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Rivieraz
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Rivieraz

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PostSubject: wacky steering wheel controls   wacky steering wheel controls EmptySat Jun 29, 2019 11:58 am

hello I have a 1995 buick Riviera 3800 s/c, my buttons on the steering wheel work but not correctly, example when I use the volume button my head unit for my ac and heater is activated the temp control changes, when I use the scan button the radio changes from am to fm, and as I first start the car the radio changes from fm to am by itself , this happens when I first start the car and then every thing works fine?? any suggestions would help...airbag clock spring?? and everything is original equipment thanks for taking the time to read have a gr8 day
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: wacky steering wheel controls   wacky steering wheel controls EmptyMon Jul 01, 2019 9:52 am

Take off the kick panel under the steering column and check to make sure your wires to the steering column are not modified. As for the clockspring, I am not aware of people having problems with the clockspring except when the airbags have discharged.

My guess is your battery is weak. Those switches just put a certain resistance in line with a control circuit.   A weak battery will start a Riv, BUT since the resistance is read by sensing the amount of current thru a circuit, when your voltage sags enough the wrong resistance is read and those controld malfunction. Here is how to find out:

First, make sure to turn the anti-theft on the radio **off** (see owners manual).  Then, flip up the back seat, disconnect the battery and measure the voltage.  If voltage is less than 12.6v, you have a problem.  If voltage is 12v or more then the problem is likely minor - just recharge the battery, find and clean up your  grounds, consider un-installing aftermarket accessories and have your alternator tested.  If voltage is less than 12.4 but more than 10.5, your battery is deeply discharged and many be sulfated/damaged/worn out - you can try charging it overnight or if you have a newer charger it may have a 'battery reconditioning' cycle, you can try that.  This one (LINK) and its clones have a reconditioning cycle.  I own one, have used the recon cycle, and am very happy with the results.  If your battery produces less than 10.5 v you most likely need to replace the battery.  Such low voltage is also why the steering wheel buttons have different results when the car is first started versus later.  In my experience, my Riv will start with a battery that has a shorted cell and only produces 9-10v BUT the accessories don't work right.  When the car's alternator tops-up the battery and system voltages are nearer normal, things will work OK.  Turn car off, due to the Riv's parasitic load the voltage sags, and the problem recurs.  "Wash, rinse, repeat."

WARNING: follow device (car, charger, battery etc). instructions, and provide ventilation to prevent (the unlikely) buildup of noxious or explosive fumes.

If you're curious, here's why such simple voltage test to diagnose a bad car battery actually works:

Your car most likely has a flooded-cell or an AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery.  Either battery contains six power cells.  Each cell produces a minimum of 2.1v when fully charged, typically 2.1 to 2.2v - a new, fully charged AGM battery will show something like 13.2 volts when voltage is measured open-circuit (battery disconnected from car).  A new, fully-charged conventional lead-acid battery will show more like 12.6 to 12.8 volts measured that way.

Now, in either AGM or conventional car battery, partly-discharged-but-good cells still produce around 2v each.

When one cell is damaged it usually shorts out.  The current passes thru the cell and is not boosted (much) by that cell.  If you measure 10.5 v open circuit most likely you have one shorted cell and possibly you have several sulfated cells.

When one or more cells are sulfated, that means while the battery was in use, the lead on its plates reacted with the electrolyte.  That reaction forms lead sulfate crystals on the plates, which in turn reduces the capacity of the battery.  So it is possible that a sulfated battery will measure 10.5v open circuit and not have a shorted cell.

In general the lower the open-circuit voltage, the more damaged the battery is and for practical purposes 10.5V is the point at which the battery is worth more to recover the lead from than it is for anything else.
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Rivieraz
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Rivieraz

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PostSubject: Re: wacky steering wheel controls   wacky steering wheel controls EmptyTue Jul 02, 2019 12:23 am

banana banana thank you so much, you are a GURU!!
albertj wrote:
Take off the kick panel under the steering column and check to make sure your wires to the steering column are not modified. As for the clockspring, I am not aware of people having problems with the clockspring except when the airbags have discharged.

My guess is your battery is weak. Those switches just put a certain resistance in line with a control circuit.   A weak battery will start a Riv, BUT since the resistance is read by sensing the amount of current thru a circuit, when your voltage sags enough the wrong resistance is read and those controld malfunction. Here is how to find out:

First, make sure to turn the anti-theft on the radio **off** (see owners manual).  Then, flip up the back seat, disconnect the battery and measure the voltage.  If voltage is less than 12.6v, you have a problem.  If voltage is 12v or more then the problem is likely minor - just recharge the battery, find and clean up your  grounds, consider un-installing aftermarket accessories and have your alternator tested.  If voltage is less than 12.4 but more than 10.5, your battery is deeply discharged and many be sulfated/damaged/worn out - you can try charging it overnight or if you have a newer charger it may have a 'battery reconditioning' cycle, you can try that.  This one (LINK) and its clones have a reconditioning cycle.  I own one, have used the recon cycle, and am very happy with the results.  If your battery produces less than 10.5 v you most likely need to replace the battery.  Such low voltage is also why the steering wheel buttons have different results when the car is first started versus later.  In my experience, my Riv will start with a battery that has a shorted cell and only produces 9-10v BUT the accessories don't work right.  When the car's alternator tops-up the battery and system voltages are nearer normal, things will work OK.  Turn car off, due to the Riv's parasitic load the voltage sags, and the problem recurs.  "Wash, rinse, repeat."

WARNING: follow device (car, charger, battery etc). instructions, and provide ventilation to prevent (the unlikely) buildup of noxious or explosive fumes.

If you're curious, here's why such simple voltage test to diagnose a bad car battery actually works:

Your car most likely has a flooded-cell or an AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery.  Either battery contains six power cells.  Each cell produces a minimum of 2.1v when fully charged, typically 2.1 to 2.2v - a new, fully charged AGM battery will show something like 13.2 volts when voltage is measured open-circuit (battery disconnected from car).  A new, fully-charged conventional lead-acid battery will show more like 12.6 to 12.8 volts measured that way.

Now, in either AGM or conventional car battery, partly-discharged-but-good cells still produce around 2v each.

When one cell is damaged it usually shorts out.  The current passes thru the cell and is not boosted (much) by that cell.  If you measure 10.5 v open circuit most likely you have one shorted cell and possibly you have several sulfated cells.

When one or more cells are sulfated, that means while the battery was in use, the lead on its plates reacted with the electrolyte.  That reaction forms lead sulfate crystals on the plates, which in turn reduces the capacity of the battery.  So it is possible that a sulfated battery will measure 10.5v open circuit and not have a shorted cell.

In general the lower the open-circuit voltage, the more damaged the battery is and for practical purposes 10.5V is the point at which the battery is worth more to recover the lead from than it is for anything else.
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: wacky steering wheel controls   wacky steering wheel controls EmptyTue Jul 02, 2019 9:13 am

What did your battery measure?

In my experience - My Riv will start with a battery putting out 9-something volts or more but when the battery is that weak many accessories malfunction.
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Rivieraz
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Rivieraz

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PostSubject: Re: wacky steering wheel controls   wacky steering wheel controls EmptyTue Jul 02, 2019 10:35 am

im going to do everything this Thursday ty again!i will let you know what happens
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Rivieraz
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Rivieraz

Name : tommy z
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PostSubject: Re: wacky steering wheel controls   wacky steering wheel controls EmptyWed Oct 02, 2019 12:06 am

Rivieraz wrote:
banana  banana  thank you so much, you are a GURU!!
albertj wrote:
Take off the kick panel under the steering column and check to make sure your wires to the steering column are not modified. As for the clockspring, I am not aware of people having problems with the clockspring except when the airbags have discharged.

My guess is your battery is weak. Those switches just put a certain resistance in line with a control circuit.   A weak battery will start a Riv, BUT since the resistance is read by sensing the amount of current thru a circuit, when your voltage sags enough the wrong resistance is read and those controld malfunction. Here is how to find out:

First, make sure to turn the anti-theft on the radio **off** (see owners manual).  Then, flip up the back seat, disconnect the battery and measure the voltage.  If voltage is less than 12.6v, you have a problem.  If voltage is 12v or more then the problem is likely minor - just recharge the battery, find and clean up your  grounds, consider un-installing aftermarket accessories and have your alternator tested.  If voltage is less than 12.4 but more than 10.5, your battery is deeply discharged and many be sulfated/damaged/worn out - you can try charging it overnight or if you have a newer charger it may have a 'battery reconditioning' cycle, you can try that.  This one (LINK) and its clones have a reconditioning cycle.  I own one, have used the recon cycle, and am very happy with the results.  If your battery produces less than 10.5 v you most likely need to replace the battery.  Such low voltage is also why the steering wheel buttons have different results when the car is first started versus later.  In my experience, my Riv will start with a battery that has a shorted cell and only produces 9-10v BUT the accessories don't work right.  When the car's alternator tops-up the battery and system voltages are nearer normal, things will work OK.  Turn car off, due to the Riv's parasitic load the voltage sags, and the problem recurs.  "Wash, rinse, repeat."

WARNING: follow device (car, charger, battery etc). instructions, and provide ventilation to prevent (the unlikely) buildup of noxious or explosive fumes.

If you're curious, here's why such simple voltage test to diagnose a bad car battery actually works:

Your car most likely has a flooded-cell or an AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery.  Either battery contains six power cells.  Each cell produces a minimum of 2.1v when fully charged, typically 2.1 to 2.2v - a new, fully charged AGM battery will show something like 13.2 volts when voltage is measured open-circuit (battery disconnected from car).  A new, fully-charged conventional lead-acid battery will show more like 12.6 to 12.8 volts measured that way.

Now, in either AGM or conventional car battery, partly-discharged-but-good cells still produce around 2v each.

When one cell is damaged it usually shorts out.  The current passes thru the cell and is not boosted (much) by that cell.  If you measure 10.5 v open circuit most likely you have one shorted cell and possibly you have several sulfated cells.

When one or more cells are sulfated, that means while the battery was in use, the lead on its plates reacted with the electrolyte.  That reaction forms lead sulfate crystals on the plates, which in turn reduces the capacity of the battery.  So it is possible that a sulfated battery will measure 10.5v open circuit and not have a shorted cell.

In general the lower the open-circuit voltage, the more damaged the battery is and for practical purposes 10.5V is the point at which the battery is worth more to recover the lead from than it is for anything else.
UPDATE*** put brand new battery in it seemed to help but not fix the steering wheel buttons but they do seem to work better, can the buttons be cleaned and would it really help?  when advance auto tested the battery it  had 4 volts left in a 12 v battery , and i'm not  sure what to look 4 in the area under steering wheel to determine the problem. Who would I take it to to check problem? mechanic stereo installation person? I do have the manual for the car but like I said I don't know how to read wiring instructions, also radio may be replaced with other stock radio because I sat in the car for 15 minutes and there is not a blinking light on radio, thank again I would be lost with out this forum!
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: wacky steering wheel controls   wacky steering wheel controls EmptyThu Oct 03, 2019 6:02 pm

What you would look for is electrical tape or splices on the wiring to the steering column. Unscrew the kick panel under the drivers' side dash and there it is, except for that which is hidden by the steering column clamshell.  There are hidden screws in that clamshell so don't go yanking on it, best to have the service manual because it shows where the screws are. For instance, one screw is hidden by the ignition switch.


Last edited by albertj on Mon Dec 14, 2020 2:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rivieraz
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Rivieraz

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PostSubject: Re: wacky steering wheel controls   wacky steering wheel controls EmptySun Dec 13, 2020 10:36 pm

ok i havent got to check anything yet on my steering wheel but today it happened twice , as i was making a left hand u-turn and my stereo switched from am to fm. any thoughts???
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LARRY70GS
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PostSubject: Re: wacky steering wheel controls   wacky steering wheel controls EmptyMon Dec 14, 2020 7:54 am

Rivieraz wrote:
ok i havent got to check anything yet on my steering wheel but today it happened twice , as i was making a left hand u-turn and my stereo switched from am to fm. any thoughts???

You should pull the air bag off and check for chafed wiring.

_________________
98 Riviera SC3800  All stock except gutted air box.
1970 Buick GS455 Stage1, TSP built 470BBB, 602HP/589TQ
Best MPH, 116.06 MPH, Best ET, 11.54
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHCda-t_Jls
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfT2tEO4XcU
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: wacky steering wheel controls   wacky steering wheel controls EmptyMon Dec 14, 2020 8:31 am

LARRY70GS wrote:
Rivieraz wrote:
ok i havent got to check anything yet on my steering wheel but today it happened twice , as i was making a left hand u-turn and my stereo switched from am to fm. any thoughts???

You should pull the air bag off and check for chafed wiring.

Plus 1 to this. That said before pulling the airbag, I suggest you open the clamshell (many use strange screws that require security bits or a nutdriver, you will need to check) and see if the wiring is chafing there. Why? Because that is where people have to go to mess with the PassKey II, turn signal switch, and other wiring and when they do that they often don't re-route the wiring as it was from factory (admittedly it's kind of a pain). You can use zip ties to clean up the mess if you find one.

Here is a PDF of a Fierro column rebuild. The Riv column is a bit different BUT this is marginally helpful, as it gives you a practical idea of what all is in there, including funky Torx security screws holding the clamshell on.

http://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/wiki/images/d/d6/Jazzman_Steering_Rack_Rebuild.pdf

The service manual also has some helpful illustrations and instructions.
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Rivieraz
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PostSubject: Re: wacky steering wheel controls   wacky steering wheel controls EmptyMon Dec 14, 2020 10:33 am

cool ty
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: wacky steering wheel controls   wacky steering wheel controls EmptyMon Dec 14, 2020 2:03 pm

Rivieraz wrote:
cool ty

YW

With the battery at supposedly 4V I am surprised you were getting any response from the car at all. Lowest I've seen is 9.6v to still operate (albeit badly). You sure that 4 wasn't a 9?
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Rivieraz
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PostSubject: Re: wacky steering wheel controls   wacky steering wheel controls EmptyMon Dec 14, 2020 3:01 pm

cant remember honestly, but when i checked the battery a had to replace it.it had a bad cell i think?

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PostSubject: Re: wacky steering wheel controls   wacky steering wheel controls EmptyTue Dec 15, 2020 10:32 am

Rivieraz wrote:
cant remember honestly, but when i checked the battery a had to replace it.it had a bad cell i think?


A conventional 'flooded cell' battery loses about 2.1v for each dead cell. They short out.

12.6 = OK
10.something = 1 dead
9.something = 2 badly compromised
...this is the worst I've seen that will still run -- the 'don't bother' zone.

So... I am NOT saying it wasn't 4v. I am just saying congratulations, you have seen something I have not.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: wacky steering wheel controls   wacky steering wheel controls EmptyTue Dec 15, 2020 5:12 pm

When you open this up ill bet you find someone was in there before and was a hacker like the guys said look for taped wires and screws that don't belong good luck u have the right people helping you
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