Car locks going up and down randomly

  #1  
Old 04-27-2015, 10:44 AM
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Default Car locks going up and down randomly

Hello Saturn Forum,

I have a 2008 Saturn Aura XE 4 valve. For past few weeks I've been having problems with my power door locks going up and down on their own with the car ignition being on and off. The frequency is random though some days, keeps getting worse, occurs a few times a minute at worse.

Problem seemed to start with having to press lock button on car door a few times to lock. I don't use key fob to lock, cost too much to reprogram.

Maybe I need to take it to dealer to have them hook it up to analyzer device to see if body control module is bad, lock relay in door is bad, fuses are bad for lock issue? I have no other electrical problems. I have an appointment to have door locks looked at with a different mechanic since tire repair mechanic didn't think he could fix it. This other mechanic isn't dealer though, but has good reputation. I have appointment with dealer, but not for 3 weeks.

Also, I have separate issue of warning light on dashboard. I had it looked at and 2 camshaft position sensors and thermostat sensor needed replaced. I had that done which fixed warning light, but light cam back on a day later. It may be new issue I don't know or related to door locks. Car was hesitating before sensors replaced, now drives better so that makes me think warning light is new issue or related to locks. Warning light is a picture of an engine at 6 o'clock position of furthest right instrument cluster where fuel gauge is. Driver's manual says this light is related to transmission somehow.

Any ideas?
 
  #2  
Old 04-27-2015, 11:05 AM
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location of relays and fuses are on the covers for the instrument panel and underhood junction boxes. Blown fuses usually lead to inoperability. Relay is a possibility; should swap with a known good one to check.

Also found this. Did you have your windows tinted or do you leave your doors open in the rain alot?



Service Information 2008 Saturn AURA | AURA, BAS Hybrid (VIN Z) Service Manual | Document ID: 2208919
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

#PIC4458A: Protection Of Door Lock Switches During Window Tint Installation - keywords aftermarket cycle cycling down glass inop inoperative int intermittent moisture unlock up water - (Nov 12, 2008)


However, the fact that your fob is inoperative does raise concern about another issue possibly at play.


Subject: Protection Of Door Lock Switches During Window Tint Installation


Models: 2007-2009 Saturn Aura




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This PI was superseded to update model years. Please discard PIC4458.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following diagnosis might be helpful if the vehicle exhibits the symptom(s) described in this PI.

Condition/Concern:
Numerous door lock switches have been returned to the Warranty Parts Center for the complaint of "door lock inoperative" or "door locks cycling". The root cause of this condition has been determined to be moisture intrusion into the door lock switch. Further investigation indicated that many of the returned switches came from vehicles that had accessory window tinting installed.

Note: When using water on the inside of the window to apply the window tinting film to make the tint easier to manipulate be sure to protect the inside switches. Use care when using a squeegee to remove air bubbles. If the switches are not properly protected during the squeegee process, water may enter and unprotected door lock switch which will cause that switch to become inoperative.

Recommendation/Instructions:
During the installation of window tinting film, Please protect the door lock and window switches to ensure that excess water from the installation process does not enter the switches.

Please follow this diagnostic or repair process thoroughly and complete each step. If the condition exhibited is resolved without completing every step, the remaining steps do not need to be performed.



GM bulletins are intended for use by professional technicians, NOT a ""do-it-yourselfer"". They are written to inform these technicians of conditions that may occur on some vehicles, or to provide information that could assist in the proper service of a vehicle. Properly trained technicians have the equipment, tools, safety instructions, and know-how to do a job properly and safely. If a condition is described, DO NOT assume that the bulletin applies to your vehicle, or that your vehicle will have that condition. See your GM dealer for information on whether your vehicle may benefit from the information.
WE SUPPORT VOLUNTARY TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATION


2011 General Motors Corporation. All rights reserved.

As for the new dash light, go to autozone or similar and get codes read for free and post codes PXXX here and we will try to help you.
 

Last edited by derf; 04-27-2015 at 11:18 AM.
  #3  
Old 04-27-2015, 12:07 PM
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Hello, thanks for your help. No, I didn't have my windows tinted. My key fob stopped working because the battery died. It was going to be $100 to have battery replaced and fob reprogrammed so I didn't do that. I have just been using my key to unlock door to get in car. I'll have the mechanic I'm going to check to fuses and see if new lock relay in car would help. I don't leave my windows down, but we've been having some heavy rains here lately. There is a real slow leak on driver's side door. Since I've owned car I've noticed about one drop every few minutes comes down around seal on inner part of driver's side door when it rains. Maybe that's it causing electrical problem.
 
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Old 04-27-2015, 05:34 PM
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IF that model has a separate BCM (body control module) it can be a place to start. Usually a corroded or loose plug connector can be the culprit. Sometimes just unplugging and plugging it back in several times can "sweep" the contacts clean and clear the problem. If it doen't have a BCM, then I don't have any suggetions. Sorry.
 
  #5  
Old 04-27-2015, 08:01 PM
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I'm wondering if I could take out fuse that runs the power locks. I found in drivers manual the fuse for power locks in fuse box on passenger side of center console. I couldn't figure out which fuse it was though. This would be instead of having body control module replaced or relay box to locks in door replaced. I just use key to unlock door, don't use key fob. A dealer or garage can just hook car up to analyzer and figure out what's wrong electrically though? Thanks for everyone's help, it's appreciated.
 
  #6  
Old 04-27-2015, 09:16 PM
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Based on the above GM tech bulletin, if the driver's door has a consistent slow leak and you've been having heavy rains, I'm thinking the "water in the switch" explanation is the most likely. \\ Apparently it must be pretty easy for water/moisture to get inside that switch if so many people were having issues, regardless of where the moisture came from.

You should still be able to locate the power lock relay in either the underhood junction box (UHJB) or the instrument panel Junction box (IPJB) which you have already located. The fuse/relay layout can be found on the underside of the cover you remove to access the panels. Many cars have multiple components sharing fuses, so while pulling the pwr door lock fuse may disable the pwr door locks, it may also cause other things to malfunction/not function at all. The owner's manual should give you at least a hint as to what is on that fuse.

In general, a shop cannot just hook up an analyzer to any car and diagnose any electrical problem. Such an analyzer would need to know the electrical layout of every car out there.....

A GM dealership OR someone experienced with a very sophisticated scan tool CAN troubleshoot certain types of electrical system-related issues by running diagnostic routines that "exercise" components by interfacing with the car's BCM and commanding them to do something, and monitoring if they actually obeyed the command. I believe a GM diag tool would be able to determine whether this was a problem internal to the BCM or an issue with one of the switches.

You might try removing the driver's switch and see if the rest of the system behaves normally. However, this may not work depending on how power door lock circuits are wired.

Someone please chime in on whether the system will work with one switch removed....
 

Last edited by derf; 04-27-2015 at 09:20 PM.
  #7  
Old 04-29-2015, 11:18 PM
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Lightbulb Door locks

Hey there SaturnAndy, Just chiming in! Derf hit the nail on the head. If GM issued a TSB on this issue, that is the best place to start. You stated you have a seal leaking, so certainly water intrusion could be the problem. Derf's idea if unplugging the switch is what I have also recommend in the past for various issues. It will set some codes when you unplug the switch, after you turn the ignition on. So first I would have the BCM, (body control module) and the Anti-Theft module scanned for codes. That may also point you in the right direction if any codes are stored there. It should not effect the other switches while unplugged, as they each have dedicated circuits to the BCM and Anti-Theft modules. Also, the fact that you had to press the switch several times to get the doors to lock also leads me to believe the switch, or wiring to the switch. One other thing to consider is the door jam switch and circuit. Ford has a huge problem with dome lights flickering and door locks clicking while driving down the road. Similar circuits on GM as well. You can monitor the door jam switches using a scanner, when linked to the BCM. While opening and closing the doors, read the state of the switches (open or closed) on all the doors, but the driver's door is almost always the first one to go, since it's used the most. So, my recommendations, first have the BCM and Anti-Theft checked for codes, if code exist, diagnose those first. Next, after scanning for codes, while the scanner is still linked, check the BCM data for door switches, and make sure when the doors are closed, the data shows that. Open and close the doors several times to make sure. If everything seem to be working with the door jam switches. Last, I would try unplugging the drivers door lock button's switch and drive the vehicle a few days and see if the problem still exists. If it does, please get back to us, and well go from there. Electrical problems are not "trial and error" they are a process of elimination, checking circuits for power, ground, continuity and resistance.
 
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:20 AM
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Thanks for the very detailed info, Alpha! It's like I just drove into your shop.
Logical, methodical, and rational approach. And I would never have thought to check for BCM codes (hence it was not part of my suggestions)

Are BCM codes the Bxxx codes (sorry, trying to learn)?

Hell, I did not know the anti-theft module threw or stored its own codes...is this true for most manufacturers?

This is why I love this forum. People getting together to help each other out. No pretense. I love when people read my posts and take the time to follow up to point out things I've overlooked or just gotten plain wrong. Helps out the OP and I learn too.

You can teach anyone almost anything but you cannot teach experience.
 
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Old 04-30-2015, 07:38 AM
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Thanks for your help everyone. I got my car checked out at a local garage yesterday. They found out it was the door relay switch, unsure if I got that term right. This switch was in the driver's side door & it controls all the other power locks in the car. They have to order the part and install it. The part and installing it aren't expensive, but the diagnostics will cost some. It'll be about $180 total. I'm glad to pay that to get it fixed. They just unplugged the switch for now so the power locks don't go up and down. That stopped it. So I guess it's not the body control module or a fuse.

But, when I have the car ignition on and put my car from park into drive the locks automatically go down & lock. And, when I put my car from drive to park, the locks automatically go up and unlock. This is since the switch was turned off. Maybe what the wire is from transmission to locks still exists if door switch is unplugged. I'm unlocking the car with my key and just pushing the locks down by hand for now.

Also, I wonder if I need to do something to stop the water leaking in from outside when it rains to make this not happen again. I notice a drop of water every few minutes coming in from the seal of driver's side door where the seal meets the roofline. It's not going down the window to inside the door with the water, but maybe there is another water leak I can't tell. Anyway to fix that? Maybe a new rubber seal around window? Has anyone else noticed this with Aura cars? I might keep the car another year or 2, it has 102K miles on it so maybe door switch would last until then without repairing water leak. Maybe water leak is unrelated to door switch & switch just died?

Thanks for all the help everyone.
 
  #10  
Old 04-30-2015, 11:39 PM
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Lightbulb Door lock switch and window seal.

Hey SaturnAndy, thank you so much for the up date! Yes, you are right, the BCM (Body Control Module) still receives signals from all the other sensors and switches including the transmission range sensor. As I mentioned, unplugging the door switch will only effect that one set of circuits, everything else should operate as normal. Doors should automatically lock when placed in gear and should unlock when placed in park, or the ignition is turned off. If this was not the case before the switch was removed or unplugged...again back to the door lock switch, or door jam switch. If the BCM sets a code, as a safety precaution, it will disable some functions like the auto lock and unlock, so you don't have to manually unlock the doors every time you exit the vehicle. I would say, the Tech. cleared the BCM codes, and unplugging the switch should prevent them from resetting. It may set a code in a few days for the switch being unplugged, but it depends on what the code is, as to what the programmed reaction of the BCM will be. In some cases, it could shut down all the door lock buttons to manual mode only, or just the effected one having the problem. The BCM, or Anti-Theft modules will not turn on a warning light like the check engine light. The only way to know if there are any codes in there is to check with a scanner, not a code reader. A code reader will only read engine codes, and with GM, sometimes transmission codes depending on the quality of the reader.

Your vehicle is new enough it most likely is not the old type contact switches we have been accustomed to for years, where the contacts inside the switch button were about 1/8" apart. The switch would almost have to to submerged in water to short out. In the newer vehicles, they are micro switches, and computer chips, a (door button switch module) which sends electrical signals, better known as a Data-Bus signal back the BCM. If this is a module, and not your normal contact switch, one drop of water in the right spot could short out the chip, and cause all kinks of problems. Electrical components and water just don't mix, haha. Usually these electrical modules are encased in epoxy resin, so I would think the switch was just worn out, but there is a TSB about water intrusion, so it could be either one.

Now, about that window seal. You can try stuffing a small piece of plastic, say trash bag or sandwich baggie (without the zip-seal) in-between the drip rail or body and the seal. Not so much the seal won't go back in place, but enough to close the gap. Depending on the seal, you should be able to pull it down just enough to poke some plastic behind it. Not a big lump in one place, but try several folds, say 3 or 4 flat folds maybe 1/2 wide, and a foot or so long, placed it just above the switch assembly. Next cover or tape something over the switch buttons like a rag, or another piece of plastic to keep them from getting wet again, and hose the window down to see if it seals properly. If not, try a bigger piece. I would do this before you get the new switch installed...then you're all set!

When you have time, may I suggest you visit our "Off-Topic" posts, there are some pretty good jokes in there, and I recently posted a couple of videos you might enjoy, entitled Plowing the Field. We are all here to help, learn and have a little fun along the way...
 

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