98 Buick Regal GS list of problems all at once


MisterBuick
08-14-2007, 08:35 PM
Hi I own a 98 Buick Regal Gs, I am out of town and my wife calls me and says that all the dash lights are going nuts, the car stop running, when you put the turn signal on the car dies. She waited a little bit and got it running to get it home. Now the car won't start, it won't go into gear(is this mechanical linkage?) Lights all go nuts on dash,Does anyone have an idea what could have gone wrong? I heard my stepson took a voltage test at the battery when it WAS running and it was at 15volts. Is this causing the computer to go nuts?
Do I have a bad ground somewhere? Any help would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!! Please respond ASAP I have to make a 300 mile trip to get this car running!:banghead:
Thanks to all that reply.
-MisterBuick

BNaylor
08-14-2007, 10:16 PM
Sounds like the classic bad ignition switch. The link below should help which has a discussion concerning your problem.

Click here (http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=724301&highlight=ignition+switch+turn+signal)

MisterBuick
08-15-2007, 10:35 AM
BNaylor, thanks for the information. When you put the car in gear you have to step on the brake pedal to allow it to go into gear. Can you tell me if that is electrical or mechanical? Right now the car will not go into gear?
Thanks
Jack

BNaylor
08-15-2007, 06:56 PM
Is the shifter lever not releasing when pressing on the button? It is electrical for shift interlock (BTSI) and mechanical via cable to the transmission for actual gearing. There is a brake/cruise disable switch at the pedal area and from there to the shift interlock circuits in the center console. Check the cable linkage at the transmission range switch located on the top back part of the tranny. What does the PRND123 indicator at the IP do? Have you checked fuses associated with BTSI?

MisterBuick
08-15-2007, 08:13 PM
BNaylor, I am up in Jacksonville and the car is in Lantana Fl. I am leaving tomorrow to check it out. I have no idea about the things you suggested. I will look for the obvious and hope I can get it. IF not it is going to the Buick Dealer, I don't have specalized tools and some things are best left to the pros. Thank you for your reply. I like this group . A lot of information on here.Thanks
Jack

Illinichip
05-16-2009, 03:27 PM
A few weeks ago we began experiencing the exact same problems with our '98 Regal GS: Periodic "no start" where engine does not crank; or while driving dash light warning signs and reminders start flashing on and off, speedometer needle starts jumping, odometer suddenly goes from mileage to trip meter; or engine dies when turn signal is activated. MisterBuick posted his problem a year and a half ago. I'm wondering if he ever replaced the ignition switch (he tried taking it apart and cleaning it but created other issues) and if so did it stop all these weird things from happening?

bob searcy
05-17-2009, 08:24 PM
guys you were 100% correct. regal dies when turn signals activate. ignition switch failure. steering wheel need not be removed or mechanical switch. just change the electrical switch. thanks a million..bob

Illinichip
05-20-2009, 10:22 PM
Thanks to this forum, I told my mechanic to replace the ignition switch on my '98 Regal GS (he was totally stumped by the multitude of electrical issues stated in my earlier post on this thread). The new switch DID solve all the problems! I was charged $153 for the switch and $90 labor to install, which I was pleased to pay considering all the problems caused by failure of the switch.

However, one other issue came up: The lock cylinder that has two very thin wires attached had one of the wires with broken insulation. The mechanic said this is a common problem because of movement of the two wires every time the key is turned. He convinced me to replace it or I could anticipate the wire eventually breaking, at which point the Anti-Theft system would prevent the car from starting. I asked why not just put electrical tape around it for support and hope that would hold it for a few more years. He said no, so I spent $240 for a new lock cylinder and another $90 labor to install it.

I noticed some contributors have tried to take apart their switch to clean the contacts. I took my old one apart just to see the condition of the contacts - took awhile to figure out how to get it apart. Two contacts were perfect, two had a tiny dot of carbon, one had a larger dot of carbon, and one appeared to be burned. It couldn't be "cleaned." Anyway, trying to get the switch back together was a royal pain and now ranks with my grandfather's pocketwatch as the two items I could take apart but not get back together again. I salvaged the wires from the wire bundle for some future project but the rest is in the landfill.

bob searcy
05-21-2009, 01:55 AM
the regal i worked on belongs to my mother. i drive a 51 chevy truck, you know ive never had a problem with it, suckers!!

richtazz
05-24-2009, 09:25 PM
Thanks to this forum, I told my mechanic to replace the ignition switch on my '98 Regal GS (he was totally stumped by the multitude of electrical issues stated in my earlier post on this thread). The new switch DID solve all the problems! I was charged $153 for the switch and $90 labor to install, which I was pleased to pay considering all the problems caused by failure of the switch.

However, one other issue came up: The lock cylinder that has two very thin wires attached had one of the wires with broken insulation. The mechanic said this is a common problem because of movement of the two wires every time the key is turned. He convinced me to replace it or I could anticipate the wire eventually breaking, at which point the Anti-Theft system would prevent the car from starting. I asked why not just put electrical tape around it for support and hope that would hold it for a few more years. He said no, so I spent $240 for a new lock cylinder and another $90 labor to install it.

I noticed some contributors have tried to take apart their switch to clean the contacts. I took my old one apart just to see the condition of the contacts - took awhile to figure out how to get it apart. Two contacts were perfect, two had a tiny dot of carbon, one had a larger dot of carbon, and one appeared to be burned. It couldn't be "cleaned." Anyway, trying to get the switch back together was a royal pain and now ranks with my grandfather's pocketwatch as the two items I could take apart but not get back together again. I salvaged the wires from the wire bundle for some future project but the rest is in the landfill.


The lock cylinder issue is fairly common. if the wires themselves looked weak, then replacing the cylinder was a good idea. If just the insulation was worn, I'd say he was a little overzealous in suggesting you replace it.

The carbon and burning you saw at the contacts is the problem and what causes all the electrical issues. We've had forum members disassemble and remove the old switch, re-crimp the ends so they fit tight over the spade connectors, and it fixed the problem. However, since the metal has been heated and lost some of it's temper, it's only a matter of time before it happens again.

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