Pontiac Electrical Problem

electrical-wiring
pontiac
grandprix

#1

I drive a '97 Pontiac Grand Prix. This summer I started to notice that my air conditioner was cutting out. It would randomly decide that it would or wouldn’t work. I figured that it’s an old car and things are bound to start going so I just put up with and would roll my windows down when it wasn’t working. Well, where I live it is not uncommon to have 100+ degree weather in the summer time. One particularly hot day, I left work to go to lunch. Initially, my air conditioner worked and I had my radio on. After I finished eating and came back to my car, my air conditioner had stopped working. So I went down to roll down my windows and my electric windows wouldn’t work. It was at that moment I realized my radio was no longer on either. I immediately made an appointment with a mechanic because while I can live with out air conditioning, I cannot live with out both that and my windows rolling down. That mechanic told me my main circut board was flooded. All they had to do was drain it. It cost me less than $50 and I was thrilled that I wouldn’t have to put much money into my old car. Only a couple days later, my air condition started cutting out on me again. Once again, I just rolled down my windows and put up with as long as it wasn’t effecting anything else. Last month my husband got laidoff and since his car is newer and more reliable, he decided he would drive mine and I could take his. He drove it once and told me my brakes really needed work. So I made an appointment with a different mechanic since I hadn’t been thrilled that the last one didn’t fix my problem, and I figured while I was having them look at my breaks they might as well look into my electrical issue. At this point I had also started to hear a sloshing gurgly sound in my dash board which I also told them about. Well they fixed the breaks and their solution to my air conditioner issues was to recharge the freon. Well, that did get rid of the sloshing sound but obviously didn’t fix the electrically issues. A few weeks ago it started getting cooler and I went to turn on my heat/defrost. Nothing. That was my first realization that it was my entire heating and cooling system. While it still worked sometimes I wasn’t going to worry too much as it is only cool in the morings, however last week when I turned my car on my automatic headlights came on like normal. I went to turn on my heater and there was a noticable click, my headlights turned off but no heat came on. I tried it a few times to make sure there was indeed a connection between my heater and my headlights. My heater hasn’t worked for about a week now but my heater nob now apparently controls my headlights. I’ve just been driving the car with the window cracked so my windshield won’t fog but as it gets colder that won’t be very reasonable. I don’t know if it is worth fixing since it is a 16 year old car. We seem to have reached the point where fixing my car is costing more than a car payment, since I just put over $600 into my car last month and it is still needs work. Unfortunately, until my husband gets a job we can’t afford a new car. I could drive his car but then he would be stuck with the one with no heat. I want to know if anyone has any idea what might be wrong, how much it would cost to fix, and if it would be worth fixing.


#2

Your AC condenser is contained in a box that can collect water when it isn’t allowed to drain. There’s a hose under your car that, when you look at it, will appear to just be dangling. It is right around the area of your dashboard. Get a stiff piece of wire and thread that into that rubber hose. This will clear it out and you may notice that water will suddenly gush out.
Spiders especially like to hide in those hoses.
There likely is something electrical that is getting soaked when water finds it way out of the box.

My inlaw’s Altima has an issue where that water would also not drain but splash over the sides of the container when they made right turns. It would hose the car’s ECM (computer) down and it would subsequently stop running.
The dealer said it was a bad ECM but it kept happening, even with a new $1300 ECM.
Me poking a hose in the drain hose fixed it.


#3

The sloshy noise is your A/C not draining. There is a little rubber tube that comes out the firewall and it is clogged. You can blow it out with air or run something flexible like a pipe cleaner up it and it will drain.


#4

Does the fan blow? If not the water may have killed the blower motor or blown its fuse.


#5

Along with the plugged drain hose it sounds to me that you might have a grounding problem to the chassis that is causing the blower circuit to make changes to the headlights. Try cleaning the battery connections and all the ground connections under the hood and to the engine to see if that helps. This is something you should be able to do yourself. Power to blower motor circuit might need to be checked also along with the blower relay.