One Electrical issue after another

I need some electrical help. To save time, I know how to check a fuse, so please don’t simply reply “check your fuses”, there may be one I missed, but it’s more than fuses. My 96 Olds Aurora is becoming an electrical nightmare. List of what’s out, every interior light/lamp, the dome, doors, even the vanity mirror under the passenger sun visor. My power mirrors both out, drivers side power seat (but the air lumbar works), Now, likely unrelated, my fuel gauge just bounces, full to empty, my cruise control is out (I need it, I tend to speed without it) and my dash lights are intermittent, that’s all for now. I can say the Aurora has fuses and breakers in 4 places, the usual drivers side by your knee, 2 sets under the back seat and one near the firewall under the hood.
The drivers one does have 4 not lighting up my test lamp, all in the right side row, fuses are good. I have a bad habit of leaving my drivers window open so rain could have gotten in. That’s all fellas, any ideas, please jump in. Thanks

PS I have not checked the box by the firewall, can’t find it and I have not checked any relays, I dont know how to test them anyway

This car is, as you know, 22 years old. electrical components like capacitors fail after 20 years of use, or no use. Grounds corrode and cause all kinds of very difficult to diagnose issues.

Your Aurora has lots of electronic control units around the car communicating with each other and used to control virtually every function. I’d say your body control module is failing. You will likely will have a hard time finding a replacement. Your Aurora might just be “bricked” or un-fixable. A GM dealer may be your only hope and even that is a long-shot. Good Luck.


Sadly I’d say on first glance this horse might need to be put out to pasture soon…

I’ve had some weird electrical stuff happen when:

  1. I replaced spark plugs with non-OEM ones.
  2. the battery was about to die on me.

Don’t know if either of those apply here, but it’s all I got.

I sort of agree with what @Mustangman said. If it was my car I’d disconnect and clean both ends of the negative terminal strap on the battery, and maybe even replace it. There is probably corrosion at the connections between wiring and fuse boxes as well and each of those connections might have to be cleaned individually. It’s going to be very tedious and something like this just can not be done by someone you have to pay by the hour because the bill will quickly be much more than the car is worth.

Hey Mustangman, thanks for your help. Unfortunately I got run down by a Postal truck on my motorcycle, blew 10 discs and I’m permanently disabled, translation; No new car is in my foreseeable future so I have to Maguyver this one every way possible (the mortgage takes priority).
Lets assume the best scenario, and it’s not ground issues, rain easily could have shorted my drivers side door electronics, which explains the seat and mirrors 100%. What can i check for the interior lights? Thanks so much

and I can junk yard almost anything for the Aurora, they aren’t hard to find

It appears there are 8 threads about problems with this vehicle . Sometimes it just becomes time to let one go and move on.

Would it help if I told you which 4 fuses under my drivers kick panel are not lighting up? I mean what they service?

I hear you, I just checked the fuses not responding, they are perimeter lamps, interior lamps, “right” exterior lamps and “left” exterior lamps. If it helps give a clue, these are one on top of the next in the fuse panel in perfect order, and these lights are out

Unfortunately I’m permanently disabled so buying even another used car is not an option now. I got run down by a Postal truck and make half what I used to, my mortgage is still the same,. kid still eats the same…it’s about sacrifice… I come last

That would make me suspect the +12v connection to that fuse panel. Perhaps corrosion on either end of the wire, or a broken or corroded wire.

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The Aurora is the Cadillac Northstar so the enormous battery is under the back seat, as is the negative battery cable, do you think I can get to the other end easily enough? If its under the car, I dont own ramps, but I could buy some.

Just got a brand new $175 battery, new plugs, good ones. but thank you

That makes perfect sense, any idea where I can find out how to find it without a shop manual? I’ll buy them off Ebay if needed…thank you

and do you have any idea where the ground strap is on an Aurora? Guys here have long suspected a bad ground strap. Oh and I have replaced the battery twice in a year…one was a reman to be honest

Well, Lord knows I have the time…can you help me find the ground strap? Thanks

BTW, I can also replace the ECM if needed (or whatever the control module is called these days)

Without having the fuse panel in front of me, no. But look for one heavy wire coming into the box on the power side.

But it could also be corrosion inside the guts of the fuse panel itself, underneath where the fuse connections are. When I think about, that seems more likely. Specially if it gets wet. And since part of the panel seems to have power.

Would also tell you the car runs like a champ, the V8 Northstar is a beast, and I’ve already addressed the big things you’d expect to happen, Oil pan gasket, tranny gaskets, new intake manifold, so everything we do here together is pretty cheap. I’m about to change 3 of the 4 O2 sensors (none are hidden by the exhaust so labor is cheap). It’s now just chasing the electrical problems with my new friends