE-MANUAL-SET-nice_W0QQitemZ360132875451QQcmdZViewItem

...and there are more than 10 otehr sets there at varous (low) prices ...so people are wondering if (1) you don't want to buy one, that's OK but you're not pulling your weight here (2) you can't buy one now, which we generally understand, we've all been tight or on the wrong side of the cut at one point or another, so deal with the income problem first buy the book later - except that for used sets starting at $15.- if you have the car price of book should not be a barrier (3) you did not feel like getting a manual, in which case if you look around the board you'll find that by and large people will quit answering your posts because you're not taking (well, at least not appearing to take) a degree of responsibility that is within your capability. Just click the selection "view unanswered posts" after you log in to find them.

And since time usually will tell if the real issue is 1, 2, 3, or something else, no one will really call you out on this... at first.

I think the real issue around the manual is that you're gonna need one, it's even an uncertain proposition to find a dealer mechanic who still understands some of the details on these cars. So people are repeatedly mentioning that you ought to get one. It's not personal and believe me it's not a post-answering-avoidance strategy.

So anyway you are welcome, hope the advice helped, and let us all know what you try and whether it worked.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:33 pm

Wow, not sure if that was really necessary Albert dunno I didn't think that not having the extra cash lying around to get a manual would "bug" anyone and whenever I have had an answer to provide here I have, but if you look at my start date I am pretty new at Riv repairs. I just thought that I would ask a question or two about a problem I have for which I have been repeatedly thankfull. I have even said that buying an FSM is something I intend to do at somepoint, I just didn't realize that it was a pre-requsite to asking questions here. Again, I appreciate the help and it has been very helpful and I respect the knowledge here. I am also sure that the problem was figured out and it's staring me in the face and can't see it.


Last edited by BMD on Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:51 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:39 pm

One "feature" of this board is something I'll call Unafraid Plain Talk. You won't find people calling each other weird names or anything like that. You will find that expectations run fairly high, and part of the high expectations involves follow-through.

If you are thinking the FSM is a prerequisite to asking questions, you may have misread the comments offered. Which is OK, inasmuch as it does not inhibit learning. The advice to you to get the FSM set simply stems from this: we're sincere folks who try to help each other but we don't know everything. And we know that everything is not in the FSM; we know that many questions ought to just get answered; we also have a sense of the types of problems (such as yours) that require that manual. Worse, since different people own different year Rivs, offering advice to you from say a '98 manual to fix many problems including this one isn't a great idea because of GM's running engineering and design changes.

I accept that you are not sure my comments were really necessary. And I appreciate that you gave thanks; what you might want to reckon is what that means in the context of what you're doing. Or not doing. Whether the problem is staring you in the face, that's your call. I guess it depends on where you are looking.

As for your feelings about this exchange, my intent was to be direct enough to raise your awareness and elicit from you what's really going on here; your reaction was telling, and I think I understand you better now.

So anyway you are welcome, hope the advice helped, and let us all know what you try and whether it worked.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:19 pm

albertj wrote:
One "feature" of this board is something I'll call Unafraid Plain Talk. You won't find people calling each other weird names or anything like that.

Actually you siad "no one will really call you out on this... at first"

albertj wrote:
If you are thinking the FSM is a prerequisite to asking questions, you may have misread the comments offered. Which is OK, inasmuch as it does not inhibit learning. The advice to you to get the FSM set simply stems from this: we're sincere folks who try to help each other but we don't know everything. And we know that everything is not in the FSM; we know that many questions ought to just get answered; we also have a sense of the types of problems (such as yours) that require that manual. Worse, since different people own different year Rivs, offering advice to you from say a '98 manual to fix many problems including this one isn't a great idea because of GM's running engineering and design changes.

That advcie was appreciated and taken under consideration. The fact that I didn't buy it within the two days I was informed to get one shouldn't be an issue.

albertj wrote:
As for your feelings about this exchange, my intent was to be direct enough to raise your awareness and elicit from you what's really going on here; your reaction was telling, and I think I understand you better now.

As far as arriving at some sort of psyco analysis of me from a few comments I think is a little pretentious. How is one supposed to feel when you say that I am either too cheap to buy a FSM, too lazy to buy an FSM or irresponsible in that I am not living up too my responsibilities here on the forums or pulling my weight? I am not a mechanic, but I have always enjoyed working on cars and I like to figure out the gremlins that live in them, I find it fun. I also get a certain satisfaction helpng people when I can, I assumed you did aswell. But my experience has its limitations and I need help fom time to time. Thats why I joined rivperformance. I may seem to be coming off a little strong here in text form, but I am more confused then anything else. I still think that the folks here are helpful and knowledgable and I will continue to seek out help
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:29 pm

Good, I hope you do continue to seek help. Your always welcome to ask.
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:47 pm

yeah BMD! u can ask me stuff anytime...i don"t allways have the answers..but ill try... of course there was that time i told THE ROCKET MAN to just put bubble gum over the hole in his flight pack and he wound up running out of fuel over the ocean. that was the last time he asked me for advice! but dont let that stop you,you cant drive the riv over the ocean...
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:56 pm

The reason people are getting sticky on your getting a FSM is that when you are troubleshooting electrical circuits like these it's nearly impossible to help without having access to the FSM that applies to your year car. Sometimes the troubleshooting steps span mulitple pages, and it's really the kind of help that's hard to provide in a forum. You need to sit down with a test light and multimeter, and the wiring diagrams and troubleshooting charts, and work through one step at a time. I haven't looked at the mirror troubleshooting charts, but most of them are many pages long. Many times things like this can change from year to year, so what may be in my car may NOT be in your car. Also, I get the feeling most of us besides albertj haven't had a problem exactly like you are having (I haven't), so without firsthand experience it's tough to say. I also think that the problem you describe is somewhat different from the problem albertj described having, and what fixed it for him does not seem to fix it for you, so the only thing left for you is to listen to our best free advice, which is to look in the right book.
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:00 am

We'll work it out.

I hope the advice helped, and let us all know what you try and whether it worked.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:31 am

deekster_caddy wrote:
The reason people are getting sticky on your getting a FSM is that when you are troubleshooting electrical circuits like these it's nearly impossible to help without having access to the FSM that applies to your year car. Sometimes the troubleshooting steps span mulitple pages, and it's really the kind of help that's hard to provide in a forum. You need to sit down with a test light and multimeter, and the wiring diagrams and troubleshooting charts, and work through one step at a time. I haven't looked at the mirror troubleshooting charts, but most of them are many pages long. Many times things like this can change from year to year, so what may be in my car may NOT be in your car. Also, I get the feeling most of us besides albertj haven't had a problem exactly like you are having (I haven't), so without firsthand experience it's tough to say. I also think that the problem you describe is somewhat different from the problem albertj described having, and what fixed it for him does not seem to fix it for you, so the only thing left for you is to listen to our best free advice, which is to look in the right book.

I agree Derek, and if after a look in the engine bay and under the seat comes up short, I will have to get the proper resources to figure this out. I thought I would try some of the suggestions here first. Also just to clarify, I never have expectations of people here to have all the answers, if someone has the answer, great. If someone has an idea, great. If no one responds thats fine too. I enjoy doing the work and learning. I look at it like hanging out with the guys talkin about cars. Again its a good idea to get an FSM and thanks for that. And yes Albert I hope we do work it out. giveup
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:12 am

albert j wrote: "hope the advice helped, and let us all know what you try and whether it worked" did u cut and paste this sentence?
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:55 pm

I also have this problem. I have checked all the fuses and thermal breakers, as well as the wiring under the seat. All appear normal. Both my seats work, but the mirrors do not operate. The passenger side mirror does tilt down in reverse. I have a FSM, and have started to troubleshoot the problem. On the first step, I pulled apart the mirror switch connecter, and tested for 12 volts at terminal A (circuit 40 ORG) to ground. There was no power there at all. I probably have a break in that wire, so I will start my search at the door jamb, and attempt to follow the wire from there. I was thinking of running a jumper wire directly from the battery to the back side of the switch connector to verify that is my problem.
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:14 pm

That sounds like a reasonable approach to the problem.
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:14 pm

sounds very reasonable. Is this an early G-body? My guess is it's the door jamb wiring thing.

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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:10 am

It's a 98. I hope it's the door jamb. That would be easy.
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PostSubject: Re: seat memory & power mirrors not working   Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:12 pm

98 not as likely the door jamb wire pass thru because of a running change that was supposedly made in later production BUT yours would not be the first 98 with a door jamb insulation scrape-off or hidden wire break so please check anyway.

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