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 Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off

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98inSFl
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PostSubject: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:11 pm

Here is my latest.

Friday evening it was raining sideways when I got home, parked the car, ran in the house. Rain continued 12 hours (likely unrelated but its full disclosure)

Saturday when the sun was shining I got in the car, noticed the dome lights dim , the battery was down but had no idea why, looking for something left on that was NOT connected to the "timer" circuit I found nothing but did notice my HVAC was still displaying the yellow front window defog button, I thought it odd but being a very electronic car I temporarily dismissed this as everything flipping out because of low voltage.
I put a charger on the battery , key OFF, but the HVAC still was acting as if the key was on , I could press any function and it would respond as if the key was ON, and now that there was a good charge available the display and blower were even working ... with the keys OFF.

I drove the car 1 time, everything fine except for the HVAC problem, it was a quick errand so I just selected off and did my thing, the return trip the Trac off light stayed on when started, its stuck now as well.
Until work tomorrow I am just disconnecting the battery when parked.

The symptoms will have me looking for a dieing ignition switch, any other ideas ?
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:01 pm

To summarize:
When key and engine OFF, HVAC will stay operable.
While driving car, Traction Control Off light is ON.

Is there anything else you noticed either while driving with battery charged,
Or something that can be operated with engine off key off that shouldn't be.?
See if the radio will still work after removing the key and opening the door. If it does then we should be looking at what would cause Auxilliary Power to be available after key is removed and circuits are timed out.

Not that this has anything to do with it but after charging your battery to get it running did you look to see if the alternator was putting out something above 12.5V...?

I'll take a look at the wiring diagram and see if there is any circuit / relay that shares power between the HVAC and TC.
Otherwise I would be inclined to think of a cross short at the switch as well. But there are enough relays wired in these cars that share power with other circuits that I've come to look at the wiring diagram closely for possibilities as to where the cross short could easily be.
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:12 pm

Now that its dark and I have to eat dinner I will hookup the batt and sit still long enough to let the dome go out and see, be back in a hr or so 10:30 EST

I am not sure about a cross circuit, just a stuck contact in the ign switch, but as you point out there should be at least one more thing lit up as well if thats the case
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:33 pm

Start by following one known problem, The HVAC being "ON" all the time.
That should lead you to any possible cross shorts to other systems.
It can sometimes be very obvious as to where the only place a problem like that can develop.
Other times it's a wire chasing nightmare.
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:31 pm

Ok took my ride, I almost missed the one other thing stuck on while the car is off... Heated seats are available.

Neither The HVAC nor the seat heater is powered by any sort of timer, they come directly off the ignition, 95% chance my ign switch is at fault here.
I have a junkyard ign switch from a Arora installed a couple months ago..
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:41 pm

Ahh, you didn't mention the Aurora switch before. Could absolutely be the problem.
Now I will look at the wiring for a 98 Riv Ignition switch and compare to the Aurora and see if that shines any light on the problem
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:44 pm

I have a hollender junkyard interchange program, it indicated the ign switches were identical.

Function was perfect for those couple months.
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:10 pm

98inSFl wrote:
I have a hollender junkyard interchange program, it indicated the ign switches were identical.

Function was perfect for those couple months.

Problem might not be that it was an Aurora switch, but rather that it was a *used* switch.

You might save much much pain by getting a new switch.
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:18 pm

I will agree, but for what I am paying for used ones it would take me 6 or 7 failures to have proven you right.
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:11 am

98inSFl wrote:
I will agree, but for what I am paying for used ones it would take me 6 or 7 failures to have proven you right.

Well, it depends on how you do the math and where you buy the ignition switch from, and what if any value you think there is to doing something else besides working on the car (like driving it, for instance, or attending to just about any of the other matters and pleasures of life).

As you probably already know, Monsterpartsonline,com has 'em for $155 and in case one accidentally snaps it, the actuator (cog that goes from the lock sylinder to the switch) for $15. Napa has the switches (Echlin KS6211) for $204, actuators for $8.- and if you belong to AAA you get a further discount. Junkyard price for the switch should be around $5 to $10.

For me, the number of times to get this part from a junkyard might be zero for a daily driver and probably lots for a hobby car or a car I can do wihtout for a while. Unlike a body part I can't inspect it, and unlike an engine, say, I can't rebuild it. Further, the likelihood that this part is bad on a junked car, if you think about it, is not small. Intermittent problems like that presented by a failing ignition switch drive people nuts and will be a contributing factor if not the 'last straw' to get them out of a depreciated vehicle.

That said, what you might want to do is take one of the old ones, separate (IIRC it snaps together) the rotary part from its connector and see if the internals can be cleaned/realigned so as to work. Kind of like the power window switches, these have been known to sometimes be amenable to cleaning and tinkering. If needed you can replate the contacts with common electrical solder using a soldering iron, after you scrape off corrosion with a small file (one of those nail files with diamond dust on it might be best for this job). If you do that be sure to use the highest temp solder that your iron will melt, because the contacts get warm. Anyway - after replating you may have to reshape the contacts, again with a file, before reassembling the switch. I've never done this with a Riv ignition switch, but it's worked with others looking similar, takes a while though.

Albertj


Last edited by albertj on Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:30 am

Thanks, I am getting them for about $10 , the sun is usually shining, the labor is free, I am never \"defeated\" by a car that has simple problems, and in a pinch I have AAA and a truck to drive if things are bad.

As for cleaning, if I had a spare bad one I would attempt it .

The next one will be good , I can feel it!. ;


Last edited by 98inSFl on Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:35 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:32 am

I had to do what Albertj described in the past with my old BMW when no replacement was available..
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:30 am

If the blower motor runs all the time, it could be the blower control module.
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:42 am

Have a measure of pin C2 (brown) on the rear of the controler or on the I/P fuse block HVAC CONT fuse. If there is a voltage there then its probably an ignition switch problem. The C2 line into the control unit is probably the comand on line as it should only be hot on RUN.

ps.. the cct reference is for a 95 and may differ for other years... what year is yours?
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:57 pm

nigelf wrote:
Have a measure of pin C2 (brown) on the rear of the controler or on the I/P fuse block HVAC CONT fuse. If there is a voltage there then its probably an ignition switch problem. The C2 line into the control unit is probably the comand on line as it should only be hot on RUN.

ps.. the cct reference is for a 95 and may differ for other years... what year is yours?

Ignition switches make some amazing things happen. My car would quit in the middle of traffic, and then start back up again. Chased the problem for 2 weeks until I put an ignition switch in it.......no codes or nuthin......
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:57 pm

Thanks on the blower module suggestion , this is not stuck like that, I can vary the speed and operate the HVAC controls with the car off.
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:22 pm

Well I was sitting reading mail with the car off and the air pump cycled, I will bet $100 bux this is a stuck ign switch!
No time to work on my own stuff today so I will suffer another day..
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:33 pm

I'd say that is a safe bet, man that sucks.
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:19 pm

Well today I had no time to mess with the car but it seems to have fixed itself , everything happened all at once ..

Track off light went off
HVAC went back to normal
Seat heaters work only when the car is on

Looks like I have a little more time to scout my used ign switch.
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:32 pm

98inSFl wrote:
Well today I had no time to mess with the car but it seems to have fixed itself , everything happened all at once ..

Track off light went off
HVAC went back to normal
Seat heaters work only when the car is on

Looks like I have a little more time to scout my used ign switch.

Or a little time until the ign switch in the steering column has a sparking short and catches fire...

Yes I hope you have plenty of time to scour a used ignition switch. If I was you I'd try to check a parts guide, I bet that same switch is used on a BUNCH of GM cars. Maybe ask at a NAPA what other cars specify the same switch as is listed for the Riv? would save you some time.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:39 pm

Hope theres enough fuses to keep the fire down,LOL

The interchange only gives me Riv and Aurora as a proper fit.
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:55 am

98inSFl wrote:
Hope theres enough fuses to keep the fire down,LOL

The interchange only gives me Riv and Aurora as a proper fit.

Actually all the circuits in this column are low current, chance of a fire is about nil.

Do you think that the switch might interchange so to speak if you could change the pinouts in the replacement to match the Riv? If the rotary in teh very end is the same, a few minutes with a connector pick and you could reposition the wires. Saginaw's not know for originality. You'd think they'd swap?

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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:20 am

Most likely you are onto something , a different pinout from another GM car could be corrected but I will keep it simple and shop for the one known to fit rather then scour every 90s car just to try.

I am not sure that switch is all low current, there are several large wires in there
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PostSubject: Re: Dead battery, Climate control stuck on,trac light stuck off   Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:17 pm

98inSFl wrote:
Well I was sitting reading mail with the car off and the air pump cycled, I will bet $100 bux this is a stuck ign switch!
No time to work on my own stuff today so I will suffer another day..


I loose the bet to myself scratch

5am it was storming badly , I went to leave at 9am , got in the car, the A/C blower was going all by itself before inserting the keys again. I sat there thinking how odd it was that the car started fine, this thing must have just turned on within the last hour. A bad ign switch should have stuck when I turned off the car last night at 10pm killing the batt. by morning.

I got to work and went to disconnect the battery , noticed the big wire loom harness next to the battery , the one that comes down the back seat and across to the fuse/relay boxes was sitting in a puddle, presumably from a leaking 1/4 panel seal or leaky back window. I picked up the harness to inspect and dry it off and the A/C blower stopped running!!!
Upon opening I found a factory splice with the factory tape soaked and starting to corrode, no other wires were open to the water but somehow this water was causing enough conductivity to another wet wire splice somewhere nearby to hold one of the relays on.

I dried the harness, popped the floor plug directly in the middle of my puddle and everything is fixed, well everything except the water leak. updates if there is any but this mystery is likely solved.
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