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Chevy Venture Electrical Problems



  • 442dude442dude 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... :)
  • 442dude442dude 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 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.
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Hey mom22sons...

    How did you ever make out??
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 442dude442dude 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....
  • john3999john3999 Posts: 1
    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
  • 442dude442dude 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 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
  • lottilotti 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?
  • my van a 2003 has the very same issues, did you find out anything?
  • cashmerecashmere 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.
  • rlp50rlp50 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.
  • 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
  • candi073candi073 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!!!!!
  • 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!
  • smnevelssmnevels 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.
  • 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

    thanks! :sick:
  • bryan729bryan729 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.
  • matt63matt63 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.
  • chaseschases 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.
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    The bulb bases tend to melt on some too...there's a newer bulb design with a glass not plastic base...
  • ruthie74ruthie74 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:
  • warpath1warpath1 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.
  • harlanpharlanp Posts: 2
    did you resolve your problem i have the same need help?
  • warpath1warpath1 Posts: 6
    Yes it worked for me.
  • harlanpharlanp Posts: 2
    what did you do to correct the problem?
  • kayfusleekayfuslee 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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