I was driving home today in my 1999 Sable and the radio turned off and the heater motor blasts hot air, there are no lights for the radio or AC or heat, the windshield wipers do not work, the electric windows will not move, the turn signals do not work, no interior lights. Every fuse we have looked at is OK. I parked and now cannot shift out of park. The headlights work. The trunk release does not work, no hazard flashers. The horn works. Help!!!
I have observed that when an alternator is in its last death throes, some very bizarre things start to happen–sometimes at random–with various electrical devices. My best suggestion is to have your battery and your alternator checked a.s.a.p. before you wind up being stranded somewhere.
There are also fusible links, wires that will act as a fuse. I am not familiar with that model but maybe some knowledgeable poster can respond to fusible links on this vehicle if any. The problem is more encompassing than a fuse but less than no juice at all.
The trouble is most likely near or in the main power panel under the hood. There may be some fusible links inside it like Waterboy suggested. Another possible trouble spot is the ignition switch since all the areas you mention should run through it to provide switched power to those accessories. Try turning the ignition switch to the accessory position and see if the windows will work then. If they do then the switch would appear to be the trouble. Since the hazard lights aren’t working though I doubt the switch is the trouble since they are tied directly to the battery and main fuse panel under the hood.
Thanks for the replies. Just to note - this car does not have regular fusible links. FWe have poured over the schematics and decided that the GEM (Generic electrical module) is the problem. We will get one today and hope it works. Will let you all know.
Have “your people” look at the wiring diagram to see why the horn works. The horn power comes from the fuse, goes through the horn relay, and to the horn. BEEP. BEEP. The control circuit for the horn relay, comes from the same fuse, goes up through the steering column, to the horn contact, and on to ground. See Fig. 8. To view, ENLARGE, ctrl++, ctrl++,ctrl++, etc.: http://www.autozone.com/autozone/repairinfo/repairguide/repairGuideContent.jsp?chapterTitle=Wiring+Diagrams&partName=Chassis+Electrical&pageId=0900c1528003ad27&partId=0900c1528003abf2
So, what is the difference between the horn circuit and the other circuits? Answer: the horn circuit does not depend upon the ignition switch for anything.