1996 Buick Park Avenue Defective HVAC Programmer

The HVAC Programmer on my '96 Park Avenue has been professionally diagnosed as having an “internal short”. The estimate to replace it was over $1000. I took the car home and removed the component. The label displays Model 1620484 (see attached image). My plan is to go to a local salvage yard and find a replacement. My understanding is that a part from a 1995 - 1999 Park Avenue or LeSabre should work. Does the model number have to match? Any input is sincerely appreciated.

I am not sure if the model needs to match, but one of your best resources is actually the salvage yard, assuming they aren’t idiots. They will likely know what fits what and can tell you if it will work, since they sell these every day.

Just take the part and they will match one up with the car mfg and model. Should be under $100. I had to replace mine and think it cost $50.

Thanks for the replies. I appreciate it. I couldn’t find the component listed on Pick’NPull’s price list so I called them. They guy who answered wasn’t sure about it. I’ll run out there on Saturday and see if I can find one with the same Model #. Thanks again!

The Pull A Part yard I use here in OK gets 10 bucks for them. A look at eBay shows one for about 90 bucks and the rest are new with prices all over the map from 175 to 500 bucks.

GM must have been pretty proud of the design on that one…

I found the part at Pick 'n Pull today for $23.00. I installed it and the result was the same immediate blown fuse in slot 5A. When I unplug the part, the fuse is not affected. Any other ideas would be appreciated.

You might have a short to ground somewhere

Do you know the trick of using a sealed beam, instead of a fuse. It’s a way to help find a short to ground, without blowing fuses

If you want, I’ll explain, or provide a link

You regulars reading this . . . don’t laugh, if you haven’t tried it


Short to ground sounds absolutely feasible. It also sounds like it could be elusive but I am very interested in all you know on this subject. Please explain. Any link is appreciated too. THANKS!

@marktwark Here’s a Lexus electrical troubleshooting article. Pages 17-23 are about short circuits


I see that it actually goes to the entire website, instead of the course you want. Fine. Click on technical articles. Then click on “Elec 15 Diagnosing Electrical Body Problems”

It’s pretty far down, the second to last group, actually

I hope I explained how to find it, since I don’t know how to clip just that one article

Don’t worry that the article is Lexus. The same electrical principles apply to all modern 12V vehicles

Good luck!

You explanation is excellent. I found it fine. I will check it out later today. Thanks for taking the time to send the information. I appreciate it.