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Thread: Fan/Blower not working in 97 Grand Prix SE

  1. #1 Fan/Blower not working in 97 Grand Prix SE 
    Car Enthusiast CF Senior Member
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    I have a 97 grand prix se and there is a problem with the fan. Pretty Much this is what happens:

    Fan speed 1-4 never worked
    Fan speed 5 worked until yesterday
    When in 2-4 the headlights dont turn on
    When in 5 now you hear a clicking noise coming from somewhere in the dash and the headlights repeatedly go on and off and then just stop working all together.

    Ive heard this is a common problem with the car. What should be my first step from here. Its pretty annoying not having heat in the winter.
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  2. #2  
    that tall guy CF Senior Member
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    sounds like the exact same thing that i was having problems with last year. for the longest time my dad and i thought it was a problem with a relay and swapped in a new one, but didn't fix the problem. the problem was difficult to diagnose by our mechanic because it came and went and always functioned perfectly for the mechanic so he couldn't do anything until he finally found the problem and fixed it. it turned out that there was a short in the ignition wiring harness thus the problem with the fan speeds and the flicking on/off of the headlights and of course that annoying clicking noise from the left part of the dash. i had a new one put in and it has worked perfectly since. good luck

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where
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  3. #3  
    Eaton Inside CF Member
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    97 GTknut is right. the ignition harness is a common problem on the GP's. this is what is causing your problem. not sure how much automotive experience you have, not sure if its gonna be a DIY job for you, but this is what the problem is
    '97 Grand Prix SE
    '99 Grand Prix GT coupe
    '00 Grand Prix GTX coupe

    "thats not a supercharger whine...its a bad power steering pump, i promise!!"

    Proud member of Wisconsin Grand Prix Club
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  4. #4  
    Car Enthusiast CF Senior Member
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    ok i was told the same thing by a friend. thanks for the help. hopefully this wont be too hard to fix. What i have in mind is trying to locate the short or pinched wire and solder it back together.

    Does anyone know any links that i can use as an aid? Its actually a gt not an se if that makes a difference.
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  5. #5  
    that tall guy CF Senior Member
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  6. #6  
    Car Enthusiast CF Senior Member
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    Ok i dont mean to bombard you with questions which i have a habbit of doing...

    My absolute last question is when you replace the ignition harness, you gotta do the entire thing or did he just replace a few of the lines with new ones?

    And the colour coding schematic helped a lot so now I have a better idea of where to start.
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  7. #7  
    Eaton Inside CF Member
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    i would just buy a new harness. once you start messing w/ wires, believe me...you just cause larger problems
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  8. #8  
    that tall guy CF Senior Member
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    yeah, i had the entire thing replaced. my mechanic even said i was lucky i didn't get stranded somewhere because apparently the wires were all about ready to burn out and i wouldn't have been able to start the car.
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  9. #9  
    Car Enthusiast CF Senior Member
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    Just for reference, anyone else who is having the same problem, the reference number for the ignition wire harness is #26068757

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  10. #10  
    Car Enthusiast CF Senior Member
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    Got this from another site as well. Good read for GP owners who will all experience this most likely:

    Sounds like the problem is with the ignition switch harness Part # 26068757 When your fan starts working intermittently on speeds 1-4, and eventually only works on the highest speed, this is the part that needs to be replaced. Goes from the steering column down to a large terminal block. Its almost 2 feet long and looks like a huge wire harness with big black connectors on each end.

    Here is what ive found.

    Once and for all I figured out the real reason behind the DRL-DIC-Fan problem. From what Ive read at clubGP it got me looking in the right area, the ignition switch. So first a big THANKS goes to everyone who said that harness fixed their problem.

    All of these things get power through the ignition switch, specifically the RUN terminal (when the key is in the 'RUN'position), which is an orange wire on the bottom of the switch. When the problem was occurring I was getting fluctuating voltage on the RUN terminal (measured with a multimeter), jumping anywhere from .5 to 10, but usually hanging around 1 or less. When it was working properly the voltage read normal battery voltage, 14 or so. When the problem was occurring and I jumped that terminal to an always hot terminal everything came on and worked perfectly. So great, it's something in the switch.

    Being the curious type I took the switch apart, figuring at worst I'd have to buy a new one... Would you believe the problem is carbon buildup a little larger in size than a pinhead? It's actually kind of nifty how they made this switch. When you turn the ignition key it turns a spring loaded plastic shaft in the switch. On this shaft are 6 lobes sort of like a camshaft, though not as tall. Each lobe has a rocker-shaped piece of metal spring loaded to rest on the lobe. As the shaft is turned when you turn the key it causes the various rockers to move out due to the lobes and make connections with terminals laid out by either side of the shaft. So, turn the key to RUN and the shaft turns moving the rocker out to make connection with the RUN terminal.

    The beauty of this mechanism is how it can turn on or off certain terminals depending on how far the key is turned. An example of this is when you turn the key from RUN to START. The lights and fan go off because the RUN rocker is coming back down off the other side of the lobe as the START rocker goes up and makes its connection to send voltage to the starter relay.

    It is this on-off-on action of the RUN rocker every time you start the car that I believe causes the problem. At the point where the rocker makes the connection to the terminal some arcing is taking place due to the volts and amps being drawn, causing a carbon buildup at that point. The more carbon that gets built up the worse the connection gets. Since the fan draws its voltage through this terminal more arcing is taking place if the fan is running when you turn the key. As a result there is more carbon buildup as compared to the other rockers that had very little or none at all since they do not have such high voltage/high amp devices to feed. I cleaned off the carbon with a soft wire brush and juggled around the rockers so the relatively 'unused'ones found themselves switched with the 'overused'ones.

    I have not had a problem since then. Since the fan is probably the biggest contributor to the arcing and resultant buildup I am making a point of it to have the fan off when I turn the car on or off. This should help keep this problem from coming back for a great while longer.

    ~Larry~
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