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BRD last won the day on June 24

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  1. Thanks for the response and thoughts Ronnie and 2seater. My 1990 Reatta does not have a Twilight Sentinel. Could be something with the BCM, as you mentioned 2seater. Ronnie, I will look at the FSM page you referenced. It is also possible (but highly unlikely) that the green burned out terminal was actually damaged during my first Headlight Switch Assembly "era." Then another wire was soldered in its place to actually fix what was previously broken via the initial light switch assembly (or maybe a faulty BCM?). Maybe that black/pink wire is actually working exactly as it should right now and we are only viewing damage from the past? The red connector (with the five wires) is 100% the connector that is causing the constant small orange square to illuminate. Maybe something else is causing the “Lights On” to stay lit on the digital display (e.g. maybe the replacement headlight switch assembly was always faulty – or a bad signal from the BCM?) Maybe something else is actually causing the cycling 3.6 amp draw? (Although there is no doubt that when I initially disconnected the HDM connectors that problem seemed to stop) There are unfortunately a number of other electrical items on my car that also do not work properly any more (e.g. alarm system for past 20 years, chimes do not sound any more, parking lights have at times not worked properly, three speakers blown out, tail lights sometimes did not illuminate when turning on headlights unless I was breaking, right headlight door is still problematic, door locks stick, etc.) All kinds of electrical problems over the years that I have dealt with – but not always been able to keep up with. Still not all resolved. Trying to take advantage of having access to basic tools and an indoor place to work on my car right now to fix as much as possible. For many years dreamed of being able to just rewire the whole car : ) I will keep testing and investigating and let you know if I make a discovery. Thanks again for your exceptional insight and time! BRD
  2. 2seater and Ronnie: Thanks for the recommendations and photo comment - I use a five-year-old smaller iPhone camera that allows me to get into the tight car spaces for close-ups. Answering your questions: No "black/pink" wires going into the “orange” and “green” sets of Headlight Door Module connectors. Have had mechanics over the years replace/overhaul the headlight motors but I am not aware of anyone touching the Headlight Light Switch Assembly. It’s possible that a mechanic put in the new switch assembly 10 years ago but equally possible that I did it. Can’t remember. Have not yet tried removing the burned connector but that might be one of my next steps. Have some additional updates: 1. Found two references to a black/pink wire in the 1990 Service Manual. Have included a few pictures below mentioning this color wire. (My working assumption is that the first color listed is the predominant color and the second listed is the smaller “stripe.” Please let me know if this is not the case). Saying this because there is also a pink/black wire listed in the light section. Don’t want to confuse the two. For clarity, my understanding is that the “black/pink” wire is the one that goes into the burnt green plastic terminal. 2. Found a black/pink wire in the front of the car going into the Outside Air Temperature Sensor. I would normally think this has nothing to do with “Headlights” but it is actually referenced in the “Headlights” section of my 1990 Service Manual and mentions that it is part of the same wire bundle. 3. Attached photos of the black/pink wire connecting to the Outside Air Temperature Sensor and the green connector going to the Headlight Switch Assembly. They look identical color/gauge to me. The Outside Air Temperature Sensor wire might be slightly lighter in color in the photos (i.e. gray/pink) but in person it looks almost identical. 4. Found a page in the 1990 Service Manual addressing Battery “Component Parasitic Loads.” In the chart it mentions that BCM draws are typically 3.6 amps – exactly the draw I encounter(d). Would this potential “headlight-related” short have anything to do with BCM draws? Maybe this is obvious but I do not understand how components are grouped and added for aggregate draws. 5. Put blue “dots” by the relevant text in the service manual photos. Follow-up Questions: 1. Is there “only one” black/pink wire in the entire car? This is probably a simple question but I do not know if cars usually have unique colored wires for easier maintenance and troubleshooting. 2. If multiple black/pink smaller-gauge wires exist, do they splice to form a larger-gauge black/pink wire? I ask this because I can see two instances of a larger-gauge wire black/pink wire running into the engine center relay (photo included). Does this somehow connect to other smaller-gauge black/pink wires in the car? (Is this an electrical wiring convention/protocol?) 3. If I trace the black/pink wire from the green Headlight Switch Assembly connector, would that usually go under the dash and then down to the fuse box? Or out a wire-run and directly into the engine compartment? (I don’t know how to find this wire as it disappears into a hole with all the other wires about five inches from the Headlight Switch Assembly). 4. Can I apply a current to the black/pink wire at the green plastic connector and then see if I get a similar reading at the Outside Air Temperature Sensor "black/pink" wire (or vice-versa)? Is this too risky? Is there another way to test this? Greatly appreciate your insight and continued assistance! BRD
  3. Thanks for the information Ronnie and 2seater. Here comes another novel… Have some more information based on latest round of tests and additional photos. 2seater, the date on my door is May 1990 and I have a relatively high VIN (i.e. a lot closer to 8000 than 0000). So this, coupled with fuse and relay information makes me think it’s a “late year” model. I have had this “lights on” problem on my digital display on three different IPCs over last 10 years – so I don’t think they are the cause. I did change out my headlight switch assembly around 10 years ago. It is possible that this is when the “Lights On” fault on my digital display occurred but I cannot remember. Recharged the battery and performed the following today: 1. Disconnected “orange” set of wires connected to Headlight Door Module. Turned key to “on” position without starting the engine. Both the “orange square” indicator light on the headlight switch and the “Lights On” remained on. Turned key back to off position. 2. Disconnected “green” set of wires connected to Headlight Door Module. Turned key to “on” position without starting the engine. Both the “orange square” indicator light on the headlight switch and the “Lights On” remained on. Turned key back to off position. 3. Disconnected negative battery cable and connected multimeter to check amps. Had an initial reading of 3.6 amps for ~ 15-30 seconds. It then dropped down to 0.06 amps and held steady there. 4. Disconnected multimeter and connected again. Amperage started and held steady at exactly 0.06 amps for several minutes. 5. Removed dash panel and disconnected both the red and green plastic connectors to the headlight switch assembly. Then turned key to “on” position without starting engine and the “Lights On” light on the digital display was gone (I think) because then screen quickly went to “Error 00” and nothing more. 7. When I connected only the red side (with five wires) the small orange light on the assembly would come on. But the “Lights On” would not illuminate on the digital display. 8. When I connected only the green side (with the 12 wires) the small orange light would not illuminate and the “Lights On” would also not illuminate on the digital display. 9. When I connected both the red and green connectors the “Lights On” would also display on the digital instrument panel. (But this happened quickly before the “error” display) 10. After I tried replicating this with several tests the digital display would only show the “00 Error” screen and nothing about the lights, as a normal "full" display would show. 11. Looks like the fourth “burned pin” on the green connector is predominately black in color with a thin purple strip. You can also see how it is thinner at the base than the other wires. 12. Visually looked in the engine compartment for similar wiring. Neither the “green” nor the “orange” wire bundles going into the Headlight Door Module have a similar black/purple wire. I did find a similar black/purple wire (but much larger) going into the Engine Relay Center Box and also in the vicinity of the right headlight (photos attached). 13. I am confident that the only time the small orange square illuminates is when I attach the red connector (with the five wires) to the headlight switch assembly (even without inserting the key). 14. I am not 100% sure but it seems that the only time the “Lights On” illuminated on the digital display was when both the green and red connections were inserted into the headlight switch assembly. 15. I could not get the dash to illuminate fully (only the “error screen”) when I tried turning key on subsequent tests with both the green and red connectors attached. (photo below) This leaves me with a few immediate questions: 1. Is it possible to run power to the corresponding “fourth pin” on the headlight switch assembly via a jumper to see if that affects the “Lights On”? Or to somehow test/trace the black & purple wire coming out of it? 2. Are the wires included in the red connector supposed to be “hot” always? Isn’t there always supposed to be power to headlight switch by design – even if key is not in ignition? 3. Is it possible that the headlight relay modification (zip tied) in my late? model Reatta causes this orange light to always be on? (Or maybe if I can confirm if any other 1990 late year model owners also have that “orange square” light on all the time?) 4. What would you recommend I try next based on this information? I'm still not 100% convinced that the 3 amp draw has anything to do with the headlights/headlight doors - although it certainly seemed that way two days ago and I still think/agree it is probaby the case. But I do not understand why I got that initial 3.6 amp reading today when connecting the multimeter without the "green" and "orange" bundles connected to the HDM. 2seater, it seemed that you also had the initial 3 amp reading on your multimeter as well before it drops down to something more normal. Greatly appreciate your thoughts! BRD
  4. Thanks Ronnie! Will try this tomorrow. Will also take the dash panel off to inspect the wiring going into the burned light switch connector. To clarify, do you mean unplug the two sets of wires going into the headlight door module (green and orange sets like I did last time)? Or do you mean to actually unplug/remove the entire headlight door module itself?
  5. Thanks for the clarification. Trying to take all of the recommendations and now figure out how to further troubleshoot/repair (i.e. a sequential plan of action). Please feel free to correct or add to my understanding that the problem is likely in one of these components: 1. Headlight Switch Assembly 2. Headlight Switch Connector (with single burned terminal) 3. Wiring (a short) 4. Headlight Door Module 5. Headlight Door Module connector 6. Headlight Motor Current anomalies to this specific issue are: 1. Had a parasitic draw of ~3.44 amps that cycles on and off. (This seemed to go away when I disconnected the Headlight Door Module connectors but might return at any time if left unresolved) 2. Have a 0.06 amp constant draw that might be higher than usual for a 1990 “late model” coupe. Did not run my car for last 48 hours and battery has drained approximately 2.33v over that time (from 12.60 to 10.27v). So ~0.05 volts battery charge lost per hour. Maybe this is now normal? 3. The small orange “Lights” indicator light is always on (at least last 20+ years) 4. My “Lights On” is always lit on my digital display (at least last 20+ years) 5. One of the terminals on the light switch connector is burned (maybe fully functional but just showing wear from being connected to a wire that has been on constantly for 20+ years?) 6. Right headlight door “sticks” every 15-30 cycles until I manually rotate the headlight motor knob 6 times counter-clockwise and then cycle lights off/on from inside the cabin. Greatly appreciate your thoughts on how to proceed! BRD
  6. 2seater and Ronnie: Thanks for the information. I just took some pictures of the fuse box and what might be the "late model" relay (from behind the panel wall) you showed in your last photo. I need to get in there and deep clean! The fuse box is definitely upside down. Based on this, it would seem that my car is a "late model" 1990?
  7. Ronnie and 2seater: Thank you so much for the response and images. I was able to locate a 1990 Buick Service Manual but not entirely sure how to find/interpret the information. Here are some pages that I am looking over now. Not sure if my 1990 coupe is considered "late" or "early" model, so I included both.
  8. Thanks for information Ronnie and 2seater. Thanks for taking the time to check the constant amperage on your 1990, 2seater. Ronnie, I agree with you that the burned out terminal is very likely a problem/hot connection and needs fixed. Probably one of – if not the – root of the problem. Maybe another is my (3rd!) faulty headlight motor. I’m also curious if either of you have the small orange square light always on? Is it supposed to do that? Seems like a minimal power draw and maybe a feature so you can find the light switch in the dark? 2seater, I did not check (but should have) to see if the “Lights On” indicator goes out when I disconnect the yellow/orange wires. Will do this on my next test. 2seater, I had a very similar multimeter reading on mine yesterday with the initial 3.4 amp that then went down to 0.06 amps (and stayed there unlike before when it would enter the “problem” cycle). I checked the battery voltage again just now. Is at 11.01 volts. Down from 12.2 volts this morning. I did not use my car today and will check again in the morning to see if it drops much further. I know its basically a math equation to calculate how long/much a 0.06 amp draw will take to drain the battery. I used to have a really good DieHard Platinum battery and never had (or was not aware of) these electrical problems. Maybe the power/quality of that battery masked these electrical problems for several years? Will address the battery in another post (pun intended). Once all these electrical issues are resolved (there are many more), I will also likely invest in another high quality/power battery. Current battery in car is a Champion 30 month with 800+ cranking amps (700 CCA), exactly one year old. Ronnie, I was not able to find any photos of the wires going into the connector. Should have taken those as well. Next time I open dash panel I will check. When troubleshooting the headlight door module, I discovered another problem. The “fuel tank vapor” hose (1) going to my Fuel Vapor Canister Solenoid (2) was not connected. I have no idea how long this has been disconnected. I connected it again (see photos). But reminded me of a number of problems I have had for last 5+ years smelling fuel and rough idle. Maybe this was the/a cause? When I take everything apart again, I am interested in getting a new Fuel Vapor Canister assembly. Read that not having this work properly can saturate the filter and render it useless. I will start a new post about this. Also, when troubleshooting headlight door module, I found the wiper fluid pump, which has not worked for 5+ years. I would like to replace this too when taking everything apart again. With air filter assembly and hose removed (to access headlight door module), will also take out and clean IAC, as I understand this can cause a rough idle and other issues, as I currently experience. It’s probably becoming obvious that my only car and daily driver of 30 years has a lot of problems. There are many other issues that I have not addressed in this “amperage” post but will in others for easier subject reference by members with similar problems. So I am trying to fix as many as possible while I have access to basic tools and a place to keep my car inside when performing work [this is not normally the case]. This is why I asked about the headlight relay harness earlier. Is it possible to know exactly what function that burned-out forth pin on the green-plastic light switch connector does? I.e. some schematic somewhere that says “the fourth pin provides indication to module that lights are on”? Would be nice to figure this out first and make sure, before I cut and splice in a new set of wires/ports to the connector. Or is it possible to surgically repair the single faulty pin/receptacle without removing everything else? Also, is it possible that a fault in the headlight door module or a short somewhere else is causing the burned out connector? In other words, if I "fix/replace" the burned out green connector, will it just burn out again because of a fault elsewhere? I.e. is the burned out pin a symptom and not the cause of the problem? Greatly appreciate your thoughts and advice! BRD
  9. Update: I think I’ve isolated the parasitic draw as coming from the headlight door module, as per your recommendations. [Thank you!] Was not easy getting to the module, as I don’t have proper tools and basically just started taking everything apart. But once there I disconnected the two sets of wires plugged into the “box.” One with orange/yellow wires and the other with green/white wires. [Photo attached] Then ran tests with fully charged battery, engine off, keys not in ignition, etc. and here’s what happened: 1. With orange and green sets of wires disconnected: Multimeter consistently displayed 0.06 amps for at least five minutes. 2. Connected the green set of wires: Multimeter initially displayed 3.44 amps for a few seconds but then dropped to 0.06 amps and consistently remained there for at least 10 minutes. 3. Connected the green and orange set of wires: Multimeter remained steady at 0.06 amps and remained there for at least 15 minutes. Put everything back together and ran car last night to cycle lights/headlight doors. Checked battery this morning. Holding at 12.2 volts. Recently, it would have dropped down to around 1.4 volts overnight. I will continue to monitor battery without running engine or connecting trickle-charger and see if it continues to hold at/around 12+ volts. This “reset” did not stop the constant “Lights On” indicator lights from remaining on. Again, these indicators have been on for at least 10 years so I am not sure they are related. Appreciate your thoughts on following questions: 1. Do you think the “computer” associated with the headlight door module simply reset when I disconnected these wires (with power to the module) and the problem is possibly “permanently” fixed? 2. I can visually trace the green wires as assigned to the lights/headlight doors. What do the orange/yellow wires connect to? (When these are connected, I hear a temporary clicking noise in engine compartment when connecting my car battery) 3. Do you think that my right headlight door remaining shut every 15-30 cycles has/had anything to do with this headlight door module issue? 4. What is the appropriate continuous amperage draw for a 1990 Reatta coupe when engine/accessories not running? Thanks and best regards, BRD
  10. Thanks Dave – will keep that in mind as I continue to troubleshoot the issue. Will be in touch regarding the parts as I assess the situation. Best regards, BRD
  11. Thanks Ronnie and 2seater. I will look into removing the headlight control module for the amperage testing and let you know if I have any progress. If that's not the problem, will investigate the fusible links as recommended earlier. Best regards, BRD
  12. Gentlemen, Thanks for the time and recommendations. Will try disconnecting all the fusible links, as Ronnie suggests. However, before I do that, I think you might also be on to something about the headlight doors. As I imagine with almost all Reatta owners, I have had multiple challenges with the headlights not working properly. Have replaced headlight motors and gears at least three times over past 30 years. Interior headlights switch replaced at least twice. Along with digital instrument cluster at least three times. Current headlight drama is that the right headlight will not go up when I push the headlight switch, every 15-30 cycles. (I.e. it works perfectly for 15-30 on/offs but then it will not go up). To fix the problem, I have to get out of car and turn the right headlight manual knob exactly six turns counter clock-wise, then press the interior lights switch/button and it works every time. Will then last for 15-30 more cycles before having to manually rotate the headlight motor knob. Has been doing this for the past three years. Two weeks ago, I was driving the vehicle during the day and pressed the headlight switch and neither of the lights came up. Tried a few more times and nothing happened. When I arrived home 10 minutes later, I tried the lights again, when the car was parked, with the engine running, and lights came right up with no problem. Tried three more times and they worked perfectly. Took the car out last night and lights/headlight doors worked perfectly. I have been using Sylvania SilverStar H6054ST headlights for past 10 years. As you know, they work much better than stock. But mine also seem to burn out every 4-6 months. Along with one of my 14 taillights failing every 2-3 months. I am open to HID or LED lights at some point but still not a fan of the cooler tones. Appreciate your advice on these questions: 1. How do I access/troubleshoot/replace the “headlight door module”? Is this the same as the headlight control module? 2. Is it also possible that a faulty headlight relay is causing this amperage draw? 3. Where can I find or how can I replace/repair the green headlight switch connector with the single burned terminal? 4. How can I install a headlight relay harness? This is my only vehicle and I frequently drive it long distances and coast-to-coast. Could use the extra power going to my headlamps. I saw multiple posts about this in the forums but could not locate a “recommended” consensus on relay method/kit for a 1990 Reatta. Thanks and best regards, BRD
  13. I disconnected the electrical connectors to the blower module and re-ran the tests with connectors attached and unattached. Unfortunately, still got the exact same result: 0.06 amps for 29 seconds 3.44 amps for 23 seconds 0.06 amps for 29 seconds 3.44 amps for 23 seconds 0.06 amps for 29 seconds 3.44 amps for 23 seconds… Given that this amperage draw is so precise and happening on an exact interval, would that lend itself to something being commanded by a computerized component? (I.e. a “regular” shorted wire would not go “off” and “on” every 29 seconds and then stay “shorted” for 23 seconds before repeating indefinitely until the battery runs dead). I re-pulled common fuses for radio, body, lighter, AC, HVAC, etc. but got same cycling amperage. Some additional background: This problem seemed to appear after my ac hose assembly was replaced and freon recharged by a radiator specialist. I had not used my car (much) or air conditioning (at all) since it was replaced. Found out today when driving the car that the mid-level fans are not blowing any air. But cold air is coming from dash vents. I did not, however find any blown fuses for ac components – unless they are located somewhere I did not inspect. Could this be related? Also had my oil pan replaced by another garage with the oil level sensor reattached. Some other items that could have an electrical system impact: 1. The actuators for the door locks stick. I have to manually slide the locks up and down to fully seat in the proper position (“up” and “down”). I ran the amperage test with doors fully locked and with original remote key locking the doors properly. Also ran the test with doors unlocked. Same results. 2. My display always indicates “Lights On” even when lights are not on. Day and night. Has done this for at least last 10 years. But never seemed to have any impact on battery. I replaced dash display a while back and pulled headlight switch to check pins. One receptacle appears to be burned but it might have always looked that way (photo attached). Not sure if this is related to “Lights On” always on. 3. The small orange square light on the upper left corner of the headlight switch is always on day and night, even when car is locked, engine off. For last 30 years. (Is this normal?) Photo attached. 4. Car alarm system hasn’t worked for at least the last 15 years. 5. Cruise control works off and on for last 20 years. 6. The “Break” and “ABS” lights are on (I personally replaced Teves accumulator ball 10 years ago and probably have to replace it again. Was something like $90 on Amazon but probably costs a small fortune today). But again, these things have happened for years with no noticeable impact on my battery, as is the case today, (draining from full charge to dead overnight). I do not think they have anything to do with this “current” situation (pun intended) but wanted to put these out there, in case there is some connection. Finally, while inspecting my battery and the nearby connections, I noticed a small metal box between the battery tray and the coolant overflow tank. I cleaned it up a bit and put back. Doesn’t seem to connect to anything. What is this for? Greatly appreciate your thoughts and insight! BRD
  14. 2Seater, Thanks for taking the time to look at this and giving some ideas. I will recheck the items you mentioned to see if I can notice anything out of the ordinary. The car is completely silent while it is drawing these ~3.5 amps. Will let you know if I find out more. Best regards, BRD
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