We have had a 97 Lumina for over a year. We recently acquired a 96 LS model
with less miles for cheap because it needs a new turn signal switch. The
only things the LS has that the other doesn't is the obvious floor mounted
shifter, ABS, tach cluster, dual zone temp controls, and an electric trunk
release button. Both are the 3100 engine.
My question is that the 97's power windows work with the key in the run or
accessory positions while 96's only work in run. Is there any way to make
the 96 work in both positions and why would there be such a difference
between years in the first place?
This sounds like an ignition switch problem. The ignition switch makes the
connections for accessories such as power windows, while enabling
functioning in either the RUN or ACC mode.
In many cars, the ignition switch is not near the ignition key . It is in
mounted low on the steering column. The ignition key pushes a rod
actuates the switch.
Locate the switch package and replace it.