: What is this switch???



eldorado99
02-04-08, 03:08 AM
Ok I can't figure it out... on my 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP above the park brake foot pedal, there is a toggle switch mounted on the bottom of the dash on the far left drivers side. When you flick it on it blinks the headlights twice and I can hear a relay "click". The switch is simply labelled "on" or "off". It appears to be factory mounted and is hidden from obvious view. I heard it might be a valet alarm... but what does that mean it does? Any help is appreciated. :)

molotovman5000
02-04-08, 03:54 AM
if switched to on you wont be able to open truck with the trunk button????

malcolm
02-04-08, 08:58 AM
Ignition kill switch??

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-04-08, 10:38 AM
Sounds like a valet button, but they've usually got those mounted in the glovebox.

Next time we get a Grand Prix in at work, I'll take a look and see if it's got that same switch. Sounds like yours was not factory installed.

BigJon
02-04-08, 11:28 AM
i would figure to be a kill switch but not hidden very well.. alarm on and off? maybe

Spyder
02-04-08, 11:43 AM
Ok...next question...what IS a Valet Alarm!?

silver_ws6
02-04-08, 12:58 PM
gran prix's never had a switch like that ! ive owned a couple gran prix and i installed a switch there for my aftermarket alarm. So its either 1 of a couple things
aftermarket alarm, aftermarket electical component like fog lights strobe lights amplifier on/off switch or something along those lines.

a valet switch is usually a way so a valet can drive your car but not open up your trunk and glove box and other crap so they cant steal your stuff

AMGoff
02-04-08, 02:58 PM
A valet switch is almost always located in the glovebox or some other lockable area, as the valet key is only capable of unlocking the doors and starting the ignition... it will not unlock the trunk or the glovebox... hence the point of having the switch in such a place.

Is it an aftermarket switch?

Maybe it's for the flux-capacitor...

eldorado99
02-04-08, 03:08 PM
Thanks for the help everybody. Mystery still not solved though. I tried opening the trunk with the button in the glove box with the switch turned on and off, it worked just fine. The alarm also seems to work just fine as my neighbors found out with the switch on or off, it is a factory alarm. Also it doesn't seem to be a kill switch since the car starts fine with the switch in any position. I've taken a couple of pictures:3933139332

Playdrv4me
02-04-08, 03:20 PM
A valet switch is almost always located in the glovebox or some other lockable area, as the valet key is only capable of unlocking the doors and starting the ignition... it will not unlock the trunk or the glovebox... hence the point of having the switch in such a place.

Is it an aftermarket switch?

Maybe it's for the flux-capacitor...

Come on, it's a Pontiac... Turbo Boost.

http://www.markscustomkits.com/turbo.jpg

Florian
02-04-08, 04:29 PM
that isnt stock....

F

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-04-08, 04:41 PM
Yeah, definitely not stock. Not even GM in their darkest days would make something look so cheap and out of place.

eldorado99
02-04-08, 04:47 PM
Dealer installed maybe?

Playdrv4me
02-04-08, 04:49 PM
It doesnt look terrible to me. The K40 stealth Radar detector control that came with my 02 S500 isnt a whole lot better than that, just a round multifunction knob instead of a switch.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-04-08, 05:41 PM
Have you got any race/acceleration vids of that GTP yett???

eldorado99
02-04-08, 05:53 PM
No but I am more than willing to make some if you want...

I'll wait for a good dry day though, right now it's a rain/snow mix out there, and I already have barely any traction when it's dry with FWD. It's always a struggle with that car between the supercharger and the front wheels.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-04-08, 06:00 PM
Yeah, a 0-60 video or 0-100 video would be awesome....just aim the camera at the instrument panel and punch the gas. :thumbsup:

eldorado99
02-04-08, 06:10 PM
I know just the stretch to do it on, nice long straight section where the speed limit is high. I've ordered a new camera which should arrive in a few days too, hopefully it will dry out by then. (Where I live it actually will rain for 40 days and 40 nights, and then some)

Sandy
02-04-08, 06:31 PM
Whatever it was for - it's definately aftermarket. Look how unprofessional and ragged they cut the lower plastic panel under the dash! GM does not do work like that. From the looks ot it I would say it was for some type of alarm, ignition kill switch....not fog lights.

Spyder
02-04-08, 07:08 PM
Why dontcha trace where the wires go and tell us that?

I've put electric in-line fuel pump switches there before when the in-tank pumps quit working...

ewill3rd
02-04-08, 08:18 PM
Looks like a valet switch to me.

Most alarm systems come with a way to temporarily disable the alarm system in case you leave it with someone else and there is a special way to disarm the alarm when getting in. I always appreciate it when people put their aftermarket stuff in valet mode when they drop it off for service... of course it has actually never happened but.. :D
Otherwise the alarm goes off while you are working on it or while the valet is getting in and out of the car when you take it someplace.
Usually they are installed someplace accessible by the driver but inconspicuous. That almost looks like neither of those.

MauiV
02-05-08, 09:50 AM
Since you said it flicks the lights when you activate it I am also along the line of thought of Fogs. Have you checked for any mounting holes on the front?

An ignition kill switch and valet switch arent any good if they are right in plain view with a big red toggle.

eldorado99
02-05-08, 02:02 PM
No it isn't fog lights, I have fog lights but they have a proper switch way higher up on the dash.

MauiV
02-05-08, 03:30 PM
Was the car juiced?

eldorado99
02-05-08, 04:15 PM
I doubt it, the last owner was a woman with a newborn. Then again maybe she needed a quick jaunt down the highway at 100 mph to wake herself up in the morning. ;)

SvB4EvA
02-05-08, 06:58 PM
My old GP had a switch in it too, looked nothing like that and was well hidden tho. Had to do with an after-market alarm... Trace the wires!@

eldorado99
02-08-08, 07:10 PM
Figured it out! It is a switch to turn off ABS, not really sure why you'd want to turn it off but meh... at least it isn't going to bug me anymore.

Stoneage_Caddy
02-08-08, 10:59 PM
kill the abs to get it to launch properly and or defeat the traction controll

JC316
02-08-08, 11:36 PM
Heh, interesting. My 96 Blazer had one, it was used for turning the stereo amp on.

eldorado99
02-09-08, 05:36 AM
kill the abs to get it to launch properly and or defeat the traction controll

Interesting, could you elaborate? I understand trying to kill the traction control for launches, but why ABS?

ewill3rd
02-09-08, 07:55 AM
Glad you figured out what it was for... I was almost ready to ask if it might have been for the original trunk monkey?
:D

BigJon
02-09-08, 11:40 PM
isnt abs and traction control link together?

eldorado99
02-10-08, 05:32 AM
Don't think so, I also have a traction switch, and a light that tells me if it's off, and when I turn off ABS the TRAC light doesn't say TRAC is off. I could be wrong though.

BigJon
02-10-08, 11:33 PM
i have been told my abs light is on cause of my traction control is messedup..

ewill3rd
02-11-08, 08:51 AM
ABS and traction control are usually the same system.

I think the Grand Prix in question may not even have traction control, so I am not sure what disabling the ABS would accomplish.
What does the brake master cylinder look like on this car? Not sure if this is a Teves VI or a DBC 7 system.
The DBC 7 will likely have traction control so that would make more sense.

BigJon
02-11-08, 10:28 AM
i like my abs so i dont no why anyone in the world would want to disable it

TSS
02-11-08, 11:54 AM
On occasion, I have felt that I could stop under certain conditions the same without ABS. Example: dirt/course gravel road I travel frequently in the summer to a lake house. ABS kicks in all the time regardless of vehicle I am driving - gets a bit annoying. That is the only example I can think of for wanting to shut off ABS.

eldorado99
02-11-08, 05:20 PM
ABS and traction control are usually the same system.

I think the Grand Prix in question may not even have traction control, so I am not sure what disabling the ABS would accomplish.
What does the brake master cylinder look like on this car? Not sure if this is a Teves VI or a DBC 7 system.
The DBC 7 will likely have traction control so that would make more sense.

I thought traction control just retarded the timing when you are giving it too much gas?

Anyways I'm not sure which system I have, but I think they started using DBC 7 in 1999, so I probably don't have it on my '98, I could be wrong though.

I do have both traction control and ABS however.

Maybe I have the Bosch system?: http://www.aa1car.com/library/abs98.htm

ewill3rd
02-11-08, 09:07 PM
Well it has been a while since I worked on a W car but I'll try to say what I know.

The Bosch is a popular unit but I really don't recall it being used in a W car. I thought they went straight from ABS VI to DBC 7, maybe I don't remember properly.
At any rate, I think Traction was standard with DBC 7, and with traction comes a traction off switch so I can't understand why they would install a switch to defeat a feature that can already be disabled by another switch.
Based on what I see in the manual the '98 uses the same as the '99 so I am pretty sure it is a DBC 7, which looks very simlar in appearance to the Bosch 5 family of ABS units including the 5.3.

Traction control does have the ability to reduce engine torque, on some systems like ABS VI, that is the only way traction control can work and they don't call it traction control, they give it some other name... it escapes me right at the moment.
I think it was something like "ETS" or enhanced traction system.

Most active traction systems also use this feature to request torque output reduction from the ECM (all GM systems I know of).
In addition they can apply brakes to help eliminate wheel slip... or more properly stated to "control" it.

I still can't figure out why they would want a switch to disable ABS, unless they were just goofing around.

eldorado99
02-12-08, 12:38 AM
Hmm, thank you for the information.

I've heard of people pulling the traction control fuse for going to the track because supposedly when you turn it off using the stock GM mounted switch it doesn't fully disable. I'm not sure how true that is, but maybe it can explain my mystery ABS kill switch.

skills2005
07-15-09, 10:13 AM
Turn off ABS so you can do hard skids and hook slides. When the tires lock up you can really get your sliding on lol.

AMGoff
07-15-09, 02:04 PM
"And the Award for July 2009's Most Random 'Bump' goes to...."

Playdrv4me
07-15-09, 02:14 PM
"And the Award for July 2009's Most Random 'Bump' goes to...."

LOL, you know my thoughts on those.

Rolex
07-15-09, 02:45 PM
newbs

tman2093
07-15-09, 10:15 PM
What a nice old thread. At the time, my guess would have been for sirens/light bars for a volunteer firefighter/policeman.

Red_October_7000
07-15-09, 10:24 PM
My guess would've been to turn on or off a remote start (the wonky system in my truck when I bought it had one) or to disable the annoying DRLs on GMs of that era, which were unkillable. I had a switch put in my old Buick to make it think it was always in park so the DRLs and autmatic headlights could be overridden. ABS kill is not that common but not surprising.

Aron9000
07-16-09, 03:33 AM
Maybe somebody with more winter driving experience can chime in on this . . . .

Back when it snowed 15" in Jan 2003, I had two cars, a 1991 Buick Regal with no ABS, and a 1990 Seville STS with ABS, no traction control. The Seville would almost always activate the ABS while driving in the white stuff, and it would take forever to stop in that car because it would never apply full brake pressure. I could stop that Buick 4 or 5 car lengths sooner pulsing the brakes myself and actually locking them up a little bit.

That Buick was an unstoppable force in the snow. Meanwhile I was completely unnerved by how long it took that Seville to stop and the way it handled in the snow. I actually drove that Seville into a ditch turning onto my street. It didn't do any damage, but it was stuck and I left it there for 6 days until the snow melted.

eldorado99
07-16-09, 04:20 AM
My guess would've been to turn on or off a remote start (the wonky system in my truck when I bought it had one) or to disable the annoying DRLs on GMs of that era, which were unkillable. I had a switch put in my old Buick to make it think it was always in park so the DRLs and autmatic headlights could be overridden. ABS kill is not that common but not surprising.


Hahaha I never thought this old thread would come back to haunt me but whatever. You are right Mr. Red October. A while after I posted this I kicked that switch by accident and one day wondered why my remote start stopped working and eventually figured it out. I was wrong about it being an ABS switch because I am an idiot. Yup... Remote start turner offer switch...

Also since then I have upgraded to a much newer shinier GTP...

dirt_cheap_fleetwood
07-16-09, 10:45 PM
Maybe somebody with more winter driving experience can chime in on this . . . .

Back when it snowed 15" in Jan 2003, I had two cars, a 1991 Buick Regal with no ABS, and a 1990 Seville STS with ABS, no traction control. The Seville would almost always activate the ABS while driving in the white stuff, and it would take forever to stop in that car because it would never apply full brake pressure. I could stop that Buick 4 or 5 car lengths sooner pulsing the brakes myself and actually locking them up a little bit.

That Buick was an unstoppable force in the snow. Meanwhile I was completely unnerved by how long it took that Seville to stop and the way it handled in the snow. I actually drove that Seville into a ditch turning onto my street. It didn't do any damage, but it was stuck and I left it there for 6 days until the snow melted.

Yes, that is my conclusion as well. On dry or wet pavement a vehicle with ABS will win each time. However, IMO, a car without ABS can stop much better in a few inches of snow. My crappy old Isuzu would stop faster than my Mom's Blazer and she had ABS and much better tires. I absolutely HATE ABS in the snow. I don't even have to pulse the brakes. I ride them until I feel a wheel lock up and then release just enough to let the wheel slip again.

LS1Mike
07-16-09, 10:56 PM
I had a switch like that in my Bonneville for the lock up function on the converter, some 3800 powered cars had a program or line pressure problem. (can't remeber what is was) that would cause the converter to lock and unlock underload. I could use the switch to ensure it stayed locked at crusing speeds.

Red_October_7000
07-17-09, 12:37 AM
My mechanic's of choice has several grizzled old fellows who could probably build a car out of pieces of raw steel. One of them commented on ABS thusly: "Shit, all ABS means is that ya hit summit front-on 'staid'a sideways". I nearly cracked up right there in the shop. This is why I like my mechanics. They will not screw you. This has led to problems, though, such as an interminable noise or something and then being told "Naw, you could probably go 400 more miles before that becomes a problem..." or having them differ on their ideas of just what's an acceptable idea of what; the owner once told me "1,500 more miles" or something about my tie-rod end-links and one of his dudes tried to have me fail inspection; I told him the boss said they were good so he went on about how he was gonna chew out the boss (The boss, mind you, is 6'8", 350lbs, a former soldier, and probably doesn't ues a wrench to tighten lugnuts. I'd like to see anyone chew him out!).

inurok
07-23-09, 02:55 AM
Performance mode like the high and super cars have.

ballstothewall
07-23-09, 10:17 AM
Interesting, could you elaborate? I understand trying to kill the traction control for launches, but why ABS?

I'm assuming they run off of the same sensors.

eldorado99
07-23-09, 03:32 PM
This thread won't DIE! DIE THREAD, DIE!

Red_October_7000
07-24-09, 12:35 AM
This thread won't DIE! DIE THREAD, DIE!

That isn't helping anything, you know, right?

MauiV
07-24-09, 01:18 AM
Flux Capacitor on/off switch.

orconn
07-24-09, 01:41 PM
Actuator for the wolf whistle!

eldorado99
07-24-09, 08:29 PM
That isn't helping anything, you know, right?

Yeah I know you're right...:canttalk:

Maybe we should just see how long we can keep a pointless thread that already contains all the information needed to solve the problem going.

Red_October_7000
07-25-09, 03:22 AM
Yeah I know you're right...:canttalk:

Maybe we should just see how long we can keep a pointless thread that already contains all the information needed to solve the problem going.

Sounds like a fun time to me!

Test-driving a nasty old Honda Civic with my buddy Mike, we got bit by an interlock switch. You had to press the mirror up switch with the mirror control in neutral to get it to start. My girlfriend's MR2 has one of these on the flash-to-pass instead, and I now instinctively pull this back when I try to start mine!