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Old 12-06-2018, 08:50 AM   #1
josteen
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2002 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Sound like a BCM problem to you

This is for a 2007 Vue with 104,000 miles.

So yesterday my wife goes to start the car and it starts, runs for maybe a second and then dies. Did this several times without ever starting (and giving it some gas didn't help). Afterwards she noticed things like the lights (inside and out) wouldnt go off and would start flickering on and off, the power locks stopped working, then started, then stopped again. She sent me a picture of the dash lights that were on when this was going on and it looks like the check engine light as well as a light that's a car with a wrench inside. By the time I got there I guess the battery was dead from the lights being on because I couldn't get anything on or the car to even start. I tried the unplug the battery and plug it back in to see if it would temporary reset the BCM and allow the car to start (read that in a few places), but to no avail when I determined that the battery was probably dead anyways. and wouldn't you know I forgot to bring any jumper cables with me to jump it. So I had it towed home. When it got to home and I went out to mess with it more and when I put the key it the engine doesnt even try to crank. I just get the Check Engine light on (no car with wrench now) and the inside lights just flicker on and off like the car is possessed.

From what I'm reading sounds like a BCM failure? Any one agree with this or have any other ideas?

Thanks!

...
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:13 AM   #2
waiter21
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Default Re: Sound like a BCM problem to you

Saturn is notorious for bad grounds. Before tackling the BCM, I'd remove the cable connections, use a wire brush or a piece of sandpaper, clean the cable ends and the place it connects to (engine, fenders, etc), reinstall, and see if this solves the problem.

Take a look at this link. It will show you where the ground connects are for a 2.2 . Yours will be a little different, but the theory is the same. Clean those ground connections.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=216101

..

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Old 12-06-2018, 09:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Sound like a BCM problem to you

Quote:
Originally Posted by josteen View Post
I put the key it the engine doesnt even try to crank. I just get the Check Engine light on (no car with wrench now) and the inside lights just flicker on and off like the car is possessed.
Sounds like a dead battery if not a bad ground.

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Old 12-06-2018, 10:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: Sound like a BCM problem to you

@waiter21 - I'll check the grounds when I get home tonight. Thanks.

@atikovi - yes I believe the battery is dead now because the none of the lights would turn off on the car, but the initial problem wasn't a dead battery because the car would start and run for a 1-2 seconds before dying. And doesn't explain why all the electrical components are going haywire.

Just for grins, I emailed a Chevy dealership to get an idea on the price range for a new BCM and to have it programmed. That will be interesting to hear lol.

...
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:38 AM   #5
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Default Re: Sound like a BCM problem to you

Quote:
Originally Posted by josteen View Post
@atikovi - yes I believe the battery is dead now because the none of the lights would turn off on the car, but the initial problem wasn't a dead battery because the car would start and run for a 1-2 seconds before dying. And doesn't explain why all the electrical components are going haywire.
Don't let that fool you. A weak battery may start the car once from a high surface charge but the voltage drops immediately after that from the large starter load.

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Old 12-06-2018, 11:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sound like a BCM problem to you

@atikovi - Sounds good. I appreciate the info. I'll be sure to check it and see. To tell you the truth I would love if it was just a battery problem haha.

It did seem odd to me that the battery seemed to have died so quickly. I know my wife said the lights on both the inside and outside would not turn off after trying to start the car several times, but it only took me about an hour and a half to get there. By that time the car was acting completely dead. Before the internal components like light / radio / etc would come on when the key turned and the engine would start and immediately (1-2 sec) die, but when I arrived it was squat. No lights, no radio, no engine turning whatsoever....I just get a completely dead car and the check engine light on the dash. Oh and the two middle lights by the front windshield just blink randomly when the key is in.

So very possible I guess it could be battery related. That would be a nice surprise after I worked myself up to thinking it would prolly be the BCM.

I'll check it tonight and see what it does on a jump. Also, I'll check the life of the battery and how close it is to the end.

Thanks for the input guys. Much appreciated.

...
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Sound like a BCM problem to you

You may have bad battery or loose connection but the basic complaint of repeated engine starting and dying is classic for BCM sending incorrect fuel password to PCM.

This is worrisome because once BCM derives a password its stored in non-volatile memory for future use. Loss of battery power should not affect the stored password but for some reason your BCM hiccuped and apparently lost or changed the stored data.

The best step to take when this sort of engine start and stop happens (SECURITY light is ON during each key cycle) is turn key OFF and don't try to restart for at least 10 minutes.

When you install a new or fully charged battery - if all appears normal - except for start and run - use following steps to store a new password in BCM:

30-Minute Learn Procedure

1. Turn ON the ignition, with the engine OFF.
2. Attempt to start engine, then release key to ON, vehicle will not start.
3. Observe SECURITY telltale, after approximately 10 minutes will turn OFF.
4. Turn OFF the ignition, and wait 5 seconds.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 two more times for a total of 3 cycles/30 minutes.

The vehicle is now ready to relearn the Passlockô Sensor Data Code and/or passwords on the next ignition switch transition from OFF to CRANK.

Important: The vehicle learns the Passlockô Sensor Data Code and/or password on the next ignition switch transition from OFF to CRANK. You must turn the ignition OFF before attempting to start the vehicle.

6. Start the engine. The vehicle has now learned the Passlockô Sensor Data Code and/or password.
7. With a scan tool, clear any DTCs if needed. History DTCs will self clear after 100 ignition cycles.

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Old 12-06-2018, 03:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sound like a BCM problem to you

The funny thing is the car has never had any sort of start problem until right at this moment.

So I'm wondering if I go home and see the battery is close to its end of life date what should my next steps be?

Jump it and see if the car starts as normal?

Take the battery out and go have it tested at the auto parts store?

If I get a new battery, just put it in and see what happens or should I follow the steps below from far2grumpy?

The main thing that has me really wondering if it's just 100% a battery issue is because the car was completely dead in about 90 mins from the time it would start and stop for my wife and when I got there. But there is the check engine light that comes on the dash when I put the key in and the inside lights do flicker off and on.

Does the dash service engine light normally come on when the key is in and the battery is dead?

...
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Sound like a BCM problem to you

Do you know how old the battery is? Is there a date sticker on it? My 06 had a starting problem. Most of the time it would start right up. Every fifth or tenth time it would crank fine just not start. Thought it was security system problem so I locked and unlocked with the remote. Sometimes it then would start, sometimes not. Would have to attempt 5 or 6 times before it would start and sometimes the battery would run down so I would have to jump it. I was going to replace the battery because of it's age and I was selling the Vue, but after doing so, never had a starting problem again. My theory was that the cranking lowers the battery voltage to a level where the computer won't or cant produce ignition. Probably not your same issue, but if your battery is 5+ years old, get a new one. $50 at Walmart for the cheapest will get a baseline for fixing the problem. Hopefully that is all you will need.

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Old 12-06-2018, 03:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Sound like a BCM problem to you

Yeah when I get home tonight I'll check the battery. I'm pretty sure I remember the sticker being on it I just didnt think to look at the date last night cause it was dark and cold lol. I'm hoping that's it. I'll post again when I'm home and can do further troubleshooting. Thx.

...
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: Sound like a BCM problem to you

Quote:
Originally Posted by atikovi View Post
...... I was going to replace the battery because of it's age and I was selling the Vue, but after doing so, never had a starting problem again. My theory was that the cranking lowers the battery voltage to a level where the computer won't or cant produce ignition. Probably not your same issue, but if your battery is 5+ years old, get a new one. $50 at Walmart for the cheapest will get a baseline for fixing the problem. Hopefully that is all you will need.
Many, including myself, have never monitored battery voltage while starting. Staying on top of car maintenance reduces the occasional dead battery problem from experience with symptoms and either testing at home or getting to auto stores selling car batteries that can test them in or out of the vehicle. A rarely discussed measurement is while starting to observe voltage drop. Its said that a drop of battery voltage to 9 or 10 volts is normal while the starter draws whatever amperage it needs. Voltage drops as current increases from batteries. Good batteries provide starting within its warranty and recover back to 12volts+ as soon as an engine starts up. No disconnects power to the alternator to observe battery voltage recover after starting so we see alternator output. The alternator sensing the voltage drop immediately ramps up to recharge the battery while supplying all the electrical needs of every vehicle (up to 15 volts). If battery voltage doesn't recover after starting, that's one sign of battery issues. Store tests duplicate this by loading a battery with either toaster elements or a bank of heavy duty resistors, drawing large amps for a timed event. Since alternators aren't recharging during bench testing, after time out, voltage is measured and either the computerized tester displays its judgement or an analog meter with red/yellow/green markers informs the testing person that a battery is dead or close to it (red), need charging (yellow) or good (green). Each color range covers a specific voltage. A drop in battery voltage is expected when a starter draws current. How a battery recovers, voltage wise, isn't observed by many. While not important overall, knowing battery warranty and/or good auto store testing can determine when its time to replace it. For most vehicles having engine bay batteries, they last the warranty period. A few Ion members say their trunk mounted (original) batteries lasted ten years, a tribute to isolating the battery from extremes of heat and cold cycling in confined underhood areas.

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Old 12-06-2018, 07:51 PM   #12
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Default Re: Sound like a BCM problem to you

OK So I get home and test the Vue by putting in the key and turning it. Still no engine turning whatsoever, but now instead of it doing nothing except illuminating the check engine light on the dash, now there is a loud constant clicking noise and all of the dash lights and the inside dome lights are just flickering off and on nonstop.

The battery is a Maxx EverStart-75S with a 8/14 sticker on it. So looks like 4 1/3 years old.

It's just weird cause I've never had a dying or dead battery create such haywire on the electronics before....almost like the car is possessed.

Guess the battery is a good spot to start seeing how it's approaching the 5 year mark.

...
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:59 PM   #13
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Default Re: Sound like a BCM problem to you

BCM could cause that - disconnect battery ground post clamp for a few minutes, then reconnect and see if lights are still acting strange.

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Old 12-06-2018, 08:01 PM   #14
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Default Re: Sound like a BCM problem to you

I bought one of these. Does a great job of determining battery health.

Quicklynks BA101 Battery Tester 100 ~ 2000 Cold Cranking Amps 12V Battery Load Tester Directly Test Battery Status https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LZ4SLI1..._MGBcCb31PX6DZ

-Robert

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Old 12-06-2018, 08:03 PM   #15
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Default Re: Sound like a BCM problem to you

If you bought it locally, you can try recharging it at home if you have a charger or bring it for in-store testing. At the least, its discharged and may just need recharging before testing. At worst, replacement.

If you can measure battery voltage, do so. You might find it well below 12 volts. Even lower if ignition is turned on with disco lighting appearing out of nowhere. There's a point in low battery voltage when disco lights appear, a sign of a discharged or dying battery. Some auto electronic circuits can operate maybe down to 9 or 10 volts and as high as 15 volts. The low end is when subfreezing weather affects battery capacity and electronics dealing with absolute low voltage before announcing their displeasure. Whether with unannounced disco lighting or erratic lighting displays and relays clicking away, these are signs of a major power issue.

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Old 12-14-2018, 11:51 AM   #16
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Default Re: Sound like a BCM problem to you

Alright you guys were right and I'm very happy.

Appears to be just the battery.

Took it back to Walmart and it wouldn't charge. So between that and being almost 4.5 years old it was due for replacement.

Put the new one in and car started up as normal and has worked fine for the last week.

Thanks again everyone for the feedback and advice.

I just didn't think it would be the battery because I never had a car act like that with a dying battery. Glad it was though. Much easier and cheaper to fix!

...
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