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 My Riv acting up as well!

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jbeganny
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Name : John Beganny
Location : Litchfield, Maine
Joined : 2011-09-05
Post Count : 120
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My Riv acting up as well! Empty
PostSubject: My Riv acting up as well!   My Riv acting up as well! EmptySat Sep 29, 2012 10:56 pm

I bought this with 59K on it and it now has 65K. It has had what I call "issues" since I got it so I consider it a work in progress. The issues all seem to be electrical in nature. Lately it has been the radio which works well when it wants to or sometimes not at all. It just shuts itself off and when I turn it back on it plays for a few minutes and then shuts itself off again. The past two days it has worked well and not shut off. Great! All this time the car is running well. So today after I take off, the heater shuts itself off. I attempt to power it back on but it would not respond at all. I come to a stop sign and notice when I take off that the transmission has not shifted down and I am taking off in high gear. I tried to shift down manually but it made no difference. Car is still running well. As I go down the road I notice the SES light is on, check engine oil light is going on and off, brake light is flashing, and the heater is not on and will not respond. After going a couple miles I had to make a stop at a store so two minutes later I start it up and my heater is back on and all the warning lights go out and when I take off the transmission is working as it should. What gives??
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rivparadise
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rivparadise

Name : Samuel
Age : 47
Location : Niagara Co.
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My Riv acting up as well! Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Riv acting up as well!   My Riv acting up as well! EmptySun Sep 30, 2012 3:33 am

Sounds like a classic case of bad grounds! Have them ALL redone. You can get a schematic of where they are from the dealer and have them cleaned!
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jbeganny
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Name : John Beganny
Location : Litchfield, Maine
Joined : 2011-09-05
Post Count : 120
Merit : 2

My Riv acting up as well! Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Riv acting up as well!   My Riv acting up as well! EmptySun Sep 30, 2012 12:04 pm

I have suspected that for some time to be honest. Would that account for the transmission not downshifting? Is there any way I can do this myself? I have the big service manual. Are the grounds listed or shown in there?
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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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My Riv acting up as well! Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Riv acting up as well!   My Riv acting up as well! EmptySun Sep 30, 2012 5:17 pm

jbeganny wrote:
I have suspected that for some time to be honest. Would that account for the transmission not downshifting? Is there any way I can do this myself? I have the big service manual. Are the grounds listed or shown in there?

I bet your problem may be grounds and battery, but as likely as not it's the ignition switch (NOT the Lock, the electrical switch that installs behind the lock - see your service manual).

Yes, the grounds are shown in the service manual wiring diagrams and wiring location sketches. The ones under the dash are the toughest to get to. Do not forget to clean up the battery ground and the ground post in the engine compartment, and odds are about even you will have to replace that post because if it is corroded much you'll snap it trying to get it apart (you can drill it out and tap the bolt that's welded inside the frame rail to accept a new stud). Also be sure to clean the ground under the ignition module.

If your battery is below 450 CCA, or discharged for some other reason, that will cause problems like yours too. Disconnect it and check the voltage. If your batt voltage is below say 12.4 or so as it sits disconnected from the car, that's a problem.

A bad ig switch will cause what you're seeing because the circuits that go thru it become intermittent. Ig switch has little contacts that corrode with age.

Albertj




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jbeganny
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Name : John Beganny
Location : Litchfield, Maine
Joined : 2011-09-05
Post Count : 120
Merit : 2

My Riv acting up as well! Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Riv acting up as well!   My Riv acting up as well! EmptySun Sep 30, 2012 7:21 pm

Hey Albert,
Thanks for the info. I will check everything you mentioned. I have owned quite a few GM cars of this vintage with the 3800 and none of them had all the problems the Rivs experience. Why is that? A great car but so many issues.
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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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My Riv acting up as well! Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Riv acting up as well!   My Riv acting up as well! EmptySun Sep 30, 2012 9:33 pm

The Riv used a number of parts out of the GM bin but had a unique body and some other differences.

By the way about the ig switch - look in your manual, you might want to go ahead and replace the thing as preventive maintenance.
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rivparadise
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rivparadise

Name : Samuel
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My Riv acting up as well! Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Riv acting up as well!   My Riv acting up as well! EmptyMon Oct 01, 2012 6:36 am

Typical cars have a ground wire to the chassis and the motor. Our cars have one line to the chassis and everything is grounded off of that. That main ground HAS to be solid along with all the others or you will have problems!
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jbeganny
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Name : John Beganny
Location : Litchfield, Maine
Joined : 2011-09-05
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My Riv acting up as well! Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Riv acting up as well!   My Riv acting up as well! EmptyMon Oct 01, 2012 1:20 pm

OK. Where is that ground located?
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albertj
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albertj

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My Riv acting up as well! Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Riv acting up as well!   My Riv acting up as well! EmptyTue Oct 02, 2012 4:09 am

jbeganny wrote:
OK. Where is that ground located?

Back at the battery, under the rear seat, is probably the one he's referring to. However, there are important grounds by the PCM (firewall, behind the glove compartment), near the instrument cluster (driver side kick panel) and on the frame rail/box member in the engine compartment near the (+) power point; also under the ignition module.

Finally - be sure your battery is good (group 79, measure the CCAs should be 450 or better - the battery is rated 800+ CCAs so you're looking for at least 60% of the rated to be the actual you can measure with a tester;at least 12.4v across the terminals when you disconnect the + cable and measure batt voltage with a meter)
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rivparadise
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rivparadise

Name : Samuel
Age : 47
Location : Niagara Co.
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Merit : 11

My Riv acting up as well! Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Riv acting up as well!   My Riv acting up as well! EmptyTue Oct 02, 2012 7:11 am

Indeed He is correct. The Main is off the Battery. Do a thorough check of all of them as Albert suggested. The diagram I have shows only the chassis grounds. All of mine located on the chassis grounding diagram were in need of some love!
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jbeganny
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Name : John Beganny
Location : Litchfield, Maine
Joined : 2011-09-05
Post Count : 120
Merit : 2

My Riv acting up as well! Empty
PostSubject: Re: My Riv acting up as well!   My Riv acting up as well! EmptyTue Oct 02, 2012 9:51 pm

The only thing I had time to do today was check out the ground next to the battery and that was just to locate it. It looked extremely clean and I remembered that the lady who owned this car left all the paperwork in the glove box and one of the repairs that was done was new battery cables which I noticed were very expensive. Maybe that is why that ground next to the battery looked so clean.
Engine still runs great but I can't use it till I figure out why the transmission is staying in what I think is either 3rd or overdrive. When I take off the engine revs up like I'm riding the clutch.
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My Riv acting up as well! Empty
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