Lights off for 30 secs

As usual, I turned on the car this morning but all the lights were off, including the ones in the instrument panel and the headlights. However, I could shift gears into D/R and the car could
move. After roughly 30 seconds, the lights went on as if there was no electricity for the first 30 seconds.
I drove about 10 KMs after this happened, shutdown the engine for about 5 min and attempted to turn it back on. Again, this problem occurred. Then I drove around 30 KMs on highway to my work.
Strangely, when I turned the car on after off work in the evening, the problem went away by itself.
Does anyone have any idea why my car went crazy this morning? TIA.
Chevy Malibu 2003 w/ 71, 000 KMs.
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Peter Wu
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Sounds like a problem with the body control module. Sometimes they go crazy and then work normally for awhile but eventually, it will fail completely.
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Lights off for 30 secs Group: alt.autos.gm Date: Tue, Oct 17, 2006, 9:15pm From: snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (PeterWu) As usual, I turned on the car this morning but all the lights were off, including the ones in the instrument panel and the headlights. However, I could shift gears into D/R and the car could move. After roughly 30 seconds, the lights went on as if there was no electricity for the first 30 seconds. I drove about 10 KMs after this happened, shutdown the engine for about 5 min and attempted to turn it back on. Again, this problem occurred. Then I drove around 30 KMs on highway to my work. Strangely, when I turned the car on after off work in the evening, the problem went away by itself. Does anyone have any idea why my car went crazy this morning? TIA. Chevy Malibu 2003 w/ 71, 000 KMs.
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Peter Wu
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On Wed, 18 Oct 2006 01:45:25 -0400, Rich B wrote:

I did a code read this afternoon and everything seemed OK.
Is it expensive to repair the BCM?
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the relay under the hood might be going bad
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the relay under the hood might be going bad
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On 18 Oct 2006 09:34:20 -0700, "grant10820" wrote:

Thanks for the hint. I'll check that.
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When you say the lights on your instrument panel were off, do you mean the backlights, or the 'ABS' 'SEATBELT' and whatever lights? If you meant the back lights, that is normal. Your headlights shouldn't come on full unless it is dark outside. Same goes for your instrument cluster lights.
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80 Knight wrote:

If you meant that the digital dash cluster was off, it could be that the sensor had activated the lights (thus the digital cluster went dim or out). Try adjusting the dash level control for higher brightness next time it happens.
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On Wed, 18 Oct 2006 21:39:19 -0400, jcr wrote:

By "lights off", I mean the car was completely dark. :)
I started my car inside my garage, which was dark enough to trigger the headlights. More importantly, it was the first time I saw this problem since I owned it 3 years ago. I'm pretty sure that it was abnormal. :)

Actually, I did try tuning up the brightness that morning but as the whole car was like running out of electricity, that didn't help. Anything that needs electricity seemed not functioning. The radio was off and I couldn't turn it on; The light on the transmission, the one that indicates which gear you're in, was off, too.
After 30 seconds, everything came back to life. That time, I was only a few inches away from the spot where I turned on the engine as I attempted to see if the car could move under this condition.
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wrote in message

Ok. So, you actually started the car? The engine was running, but none of the car's functions (radio, headlights, ect) were working? Is this correct?

This seems very odd. Usually when nothing on the car works, the starter doesn't work either..hmm.

What do you mean here? Was the engine running when the lights came back on? How did this all take place? Did you start the car, and then notice the headlights weren't working, and they waited 30 seconds (with the car still running) and the lights came on? Or was the engine not running? Give me some more info, and I will do my best to help.
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On Thu, 19 Oct 2006 00:58:54 -0400, "80 Knight" wrote:

Yes, this is correct. The engine was running and I was able to shift gears. Mine is an auto transmission, btw.

The engine was running OK before and after the lights came back on.

Your understanding is correct.
I started the engine as usual and noticed that nothing was on. Then I noticed no headlights as they should be on. Then I was curious to see if the radio could work. And, no, it couldn't. Finally, I tried to shift the gear from P to R, released the brake, and the car was backing up as usual.
After I backed up a few inches, I stopped the car as I didn't want to damage my car. :) Then I shift the gear to D and returned roughly to the starting spot where the car was parked over night.
Another thing I forgot to mention is that the gas indicator, the yellow one, was ON that time and the pointer was pointing at Empty. But, I'm positive that there was plenty of gas in the tank, should be around 3/4 tank.
After the 30 seconds, the electricity came back, and I noticed that the gas pointer was functioning correctly and the gas indicator light went off as it should.
I didn't try turning on the dome lamp and cannot recall if the entry/exiting lighting was functioning as I was busy trying what I did above. :)

It was always running without any abnormal sound.

After I got off work and before I started the car that day, I checked the battery and it looked good to me.
Thank you very much! :)
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I vote an ignition switch problem...
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