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Thread: Did I test the ignition switch correctly?

  1. #1
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    Question Did I test the ignition switch correctly?

    Finally got the security bypassed for now, its just a resistor bypass atm. Anyway the security light is now behaving.

    To test if I'm getting power to the starter from the ignition switch, I unbolted the small wire on the starter and attached a length of wire that i could run up into the driver's seat where i have my multimeter.
    20170930_133358.jpg
    Inside I stuck the ground probe into the metal on the high beam switch where a wire appears to ground on the steering column. The positive probe is attached to the wire. I got them both in the same pic.
    20170930_133458.jpg

    The results were that it reads millivolts erratically jumping from almost 0 to almost 180 with the car turned on or off. Maybe this is normal?

    I guess the important part is what happens while cranking, or trying to engage the starter. In that case there seemed to be no effect. It just keeps jumping around in mv.

    Did I test it wrong? If not, what could be the problem?

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    I just started it by shorting the solenoid. I let it run for awhile since it's been sitting. Runs great.

    Seems like that leaves the ignition switch or that other thing that has several names like nss.

    All I did was lower the steering column to unbolt the ignition switch to check for key rack travel before discovering the problem was a frozen ignition lock cylinder.

    According to the info I got from TODD I reinstalled the ignition switch and high beam switch correctly.

    What could I have bumped into while in there that caused either the ignition switch or neutral safety switch to fail? They both worked fine before.

    How can I test which one is broken?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 95ParkAve View Post
    Finally got the security bypassed for now, its just a resistor bypass atm. Anyway the security light is now behaving.

    To test if I'm getting power to the starter from the ignition switch, I unbolted the small wire on the starter and attached a length of wire that i could run up into the driver's seat where i have my multimeter.
    20170930_133358.jpg
    Inside I stuck the ground probe into the metal on the high beam switch where a wire appears to ground on the steering column. The positive probe is attached to the wire. I got them both in the same pic.
    20170930_133458.jpg

    The results were that it reads millivolts erratically jumping from almost 0 to almost 180 with the car turned on or off. Maybe this is normal?

    I guess the important part is what happens while cranking, or trying to engage the starter. In that case there seemed to be no effect. It just keeps jumping around in mv.

    Did I test it wrong? If not, what could be the problem?
    This was a good test. It does not clear the ignition switch as good or bad. It does prove no 12V power is getting to the starter solenoid to make it crank. The ignition switch, the starter enable relay, and the transaxle position switch all have to switch on at the same time to get 12V power to the small purple/white wire you took loose at starter. We will test those things one by one.

    The mv readings are just stray voltage--doesn't tell us anything. Ignore. Probably meter will stay at 0 if test lead tips are held together. Stray pickup is worse on AC. I have to always make sure meter is set to DC when stray voltage starts kicking up.
    What has been, can be again. (Bob Wills, 1942)

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    Quote Originally Posted by 95ParkAve View Post
    I just started it by shorting the solenoid. I let it run for awhile since it's been sitting. Runs great.

    Seems like that leaves the ignition switch or that other thing that has several names like nss.

    All I did was lower the steering column to unbolt the ignition switch to check for key rack travel before discovering the problem was a frozen ignition lock cylinder.

    According to the info I got from TODD I reinstalled the ignition switch and high beam switch correctly.

    What could I have bumped into while in there that caused either the ignition switch or neutral safety switch to fail? They both worked fine before.

    How can I test which one is broken?
    Another good test. This proves the starter solenoid and all the high-power stuff under the hood is in good working condition. Next we will test the ignition switch start circuit.

    Ground voltmeter (-) lead as before. Put (+) lead on either pin of fuse 1A. Turn ignition switch to START and see what happens. Do you get 12V?

    Attached is a page to show what is going on with this test.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    What has been, can be again. (Bob Wills, 1942)

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    Thanks!

    This is kind of a different topic. But, this is insane so I'll just say what happened. I went to do the test and checked the battery first since the car has been sitting exactly one day all hooked up, turned off.

    Yesterday the battery read 13v exactly. Today it's 12.5. Then when I got in to do the test start I saw the **** security light flashing. Again? ***? It worked every time all day yesterday.

    So I'm doing the learning procedure again. The short 10 min one. Yesterday, it needed that done when I hooked up the battery. Once. Then the security light behaved after that. Maybe it has something to do with the battery getting low?

    And the only thing I can think of that would drain the battery is maybe the alarm is going off at night. This horn relay is removed so we wouldn't hear it. Maybe this resistor bypass won't he enough and I need to completely bypass the vats module. Sigh.

    I think it's been long enough to go try that test now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TODD View Post
    Another good test. This proves the starter solenoid and all the high-power stuff under the hood is in good working condition. Next we will test the ignition switch start circuit.

    Ground voltmeter (-) lead as before. Put (+) lead on either pin of fuse 1A. Turn ignition switch to START and see what happens. Do you get 12V?

    Attached is a page to show what is going on with this test.
    Okay so that bizarre battery wasting relearn thing worked again. Security light is going off after the dinging stops every time.

    Tested as you described and I'm getting no power at fuse 1A. Also, another site recommended looking at the headlights while trying to start to indicate the cause. The headlights didn't dim or change in any way while turning the key to start.

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    So what does this result mean? From the diagram it looks like the starter enable relay isn't sending power through.

    I tried to bypass that relay by grounding what I think was the right wire from the vats module.But, I have no idea if I got the right wire since it didn't work. See here for that attempt: https://www.teambuick.com/forums/sho...488#post105488

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    Quote Originally Posted by 95ParkAve View Post
    Okay so that bizarre battery wasting relearn thing worked again. Security light is going off after the dinging stops every time.

    Tested as you described and I'm getting no power at fuse 1A. Also, another site recommended looking at the headlights while trying to start to indicate the cause. The headlights didn't dim or change in any way while turning the key to start.
    Test for voltage on fuse 1A again on each pin to ground while ignition switch is in START. Do you get 12V?

    Test for voltage on fuse 1B on each pin to ground while ignition switch is in RUN. Do you get 12V?

    Put ignition switch in RUN. Use a jumper wire from fuse 1A either pin to fuse 1B either pin. See if it starts. Pull jumper off if it starts running.
    What has been, can be again. (Bob Wills, 1942)

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    Still getting nothing on either side of 1A while turned to start.

    The wires on fuse 1B are strange. There are two small pink wires going to only one side of the fuse. I didn't think fuses worked like that.

    Anyway, there's 12.33v at fuse 1B. When I jumped 1A and 1B it started! Exciting. But, I don't understand what that means. Can't wait to hear.

  10. #10
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    The retest for voltage on fuse 1A on both sides was to confirm again this fuse is not blown. If it was bad, there would be 12V present on one side but not the other.

    The test on fuse 1B was to prove your ground lead connection was good. Test also proved fuse is good with voltage on both sides.

    Tests up to here indicate there should be voltage on first selector arm of the ignition switch. But nothing comes out of the START wire of the switch feeding to fuse 1A. See page 8A-10-6.

    So to bypass the ignition switch feed to the PASS-Key II system, the jumper wire forces 12V hot power onto fuse 1A and pin C1 of the starter enable relay. Fuse 1A then puts power on pin C2 of the starter enable relay. The jumper acts in place of the ignition switch.

    When it started up and ran, we now know two things:

    1. The problem is around the ignition switch. Either there is a problem with wiring to the switch or switch is not making contact internally on this START section. This is where the next troubleshooting will focus.

    Hopefully you can find something visually that is disconnected, bent, or broken etc.

    2. Everything else under the dash and under the hood is working as far as the PASS-Key II system is concerned.

    See attached page for fuse 1B. Two pink wires coming off going to loads is correct. The hot sides of fuses 1B, 1C, 1D, and 1E are jumped together somehow inside the fuse block according to page 8A-10-6.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    What has been, can be again. (Bob Wills, 1942)

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