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Old 12-28-2016, 01:36 PM   #1
SgtDetritus
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Dizzy 97 sl2 back from the dead, but now giving possible ignition switch issues.

I haven't found this specific problem in here, but If it's already been answered, please show me the way!
My 97 SL2 has been garaged for the summer while we worked on a broken trainling arm and some other issues. We finally got that fixed and aligned and fired up the car for the first time in months. About 2 weeks after we got him going I have found 2 issues.
The first is that the fan blower and cruise control only work intermittently. Usually when I start the car, they don't work and a Service light comes on. If I jiggle the key, most of the time they will come on. It's also gotten harder to actually turn the key and the steering wheel lock doesn't always engage. Also, when I turn the car off, sometimes the fan will keep blowing and the light on the cruise control will remain on. I'm assuming that all of this is related to the ignition switch. Am I on the right track?
Second, it appears the power steering has died, but I'm wondering if it's possible that a bad ignition switch could be related to the problem.
So far, I haven't had any smoke, and the car runs like a champ.
Any ideas, or am I doomed to unhooking the battery every day to keep it from draining to the interior fan
Thanks in advance

...
Rest in Peace, Yoda :-(
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: 97 sl2 back from the dead, but now giving possible ignition switch issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtDetritus View Post
Second, it appears the power steering has died, but I'm wondering if it's possible that a bad ignition switch could be related to the problem.
The only thing that might have happened, electrically, is the PCM is sending the wrong signal to the EVO valve on the PS pump. Unplug it and see if you have power assist again. This won't set any lights, the PCM never checks to see if the EVO valve actually responded (it doesn't even have the wiring to check).

The rest of the problems sound like they'd be fixed with a new key cylinder & key, usually by the time it won't turn a new VIN cut key won't help (copying the old key is stupid, why copy something that doesn't work? lol).

...
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Old 12-28-2016, 05:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: 97 sl2 back from the dead, but now giving possible ignition switch issues.

thanks a bunch. The part I need is only about 18 bucks and of course the bruised knuckles
The power steering would be nice, but I'm not all that worried about it right now.
Thanks again. I'll let everyone know if it worked

...
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Old 01-07-2017, 04:18 PM   #4
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Mad Re: 97 sl2 back from the dead, but now giving possible ignition switch issues.

Well Shucks, had ignition cylinder replacement sheduled for today, but last night it crapped out on me at Sam's club, ironically my next stop was orielly's for the new part. I cannot turn the key at all. Am I going to have to dismantel the entire steering wheel to get the sonuvagun out, or is there an alternative?
The stgeering wheel will turn if you jiggle it a bit, and can go all the way to either side with the steering wheel lock only occasionally catching.

...
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Old 01-10-2017, 09:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: 97 sl2 back from the dead, but now giving possible ignition switch issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtDetritus View Post
Well Shucks, had ignition cylinder replacement sheduled for today, but last night it crapped out on me at Sam's club, ironically my next stop was orielly's for the new part. I cannot turn the key at all. Am I going to have to dismantel the entire steering wheel to get the sonuvagun out, or is there an alternative?
The stgeering wheel will turn if you jiggle it a bit, and can go all the way to either side with the steering wheel lock only occasionally catching.
Just replace the lock cylinder i had the same problem and it resulted in me having to use a rubber mallet for the ignition to even start....keys are like 12$ for 2 from the chevy dealer and theres a richpin video about doing the lock cylinder if you dont want to pay 150$ on top of the costs of parts.

Also once you get the cylinder done i found that the key and cylinder needed to be ...coaxed to fit together with my friend mister mallet but after some time of gentle taps to line it up and me deciding to man up and just shove the key in and turn the ignition the way a mechanic would have (meaning full force no cares givin) everything is idealy back to normal but be careful the previous owner said he did the cylinder twice so he must have not been gentle over time

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Old 01-10-2017, 01:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: 97 sl2 back from the dead, but now giving possible ignition switch issues.

Watched Richpins video, but it seems to depend on getting the key to turn to acc position first. I can't even do that at the moment and I am hesitant to hulk out on the thing yet. I do have a 24 ounce ball-peen at the ready if I need it, but not quite there yet
Any ideas on what's next. Is there a video for this circumstance?

...
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:42 PM   #7
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Mad Re: 97 sl2 back from the dead, but now giving possible ignition switch issues.

#$^@@%$&*(&%#$@!!!!!!!
OKI, I got the old ignition cylinder removed and got the new one in with patience, steady hands, and a lot of swearing.
The battery was dead, so I go to jump start it. I turn the key aaand...nothing. not a blessed thing. here is the weird bit: I turned the key back to pull it out to try again and the fan and cruise control light turned on for a moment. pull the key out, re-insert key. turn the normal direction and nothing. turn the key backward and the damn thing acts like I just put it into the run postition...
Is the electrical part behind the cylinder jacked up now? What the heck did I just screw up?

Oh, by the way, thanks for the help so far! you guys are lifesavers.

...
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: 97 sl2 back from the dead, but now giving possible ignition switch issues.

A dead battery may draw recharging current from the boost battery unless the other car's engine is running and you're using 4 or 6 gauge jumper cables. Cheaper 8 gauge can overheat because it can't conduct large currents needed for starting. More current is needed in winter temps than summer. With small gauge jumper cables, the boost battery may need to be connected to the dead battery to help recharge it before starting otherwise a battery charger is needed for at least an hour to recharge the dead battery before using it. When battery voltage drop below around 10 volts, electronics will act strange.

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Old 01-11-2017, 10:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: 97 sl2 back from the dead, but now giving possible ignition switch issues.

We tried the jumpstart 3 times. first, immediately. Then after about ten minutes. final time after half an hour. All of the electronics that work without the key behaved normally. lights never dimmed, even when we disconnected the jump start battery. Headlights remained nice and bright.

Every attempt and the car never even tried to turn over. No clicks, the fan and other lights didn't come on, even when they would have with the key in the run position.

The only thing that got a response from anything was when the key was turned backward. stuff would come on for a second just before I pulled out the key.

We use 8 guage jumpers and they never even got warm. the temp last night was about 45 degrees F. The boosting car was running the whole time.

Am I looking at the ignition switch that sits behind the cylinder.

...
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Green 97 SL2 named Yoda...When 266,000 miles you reach, look as good you will not.

Last edited by SgtDetritus; 01-11-2017 at 10:07 AM..

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Old 01-11-2017, 02:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: 97 sl2 back from the dead, but now giving possible ignition switch issues.

The ignition switch is behind the lock cylinder; lock cylinder for key security, ignition switch for distributing power. The ignition switch being turned on should turn on all lights in the instrument panel (power up self tests are run), turn off after a few seconds leaving seat belt, oil, battery and brake light on. This tells you the PCM went thru its power up self tests and passed, ready for starting. All ignition switches do this with similar lighting sequences. If you get this far, turning the ignition switch to the START position should send 12v to the starter. If you don't hear anything from the starter, not even a loud metallic click, the next steps are checking for starter operation.

A quick way to test starter; leave ignition OFF, jack up the front to crawl under and carefully short the large terminal with battery cable connection to the small terminal. You can also use two wires, one wired to each terminal and connect them away from under the car for your safety. The small terminal is where the ignition switch sends 12v - its the starter solenoid. Simply shorting the two terminals using a screwdriver will send battery power to the starter solenoid and power it to have the starter engage and crank the engine. This is the method experienced mechanics use sometimes when troubleshooting a starter or starting circuit problem. Good starters will run and crank the engine. Dead, worn out starters won't run at all. Starters that won't run need to be replaced.

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Old 01-11-2017, 11:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: 97 sl2 back from the dead, but now giving possible ignition switch issues.

The self check didn't happen with the key in the run position. Nothing at all happened until i turned the key back to take it out. Then things flashed. Also, I'm used to hearing the hum of the fuel pump before trying to start the car. The starter is also fairly new. This is such an annoying problem

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Old 01-12-2017, 12:44 AM   #12
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Default Re: 97 sl2 back from the dead, but now giving possible ignition switch issues.

8 gauge jumper cables are not the best and only work with a partially discharged battery, using the boost battery so both batteries supply starting current. If your battery is discharged below the ability to power the starter, it needs to be recharged. 8 gauge jumper cables aren't capable of 100% boost from a good battery. I stole my brothers Sears jumper cables years ago (he doesn't have a car) - its 4 gauge and turns over V8 engines immediately in freezing weather from my L300. The others with lower gauge (higher number) simply do not work when needed. Your choice to either wait as the 8 gauge cables charge the dead battery or recharge the dead battery with either a 10 amp (about an hour or two) or trickle charger (overnight) before trying more tests.

As previously suggested, disconnecting battery negative will allow recharging and pcm reset if there's any chance of the pcm being stuck/seized in the equivalent of an electronic spasm. Removing battery power allows complete power removal from the pcm to allow it to reset and might clear any mystery pcm issues before reconnecting battery power.

Listening for the sounds of pump running before starting and observing lights cycling in the instrument panel are keys to advanced troubleshooting; most electronics use some form of led indicators, relays, whatever, to allow experienced people clues to what's going on. "Idiot lights" is an old school term but still applicable - I learned this old school term and use the same idiot light idea on advanced electronics because electrical and electronic engineers need a simple way to see what's going on before wading into the deep end of advanced troubleshooting (pulling out books, wiring diagrams and discussing software hangups). Idiot lights are the first steps in troubleshooting along with understanding EFI systems.

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Old 01-12-2017, 05:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: 97 sl2 back from the dead, but now giving possible ignition switch issues.

Left the battery completely disconnected overnight and tried again this afternoon with the same results. Grrrrrrr. What gives with this thing.?

...
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Old 01-13-2017, 02:24 PM   #14
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Default Re: 97 sl2 back from the dead, but now giving possible ignition switch issues.

I'll look at it harder when I get it removed, but after shining a light down the housing of the lock cylender to the switch behind it, it looks stripped. I compared it to the pictures I found online of the part. So, once it gets here, I'll let ya'll know if it worked.

...
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Old 01-24-2017, 10:47 AM   #15
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Default Re: 97 sl2 back from the dead, but now giving possible ignition switch issues.

got the old ignition switch out and found what I hope is the root problem. The ignition switch is toasted. It arced across 2 terminals and melted part of the plug that goes into it. Now I need to figure out how to replace that part. I'm about ready to rig up a simple toggle switch and a push button for the start.

...
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Old 01-24-2017, 11:28 AM   #16
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Default Re: 97 sl2 back from the dead, but now giving possible ignition switch issues.

Tried junk yards for wiring harnesses, ignition switch and other parts?

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Old 01-26-2017, 09:14 AM   #17
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Default Re: 97 sl2 back from the dead, but now giving possible ignition switch issues.

Haven't tried the Junkyard yet. we have a different vehicle with some simpler problems I've shifted my focus on to for the time being. I'm hoping I can get back to it soon, but fate doesn't seem to want me to drive this car for now.
Thanks everyone for your help! Hopefully this thread will help anyone else who has these problems. Also, everybody needs to thank richpin. His videos are a godsend!

...
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