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Ryguy92503

1989 Buick reatta problems?

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Hello I'm 19 years old and I just bought my first car, a 1989 Buick reatta! I'm trying to fix some things on it and I do not know what I need to replace... The car exterior lights will not shut off. I even take the key out and the lights on the exterior are still on so I have to take out the fuze dealing with the lights. My dad said something about a left switch assembly but I can't find it anywhere on the Internet. What do I need to replace to fix the exterior lights? And the computer keeps popping up talking about electrical problems, I don't know if I need to reset the computer or how to find out what electrical part of the car needs to be replaced.... If anyone can help me I would GREATLY appreciate it! I love this car and can't wait to fix it! Thanks

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Ryguy92503,

Welcome to the AACA Discussion Forum.]

I have moved your post to the Reatta Forum. I am sure someone here can help you.

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Welcome to the forum!

Do your lights not turn off? Or just not fold down?

If they just don't turn off, it's probably your headlight switch. I have several in stock, shoot me an email (address below) or call me and we can discuss. :)

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Welcome to the Reatta forum Ryguy92503!

First some websites you need to bookmark and refer to often:

Reatta Data Page this site has much information on the Teves braking system, and online Field Service Manuals for your car. Register for access to the FSM.

Buick Reatta Repair Tips and Information - ReattaOwner.com known as Ronnie's site has tons of formation on how to repair your Reatta as well as part numbers, sources etc.

Those will get you started, but there are more as you will find out.

Your light problem is a common problem with the Left Pod Switch Assembly better know as the headlight switch. You will need to obtain another one. Here's a link to a discussion about that very switch.

http://forums.aaca.org/f116/what-goes-bad-1989-headlight-switch-321866.html

What you may not realize yet is you car has more computers that the original space shuttle when it was first made. All the electronics need good clean power to operate properly. Your electrical problems warnings may just be a power problem. First step is to clean the battery cable connections and make sure they are tight. Then clean the common power point and ground posts in the engine compartment. The power post is behind the battery under the red cover. There is a ground point nearby it just in front of the overflow tank. Another one is on the upper radiator support bar behind the passenger side headlight. The third on is on the rear cylinder head near the PCV valve between the alternator pulley and the power steering pulley.

Once you get those in good order, learn how to use the onboard diagnostics to find and solve any other issues you have.

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And it's not just the headlights it's also the back lights... So do I need to replace those switches too?

The headlight switch pod controls all those lights. Swapping it should fix your problem.

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NO, the headlight switch controls all the exterior lights except the brake lights, the panel light dimming, one method of operating the courtesy lights, the cruise control power and hazard lights all in one assembly.

Your switch is not turning off probably due to wear inside or stuck contacts.

Suggest you get a good tested spare from one of the vendors on this site, and then have your current one repaired to have on hand as a spare.

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Actually his says electrical problem which is usually in the ipc if I remember right. I know the headlight switch he has is going to be bad but don't eliminate the possibility of a fried or melted connector. That can lead to very many issues with lights cruise and hazards. It's a common problem on all gm headlights switches. Mine was fried when I got my 89.

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Just check your codes.

Hit the hard "Climate button on the top far left of the screen and go into the "Climate" screen.

Press the "Off" and "warm" buttons simultaneously. Hold until the. "service engine soon" light starts flashing on your instrument panel. From there, you will have codes popping up on your screen. Have a pen ready so you can write them down (they move fast).

You'll get codes that look somewhat like this:

E027H.

"E" indicates that the ECM (Engine Control Module) is throwing a code. There are also "B" codes (for the Body Control Module) and "C" codes for the CRT and stuff.

027 (or any other number) is the code number. This is the computer telling you what's wrong.

The last letter will either be "H" or "C". H is indicating its a history code (not a current problem) and "C" means current (it's happening right then).

Check the codes and post them here. :)

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I just did that and these are the codes that came up

E041 current

E041 history

B132 history

B552 history

B420 current

C553 history

ECM?

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Welcome to the forum.

...And the computer keeps popping up talking about electrical problems, I don't know if I need to reset the computer or how to find out what electrical part of the car needs to be replaced....
I agree with the others about the headlight switch being the source of your light problems.

To find out what your computer is trying to tell you check for codes stored in the computer by following the procedure in the link below. Write down the codes you find stored in the computer and post them here. Be detailed about what you find. The more info you provide the easier it is to help you diagnose your problems.

How To Access Trouble Codes - '88 & '89 Models*-*ReattaOwner.com

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Wow! You guys are good. You followed my instructions while I was writing them. lol

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I just did that and these are the codes that came up

E041 current

E041 history

B132 history

B552 history

B420 current

C553 history

ECM?

B420 is indicating you have a relay problem. Maybe MC Reatta has some input here?

Here's the BCM code chart: http://reattaowner.com/roj/bcm-crt-diagnostic-codes.html

And the E041 is indicating a problem with your camshaft position sensor. Have you had any problems starting the car, or it cutting off?

ECM codes can be found here: http://reattaowner.com/roj/ecm-diagnostic-codes.html

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B420, Hi/Lo beam circuit may be the reason your headlight are stuck on. I would change it before buying a new switch. But, the switch could be causing the B420 code.

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Wow, an awful lot of writing about a bad headlight switch.

I have had a lot of experience with these problems and it is the headlight switch module.

The two most common parts to go bad in the '88-89 Reattas is the headlight switch module and the CRT/touch screen.

Headlight switches are the one part I do not recommend buying on Ebay or from anyone that has not thoroughly tested it in an operational car.

Multiple problems can come from this switch and one of the common problems is the lights not turning off.

On thing you can try instead of simply pushing the headlight switch button, sort of punch at it with your finger and particularly punch at the parking light switch button. This will be a temporary way of getting the lights to shut off but the switch will need to be replaced.

I have a good tested and appearing headlight switch module for $ 65 exchange plus $ 6 for Priority Mail shipping.

Edited by Jim (see edit history)

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Thanks everyone! I have had no problem starting the car the person I bought it from was restoring the car and put a new engine in it. But as for the history codes how do I delete them? And I was just testing the locks and they didn't seem to work but I locked the passenger door and I opened it and the alarm went off.... I then rushed into the driver seat to start the car and stop the alarm but the car wouldn't start.... I had to take the battery out and put it back in..... How do I shut the car alarm off if it starts without having to take the battery out? Thanks EVERYONE for their help it's helping me greatly!

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Wow, an awful lot of writing about a bad headlight switch.
Jim, writing on the forum about a problem is about all most of us on here can do. We don't have anything to sell to fix the problem so trying to help diagnose the problem is the best we can do. :)

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Thanks everyone! I have had no problem starting the car the person I bought it from was restoring the car and put a new engine in it. But as for the history codes how do I delete them? And I was just testing the locks and they didn't seem to work but I locked the passenger door and I opened it and the alarm went off.... I then rushed into the driver seat to start the car and stop the alarm but the car wouldn't start.... I had to take the battery out and put it back in..... How do I shut the car alarm off if it starts without having to take the battery out? Thanks EVERYONE for their help it's helping me greatly!
You would be better off starting a new topic about that problem. It probably involves door switches and wire splices and can get complicated. Much of the info you need about both can be found on my website but I will save my comments for a new topic.

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To disarm the alarm once triggered, go to either door, and using the key, turn the lock cylinder to the unlock position. Unless there is a problem with the lock cylinder itself, this will silence and disarm the alarm.

Not positive, but I do not think that hitting the unlock button on the keyless remote will disarm the security system once it has been triggered.

KDirk

Edited by KDirk (see edit history)

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Alright thanks! So I'm gunna need to fix the camshaft position sensor and the headlight switch and maybe a relay switch. Now the only lights that stay on are my parking lights my headlights are in the down position. So is it another switch other than the headlight switch?

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