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Pontiac Grand Prix Electrical/Lighting

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  • ok im having the same damn problem with my car except its a 2003 i have checked fuses and everything and i cant find a thing wrong myself...did you ever find out what it was that was messing the hdlts/ac/heat/drl/rear df/ up???
  • Normally when one opens the door after the car has been shut off, the accessories (ie the radio) should power off.

    In my case this does not always happen. I can open the door and the radio will stay on, I can leave it for 10 minutes, up to hours, and it will not power off the radio. I have noticed that if I slam the door or hood that it will power off sometimes. To make the situation even more strange sometimes if I do get it to power off the accessories THEY WILL COME BACK ON in a minute or 2 which is bad because if it happens when I do not notice it I am stuck needing a jump.

    The car is registering that the doors are opening and closing because the dome lights respond normally. This is just a situation where the accessory power is not being turned off.

    Is there a relay switch that is involved here? To me it seems as though there may be a relay sticking or something. I am extremely technical and mechanical so please feel free to share any knowledge of this situation you may have no matter how technical it may be.

    Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
  • Can anybody tell me how to reset that switch??? Should be in the owners manual, but mine didnt come with one !! Thanks its for a 97 Grand Prix SE
  • Press the mode button on your "information center" until it displays oil life. Then press and hold the reset button about 5 seconds. It should return to 100%
  • I have a 97 GT with 188,000 miles and have just installed my third alternator. First, it is my personal opinion that the electronics in this car are a bloody nightmare! Now that thats out of my system, here are the electrical things I have seen go wrong, and how they were fixed:
    Noise in anti lock brakes on first press of the pedal soon after startup - fix: Replace/recharge battery
    Rear speakers "Popping" - Fix: Replace/recharge battery
    Random lights going out in the HVAC panel - Fix: lightly slam the temperature dial to the cold side repeadly until they come back on.
    Rear windows randomly work/stop working - Fix: move passenger
    Radio sending cryptic jibbrish on the display - Fix: Replace/recharge battery
    Fan not working on levels 1-4, but working on 5 - Fix: Replace Diode behind the glove box near the fan.
    Information center turning off when fan is used on levels 1-4 - Fix: Replace/recharge battery
    Steering wheel lights stopped working - Fix: Replace/recharge battery

    Moral of the story here is that most of the electrical problems were remedied by either replacing or recharging the battery.

    The best electrical issue: I placed my aftermarket XM antenna on the trunk lid. When I drove under a certain high voltage power transmission line, the ABS, Brake, and Low Tire Pressure lights would come on and I would loose some (not all) of the power steering. I moved the antenna up between the windshield and the sun roof and the problem left.
    The second best, Replaced broken factory fog lights with aftermarket lights. Replaced butt connectors on the aftermarket lights with the mate to the factory plug. When turned on, the fog lights worked on dim headlights, but not brights - normal right. However, when you have the fog lights off, switch the headlights to bright, turn the fog lights on, then switch the headlights from bright to dim then back to bright, the fog lights stay on...fishy!

    Final thought: This has been a great car for the 120,000miles that I have owned it, but whomever designed the electrical system either deserves a medal or a kick in the nuts.
  • I had a very similar issue twice.

    The first time was a couple years ago. The problem was that the gearshift would not go into park and the key would not come out of the ignition. I got so frustrated that I slammed my hand straight down on the gearshift and it worked again. Aparently, with age, the knob/park sensor will slide up the post if you grip it the wrong way to shift out of park. Basically, your Park release sensor doesn't connect, so it won't let the car come out of park if it is in, or go back into park if it is out. Normally this happens when taking the gearshift out of park while in a hurry. I played with it after that and found that if you wiggle the knob and apply some upward force, you can raise the knob up. Only go about half an inch or so, but then use the palm of your hand to kind of slap the knob back down. Don't use too much force, but you should hear it make a "thunk" sound. Then try to put it back in park.

    Lifting up slightly on the gearshift and leaving it this way is also a great way to mess with the wife's head.

    The other time I had this problem was when my alternator went out the other day and so the battery went dead and left me stranded. Aparently this Park sensor is electrical not mechanical because there was not enough voltage for the car to acknowledge that the shifter was in park and therefore, I couldn't remove the key. The bigger problem was that there was also not enough voltage to release the trunk lid remotely to get the jumper cables.

    I couldn't get the key out to get the trunk open to get the jumper cables out to jump the car to get the park sensor to acknowledge that the car was indeed in park to get the key out to unlock the trunk manually.... You understand my frustration!
  • 97 GT Sedan 188,000 miles. I've got a list of different ones, I'm sure it would be entertaining to compare. I might be able to shed some light on your issue. The GP has an idiot sensor that if you leave a dome light or some other accessory on, then after about 15 min or so, the car kills ALL power to the car. Power stays off until you find the pesky item that was left on and turn it off. I got in my car one day during a snowstorm and found everything dead. I jumped the battery... still nothing. Finally I called 1800PONTIAC and their dimwit operator said to look for a switch that was left on. After nearly an hour of poking and freezing I found that someone had left the rear seat reading light on. Turned it off and the car lit up like a Christmas tree. That problem sounds very similar, however deeper than just a accessory on somewhere.
    I also have a 98 CHevy K2500 Pickup. The security light on the dash would go on and off intermittantly and then got progressively worse to where the truck would be dead when the ignition was turned on. Took it to the dealership and they replaced the relay that controls that security function and the problem disappeared. The difference there though was that I had interior lights, just dead to start...different vehicle though.
    One thing I found to work on the truck was that while the starting function was "dead", I could pull the security fuse and the truck would start and immediately die (this is what it was supposed to do). When I put the fuse back in, the starting function was dead again.

    Hope any of this helps.
  • Is your car older? My 97 HUD image will also vibrate. The projector is located in that "pod" above your instrument gages and the mounting has worked loose. It is a simple mechanical fix. Open up that pod and tighten the mounts...easier said than done right!
  • I have a 2002 GP and for several months (basically all summer) my heater a/c has not worked. When it first stopped working it would only work on 5 then that stopped and sometimes would come on, now it does not work at all. Sometimes I can hear a fan or something coming on but nothing blows. Around the time it stopped working on 5 my passenger side headlight went out. I replaced it and it worked for about a month then it went out again and with it the passenger fog light also. I have replaced them and they still do not work. Also sometime the sunroof will short out when opening or closing and I will keep having to push the button to get it to open/close. Sooo I don't know if anyone knows if these things are all connected or if my whole electrical system is going. I haven't had any other issues then that I just don't want to go to the dealership with "I don't know what's wrong" and have them do a bunch of crap just so they can charge me like crazy. Any help would be appreciated. Also I have checked all fuses in the car and under the hood. Thanks!
  • I have a 2002 pontiac grand prix se 3.1L and i'm having a problem with the A/C blower fan. If I turn the fan switch to settings 1-4 the blower fan will not run and the head lights will go out and if I turn the fan switch to 5 the blower fan and head lights will come on. I have already installed a new fan resistor.

    can someone please help me thanks,
    Travis Ragans
  • srabysraby Posts: 6
    I too am having a problem similar to that which you described, and have changed the resistor, what a pain in the butt. I came across the following information on another forum, in which the individual describes this problem to a tee... I'll be purchasing the wiring harness descibed below today, hope this helps you. Stan

    fraubayer04-16-2007, 12:27 AM

    Grand Prix GT 2001. AC/Heater fan not working. Replaced the fan blower resistor, didn't fix the problem. Also, when NOT working, if i turn to the fan switch to speeds 1-5 my headlights/daytime running lamps go out along with the fan not responding. Please help! Also, after I got my car back from the shop, the alarm has gone off twice in the past two days for no reason at all. Could that be related to the problem???

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    richtazz04-16-2007, 07:05 AM
    Sounds like a faulty ignition switch/harness assembly. The contacts get weak and start arcing, causing all kinds of electrical gremlins. Refer to the tips and maintenance section for detailed proceedure. here's the link for convenience.

    http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=653340
  • srabysraby Posts: 6
    Just an update... I replaced the ignition switch/wiring harness assembly and have not experienced any of the symptoms described in the previous post since. I must warn you that the instructions described in the link in the previous post, are somewhat inadequate, but for the most part correct. For example, a set of small Torx sockets are required (or a 5/32" socket and patience with a pair of needle-nose pliers) to remove the two screws that secure the upper steering column shroud and switch assembly. Also the small hole to release the key cylinder is located on top on the cylinder housing and the upper shroud can be removed prior to removing the key cylinder. Total time to perform this task was approx 1.5 hours. If you have any questions, let me know :)
  • Good! I'm going to replace the ignition switch/wiring harness in my car next week. Oh by the way my low coolant light came on yesterday and I found that my coolant has engine oil in it. What a piece of crap!!!
  • srabysraby Posts: 6
    How many miles do you have on the car? I understand that there are some reporting head gasket problems, you might look into this. I had one blow out on a 1994 Grand Am that I had, thought I blew the engine at the time with all the smoke and steam it produced when it went out.

    My 2001 GP has ~ 133400, only 'real' problems that I have had were this wiring harness issue that I believe has been there from the day I purchased the car new and the dealer could not find the problem. O2 sensor, caused the car to stall in traffic one evening during rush hour and a clogged Cat Converter, caused extremely poor sluggish performance.

    Hope this switch/harness fixes your problems, shop around for prices... the dealer cost was $139.95 (though I got it for $77, my brother is the parts manager). I've seen them online and at NAPA I think for $75. Stan
  • I have a 2002 Grand Prix. The low beams no longer turn on, but the highbeams and parking lights do. Does anyone have any ideas what could be causing this?
  • I have about 130,000 miles on the car.
    I see some coolant by the lower intake manifold so i'm going to pull it off monday.
  • Hello everyone. I have a 2000 GTP and I'm having an intermitent problem with one of my power windows. Sometimes it works, and others it doesn't. The odd thing is that when it stops working, it does not work for an extended period of time (weeks or months), and when it starts working again it works for a good while before cutting out again.

    Does anyone know what this might be or what it might take to fix it?
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,030
    Check this discussion. It may have some helpful info for you.

    Pontiac Grand Prix Window Motor replacement guide

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • I have a 2002 Grand Prix GT with 81,000 miles and when I recently my HUD started to dim in and out and now my automatic lights and HUD will not work if I have the fan on any speed but off. Everything works when I start the car with the fan in the off position, but as soon as I turn on the fan then the HUD and daytime running lights will not work, so I have to turn the headlights on manually, and the heat will not work at all no matter what.....can somebody help??? Thank You.
  • Since it will work sometimes and not others, is it likely a problem with the motor it's self? I would have guessed it would be in a connection somewhere.
  • I'm having the same problem with the fan & lights. I was told it was the ignition switch/wiring harness the part cost $100 dollars @ advance auto parts. I will let you know the outcome tomorrow afternoon 11/29/07.
  • Sounds Great, thank you. My car is actually in the shop right now and I am just hoping that it is something that simple and cheap to fix. Thanks again.
  • I just got my car back from my mechanic and it was the Ignition switch that was bad, so he replaced it and everything works great.
  • Thank YOU! Worked perfectly! Now can someone help me with my radio light. It just stopped working. Everything else lights up except that. It's the precious light that tells me which song on a cd I'm listening to.
  • Okay I bought a new harness in response to this thread, I replaced my harness with the new one and upon reconnecting the battery I got a bit of smoke that came from behind the dash on the left and right side front floor boards any ideas? would a bad ignition switch cause that or do I have REAL problems now? A friend of mine had his start giving him gremlin issues and he said he got a smoke deal one day too but after he replaced his harness it never did it again, is it possible my new one is bad?

    I can't find any wires burned and the harness its self was not hot even directly after the fact.....
  • I guess I can return my new ignition switch & harness just wrecked the car 3hours ago. LOL :sick:
  • i have a 98 GT with 110k and its doing the same thing. put the blower on speeds 1-4 and the headlights go out. I started by replacing the circuit breaker, and it didnt do it for two days. now its back to its old self. after looking over the wiring diagram, i got confused. where does the headlights and blower motor come together in the wiring? and where is it tied to the ignition? im just confused as to why replacing the ignition switch/harness fixed this problem...
  • srabysraby Posts: 6
    I ripped the switch apart once I replaced it. There were numerous contacts inside the switch, apparently providing power to different systems in the car. I was a bit wary too about replacing it, but it fixed the problem. Two weeks now, no problems.
  • Others have described a similar problem. In my case the blower works but simply won't turn off, even with car turned off and the keys out of the ignition. I have to disconnect the battery in order to avoid drawing it dry. I checked some of the relays but I am not quite sure which one functions for the blower. Additionaly I pulled most of the relays located in the fuse box under the hood but the blower seems to keep on going, anyone have any ideas?

    I forgot to mention that it is a 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix GP model with the standard AC controls (not electronic).
  • it sounds like the ignition switch&harness is your problem also.
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