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catera
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Discussion Starter #1
crazy electrical issues, 97 catera... turn signals, hazards, & AC all malfunctioning

just bought a 97 catera with 139k. the turn signals do not work, and if you turn on the hazard lights (which don't work either), the temp gauge and gas gauge stop working and the needle goes to zero, as well as the ac stops blowing when the hazards are turned on. but, with the hazards on, if you hit the turn signal, the hazard lights will then work. turn the hazards off again and you get your ac back and gauges back.

the fuse for the flashers is good, so is the flasher relay. i swapped in 2 new ones from autozone to make sure it wasn't an issue with that relay.

anyone know what to do here?
 

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catera
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Discussion Starter #2
Re: crazy electrical issues, 97 catera... turn signals, hazards, & AC all malfunction

now the ac won't turn on at all, and the car acts like it's stuck in 2nd gear or something. hazard/turn signal lights don't come at all now under any combination or hazard light switch and turn signal positions.

i replaced the BCM and i still have all the same issues. anyone have a PDF of the factory service manual? looks like i am going to have to tear apart the entire dash and check the wiring for shorts, etc.

i have always heard about the catera being literally the worst car GM ever made, now i know why. this thing is a nightmare.
 

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1997 Catera
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172 Posts
Re: crazy electrical issues, 97 catera... turn signals, hazards, & AC all malfunction

The factory service manual is 3 volumes. I don't think anyone has scanned it. If you find a set under $150 get it.

It does sound like physical damage (maybe a rat in the dash chewing wires?). Maybe a harness pinched above the fusebox / below the cluster, the harness that goes up and behind the center of the climate control head.

You can find instructions here or on the Omega owners board on how to remove the climate control head and the insturment panel, this will give you a better look at the areas I suspect. Pulling the entire dash panel is a bear of a job and one not to do without good instructions. The steering column must be removed.

Maybe steering column harness short? this could affect accessory and RUN power, turn signals, and maybe gauges....

As far as judging the Cat by this set of problems...I think this set is unusual and not representative of your normal Cat. The Cat had enough problems that were common to be damned with. I'm still leaning toward the rat as the blame...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: crazy electrical issues, 97 catera... turn signals, hazards, & AC all malfunction

i found that the flasher fuse had blown. after putting in a new one, i got the gauges back and ac back, but only when the hazard lights are on. basically, replacing the fuse put me right back to the initial problems i had, as i stated in my very first paragraph:

"the turn signals do not work, and if you turn on the hazard lights (which don't work either), the temp gauge and gas gauge stop working and the needle goes to zero, as well as the ac stops blowing when the hazards are turned on. but, with the hazards on, if you hit the turn signal, the hazard lights will then work. turn the hazards off again and you get your ac back and gauges back."

the flasher relay also controls the turn signals(correct me if i am wrong), and the flasher relay isn't getting any power unless the hazards are turned on, i tested it with my test light. it's gotta have something to do with the wiring in between the turn signal switch, relay, and hazard light button. but, i pulled apart the trim around the radio that houses the hazard light switch, as well as the block that houses the flasher relay, and the trim around the steering column, and so far all of the wires look good.

i really just need to know how the turn signals and hazard lights interact with each other, where exactly the wires are going (would be great if i had a wiring diagram).
 

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2006 Escalade EXT
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27 Posts
Re: crazy electrical issues, 97 catera... turn signals, hazards, & AC all malfunction

so what was the final resolution on this? where was the problem?

these forums are only effective and helpful if you post your resolutions up here so that people can benefit from your adventures / experiences with your issues.
 

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Platinum 2001 Cadillac Catera Sport
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1,840 Posts
Re: crazy electrical issues, 97 catera... turn signals, hazards, & AC all malfunction

so what was the final resolution on this? where was the problem?

these forums are only effective and helpful if you post your resolutions up here so that people can benefit from your adventures / experiences with your issues.
So right.
 

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Catera
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Re: crazy electrical issues, 97 catera... turn signals, hazards, & AC all malfunction

Having the same problem, Any input would be nice.
 

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Catera
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Re: crazy electrical issues, 97 catera... turn signals, hazards, & AC all malfunction

I fixed my turn signal ac and electrical gremlins by turning the plug around on the hazard switch
 

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'97 Catera (Ocean)
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463 Posts
Re: crazy electrical issues, 97 catera... turn signals, hazards, & AC all malfunction

If your plug for the hazard switch plug was in upside down, how did your hazard switch go back in? I didn't know it would still plug in if upside down.
 

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Catera
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Re: crazy electrical issues, 97 catera... turn signals, hazards, & AC all malfunction

When I bought the car the radio was removed. Th previous owner did not know to take the switch out before removing the electrical plug. He just pried the connector off. When I put it back the trim back together (no radio)it would fit either way. Murphys law is that i put it together wrong. Don't ask me how the stupid flasher switch controls all the items listed? When I finally put the radio back in I put the connector back the right way and all fixed!
 

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Platinum 2001 Cadillac Catera Sport
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Re: crazy electrical issues, 97 catera... turn signals, hazards, & AC all malfunction

Thanks for the resolution. It might come in handy for someone later. Lightning does strike twice.
 

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Re: crazy electrical issues, 97 catera... turn signals, hazards, & AC all malfunction

My 2000 chevy malibu had something similar with the turn signal lights, once in a while it would not work, but when I turn on the Hazard lights then turned on the turn signal lights it would work fine. It turned out to be a bad hazard light switch, replaced it and everything was fine.
 
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