'96 pontiac Grand AM SE

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Ok, here is my quandry of the day;

I own a 1996 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.4L and I was driving to work this morning with my headlights ON and the following electrical conundrum occurred:

I went to turn the left turn signal on (with headlights on) and I just got a solid green light on the dash and NO flashing of it nor the exterior lights. The exterior signals, front and back, illuminated but did not flash. I tried the right signal and it flashed correctly for about 6 times and then went solid just like the left. I tried the hazards and both the green arrows on the dash illuminated solid and did not flash. Exterior lamps were all on just not flashing when this was going on. I would flick the right signals on and the left and back and forth and the left never worked, I always got a solid green on the dash. The right would sometimes work for a few flashes but mainly just a solid illumination just like the left signal. The hazards always failed with two solid green indicator lamps on the dash.

I got to work and turned off the headlights with the left flasher turned on so that it was a solid light on the dash. The second the headlamps went off by the switch, the flasher all returned to normal. The second the headlamps were turned back on, the flashers ceased functioning again.

This tells me the flasher is ok, yet I am thinking that I have a bad turnsignal switch because the headlamps on/off switch is on the same lever. A ground problem should not have surfaced all of a sudden over-night should it? These cars are prone to electrical problems, I do know that. It has been raining here for several days but my signals have been fine till this morning.

One thing I have noticed in the past few months is that I would every now and then hit the left signal and it would be solid and then flick it again and it was fine and I could not get it to do it again. I dismissed it as a fluke thing. Now I am having a constant issue as of this morning.

Is anyone aware of how to properlly diagnose this to determine where the point of failure is. Any information would be stellar...thanks :thumbs:

posted by  cmeseadoin

First tell me if this only happens when the headlights are on or when only the parking lights are on as well.

posted by  vwhobo

All that has to be turned on to cause all my signals and hazards to freeze is the parking lights (first turn of the headlamp [round] switch from "off.") There seems to be no correlation to the separte fog lamp switch next to the potentiometer switch to control courtesy lights being on and off as well as the dim/brightness of the instument lights. I called the dealer and the "expert" pontiac guy seems to think that the multifunction turn signal switch is tanked. It retails for 91 bucks so I am going to pull it out and see what is going on first. It controls the headlamps, parking lamps, cruise control, turn signals and hazards and the dealer confirmed this. What do you think?

posted by  cmeseadoin

I concur with his findings based on the new information. Better let DodgeRida67 make a call on it before you do anything though. :wink2:

posted by  vwhobo

Don't make me add this to the "dumbest thing ever heard" thread... :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :thumbs:
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posted by  BavarianWheels

Well here is some new information that will maybe slant things in another direction:

I went out to pick up lunch for work and got in the car, the signals were still doing the same thing. I flicked the around a few time BOOM, all of a sudden they are working ok. So I drove off with wonder in my mind.....Now I am sitting at a traffic light in traffic with the left signal on working fine when all of a sudden, the flashing indicator on the dash (green arrow for left turn) goes out, yet the flasher is still functioning and my exterior lights are flashing just fine and the click click of the flasher is still heard. Then a few minutes later, the green light is back on and then back off. Right signal does NOT do this. It seems fine. The hazards will only flash the right signal green indicator on the dash when the left one wont work. Now I dont have the feezing of the flashers, yet the damn indicator light for left turn goes out. Is this all inner-related? Thanks....f'n Grand Am's :laughing:

posted by  cmeseadoin

In my experience, that isolates it even further to being a bad multi-function switch. I won't say 100% but damn close. That's GM's way of telling you it's time for a new payment. :badrazz:

posted by  vwhobo

Ok well that is a good thing then. I thought perhaps that this "new" problem could have been an indicator of something else. If that indicated to you that there may be more of an arguement not that this switch is bad, then that is worth trying. I guess all the circuitry for the flashers routes through that switch, including the indicators on the dash. That damn switch is 91 bucks and I would hate to pay that then find out the problem is still there. :-) I do have a new car.....this one is my everyday and I plan to keep it, flashers working or not LOL, as my everyday driver. :hi: Thanks for the help, will let you know. What goes bad inside those switches? Are there resistors and dioges or just contacts? If I replace it, the old one is going to come apart in one fashion or another, LOL, to look at what is inside as a learning process. :mrgreen:

posted by  cmeseadoin

The ones I've taken the time to tear apart always have a contact problem. If you want you can back probe all the wires to check for power in the proper place at the proper time. I still think you should wait for dildorider to tell you what to do. :ticking:

posted by  vwhobo

Would it be possible to tear this thing down and maybe fix it vs. spend 91 bucks? Are they riveted together or screwed? I am afraid I will find that you basically have to break it apart to separate the case?

And, no thanks to your suggestion with Dodge. LOL

posted by  cmeseadoin

You'll have to drill/break (or is that brake :doh: ) lots of plastic welds and I think it would be near impossible to reassemble. Look at it from a practical standpoint. I know about what your income is, if you spend four hours bullsh*tting around with it it's costing you money. On the other hand it's cheaper than playing video games.

By the way, you can go to Advance and get the same part for $52. That's what they cost here anyway. I'll expect 50% of the money I just saved you to be deposited to my PayPal account by midnight tonight. :orglaugh:

posted by  vwhobo

I'll take 10% for comical interjections...that'll just about cover my lunch. :laughing:

(no charge for this one!)
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posted by  BavarianWheels

Listen VWHOBO, LOL.......first of, it is BREAK as in to BREAK it..... :laughing:

Secondly, I called advance auto and auto zone AND pep boys and they said DEALER PART. So what you talkin about? I think I need a deposit to MY paypal acount now for that mis-information. :laughing: I will call them again and see, but that is what they told me because I am smart enough to try those options first. BUT if I am told dealer part, what can I do? :doh:

Thirdly, it is not the money. I like to learn something and I always love to fix something and if it can be done, I usually can do it because I have the smarts and determination to do so......SO with that said. :asshake: :laughing:

posted by  cmeseadoin

Call Advance back and tell them you're looking for a Niehoff CS2501. Usually when one of those dummies says dealer only they mean it's too hard to do their job.

http://www.partsamerica.com/product_images/img/NIE/DL6053.jpg

http://www.partsamerica.com/PartDetails.asp?sourcearea=SHOP&ptset=A&sourcep age=SEARCHRESULTS&mfrcode=NIE&mfrpartnumber=CS2501&parttype=408

posted by  vwhobo

THANKS! I just called them before I read this and they still dont have it. I called autozone and they now DO have it for 59.99. What a ****in joke. I am calling advance back now. DUMBASSES....Thanks for all your help, that is the part. SAME PICTURE! :-) THANKS!

posted by  cmeseadoin

I hate Autozone...the guy in my local shop is a fat lazy bastard!!! He's always chatting...and eating. He takes his sweet time to come to the front register. He looks over...smiles and waves..."I'll be right with you" and all the while spewing out garbage to simple questions. I avoid my local Autozone!!!

(venting...) :banghead:
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posted by  BavarianWheels

I just called advance back....this guys says he's been there 9 years and they have never carried the Niehoff brand, that is may be something from when they bought out Trak Auto, he states. He could not even cross ref. the part number. Says that it is not carried by any advance per his knowledge LOL. Looks like I will have to get it from autozone I guess, shoudl be the same. Pep Boys now states they can order it for 60.59 and three days. Part biz is such a bunch of shit.

posted by  cmeseadoin

Well, I went and bought the autozone replacement multi-function switch and installed it, it is doing the same F'n thing. ???? I am not sure what is going on but it is not the switch. I returned it. The only other thing I can think of is the flasher....try that. I am not sure where else other than a short, this problem could be. Everything is working now as design except if you leave the left signal on for a long time, you lose the indicator on the dash. The hell with it, not worth my time to figure out. I thought it would be the switch
:banghead: ....Oh well!!!

posted by  cmeseadoin

Just went through and re-read the thread to see if I've missed anything, and I don't think I did. Without seeing the car and running wires I still have to think it's the multi-function switch, but I've been fooled before. The chances of it being the flasher from your description is almost nil. It has previously had the same symptoms on both sides so I have to think it's something common to both sides which leaves out the wiring to the lights.

Refresh my memory, do you have red or amber rear turn signals. If they're red the wiring also goes through the brake light switch so that may be a possibility. Or...

It's possible you got one of the Zone's crappy parts. Maybe do a quick swap with one from Pep Boy's just to see. I hate to parts swap but that's about all I can do from here.

posted by  vwhobo

The rear turn signals are amber, not red. I put the old switch back in yesterday evening and took the new one back for credit. It seems to be working fine right now unless I sit there with the left turn signal on for an extended time, say more than 2 minutes. Then the signals still work but I lose the green indicator on the dash until the signal is turned off for a minute or two. Then it comes back. The right signal will flash correctly for hours. It is very strange. It seems that something is heating up almost and shorting....because once it goes out on the dash, if you continue to let the signals flash, the indicator will return flashing in about 2-3 minutes. REALLY strange. I am going to see what it does, but for now it seems ok for most traffic situations and the signals DO flash so there is no "in/op" condition. I am no longer getting the signal flasher freeze like I was yesterday. WHO knows.

posted by  cmeseadoin

hi friends,
my son has a 1994 grand am se and the turn signals have gone out. the left one would flash a few times and peter out. now neither turn signals work at all.

i checked all the bulbs and and replaced 2 front marker bulbs and a right turn signal bulb. the turn signal bulb worked but one of the filaments was separated. all lights work. the left rear brake light would not come on if the left turn signal was clicked on. the emergency flasher worked fine all the time.

i replaced the flasher and the accessory fuse, that looks like a mini-flasher aluminum colored in the fuse box. i checked all the fuses. i replaced the multifunctional switch with one from a wrecked grand am and pulled it myself so i figured it was working when it was salvaged. no change, turn signals still dead, but lights and emergency flasher work.

i checked the battery with a multimeter and it read 12 volts, 15 volts when the alternator was charging. there was 12 volts coming into the wire going into the turn signal jack of the multifunction stalk.

the next thing i'll try to to see if i can pull and replace a square flasher-like thing that was next to the flasher. i'm guessing now. i heard of a turn signal relay on the internet, i'm not sure that was it. according to gm parts there is no such thing. the car does not have much corrosion so i don't know or think it's a faulty ground connection and don't know how to check for it. i will check the groundwire from the starter for clean and solid connection. well i'm learning about auto electrical systems. . .

any help would be appreciated.

dean

posted by  shadetreemech

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