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Chevy Venture Electrical Problems

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    filetmefiletme Member Posts: 2
    I am not sure if you have solved the rrproblem or not, but I had to say something. The problem is in the light strip itself in the taillight. What happens is the bulb at the top shorts out. You need to replace this strip. About 80.00 canadian and problem solved.

    Has anyone else had any experience with this issue?
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    javarodjavarod Member Posts: 4
    Ok, since I solved this problem and it might help others, I thought I'd give a fast run down on things. Long and short, headlights started going on and off on my 02 Venture. At first they'd just occasionally die, then come back, and progressively it got worse until they completely died. The obvious was a short or bad ground, trick of course is finding it. Not only did I find it, I tripped over a potential trouble spot for anyone having headlight problems. If you're having this problem or any similar, take the right headlight off and check the wiring back there, when the light is in place, the harness tries to poke out through a hole in the bulkhead, and on the other side is the battery. Guess what happened when the battery was last changed in this van? Yep, harness got crushed between the bulkhead and the battery, and over time, both the high and low beam wires got worn through and shorted to the point where they'd partially melted the plastic covering all the wires. Clipped out the bad wire, crimped the remaining together and liberally spread some liquid electrical tape on my work, and voila, no problem from the looks of it, though I'll keep an eye on it for the next day or three. :)
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    chaseschases Member Posts: 41
    My problem was when the lights came on and when I turned on the turn signals, but I think it might be the same thing.

    Look at the plug itself that attaches to the light assembly. I found that one of the terminals were melted. Unless your really lucky you will have to replace the pigtail. The dealer wants around $50+, others want $40+. I went to the wrecking yard and cut one off of a van there and wired it up. Solved all tail light problems I was experiencing.
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    broncoguy78broncoguy78 Member Posts: 1
    I'm having issues with the MIL on my 2001 Chevy Venture the other day the low brake fluid light came on along with the brake light, it also swears that there is a door ajar followed by the message Rear Hatch open. my issues are 1. there is more than enough brake fluid in the car, ALL the doors are closed, I've cleaned all the contact pads for the doors so i am at a complete loss. All this happened the day after i repaired the brake lights that were no longer working due to a shorted out wire on a control box connected to the transmission. Anyone have any ideas what might be going on? Thank you
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    shoddershodder Member Posts: 2
    Adam,
    I have a few fixes for your dim headlights on the 2000 Venture, some really easy ,some a little more in depth. I have a 2000 Venture I bought from a friend a few months ago and noticed the headlights at night were as bright a frozen pee-holes in the snow!
    The easiest "upgrade" is to change out the bulbs. The bulbs spec'd for the Venture are 9004's which have a 45 watt low beam and a 65 watt high beam. They can be replaced with 9007 type bulbs which have a 55 watt low beam and a 65 watt high beam. That's a 22% increase on low beam and makes quite a difference. You must make a minor change to the plug wiring at each light because the position of the ground/high/low wires is different with each bulb type, but it requires no specialized tools and I did mine in about 15 minutes. As well , you must remove two small pieces of plastic on the headlight housing at the 5 and 8 o'clock position at the opening of the housing. A pair of needle nose pliers work well.Removing these little "keys" allows you to use both bulb types . You must also re-aim your headlights when changing to 9007 bulbs because the filament location within the bulb is different - they must be aimed down!
    Unfortunately, the design shape of the reflector is so poor that it spreads the light beam all over the place - and there's nothing you can do about that! Lastly, DO NOT
    waste money on after-market specialty light bulbs unless you and your van want to look like all the cool 16 year olds and their Civics (and yes I do own a slightly modified Acura EL which has excellent headlights by design without fancy $100 bulbs). If you need any help with the modifications check out the links or email me
    stevenhodder@gmail.com. The Daniel Stern site should be read in its entirety.

    http://www.danielsternlighting.com/home.html

    http://20v.org/light.htm#9007
    This description of the mod is a bit over the top - DO NOT use a mallet and a screwdriver to remove the plastic pieces! The wire swap on the Venture is easier than described here.

    http://forums.maxima.org/showthread.php?t=230510&highlight=bulb+upgrade

    Steve
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    mom22sonsmom22sons Member Posts: 5
    I have a 00 venture whose low beams do not work. i can get the high beams to work fine. the rear reverse light was just replaced and blew out within a day. I was also in an accident back in August. The right headlamp is a little loose, thinking maybe the headlight assembly may be cracked. These are other things that I have noticed:

    lights fluctuate (kind of spaz out, both interior and exterior)
    when brake applied, both the turn signals light up (when we checked this, one of the lights was out in back)

    Is this a wiring issue, or what? any guidance that you can offer would be great.

    Thanks!
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    442dude442dude Member Posts: 373
    Hi mom!

    We have a 2000 Venture too...

    Let me offer up something crazy - I think one of your bulbs in the back is installed backwards. They only work right when installed one way. Try removing the light that's out in the back and reinstalling it 180 degrees opposite. You might want to try flipping all of them, but start with the one that's out. Also, check the led stop light mounted above the rear hatch. They are known to short out from time to time and cause some crazy things. Maybe you want to try disconnecting it and hitting the brakes to see what the lights do then. May resolve the turn signal lighting up problem.

    Fluctuating lights are fairly common, I bet they flicker when you sit at a traffic light and it gets better as the engine speed increases as you drive away. Mine did the same - replaced the alternator, problem gone...I believe the issue is with the voltage regulator in the alternator...The alternator is an expensive fix due to the labor involved...the part is about $ 140...

    start here and let us know what happens, Good Luck
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    mom22sonsmom22sons Member Posts: 5
    what about the low beams? any thoughts on that? i will def get in there and try to switch all the lights around. thanks for your help!
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    442dude442dude Member Posts: 373
    They're a little tougher...some very basic thoughts:

    Are you sure both of the bulbs are OK??

    The auto lights aren't turning on the low beams - have you tried using the rotary switch to turn them on?

    Have you checked the fuse? It should be in the fuse block under the hood.

    I'll look at the repair manual when I get home and repost - I need to see where they connect to the harness and whether or not I should have you look for and check a solenoid...

    I'll post again later after I look at the repair manual...I'd be wild guessing until I look at it...

    John
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    mom22sonsmom22sons Member Posts: 5
    Are you sure both of the bulbs are OK??

    The auto lights aren't turning on the low beams - have you tried using the rotary switch to turn them on?---yes, rotary does nothing for them

    Have you checked the fuse? It should be in the fuse block under the hood. no, but i will (as soon as i figure out which one it is)

    I'll look at the repair manual when I get home and repost - I need to see where they connect to the harness and whether or not I should have you look for and check a solenoid... thanks much! appreciate it

    I'll post again later after I look at the repair manual...I'd be wild guessing until I look at it...
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    442dude442dude Member Posts: 373
    Hi mom :)

    I went over the wiring diagram for the headlight circuit - of course its pouring rain out so I'm not going under the hood tonight. Anyway - here's what I found -

    The headlamps are protected by a 20 amp circuit breaker - no fuse listed in the diagram - its in line with the high beams so if the high beams work, the lows should work as well...

    After the circuit breaker - wires lead to the multifunction switch - better known as the turn signal stalk on the steering column - the switch in there switches the lights back and forth between high beams and low beams

    After that, through the firewall to the underhood wiring junction block and the next stop is the bulbs themselves.

    Lets see - if the circuit breaker is bad - no high or low beams - NO

    If there's a broken wire - no high or low beams, they share the same wires - NO

    The dash switch won't turn on the low beams but the high beams come on, so - NO

    So without being there I can only make 2 guesses...

    1. There's a problem with the multifunction switch - perhaps contacts are bad on the low beam side (better known as the "high beams are off" side) - replacement requires removal of the steering wheel & column cover - to test, you'll need to remove the drivers side knee bolster and find the bulkhead connector. The wire going to the lights should be tan in color. To check it, you'll need to back probe it with a multimeter and attach the other end to a good ground and see if there's voltage there in high and low beam settings.

    2. this is a stretch but...are the correct bulbs installed?

    My thought is that the multifunction switch may be your problem - its kind of interesting that you're also having problems with your turn signals which also happen to be controlled by it...I'm starting to become very suspicious of it...

    Best of luck with your problem...I hope I helped and you get the lights straightened out. There's nothing more frustrating than an electrical problem...Any questions - post away, I cruise around here pretty frequently... :)
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    442dude442dude Member Posts: 373
    UPDATE -

    Beautiful morning - had a chance to go look under the hood.....

    There is a fuse for the headlights - just not shown in the wiring diagram...in the underhood fuse block - but if your high beams work, they run off the same fuse so its a non issue

    Also - the back up lights appear to have their own fuse - its located in the same place. Open the fuse door (its located on top of the battery - left side when you open the hood) there's a diagram on the back of the cover detailing which fuse is which.
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    442dude442dude Member Posts: 373
    Hey mom22sons...

    How did you ever make out??
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    mom22sonsmom22sons Member Posts: 5
    Well, I replaced the battery last year, so that could very well be the issue...but, I had the infamous coolant issue/intake manifold nightmare and so I traded my venture in. I got me a sweet 04 sentra with less than 15k orig miles and one owner. Prob the best deal for me as I am a single mom. I won't have to worry about breaking down anytime soon. There were just too many probs with my van and I was not 100% keen on being a minivan driving momma (it was my ex who wanted to buy it).

    thanks everyone for you help though..much appreciated.
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    javarodjavarod Member Posts: 4
    Hi mom, I'll offer you a possible solution for your headlights, I posted about this in the electrical problems thread IIRC.

    1) Open the hood (duh :) )
    2) Remove the right headlight (two wingnuts and three tabs hold it in place along with the turnsignal)
    3) Take a close look at the wiring harness.

    When the light is in place, the harness rests against the battery thanks to a hole in the bulkhead. Problem with mine, and likely others is that if the battery is replaced, the installer prolly never thought to look for a wire resting there, so when the battery is installed, the harness gets pinched against the bulkhead and eventually sawed through and shorted. In mine case, the headlights kept going on and off until they finally failed entirely. Solution is to cut out the damaged wire and crimp the remaining together.
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    bubbaswalksbubbaswalks Member Posts: 2
    Hi, I just purchased a 2001 venture. Sometimes when I have the heat on the bi-level setting and then switch it to the defrost setting. It won't switch over and you can't hear the door behind it shut to direct the heat to the windsheild. When it does work, you can actually hear the door or whatever it is shut. Has anyone ever had this problem. I've only had the car a week and sometimes it works, but twice it hasn't.
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    bubbaswalksbubbaswalks Member Posts: 2
    Hi, I just purchased a 2001 venture. Sometimes when I have the heat on the bi-level setting and then switch it to the defrost setting. It won't switch over and you can't hear the door behind it shut to direct the heat to the windsheild. When it does work, you can actually hear the door or whatever it is shut. Has anyone ever had this problem. I've only had the car a week and sometimes it works, but twice it hasn't.
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    442dude442dude Member Posts: 373
    Hi Bubba,

    Had the same problem on our 2000 Venture but our vents wouldn't switch at all - here's what to check:

    There's a vacuum line that goes from the back of the dash vent selector knob, along the passenger side footwell, through the firewall, around the windshield washer tank and connects to a vacuum port on top of the engine just above the alternator...I'd bet that hose is getting plugged...there's also a check valve on it which keeps engine gases out if the pressure in the intake becomes positive (like during a backfire)

    Check to make sure that...the hose is attached securely, that the check valve is working correctly (air only goes in 1 direction, towards the intake), and that the hose is not pinched or damaged. Also check to be sure that its securely attached at the dash behind the knob...the fix on mine was to run a new length of hose...

    Good luck, post back with any questions....
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    john3999john3999 Member Posts: 1
    hi
    just bought 2001 venture for the kids we got it at a fair price considering it was working smoothly when we test drived it. But after a day of using it suddenly the gauges went tripping namely the fuel and the temperature gauge and also to add to that just recently service engine warning also came up it seems that there were some electrical problems with the unit.
    had anyone experience the same problem with the venture?
    suggestions and advices is very much appreciated
    thanks...
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    442dude442dude Member Posts: 373
    I've never had this happen to our Venture so I can't speak from experience.....

    You have to start somewhere...1st thing I would get checked is the code or codes that made the Service Engine light come on...it may tell you the reason(s) why your dash has flipped out. Some auto parts stores will check the codes for free...

    Many if not most of the operations of the dash are controlled by the PCM (powertrain control module). Codes might tell you that the PCM is bad...hard to say until you check

    If they give you the code numbers, post them and I'll look them up in the book for you...the parts store might have suggestions for you as well. Good Luck
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    lottilotti Member Posts: 2
    I was wondering if you ever solved your problem of blown fuses for the interior lights of your Venture. I have a 2004 which continues to blow fuses for the interior lights A DAY OR TWO after the fuse is replaced. Any ideas where to start?
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    skullslicerskullslicer Member Posts: 1
    my van a 2003 has the very same issues, did you find out anything?
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    cashmerecashmere Member Posts: 1
    Just yesterday I bought a 2000 Venture, it's the perfect family car. When we test drove it everything was great. As I was driving it home last night the fuel gauge said full, and just as I got home it dropped to empty and the dash went nuts. The van isn't under warranty so we are trying to figure out what it is on our own. We went out and purchased from the auto store a full manual for the vehical, if worse comes to worse we will take it to the shop, if we find out what it could be i'll let you know.
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    rlp50rlp50 Member Posts: 13
    Had a similar problem with my 2000 Venture. The dash lights kept going out intermittently and finally went out completely last year. I improvised by running a jumper wire inside the overhead console from the overhead interior light switch to a wire running back to the dash (trial and error). Now I control the dash lights by turning the switch on or off. Not the best solution, but it works.
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    helpmandeehelpmandee Member Posts: 1
    i have the same year venture and i have the same problem but mine sometime only does it if the automatic lights come on and not only with the brakes and the turn signal but the backup lights as well we have came to the conculsion that it is the automatic lights switch when you are having this problem is it only on one side and my brake lights flash along with my turn signal when we put the van in reverse at times the turn signal lights would come on let me know if you find out what your is and if there is a way to replace the box or automatic light switch and how thanks
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    candi073candi073 Member Posts: 1
    HELP!!!!! I have the van from h*!! . In the past 6 month my transmission was replaced, my engine was replaced, the fuel injectors were replaced and the evap canister was replaced. This van has California emissions and has cost me thousands of dollars, BUT!!!! I love it. Today my van has been in the shop for 3 weeks with a short in the wiring that will not send power to my AC compressor. The ABS light and traction active light comes on and activates every so often and with my mechanic and his AC specialist, no one can find the problem. We connected power the compressor and it works great. All fuses have been checked and everything is good. ANY BODY OUT THERE, PLEASE HELP!!!!!
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    firedawg715firedawg715 Member Posts: 3
    Ok, I have a 1999 Venture and my issue was not the exact same, but it was a wiring short. I had a problem with my automatic windows not working, my taillights not working, and my dash lights not working. All at the same time! I traced all my wires and after several hours found my problem to be a short on the bottom side of the fuse box under the hood! After replacing and fixing a couple of connections, my problems were fixed! I wont guarantee that you are having the same problem, but it might be something you want to look into. If you are handy with electrical stuff, it is really not a very hard fix! Good Luck!
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    smnevelssmnevels Member Posts: 1
    I have an older model venture, but I experienced the exact same issues, with exception to the temperature guage. to add to that, my power lock and window buttons are not working. I tried to change fuses but that caused things to cut on by themselves! the key remote acts as some type of kill switch- when i press the lock button the car wont start! The car is driveable but I would very much like to correct these annoying problems.
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    ez2bbad64ez2bbad64 Member Posts: 1
    any ideas would be greatly appiciated!. i have a basic 97 chevy venture. its been a good van. recently it started lucking and unlocking its doors :P . about three days later in the pouring rain the engine light came on and the door locks acted up and she died!. it was like it ran out of fuel. i walked got gas and it will not start!. and now the gas gauge says its full though i know it only has 1/4 tank of fuel. any ideas please?
    you can post here or email me ez2bbad64@yahoo.com

    thanks! :sick:
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    bryan729bryan729 Member Posts: 2
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    bryan729bryan729 Member Posts: 2
    We have a 2005 Venture LS that keeps blowing the power door lock fuse. At first it would go weeks before blowing the fuse, but now its almost immediate after putting a new fuse in. I takes a 20 amp and I haven't used a larger one, I know that would be dangerous. I've taken the vehicle to a trustworthy mechanic that has been good to us on other vehicle work and he is even having a hard time locating the problem. Has anyone else had this problem and if so, what did it turn out to be?

    Thanks for any help in advance.
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    matt63matt63 Member Posts: 1
    Have you by chance found the resolution to this problem? I'm having it seems the same problem on the right side of the van. Only when the head lights are on and only the rear light cluster all the lights flash mostly dim. Everything works like it should when the headlights are not on....(all bulbs appear to be good) Any help would be great.
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    chaseschases Member Posts: 41
    The plug for the lights itself will mostlikely have the plastic melted at the plug.

    I had to get a junkyard wire lume and plug and pigtail into the vans harness to correct.
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    442dude442dude Member Posts: 373
    The bulb bases tend to melt on some too...there's a newer bulb design with a glass not plastic base...
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    ruthie74ruthie74 Member Posts: 2
    I am having the EXACT SAME PROBLEMS with mine. I have had so much done inthe past year to this vehicle!! Did you ever find an answer. I am planning on finally taking mine to the shop, but if you know what could be causing this I would really appreciate your info!!

    Thanks! :confuse:
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    warpath1warpath1 Member Posts: 6
    On my 01 Venture. I had some serious back light problems and thin it got too the point that thy did not work at all. With my van the plug for the tale light assembly would get wet (because of the stupid upsidedown connection point design) and got to hot and melted the plastic connector. So I went to the junk yard and got new connectors. Problem fixed. :D Then the same thing happend again :mad: So I cut the connectors off and I bought single wire connectors from Napa (if you do this make sure that the new connectors are small enough to fit tightly around the metal proungs) and filled the joint full of silicone. I did this about 2 years ago and no more problems. :D Yet :) Let me know if this helps you.
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    harlanpharlanp Member Posts: 2
    did you resolve your problem i have the same need help?
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    warpath1warpath1 Member Posts: 6
    Yes it worked for me.
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    harlanpharlanp Member Posts: 2
    what did you do to correct the problem?
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    kayfusleekayfuslee Member Posts: 16
    Immediately after a severe downpour and lightning
    storm my 2000 venture had several things go haywire that were somewhat ok(I'll explain later) right before parking the car pre-storm.

    The ABS light stays on, the airbag light goes on/off, the speedometer and odometer work on and off, the automatic locks won't work when the car is running, and the trans will buck when first accelerating but that seems to stop after several miles.

    The airbag light previously would go out when jiggling wires under the passenger seat and the trans bucking would previously happen under totally different conditions. Something happened during that storm that has made part of the electrical system go additionally haywire.

    Coincidence? Any ideas what to check? I thought moisture might have gotten somewhere but several warm days hasn't changed anything. Then I thought maybe an electrical storm could somehow disrupt the cars computer without actually being hit.
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    tnickersontnickerson Member Posts: 1
    My gas gauge stays on full all the time is there any thing I can do for i :confuse: t
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    murphydog08murphydog08 Member Posts: 1
    I too am having the same problems with the passenger side brake light bulb base melting. Where can I get the glass base bulbs? I am having additional electrical problems, with the fuel gage not working and the rear wiper not working. Can anyone offer any advice? Thanks!
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    rlp50rlp50 Member Posts: 13
    I picked up a pair of the glass-based bulbs at Home Hardware, but regardless, if you can find them, they are made by Sylvania. As an aside, I coated the base of the bulb with axle grease about 3 months ago and so far it has prevented the base from melting.
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    442dude442dude Member Posts: 373
    Glass base bulbs...I've seen them at AutoZone - you can also use the plastic base ones but glob the base up with dielectric grease before you put it in

    Fuel Gauge...chances are the level sender is kaput, have to drop the fuel tank to replace

    Rear wiper...check the fuse, check to see if you've got juice at the motor when you turn it on, check the motor in that order
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    bt1221bt1221 Member Posts: 3
    I have the same issue with my overhead... any fixes???
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    krodukkroduk Member Posts: 2
    Hi, did you ever find out what is up with your vehicle? I have a 2003 Venture and everyday (moreso, but not always, when it is humid or raining) my venture acts like it is possessed. The battery light on the dash lights, the airbag and abs lights go on, main headlights go off (if they were on), the speedometer gets stuck, the entire dash flashes like a Christmas tree, the airconditioner stops blowing cold air, I cannot roll up or down the windows and the engine surges to high RPM and the car speed drops (this part usually happens when starting to accelerate from a standstill). Also, on the dash, the oil indicator comes on and goes off and sometimes the check engine light will light for a few seconds.

    I have been through two alternators and just the other day my AC Delco battery burst (not good after a 8 hour drive) but the mechanic (not a Chevy dealer) stated that there is nothing wrong with the charging system. I have replaced the battery but I am still having these issues and was wondering if you have had any luck diagnosing the issue with your Venture. I am still leaning to some issue with the charging circuit (maybe voltage regulator / rectifier) or some Voodoo type issue that I have read elsewhere to do with rusted boards in the tail lights. Right now no mechanic seems to be able to find the problem.
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    kkm1900kkm1900 Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone been able to repair the dinging bell on their Venture? This happens when the key is in or out of the ignition, when all the doors are closed as well. Thank you.
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    ruthie74ruthie74 Member Posts: 2
    Mine acted like this for quite some time. Eventually it just DIED! Nobody could figure it out, and we replaced almost everything! Turns out it actually was the alternator, but I was told sometimes even new alternators are just BAD!

    Right now, my van is doing okay, but I am just waiting for the next thing to fall apart! Best of luck!
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    krodukkroduk Member Posts: 2
    This is a followup to my earlier post. I have had my vehicle in for repair twice in the last week. The first mechanic that examined my Venture said there was probably a wiring problem that was causing all the strange dash light behaviour. He checked everything else, including my alternator and new battery, and couldn't find a problem. I pressed further regarding the alternator specifically and he said that my alternator was charging fine and that it's regulator was ok - everything was within specs and no codes in the computer. However, my battery light was still on and the strange dash light show persisted.

    Now, getting fed up and wanting to just fix the vehicle sufficiently to sell it, I took it to the Chevy dealer. Now, after looking at it for a few hours, they said that the alternator is indeed broken and that it is not charging the battery after the car warms up (the computer had two codes with one stating a low voltage situation). Now, since I could no longer drive it home (the dealer said that I had been driving the vehicle on only a battery and mostly dead alternator for about a week and probably wouldn't make it home, let alone back again), I agreed to replace the alternator. Lo and behold, the battery light is now off and the dashboard light show has disappeared. Hopefully it won't re-appear any time soon! The only bright side to this is that it wasn't a computer failure.
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    irishesq1irishesq1 Member Posts: 1
    Our 2000 Chevy Venture has been pronounced dead by our mechanic. Battery has good charge and lights, radio etc work but car won't start. They have checked kill swicth, keys; they have replaced neutral safety switch, PCM and BCM, but no luck..they are at a loss.

    Two weeks befoe this happend, random electrical issues had started - oil pressure waring light and bell would sound even though no problem with presssure; door locks woudl go on and off by themselves as car was driving; check engine light would go on and off.

    Any suggestions ro is it time to junk it?
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