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Electrical Problem?
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Gems
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:55 pm    Post subject: Grrrr ! Electrical Problem? Reply with quote

Had something strange just happen... I started the car and noticed that I did not hear the interior ventilation fan running... I looked down at the control buttons to check the fan speed and it's on number 1... But I see both the LED's for flow-thru and re-circulate dimly lit... I click the fan speed switch to a higher number and then the flow-thru light comes on fully and the re-circulate light goes off... I think it's fixed but a few minutes later they both come back on dimly and the fan again is not running... Any thoughts as to what might be going on?? (2001 Impala LS)

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billy101
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:58 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Your HVAC controls could be going bad? Just a thought.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:04 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

billy101 wrote:
Your HVAC controls could be going bad? Just a thought.


By that you mean the center control panel with the temperature sliders, fan speed switch, AC, rear defrost switch, flow-thru and re-circu buttons??... Some of the lights don't work on that panel but it's been like that for a long time... Never had this problem...

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billy101
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:23 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Gems wrote:
billy101 wrote:
Your HVAC controls could be going bad? Just a thought.


By that you mean the center control panel with the temperature sliders, fan speed switch, AC, rear defrost switch, flow-thru and re-circu buttons??... Some of the lights don't work on that panel but it's been like that for a long time... Never had this problem...


Yeah the lights have nothing to do with the operation of the controls. It may be the circuit board going bad... I'm not too knowledgeable in this field.

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2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:09 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Not sure if this is a clue or not... When I put the fan speed switch to OFF the flow-thru light goes bright... When I put the fan switch speed on #1 or #2 then both the flow-thru and the re-circulate lights kind of dimly blink... And the ventilation fan does not run when both those lights are blinking...

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Arvetus
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:04 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

where is your interior light dimmer set?

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Gems
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:43 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Arvetus wrote:
where is your interior light dimmer set?


It is rotated fully clockwise, just before it clicks into the "always on" position.

What does this have to do with my malfunctioning HVAC controls??

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:51 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I found mine acting squirley similar to yours when it was set to full dim...

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:03 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Arvetus wrote:
I found mine acting squirley similar to yours when it was set to full dim...


Ah... OK...

When I have the blower (fan) speed switch set to zero, only the "flow-thru" light on the button is lit... If I put the blower speed switch to #1 or #2 or #3 then both the "flow-thru" & "Recirculate" lights dimly light up and kind of blink... In any of these settings the blower fan does not run... As a result, the AC will not turn on either...

I had changed the resistor assembly that controls the fan speeds, located under the glove box, a couple of years ago. So I'd be surprised if that was the problem again. I suspect the HVAC control assembly itself is bad?

EDIT

Typical of me, I dig into too much detail when trying to figure out a problem... But I can't help myself... So I'm looking in the owners manual under fuses and relays and I see 3 under hood relays called:

FAN CONT #3 = Secondary Cooling Fan
FAN CONT #2 = Cooling Fan Control relay
FAN CONT #1 = Primary Cooling Fan

Plus there are also related mini fuses located in this area and in the interior fuse panels...

Any chance any of these relays or related fuses could cause my problem? And which ones?!?!

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:19 am    Post subject:  I have that same issue... Reply with quote

The lights on the fresh air and recirculate are on and my fan does not work.

My driver door lock started acting funny, when I locked all the locks with the lock button, all the locks would lock, then the driver door lock would unlock by itself. The bell goes off with the door open now, it did not do that before.

The fan comes on later and later, first it was 20-30 seconds, now it has lengthend out to 30 minutes, and now today, it did not come on. Also, I can't seem to keep the security light off, every day I have to sit for the 10 minutes to start the car, and I have done the security relearn 4 times during the week, and I have already replaced the ignition lock cylinder AND the ignition switch.

So, with all of that, another small issue popped up. The police car that I have was bought from auction. The police left something hooked up to the car called Secure Idle. It is connected to the wires to my ignition. You hit a button and take the key out and the car stays running. Today, even that little device stopped working , and I tried to reset it, nothing worked...

The funny thing is now my door lock works correctly, no bell is heard when the door is open now, just like when I bought the car from auction, I am hoping the security light goes out tomorrow, one less thing to worry about.

Now, if the BCM controls all of this stuff inside the car, is my BCM going bad ?

What do you think ?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:37 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I don't seem to be having all of the BCM related issues that "cooperaaaron" is describing... Although anything is possible... My BCM was already replaced once about 4 years ago...

This morning I tried my blower speed switch again... I moved it from the OFF position to various speeds... I happened to have the AM radio playing at the time and I noticed that as soon as I moved the blower speed switch from OFF to either #1, #2, etc., I hear static in the AM radio and both the "flow-thru" and "recirculate" lights flicker...

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:08 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

The fan relays you mentioned above are for the cooling fans on the radiator. They wouldn't have anything to do with your HVAC blower fan.

It is also common to hear static on AM that is generated from anything. Blower motors, alternators, electrical lines. That's just the nature of the band.

You may have bad electronics in the control head...or bad fan speed switch. But BCM issues can rear their ugly heads as just about anything... I hate them in these cars...I'm usually all too quick to point the finger at the BCM, but I've also had 2 of them fry on me.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:52 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Arvetus wrote:
The fan relays you mentioned above are for the cooling fans on the radiator. They wouldn't have anything to do with your HVAC blower fan.

It is also common to hear static on AM that is generated from anything. Blower motors, alternators, electrical lines. That's just the nature of the band.

You may have bad electronics in the control head...or bad fan speed switch. But BCM issues can rear their ugly heads as just about anything... I hate them in these cars...I'm usually all too quick to point the finger at the BCM, but I've also had 2 of them fry on me.


OK, thanks for clarifying the function of the relays I was looking at...

Being an "old timer" ham radio guy, I'm aware of the causes of noise on the AM band... I listen to AM radio often in the car and I never had any noise until this problem started a few days ago... So I am hoping it is some sort of shorted contacts, defective electronics, etc. in the HVAC control head... I can buy a used control head off eBay for about $50... A new one from RockAuto is about $120...

I also dread the possibility of this being a BCM issue... I don't notice any other weirdness going on that could come from a sick BCM...

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:12 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Another ham radio guy huh? Cool! Me too!

I used to get AM noise dependent on the day. Some days it was horrible, others it was perfectly clean, and there was really no rhyme or reason to it. Some days it would work better with the rear defog on. Some days it would work better with it off. Some days the blower fan would create AM static, other days it wouldn't. Alternator noise was there some days, but not others. Sometimes, when I'd hit the brakes, I'd lose the station, other times, it wouldn't matter. There are just far too many variables to try to track down intermittent noise in an already noisy band.. Smile not to mention, integrating the antenna with the rear defogger wasn't necessarily the brightest idea I've ever seen GM come up with... Rolling Eyes

Anywhoo... like I said, a bad BCM can rear its ugly head at any time and can exhibit few or many symptoms with no rhyme or reason. And the symptoms may or may not increase or get worse with time. You will need someone (likely a dealer) to program it with a TechII scanner if you replace it, and it will take them about 10 minutes. If you can find someone to do it cheaply and without having to leave your car for the entire day, they're not that expensive if you purchase them outside of the dealer. ZSPOT can get an OEM for you for around $130 last I checked. Other auto parts stores have them for around $80. Whether they're any better or worse than OEM, I don't know, but others here have used BCM's from Advance Auto.

They are super easy to replace as they're right above the parking brake pedal. It's just getting someone to program it for you without charging you the $100 fee that most dealers charge to fire up their TechII that is the problem. Your car will not start until it's programmed, so if you can get a dealer to agree to let you change it in their parking lot and then have someone walk out with the TechII, you'll be in business. But it is $100, and there's no use spending it if you don't have to. Unless you just have a bad HVAC control head, fan switch or even a bad blower motor, I can't think of anything else that would cause that flaky operation.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:26 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

BCM isn't involved with the HVAC or fan speed control....

The non-dealer BCMs are OEM, just refurbs (and a pretty bad idea). No one builds BCMs for this car other than GM (Motorola actually builds them for GM)

Just because you changed your blower resistor last year doesn't mean it's not bad already. Set the blower setting to '1' and check the voltage on the yellow wire of the blower resistor. If it has 12V then it's likely your resistor. If it's not 12V, then start looking at the HVAC controls

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