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Hi guys,

I have a 2009 Outlook and recently came across this problem that has me stumped. When driving, my gauges stop working - all to the left as if car is off. If I stop the car, shut off, and try to restart, it won't restart - just has a click under the dash (at the rear of engine?). If gauges start working again while driving, then car will shut off and restart as normal. First - where is that one loud click (and subsequent whine) coming from under the hood - it seems to be behind the engine (starter is removed currently)? Second - what electronic ghost is plaguing my vehicle to cause this problem?

I've had battery checked, alternator checked, starter checked, all fuses are good, have swapped ignition relays (with like relays)...what else can I try?

Thanks in advance for your help!!! I'm losing my mind here...
 

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2008 Outlook 174000 miles FWD trailer tow package.
Just to share experience with 2008, and poor electrical system connector performance...
1. Bad airbag diagnostic intermittent, self clearing, finally traced to moving drivers seat back & forth. Reseat yellow connector at front of seat below, often good for a year if you don't move the seat around too much.
2. Years ago, all instrument gauges inoperative. Brought into dealer, they couldn't find anything, but the gauges all started working again.
3. Summer 2016 Driving along at 10PM on dark Route 29 between Charlotte & Lynchburg VA, all the gauges go down & dark, looks like I shut the car off at 60mph, but everything kept going, within 30-40 nervous seconds, it all came back, and has never done this again. No bumps, no jars, no unusual temperature extremes, just nothing.
4. Driving at 30mph in this past summer in Kentucky, charging system stopped working, battery starts running down. Within 30-40 seconds, after forcing daytime running lights off, the charging circuit comes back on, but at higher than normal level. Bought a battery as a portable jump start just in case I needed a start for the next morning. After stop & start engine, charge system back to normal, until last week, alternator failed finally solid over the course of 4 hours. The alternator has a 4 step temperature compensated battery condition monitored charging mode, set by ECM, to improve battery life and conserve fuel, lowering charge voltage if headlights are not needed, for instance.
If the ECM system fails, the alternator will fall back to conventional fixed rate charge 14.3 volts is what it looked like.
Still have factory battery, is in good shape, attribute it to the multi-level charging system built into the alternator, plus battery not in hot engine compartment. No indication of loss of battery capacity still.
 

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Thanks for the reply! It's good to know that I'm not alone in this fight.... I didn't know this about the alternator - maybe that's why i didn't think it was faulty. I have the Outlook at the dealer right now. So far they're replacing alternator, wires leading from battery to main fuse block, and some module under the dash. I'll post an update when (if!) I get it back to working order again.
 

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My turn. I was driving back home tonight looking at my Odometer at 197787, and as I was approaching I87 from I787 in Albany .Coincidence? My airbag light came on, then the tire pressure monitor light was flashing. Then the message on the display said service airbag and service tire pressure monitor system. Then the radio went out and all dash displays and lights went out.
I turned the headlights off and on a few times, they work. Then after a minute, the instrument panel came back to life, brighter than it ever was, I couldn't dim it. The airbag indicator was on, as well as the security and engine temperature. No gauges worked. The messages showed tire pressure ----, Average fuel economy --- ,trip odometer 302.5, odometer 197,787 for the whole trip of 120 miles. The turn signals worked but no indication or sound. Cruise control worked but no indication on dash. Fog lamps worked but no indication on dash. Heated seats had no indication on the switch that they were on.
I dared not turn the engine off fearing that it wouldn't start up again. I just refueled so I was OK to make it home.
It was quite a long trip with no music or football game. :(
I made it home, odometer still at 197,787. I turned it off and tried to start. The first try it started and stopped. The second try it didn't crank as if it was a dead battery. all lights worked. so it shouldn't be battery.
I let it sit an hour and it started right up , instrument panel went through self test just fine and gauges work. No airbag, temp or security indicators are on.
A little back story. I drive with seat all the way back, my daughter drove on on this trip before this happened and she has seat pretty far up. Also, I change in ski pants in back seat and move drivers seat and back ALL the way up, so the under seat connection may be the issue. Further investigation coming. I just disconnected the seat connection and reconnected it but I have yet to drive it again.
 

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Airbag

All indications are pointing to the under seat airbag connectors. There was a recall back in 2011-2012 where they determined that there was a intermittent high resistance in the connectors. The fix back then was to solder one side of the pins, male or female, the other side was too close to the plastic body to solder. I brought the truck in to have this done.
There was another recall in 2014 to eliminate the connector all together and solder the wires directly, this requires removing the seat bolts and tilting it back to access the wiring. I don't believe I ever received this recall notice, but I found it online.
https://www.lawsonproducts.com/images/content/KRSC_GMTSB14030_AD.pdf

After diagnosis by a coworker with a Snap On tech tool, we saw a varying resistance in the passenger airbag seat loop. I will probably do this repair myself since I fear the dealer will challenge me on it. The soldering must be done with a non electric soldering iron so as not to introduce a voltage on the airbag wire. The tool stated that the instrument panel will be disabled with this condition, this was the first time this happened to me.
On your issues, have you had a service airbag warning or light?
 

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I performed the repair as per recall quoted above. My VIN was not coming up as a vehicle included in recall, so I did it myself. So far so good but only time will tell. I can ask my coworker to bring back his diagonistic tool but everything self tests upon startup and no indicator lights or messages are displayed.
I also had a wet floorboard underneath the foam padding so I need to check the sunroof drain again, or check if the windshield is leaking. I dryed it out and cleared the tube in the fall. The inside fuseblock was not wet so I am optimistic that the electrical problem didn't generate from there.
On another note, I checked my aftermarket catchcan and it had a bit of a milkshake in there, but there was just a film of oil inside the air intake snorkel. The catchcan seems to be doing a good job of preventing the milkshake inside the intake snorkel. I pulled off the PCV barb expecting to see a blockage but it was clear.
 

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Airbag connector

2008 Outlook 174000 miles FWD trailer tow package.
Just to share experience with 2008, and poor electrical system connector performance...
1. Bad airbag diagnostic intermittent, self clearing, finally traced to moving drivers seat back & forth. Reseat yellow connector at front of seat below, often good for a year if you don't move the seat around too much.
2. Years ago, all instrument gauges inoperative. Brought into dealer, they couldn't find anything, but the gauges all started working again.
3. Summer 2016 Driving along at 10PM on dark Route 29 between Charlotte & Lynchburg VA, all the gauges go down & dark, looks like I shut the car off at 60mph, but everything kept going, within 30-40 nervous seconds, it all came back, and has never done this again. No bumps, no jars, no unusual temperature extremes, just nothing.
4. Driving at 30mph in this past summer in Kentucky, charging system stopped working, battery starts running down. Within 30-40 seconds, after forcing daytime running lights off, the charging circuit comes back on, but at higher than normal level. Bought a battery as a portable jump start just in case I needed a start for the next morning. After stop & start engine, charge system back to normal, until last week, alternator failed finally solid over the course of 4 hours. The alternator has a 4 step temperature compensated battery condition monitored charging mode, set by ECM, to improve battery life and conserve fuel, lowering charge voltage if headlights are not needed, for instance.
If the ECM system fails, the alternator will fall back to conventional fixed rate charge 14.3 volts is what it looked like.
Still have factory battery, is in good shape, attribute it to the multi-level charging system built into the alternator, plus battery not in hot engine compartment. No indication of loss of battery capacity still.
The snap-on diagonostic tool stated a unstable resistance in my passenger seat airbag loop, it also displayed that the instrument panel can be disabled by this condition. I had just been a passenger and moved the seat all the way back and reclined it as my daughter drove. I also had a lot of moisture under the carpet which could have contributed.
 
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