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Old 12-06-2010, 09:03 PM   #1
pearlygirl
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Default dashboard lights acting up

Hello from Nebraska. I have a 1998 SL2 that I've driven since 2000. It has really been a great car. No major problems... yet.... I'm just worried about some weird things going on with the dashboard lights. The emergency brake light has been coming on while I drive, but the brake is not engaged.
Then, the tachometer and speedometer have gone crazy a couple times, like they freeze or lose power temporarily, and the needles flicker up and dowm, then they act normally.
But today, when I started up after the car had sat without being driven for two days, the clock was wrong, and pre set radio stations were off. (like when the battery is dead)
My car is running fine. after some internet searches, I found some info on the body control module. Does this sound like what is wrong?How is that diagnosed? Is it a major repair?

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Old 12-07-2010, 01:20 AM   #2
adventureoflink
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1997 SL2
Default Re: dashboard lights acting up

First off, Hi... Welcome to Charlie's Forum. Beware of Wallmasters.

Next, if the brake light comes on at any time while driving (except to engage the E-brake), that means there's a failure in the hydraulic brake system. Could be a bad brake line, could be bad brakes, could be low on fluid in general, etc. As madpogue would say, "man they really oughta need to re-teach the meaning of these lights in driver's ed..."

Next, as for the speedometer/tach going crazy, and losing the radio stations, etc., sounds like an electrical/charging failure. When was the last time you:

* changed the battery
* changed the alternator
* checked for tension and/or replaced the serpentine belt
* cleaned/changed the battery connectors

?

Last, there is no BCM on a 1998 Saturn.

...
97 SL2
DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

2004 Merc G.Marquis GS
DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat

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Old 12-07-2010, 10:16 AM   #3
pearlygirl
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Default Re: dashboard lights acting up

Thank you for the reply.
My battery is about a year old, we'll need to get it in to check the alternator.
I just hate going out to do errands etc. when there is a pending unknown problem that could leave me stranded. especially in the cold months.
And tell me, what are wallmasters?
I was a bit concerned when I was registering here because I got a security alert on my computer. Hope it won't cause me a problem, I just want to try to figure out what's wrong with my car!

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Old 12-07-2010, 01:53 PM   #4
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1997 SL2
Default Re: dashboard lights acting up

Its always good for any Saturn, '91-2002, to just have AAA. Seriously, roadside assistance through insurance can be a pain and can count against you.

The wallmasters thing is a joke... http://z10.invisionfree.com/TRG2/index.php?showtopic=17

And for security problems, that might be a problem with your PC. SaturnFans/Saturnalia is a good, clean site. Any problems should be reported to Charlie.

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Old 12-07-2010, 05:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: dashboard lights acting up

I do have full coverage insurance with roadside assistance!
Scheduled a check with our mechanic Thurs.
Wish me luck!

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Old 12-07-2010, 08:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: dashboard lights acting up

Quote:
Originally Posted by pearlygirl View Post
I do have full coverage insurance with roadside assistance!
Scheduled a check with our mechanic Thurs.
Wish me luck!
Good deal.

Also, no problem (though you could've at least checked the battery connections yourself, and got the FLAPS to test the alternator).

...
97 SL2
DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

2004 Merc G.Marquis GS
DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat

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Old 12-08-2010, 03:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: dashboard lights acting up

We did check the battery connections, and what is FLAPS? Is that like the guys at Auto Zone with the little doohicky that gives codes?
(yea, I am showing my ignorance...)
The garage we go to is old school auto repair. Very honest and we trade there for gas regularly, so they know us well. Not to mention the owner is my son-in-law's friend. I would just like tho get an idea what is going on, thus my posting on this site...

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Old 12-08-2010, 04:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: dashboard lights acting up

Quote:
Originally Posted by pearlygirl View Post
We did check the battery connections, and what is FLAPS? Is that like the guys at Auto Zone with the little doohicky that gives codes?
(yea, I am showing my ignorance...)
The garage we go to is old school auto repair. Very honest and we trade there for gas regularly, so they know us well. Not to mention the owner is my son-in-law's friend. I would just like tho get an idea what is going on, thus my posting on this site...
Yes. FLAPS = Favorite Local Auto Parts Store. Get your service engine soon codes read there for free, if you have any at all.

Also, as to what I posted earlier, those are your likely culprits.

...
97 SL2
DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

2004 Merc G.Marquis GS
DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat

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Old 12-09-2010, 07:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: dashboard lights acting up

adventureoflink: You are a smart one! $31.60 to have the battery cables cleaned, a new bolt on the battery, and some brake fluid...
I am so relieved! Like I said, my car has been a real good one. As I was driving home the mileage was 92,500. Go Pearly!
Tomorrow, it's to the carwash, and a vacuum.YEA!

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Old 12-10-2010, 01:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: dashboard lights acting up

Quote:
Originally Posted by pearlygirl View Post
adventureoflink: You are a smart one! $31.60 to have the battery cables cleaned, a new bolt on the battery, and some brake fluid...
I am so relieved! Like I said, my car has been a real good one. As I was driving home the mileage was 92,500. Go Pearly!
Tomorrow, it's to the carwash, and a vacuum.YEA!
You know you could've cleaned the battery terminals yourself for less than ten bucks right? And that bolt is about $2.50 or so. Brake Fluid, eh. I personally don't touch that right now lol. If you're losing brake fluid there's got to be a reason. I'd demand that they'd put the car on the rack and look at it. That's how I had to deal with it at Firestone last time. They suggested more brake fluid, and I was like "cars just don't eat brake fluid, they lose it for a reason..."

Good luck with Pearly!

That being said I recently had to work on my Saturn...

...
97 SL2
DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

2004 Merc G.Marquis GS
DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat

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Old 12-12-2010, 12:24 PM   #11
pearlygirl
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Default Re: dashboard lights acting up

I have no desire to do auto mechanics by myself. I think 31 bucks is getting by cheap, and I will gladly pay for a grease monkey to do this stuff.
(now if you need a gardener, call me)
They did put my car up on the rack, and did not see anything to be concerned about. I trust them, and if there is a problem, they will make it right.
Pearly is running great again. I can't say enough about my Saturn.

Thanks Again!

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Old 12-12-2010, 03:16 PM   #12
adventureoflink
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Default Re: dashboard lights acting up

No problem. again, good luck with it

...
97 SL2
DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

2004 Merc G.Marquis GS
DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat

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