Truck freaking out? Power cycle it.

About 5 days ago the brake light starts flashing 8 shorts then one long. Two days later, the wipers start cycling on the longest delay setting whilst in the off position. It's an 88 so its got other issues
as well (gas guage always full, oil pressure reading at max), but some things just get on your nerves. So I get this wild idea that since the truck has a computer and my Winblows computers always need power cycling to clear out ghost processes, why is a Chevy any diff? I yank the fuses for the wipers and the one to the brake system, wait a minute, then stick 'em back in. Wipers work fine and the brake light does too. Wonder if GM and Microsoft are in cahoots?
Rockfish--
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rockfish wrote:

    Those Functions have nothing to do with the Computer Circuit in any 1988 GM vehicle.
They only stuff the computer controls:     1.Spark Timing; 1A.Retard or Advancement from base timing (ESC or Electronic Spark Control).
1B. Spark Mapping; 1B-1. The Amount of Spark Energy Delivered. 1B-2. Duration of Spark. 1B-3. ESC Functions.    
    2.Fuel Flow Thru; 2A. Fuel Mapping software: which goes from these readings; 2A-1. Spark Mapping. 2A-2. Oxygen Sensor Readings (rich/lean). 2A-3. Open Loop vs Closed Loop (based off engine temperature). 2A-4. Throttle Position.      2B. Fuel Mixture; Also part of Fuel Mapping. 2B-1. Engine temperature. 2B-2. Engine RPM. 2B-3. Exhaust Oxygen Levels measured Via the Oxygen Sensor. 2B-4. Open Loop vs Closed Loop.
    On Some 1988 GM Vehicles the ECM (Engine Control Module) may also determine, power on or off, or control:     Electronic Cooling fan Functions (1994 Cavalier 2.2's have this)     Torque Converter Clutch Lock/Unlock.     EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) (Have seen post 91 3.1 V6 FWD apps like this)     
    When someone has Replaced the E-prom or Reprogrammed a ECM: They have only changed the Fuel and Spark mapping, as well as possibly cooling fan operations on OBD-1 ECMs. On OBD-2 They may have changed Electronic Speedometer Calibrations, Fuel & Spark Mapping, Cooling Fan on/off Temps, Transmission Line Pressures (automatics only) and some emissions functions.
    GM ECMs do NOT use any sort of Disk Operating System (MS D.O.S. which Windows has to have to operate), or any sort of other Interface protocol such us UNIX or derivatives of UNIX (Free BSD,Red Hat, Lixus, et-al). It is Simple Binary Functions. On & Off (1=on, 0= Off).
    As to your Problem, it's somewhere in the Dashboard Wiring harness or at the fuse block. Get a Diagram, a Test Lamp, a Multi-meter, and a Factory Service Manual that tells you what the readings should be. Charles          
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Charles Bendig wrote:

It's very possible that since the OP "yanked" the fuses, he jiggled wires which improved a connection or broke a contamination induced short. The 'fix' may be temporary.
Lena
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Lena wrote:

OP?
Rockfish --
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rockfish wrote:

OP = original poster
Lena
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Charles Bendig wrote:

Thanks for the info on what a computer really controls. An excellent synopsis of ECM functionality. As computers go, and you pointed out, its pretty rudimentary. I've had this truck since new and had the set of manuals since then too. I don't want you to think this was like intense scientific troubleshooting or anything. With over 20 years experience in electronics and digital systems, that would be sort of foolish. This little episode fall under "things that make you say "huh"? If you are a long way from the shop and things start going haywire, you improvise. In these two cases, it worked. YMMV. btw, neither symptom has recurred . . . yet.
My gas guage still reads full all the time so I'll look for a fault in that circuit eventually. The guage always reading full is due to an open (infinite resistance to ground) in the circuit. Probably some corrosion in the ground or a loose wire due to the recent replacement of the fuel pump, requiring removal of the tank. I mean really, with the price of gas is it a bad thing to see it sitting on full? Yeah, I know. It sux to be on the side of the road out of fuel.
The oil pressure guage always reading max is due to an open (infinite resistance to ground) in the circuit. The sending unit has failed and provides no resistance to ground so if it is connected, it reads zero pressure. Personal preference is to look at max pressure rather than zero until I get it fixed so the lead is hanging next to the sender. Real pain that thing is to get to. About due for an oil change so I'll be in the vicinity. Might git 'er done this weekend. Might not.
Rockfish --
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rockfish wrote:

Doggone it! That's the problem with putting stuff on a ng. I start to feel like I have to do something!
So today I replaced the oil pressure sending unit. There is something to be said for lookgin at an accurate reading and it's working fine now.
I spent a little time with the fuel sender, cleaned the connections and ground lug per the manual. According to their testing protocol, I still have an open circuit. argh
Went throught the car wash and turned on the wipers again. Now they are misbehaving again. . . . on the longest mist cycle even when off. Fuse now out again.
At least I have clean oil and filter and reliable oil pressure reading.
Rockfish--
PS: The front of the tranny and all is covered in oil. Don't tell me. Main rear seal?
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rockfish wrote:

    Your cluster is probably junk AS WELL AS your Dash Harrness. Commen Problem on 10 to 20 year old S-Trucks.
    Yet anyone who would think a OBD ssytem would run windows doesn't know jack about cars. Charles
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