2004 Impala instrument panel going bonkers

Reply

  #1  
Old 03-31-17, 06:23 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: MI
Posts: 2,446
2004 Impala instrument panel going bonkers

I took the wife's car to my mechanic to diagnose an ABS error light. He replaced a wheel bearing because he suspected the speed sensor had gone bad. It was fine for a week. It's gotten progressively worse and so have my wife's complaints about it so I drove it for a couple days. Sometimes only one fault light will come on but often nearly all will--accompanied by incessant dinging of the alert tone. At one point during my commute I was treated to:
Check Engine - that's constant and probably just a worn out fuel cap.
ABS light.
Trac Off light.
Air bag light.
Battery indicator flashing in message display.
Check Traction System message.
Tire Pressure message. (just checked OK)
Flashing gear position indicator accompanied by bouncing tach needle.
Weak buzz sound when turn signal switch is used (signals did not light). As a side note--the panel lit up like a Christmas tree when I used the turn signal. It seemed to be a "trigger", but the problems didn't stop when the turn was completed.

And as a bonus the brakes gave a short pulse a little more than once per second.

This went on for about 10 seconds then gradually simmered down to just the ABS, Trac Off and Tire Pressure indicators.

Car always RUNS FINE during all this hoopla but the wife no longer wants to drive her "possessed" car. It is odd to me that these are indicators to several different systems that don't seem to have a common denominator.

Has anyone experienced this problem and knows the solution?

(2004 Chevy Impala 3.8L automatic, 177,000 trouble-free miles)
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 03-31-17, 11:07 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NJ - USA
Posts: 43,123
That would be a good indication of a loss of ground to the cluster. It may be as simple as unplugging the cluster and plugging it back in. I would try that first.
 
  #3  
Old 04-01-17, 04:27 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: MI
Posts: 2,446
What about the brakes pulsing, the turn signals not flashing? I can't imagine how these things could be influenced by a problem with the instruments.
 
  #4  
Old 04-02-17, 07:27 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
All the warning lights and systems depend on a complete ground. Let us know what happens when you do as Pete suggested.

I had a 1986 Nissan Hardbody pickup exhibiting the engine in complete failure after a sharp right hand turn. After replacing the throttle body, complete ignition system, all under warranty, a mechanic found a ground eyelet from the computer just sitting on a threaded stub with no nut holding it. Came from the factory that way. When the turn was sharp enough, the wire would fall away, then reattach when stabilized.
 
  #5  
Old 04-02-17, 08:24 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,312
Also check your battery and alternator charging system. When an alternator [charging system] goes out in a vehicle, you get low voltage. And low voltage can cause weird stuff to happen. (Same as a poor ground as mentioned above.)

Be sure the battery connections are clean and snug.
 
  #6  
Old 04-02-17, 11:51 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NJ - USA
Posts: 43,123
You didn't mention that the flashers were not working in your original post. It sounded like just the dash indicators were the issue.

A brake issue may not be related to the dash problem and could be a part of the original brake problem. I would have the computer scanned for codes at this time too.
 
  #7  
Old 04-03-17, 08:53 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: MI
Posts: 2,446
Looks like the only nice weather for the week happened while I was away for the weekend. If I get a break in the rain or forcasted snow(!) I'll try Pete's suggestion...and anything else I can do for free before resorting to taking it in.

I recently had a very positive experience with a local automotive electric shop that correctly diagnosed my truck battery was not holding a charge--after Autozone twice tested it "OK" (avoiding honoring their warranty). They'll get first crack at it.
 
  #8  
Old 04-21-17, 06:23 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: MI
Posts: 2,446
UPDATE.
New battery, clean contacts on Body Control Module, clean contacts on 2 massive multi-wire connectors near battery, inspect BCM for bad PCB solder (per Youtube posts). Nothing fixed the indicator weirdness and as the days went by it got worse to the point the car would not even crank. Gave up at this point & took it to the auto electric specialist where they diagnosed the root cause as a bad ignition switch. Sounded like a stretch to me but the cost wasn't too bad so I trusted them to use my $211 wisely.

All issues gone.

Ignition switch. Go figure.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'