'96 Sunfire electrical issues

Old 02-15-07, 01:35 PM
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Exclamation '96 Sunfire electrical issues

The Car-1996 Pontac Sunfire, 2.2L, automatic transmission

The Problem,
A few weeks ago, when I started my car and put it into reverse everything on the instrument panel started acting haywire. The instrument gauges were acting erratic (bouncing around for no apparent reason), Headlights extremely dim, wipers running very slow, and the stereo turning on and off when applyng the brakes ore taking my foot on and off of the accelerator.

I have since put in a new battery and alternator and neither have made a difference. The headlights are still very dim, the wipers are slow, the heat only works full blast when the car is idle (when driving it is signifigantly lower), the stereo cuts in and out when applying the brake or taking my foot on/off the accelerator, most service lights are on when driving yet the majority shut off when idle. Also, things like turning on the rear defrost or using the turn signal will cause the stereo to shut off and then come back on.

I suspect that there is a short somewhere in the system but have no idea on how to go about diagnosing it if in fact that is the problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

BTW, the car starts just fine. I have no problems with stalling or anything like that.

Old 02-15-07, 03:06 PM
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Check both battery cables for corrosion - on both ends. Sounds like it could be a bad ground - especially where the ground cable mounts to the engine or body. Clean it and any other wires at the attaching point. You want to get them clean and shiny. Remount and snug up the bolt or nut tightly.
Old 02-15-07, 03:07 PM
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Inspect your battery/alternator cables very carefully. Make sure they are not cut anywhere and there is no corrosion.

If those seem ok, then it might be your PCM (power control module). All these functions you are describing should tie into this module.
Old 02-15-07, 03:28 PM
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Just because it's been replaced, doesn't necessarily mean it's good..........Check that alternator for proper output......If cables were a problem as you have described, the vehicle wouldn't crank , much less start

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