» » »

Chevrolet Q&A

Ask Your Question

2005 Chevrolet Malibu Question: locate interior electrical short on a 2005 chevy malibu

 

Question

misskarmasmom, Tucson, AZ, January 28, 2013, 14:24
 Rookie

Have a short in the electrical that controls most of the dash components and also the radio, cigar lights door locks. how do i gain access behind the radio?

4 Answers
Flag This
  • Answer #1

    bmdouble January 28, 2013, 15:16
    Profile_thumbnail
     Master

    I have actually found a penny one time at the bottom of a customer's cigar lighter that cause this very concern.Turns out his 2 year old thought it was where the change went to.Not to say this is your problem,just a possibility.

    Flag This
  • Reply

    misskarmasmom, January 29, 2013, 05:28
     Rookie

    Thanks for your input. That would definitely explain the cigar lighters malfunction, but I seriously doubt that it would have anything to do with the door locks and the several dash components including the dic center which is inthe radio itself. I would still be open to any other suggestions you may have though. Thanks.

    Reply
    Flag This
  • Answer #2

    pushrod January 28, 2013, 15:34
    Profile_thumbnail
     Master

    Any fuses blown? If not possible ignition switch, not the part the key goes in but the elect. switch itself.

    Flag This
  • Reply

    misskarmasmom, January 29, 2013, 05:40
     Rookie

    Nope. No fuses blown. I am inclined to think that the short is somewhere in between the interior fuse block & behind the stereo system. The Watson dealer told me to reach behind the fuse block to feel around for any loose wires. I did that, but none found. The diagnostics check says for me to change the sending unit for the gas gauge, but the dealer even told me that it sounds like a direct short and since the interior fuse block controls everything I'm talking about, thats why he suggested what he did earlier. But, I still haven't located the problem. I need to take the car thru emissions, but it's not going to pass as long as I'm still having this issue. Any other ideas? Thanks.

    Flag This
  • Reply

    misskarmasmom, January 29, 2013, 06:30
     Rookie

    Nope! No blown fuses. The diagnostics test showed that I needed to replace the sending unit for the gas gauge. I knew that wasn't right, so I called Watson Chevrolet. I was told that the interior fuse block controls all the instruments in the dash. Check the wiring behind the fuse block for any loose wires, but didn't find anything. The dealer told me that it was definitely a short due to all the different electrical problems I was having and probably within the vicinity of the interior fuse block. This short would cause all of these things to be affected. I have to pass emissions this month and the car wont pass as long as this problem isnt resolved. If you have any other suggestions, I would be eager to hear them. Thanks again.

    Flag This
  • Reply

    pushrod, January 29, 2013, 06:35
    Profile_thumbnail
     Master

    IF ALL fuses are ok, wiggle test the connector @ ignition switch with key on! Have had some problems with switch separation. However it is just a guess.

    Flag This
  • Reply

    misskarmasmom, January 29, 2013, 06:53
     Rookie

    Thanks, its worth a try. Hey, do you have any idea where the body control module is located. If I could find out, I would like to check the electrical connectors to it, as well.

    Flag This
  • Reply

    pushrod, January 29, 2013, 07:03
    Profile_thumbnail
     Master

    If you have checked ALL fuses under hood and dash have BCM scanned to see if any codes are present. The one i fixed did not! I thought the same thing but it was the ign. sw. Do power windows work? The one i worked on, they did not.

    Flag This
  • Reply

    bmdouble, January 30, 2013, 06:50
    Profile_thumbnail
     Master

    ok,I agree with ziptie.It sounds more like an open circuit,or broken wire. If you have access to a wire diagram look for the circuit that has all of these accessories in common and trace that circuit from the fuse onward until you get to the open.

    Flag This
  • Reply

    pushrod, January 30, 2013, 07:09
    Profile_thumbnail
     Master

    Yep Missk, sounds just like an open ignition switch! GM even has an upgrade. Can access by removing inst. cluster and wiggle switch/wires with key on to see if stuff starts working. Or go see a mechanic and get the car fixed!!! If it is a SHORTED circuit it will blow a fuse or burn a wire into, or worse. NEVER had a BCM problem! I don't know what else I can do for u cause I can't test it myself!

    Reply
    Flag This
  • Medium-star Best Answer
    ziptie12 January 29, 2013, 22:03
     Master

    Is it a 'short' or an 'open' your looking for? a short is what will generally cause a fuse to blow or improper circuit operation , but an 'open' circuit will just not function.Just curious........

    Flag This
  • Reply

    misskarmasmom, January 30, 2013, 10:02
     Rookie

    I guess I'm not exactly sure. The dealer told me it sounded like a bad ground. He was almost certain Iwould have found something by wiggling the wires behind the fuse block located on the passenger forward console area. But, nothing changed. The components thathave been affected by this problem are: auto door locks, the cd function on the radio, cigar lighter, check engine light seat belt warning light low fuel light and also the gas gauge. The Gas gauge and the check engine light both were the last 2 things to malfunction, which also happened at the exact same time. I don't know if knowing all that stuff helps or not? I guess an "open ciircuit" and/or "bad ground". All of these work, they're just not working right. I call it "eratic behavior".

    Flag This
  • Reply

    ziptie12, January 31, 2013, 16:21
     Master

    Further details on the symptoms definitely help. Does sound like a loose connection or bad ground. Either would be described as an open.Follow the other suggestions to track it down.

    Reply
    Flag This
  • Answer #4

    michaeldcarter April 15, 2014, 10:22
     Rookie

    I have a 05 chevy malibu classic base model. similar problems. there are 3 settings on the lights. Auto setting allows the odometer to be read and radio back-lights come on. but in parking light setting or lights on setting the odometer dims to almost unreadable and radio lights go out even though you can hear the radio playing music. None of the ac heater lights work and the dash doesn't light up except for the dummie lights. Now the horn has stopped working and the lights on window switch don't light up. I have replaced dimmer switch, turn signal-light switch and dash cluster. I am now told it might be the BCM(body control module)and apparently it needs to get flashed or replaced and reprogrammed at the dealership.

    Reply
    Flag This