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Old 11-14-2015, 02:41 PM   #1
DawnR
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1997 SW2
2001 SC2
Default SES, Wrench, Security Lights U1301

New codes. YAY! Love CODES!
Attachment with new codes.

2001 SC2

I think my first step is remove the battery and clean the terminals.
I think my second step is to remove the BCM and re-seat the connectors.

Attachment of 3 Ground Wires on the drivers side.
There must be previous electrical issues in this cars history.
It has been scraped off pretty good in that area.
The top ground wire with the blue thing does not look like factory ground wire, it travels over to the throttle body.
Is there a Ground Wire Schematic available for this car?

Comparing my 1997 SW2 to the 2001 SC2. There are differences.
Maybe thats normal? I dunno?

I would like to follow the correct paths of the Ground Wires.
From what I have been reading and trying to make sense of the U codes.
I think something is shorting someplace.
Or am I way off base here?
Thank you
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: SES, Wrench, Security Lights U1301

While the picture of the braided wire grounding chassis to engine block seems severely corroded, things may not appear as bad as it seems. If you were to unscrew the braided wired bolts, you may notice shiny bright mechanical spots where star washers or locking washing washers cut/bite into metal to make physical connections to provide electrical conductivity. The surfaces seen as severely corroded isn't the actual metal to metal connections that leaves bright shiny metal when these bolts are removed. You're likely to see clean gouges and clean portions of washers and bolt threads that are hidden from view. Once these ground connections are removed, cleaning using a stiff wire brush is needed to scrape away corrosion to see bare metal. Bare metal will begin to oxidize unless a form of corrosion preventer is used; petroleum grease, paint, nail polish, etc.. If you decide to loosen and remove these ground connections, spray some WD40 or PB blaster, even plain oil to help loosen corrosion and lube the threads. Severe corrosion sometime needs loosening and retightening to break the corrosion from locking the fastener tight as its unbolted. By loosening a little and tightening with more loosening than tightening allows moving the corrosion away to let penetrant in to lube and lessen the tight bond from corrosion acting as loctite.

The blue plastic lug must be an additional ground wire added at some time for whatever the previous owner needed; poor ground to something (after market electronics) or attempting to provide another ground to existing problems. Scraping away paint and primer next to the stud does not improve electrical connections. Removing and wire brushing the corroded stud will provide correct electrical connection. Factory grounds are used everywhere since electronics are everywhere along with electrical systems needing nearby ground. Since the standard electrical wiring systems of cars uses the chassis/frame and engine block as negative/ground and wiring to distribute power, several ground connections are placed in strategic spots. Engine is all metal so wherever a long stud or bolt fits, a ground wire in the form of electroplated braided wire is used. The picture you show is electrically connecting the chassis to the engine block so the entire car shares a common ground. All wiring to electrical and electronics will connect to various studs on the chassis for ground use without needing wires running back to the battery.

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Old 11-14-2015, 08:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: SES, Wrench, Security Lights U1301

Thank you for the images.
I will study those tomorrow.

Since I first posted I took out the battery.
The positive terminal is rusty in both sides of the connector. There is no washer of any kind. Should there be?

The picture I posted of the chassis grounds. I removed the nut. It is rusted underneath. Rust like in the photo where I removed those 3. They also are rusted in between each layer. There are no washers in between them either.

No after market electronics, so the blue one still has me stumped.

If that braided wire looks corroded.
Maybe I should buy new ones because the braided wire on the other side TAM to top of Strut is much worse.

I got the dash apart and on the BCM. There are 3 connectors. One is very loose it has almost 1/4 inch of play. The plastic clips are not broken. The other 2 are nice and snug.

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Old 11-14-2015, 10:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: SES, Wrench, Security Lights U1301

1-Well, finding corrosion thru the whole terminal may prevent good electrical ground. Do whatever's necessary to re-establish these ground connections to allow good electrical power. These grounds are where power travels as opposed to many believing its thru the red cable and fuses. Clean, wire brush, sand, file, scrape, whatever it takes. Braided wire is electroplated copper to prevent corrosion from normal weathering. If the crimped ends are damaged, disintegrating and falling apart, replacing it is easier with either a source of braided wire or using heavy gauge wires. Heavy as in 10 or 8 gauge. The problem might be finding premade braided ground straps with ring terminals already mounted. Making one from scratch is simple enough whether additional soldering is used or not after crimping. The trick is treating the new terminals against future corrosion. You may be able to reuse these wire braids if the ends are damaged and the rest are intact. Cutting and crimping new ring terminals would be easy with a simple search on how to crimp terminals onto wires. Home Depot has many different wires in various gauges along with ring terminals for the diyer. If washers weren't used, the large flat area of the nuts serves as the washer to create a larger surface area for spreading the torque while allowing better electrical conductivity. From the picture, the braided wire looks fine, including the ends.

2-With one bcm connection possibly loose, consider disconnecting battery negative before playing with electrical connections to minimize any power disruptions occurring when disconnecting/reconnecting plugs. If you have to disconnect the loose plug, do so carefully. Multiple pin connections resist disconnection after years of being in place so wiggling a little can help separate the plug from bcm. Refrain from wiggling and bending pins. Just a little from side to side, using a screwdriver may help to pry apart plugs. The trick is to do so carefully to see if any damage occurred from loose connections. If you're fortunate and only found an incomplete connection, either try pressing the plug and make a complete connection or disconnect the plug and examine it and its mate on the bcm carefully. The worse case scenario would be finding bent pins where careful re-bending is called for to allow alignment when the plug is connected back into the bcm.

My guess is you found the problem with a loosely connected plug to the bcm. The error code, U1301 may be from this loose connection.

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Old 11-15-2015, 12:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: SES, Wrench, Security Lights U1301

I can't wait to study the images you gave me. Too hard on mobile phone

I have the battery removed from the car.
It is Farm & Fleet. I used to work there YEARS ago. We had to engrave the battery with the date. I am curious how old it is.


What's aa good battery to buy? Car is outside weekdays for 8-10 hours and its freezing here in winter.

When I put the ground wires back. Should I be adding washers? Lock washers or some other kind? Should I sand the surface and paint it first?

Daughter gets a new car stereo since I have the dash apart. :-)

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Old 11-15-2015, 12:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: SES, Wrench, Security Lights U1301

Take the battery to whatever auto store you buy parts - selling car batteries should also equip them with a battery tester where its places a large load, basically draining the battery for about a minute as the equipment determines its state of charge, whether it needs a charge or if its on its last legs and needs to be replaced. Good batteries last on average 4-6 years but when close to its last year of service, dead batteries can occur in the dead of winter as it loses its capacity to hold a charge in freezing weather. A well used battery won't have the capacity it once had when new so a used battery will simply not start a freezing engine. Its better to find out now if the battery is questionable before heading into subfreezing weather. Most, if not every auto store are very good for free battery tests. If F&F sells good batteries, stick with them. Just clean off any corrosion using whatever works for you to allow bare metal contact as the best electrical connection possible. No paint until after fastening connections (if you want to paint the connections). Grease is fine or oil as they act as barrier to corrosion.

Washers aren't needed as the large flat surface of the nuts serves as the washer. No need to add any washers.

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Old 11-16-2015, 08:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: SES, Wrench, Security Lights U1301

I got to working on putting things back together today.
The ground diagram you gave me. I was able to locate most. Not all.
I am having difficulty with these..

First.. Number 1... There is nothing in this stud. Is this normal. It seems like it is missing pieces. Is that a ground post?

2nd & 3rd pic... Are those the same as E & F?
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File Type: jpg IMG_20151116_175928683.jpg (168.5 KB, 12 views)
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Old 11-16-2015, 08:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: SES, Wrench, Security Lights U1301

I'm not completely familiar with S-series grounds but not without some help (your pictures). The first one next to the fuse box appears to be either a broken stud missing its end along with the nut that's supposed to be there or just and end to a threaded stud. No matter if you don't see a loose wire in the area missing a place to connect to. This presumes its a ground wire and ground stud,

The second and third pics of normal corrosion on two ground studs appears to be just that. It may not be worth the time and effort to break loose those two nuts as there may be "unintended consequences" - where breaking loose the nut results in snapping off the nut and stud. Electrically speaking, as long as the ground wires are making good electrical connections, it may be better to leave them alone. Ideally, if you can measure resistance with a multimeter, measuring the ground connections from the stud (scraping the corrosion is needed to see clean bare metal) to where ever the other end goes to should show little to zero resistance. This is described as a continuity test - to measure a wire from one end to the other to be sure the wire is intact.

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Old 11-16-2015, 09:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: SES, Wrench, Security Lights U1301

Ok...
Still confused on picture 1.
Nothing is broken. Just empty stud.
If a ground is missing. I don't know where to look for a dangling end?

I cannot trust my other car for reference. When I looked for comparison... The TAM to Strut ground on that car is completely missing. Not dangling. Just. GONE.
Just proof of people working on vehicle that simply do not care.

Look at this thread... Picture 2.
Same stud. He talks like added a ground.
The bottom ground wire looks original to the car. http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160229

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Old 11-16-2015, 11:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: SES, Wrench, Security Lights U1301

Well, picture #1 is either a stud missing its threaded end or maybe a long rivet not having any threaded end. Its difficult to tell from one angle and unfamiliarity with overall wiring in general. You may also be focusing too much on this one little problem that may not be. When I stated "look for a loose ground wire nearby that's dangling", I meant a wire whether its another braided type or black insulated wire with a large (#10 or #8 gauge) ring terminal hanging nearby. If you don't find one then either it doesn't exist or was removed. At any rate, don't dwell on this as you may have found the problem with one loosely connected bcm plug. What did you find to resolve this? With many ground connections placed everywhere, losing one may not cause any problems as the others make up for it. A ground connection to tie the engine block to the car chassis can be made from scratch and placed anywhere convenient if absolutely necessary. Any nut or bolt will serve as a tie point to each side of a custom made ground wire, similar to the post you linked to. As I see it, reconnect everything and see what happens. A battery disconnect and reconnecting the loose bcm plug may be all that was needed to erase the errant U1301 code. As a rule, 'U' codes don't occur except in extreme circumstances when wires are left partially or completely disconnected and affect communications among the electronic modules - geek speak for OBD II serial data flow interrupted for unknown reasons.

Third generation S-series cars use a pcm, bcm, airbag, and abs modules that communicates amongst themselves so the bcm can either turn on the engine or wrench light. The 'U' codes are for Saturn techs to see and determine what to do when using GM's scantool. It's unusual for a reader to give up this code but whatever.

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Old 11-17-2015, 01:49 AM   #11
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Default Re: SES, Wrench, Security Lights U1301

Today I wire brushed and removed corrosion. There was a ton on the braided wire where it attaches to the PCM. Maybe not related but certainly can't be good.

Tomorrow I am going to check out the BCM module. I have been trying to think of a creative way to snug that plug back.
One idea I had was to use a rubberband.
Normally duct tape is my go to... This time I am feeling rubber band

I was pretty bummed to see the Wrench light illuminated and then the word SECURITY.

Anyhow, I was able to pull the codes with my laptop and ScanXL.
I would think that program would be able to tell me where the trigger is by hooking up the laptop and taking a drive.

I did the transmission fluid. I better check my connections in that area.

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Old 11-17-2015, 12:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: SES, Wrench, Security Lights U1301

Unless you're very experienced in electronics, understand basic four stroke engine fundamentals, EFI systems and very familiar with scan tools, the info from scan tools isn't intuitive at all. If it were as simple as you'd like it to be, there's no need to have GM trained dealer techs and mechanics or repair shops. While there are many people very experienced in these areas, there are just as many that are clueless - these are the 'replacement artists' that are great for throwing parts at a car in hopes of finding the right fit while padding the bill.

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Old 11-17-2015, 06:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: SES, Wrench, Security Lights U1301

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Unless you're very experienced in electronics, understand basic four stroke engine fundamentals, EFI systems and very familiar with scan tools, the info from scan tools isn't intuitive at all. If it were as simple as you'd like it to be, there's no need to have GM trained dealer techs and mechanics or repair shops. While there are many people very experienced in these areas, there are just as many that are clueless - these are the 'replacement artists' that are great for throwing parts at a car in hopes of finding the right fit while padding the bill.
I understand this. I hope you did not think I am insinuating this as simple.
Is it ok that I like to learn? Hook up a scanner and be fascinated by everything that it shows me? I was just curious if I could find a feature in the software that could pinpoint the location of the short. Not trying to offend the GM Tech people.

We live in a 3 story, 7 bedroom, 4 bathroom home. I know how to read blue prints. I designed this home with a 3D computer program that I purchased.
The Architect at the Lumber Company was LIVID with me. He told me my prints would never meet structural engineered standards. He told me there was no possible way that I would know how to design a structurally sound building without an Architecture Degree. He was so condescending. So my prints sent to and approved by the Manager and the Building Inspector in our county. I understand he was upset. He lost $12,000. But why would I pay this man an hourly fee plus $3 per square foot to draw prints for me when I figured it out myself.

I have the right to learn it if I can.

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Old 11-17-2015, 06:59 PM   #14
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Default Re: SES, Wrench, Security Lights U1301

I interpreted your descriptions as an open ended question and filled in the blanks that I feel are the requisite requirements to interpret scantool displays. Personally, the idea behind readers/scantools are to minimize the overwhelming electronics in our cars to make it as easy as possible for many to use without a degree. OBD I and II are designed for the dealer service infrastructure using factory/field service manuals in a streamlined method of diagnosing to repair or replace electronic parts. Electrical and electronic engineers designing electronics and software are also tasked with designing interfaces (readers/scantools) for high school level dealer service people most likely to service cars, truck and suv's. Eliminating technical terms and wiring diagrams to the most basic drawings to show voltage and signal flow removes much of the complications of electronics. From personal experience, exposed to basic electronics requiring knowledge of component parts, complex electronic theory and complex wiring schematics transitioned from early complicated drawings and software basics to "board level' troubleshooting, reducing understanding complex theory. What occurred years ago using electronic tools like oscilloscopes, meters, etc.. are now replaced using software driven scantools to point in the general direction. Unfortunately, scantools do not say "look here, this wire is broken!" In order for readers or scantools to operate on a level the average person can learn to use, the design of this equipment doesn't mean its the answer to everything. What's left to anyone using a reader is the ability to "read between the lines"; when an error code is displayed, there are a list of things associated with the error code. The list is a general broad outline of where the problem lies. Sometimes it points to a specific sensor while other times its pointing in the general direction of the sensor where mechanical, electrical, and electronics are involved.

I like the analogy used from time to time about military aircraft. Designed by Phd's, flown with a Master's degree and serviced by high school graduates.

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Old 11-17-2015, 09:24 PM   #15
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Default Re: SES, Wrench, Security Lights U1301

Open ended statements/questions.
I will work on this and I dunno try to figure it out.
I know what I am trying to say/ask.
I guess it just isn't coming out right.

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Old 11-17-2015, 11:10 PM   #16
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Default Re: SES, Wrench, Security Lights U1301

Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnR View Post
.....Is it ok that I like to learn? Hook up a scanner and be fascinated by everything that it shows me? I was just curious if I could find a feature in the software that could pinpoint the location of the short. Not trying to offend the GM Tech people....I have the right to learn it if I can.
While it may seem like a simple question to ask, answers depends on how you accept it. Not having a reader tell you directly what's broken implies needing to learn more to have a greater perspective of the problem before an answer comes. Seeking more knowledge is one basis of understanding why things go wrong. A scantool is only as good as the person using it.

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." A scantool would be the fish.......

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Old 11-18-2015, 12:10 AM   #17
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Default Re: SES, Wrench, Security Lights U1301

It is very interesting. Like a puzzle. No worries. I would never try to catch a shark without learning to catch minnows.

I did find the date engraved in the battery. It was so small. The light hit it just right. Ahhh. Yes. There it is. The battery itself says 75. Is that size? It also says 72 months. And it was purchased in January of 2010. Should be good yet. I will replace if I have to start jumping the car this winter.
The BCM was very dusty. I didn't see or smell any evidence of a bad short on the pins or system board. The capacitor on the board looked good. I was able to get the plug secure with zip ties.

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Old 11-18-2015, 01:02 AM   #18
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: SES, Wrench, Security Lights U1301

Batteries are grouped by number so if its a '75' battery size, replacements are standardized for diy battery shopping or just going to a store and giving them the car info. A 6 yr battery on its last year will be interesting when it goes thru this winter.

Consider the practical repairs of finding possible wire corrosion, plugs loosely connected, scantool useage as advanced diagnostic procedures not many are willing to go thru to learn car maintenance as these are some of the easiest things to do without having to pay someone. There are many that want computers to tell them what to do and never get involved in actual diagnostics, "getting hands dirty", figuratively and literally.

My guess is if a person can afford a $500k Ferrari, this person can afford the $5k tune up since high powered engines with turbochargers in extremely expensive cars does not allow for amateur mistakes if a diyer were to perform maintenance in this car. It can be done but why when a person has the money and can rely on others to do the work? The rest of us with less expensive cars either choose to pay for repairs or attempt to perform diy maintenance. Learning is priceless since anyone that has enough knowledge about car maintenance shouldn't have trouble tuning a Ferrari. At this level, service manuals provide reference and guidelines to allow the same level of maintenance as an expensive tune up.

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