Question about Buick LeSabre

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I have a 1994 Buick LeSabre. The engine turns over when the ignition key is turned. However, the check engin light rapidly flickers and a relay that is located behind the glove box chatters in sync with the check engine light. If I remove the relay, the check light still flickers without the relay chattering.

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  • 2 more comments 
  • tonynichols May 11, 2010

    Where is the Body Control Module located. I can't seem to find any reference to it on the internet.

  • tonynichols May 11, 2010

    Also, could you recomend a good repair manual? I have looked at several and most seem to have a little bit about everything, but not much detail about anything.

  • tonynichols May 11, 2010

    This happened once before, and I heard the relay clicking behind the glovebox. After feeling around looking for the cause of the clicking, it suddenly quit and the car cranked. However, it did not crank while the relay was clicking or the Check light was flickering.

    The car ran normally for a month or so and now the same problem has happened again. However, I have wiggled lots of stuff in and around the glove box and have not wiggled the right thing. The car is parked on the side of the road about 20 miles from home, so I will have to try your suggestions tomorrow morning.

    I am just trying to gain as much knowledge before I drive back out there to attempt to work on it again.

    In answer to your question, the car won't start. I don't think it is getting fire to the plugs

  • tonynichols May 12, 2010

    Yes, Blueextc3221 was right on the money and his guidance helped me get this car back on the road to recovery.

    Tony Nichols



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Unplug/replug the vehicle's Body Control Module.

It seems the plug has a bad connection/has come loose.

Repost your findings.


Posted on May 11, 2010

  • 10 more comments 
  • blueextc3221
    blueextc3221 May 11, 2010

    Without the vehicle, or repair manual in front of me - the 3 most common locations are passenger side kick panel, behind glovebox, and under passenger seat. Usually AWAY from any fuse panels or wiring mass.

    I'll see if i can come up with something more exact for you.

  • blueextc3221
    blueextc3221 May 11, 2010

    I had a '96 back in the day, and it was behind the glovebox - plugs facing down. (poor gravitational design) :)

  • blueextc3221
    blueextc3221 May 11, 2010

    Haynes does a total teardown and rebuild of their models.

    CLICK HERE to see the one for your vehicle.


  • blueextc3221
    blueextc3221 May 11, 2010

    does your key have a chip in it?

    Does the vehicle start with the relay in question removed?

  • blueextc3221
    blueextc3221 May 11, 2010

    It may be the BCM itself. There are built - in relays that like to give out at the most inopportune times.

    There are also issues with cold solder joints... the solder cracks and then the component releases from the board - only slightly making contact (if at all). It can also make a clicking sound when the contacts continuously make and break.

    Good Luck!!

  • tonynichols May 11, 2010

    Well................I am back at the car and have my computer with me on site. I wiggled wires around behind the glove box and low and behold, the check engine light quit flickering. The car started right up but was sputtering and not running smoothly. I ran the engine for about 2 minutes and then it went dead. The check engine light is chattering again.

    I am not sure which device is the body control module. There is a large alluminum box that has three connectors and looks like the main computer for the car. There is also a smaller (3" x 6") box that has a connector on each end.

    The larger alluminum box looks like it would be a pain to take out. None of the connectors look easy to disconnect.

    The relay that is chattering is the fuel pump relay.

    Any ideas come to mind?

  • tonynichols May 11, 2010

    I forgot to mention that the car key does have a chip in it.

  • blueextc3221
    blueextc3221 May 11, 2010

    do you have a backup key to try?

    The big "ALUMINUM LOOKING BOX" is the BCM.

    Make sure all the connections are tight - unplug and re-plug.

    If the fuel pump relay is faulty - it will cause the pump to fail with the pulsing voltage. Replace the relay with any other known good one, and re-try.

    This would be the cause of the poor running - and I suspect the BCM has failed. Call around to some local junkyeards. Many will have one and allow you to swap the BCM for free to see if yours is indeed faulty without going through the expensive dealer testing.

    If the "Security" lamp is illuminated on the dash - the VATS system is malfunctioning. Probably not if there is no light indicated.


  • blueextc3221
    blueextc3221 May 11, 2010

    I would also venture to say the BCM, indeed, does have a/some cracked solder joints - as when it heats up (in a few minutes) the car died. (connection separated with thermal expansion).

    Give the junkyard a call.

  • tonynichols May 11, 2010


    I took the BCM out and looked it over. I also swapped the fuel pump relay with a different one (same result)

    The Security light is on all the time. Could this also cause this problem and if so, could it be a connection issue that might also be wiggled.

    That BCM has a lot of miniature components and would be difficult to check all the solder joints. Swapping sounds like a reasonable idea if I can find a junkyard that has one.

  • blueextc3221
    blueextc3221 May 11, 2010

    Do you have a second key to try in the ignition?

  • tonynichols May 12, 2010

    I visited a junkyard and got a replacement BCM for $57. After install, the car cranked right up and seems to be running ok but idling rough and occasionally stalling. However, at least the main problem seems to be solved. I can now drive it to the shop and have an engine computer analysis to see what other issues the engine has. (Check light is still on)

    I wish my OBD tester would work for this car. However, it seems to be caught between upgrades by GM and will not work with my tester.

    Thanks for your help. You were right on the money.

    PS It also looks like I need to get some new keys because sometimes the security light stays on and sometimes it goes out.



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