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Old 07-26-2011, 04:51 PM   #1
showtime757
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Default BCM Failing on 2003 L300 V6

Hey everyone, just registered here but I have been reading through topics on this forum for a few weeks due to an issue I'm having on a Saturn L300. I was hoping someone here could give me some good advice.

The symptoms started with the check engine and service lights randomly coming on and off, and sometimes turning themselves back off on their own while driving. A computer reading showed that we had 2 bad O2 sensors (both upstream) and multiple misfiring. Well we changed both sensors, and it cleared. The car was recently tuned up, but I have a feeling the mechanic screwed up on the spark plugs which is why we're getting the misfire. The car sometimes doesn't pick up speed normally, which could be due to the misfire.

Now for the good stuff... The car's dashboard gauges and lights (all of them), internal lights, headlights and automatic locks, sometimes do not work when the engine is started. That's if the engine starts at all. I've found that the engine will start fine and everything will turn on as long as it's night time or it's cool outside. But in the middle of the day on a hot day, there's no chance. I might be able to get the engine started, but the gauges on the dashboard and everything else mentioned above won't come on. This keeps me from being able to put the car in drive. While driving at night, the headlights and internal lights and gauges sometimes reset, causing them to flicker. And the security light on the dashboard is almost always on. Oh, and sometimes the gas gauge reads incorrectly.

We took it to a local auto electric shop, and they said the BCM is failing and quoted about $900 to fix everything... Wait, what? NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS? Obviously, now I'm looking for a cheap fix. I'd like to just be able to order the part and have somebody I know change it, but nobody seems to carry them, and I'm unsure which part to get even if I did find it. Any information or advice here would be greatly appreciated. I see a lot of you have similar issues, and I just wonder if anyone has some good advice on how to go about getting this car fixed at an affordable price without having to refinance or taking other drastic measures. Thanks in advance!

Josh

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Old 07-27-2011, 07:00 AM   #2
walt848
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: BCM Failing on 2003 L300 V6

Nine hundred bucks to replace the BCM is nuts! I have an 02 L200 and can get a replacement BCM (new) on line for about $252.00 total. If your BCM is located at the same place mine is, it is fairly easy to take out. Mine is sitting on top of the glove compartment box. I just took mine out to have an easier access to the area I needed to get to. I had it out in less than 30 minutes because I'm slow! I would suggest that you remove the BCM box yourself and save BIG bucks. The glove compartment box is only held in place by few screws. I Would make sure that the vehicle is "at" the place that will do the programming for you when you make the switch. Unplug the old one, plug in the new one and program it while "at" the place. Where I live in NC, any GM dealer will do the programming for about $75 (1 hours worth of labor) "IF" I do the removeal of the old BCM and install the new one. Hope this helps you make a decision on who will do all the work, etc. You should be able to do everything for less than $400.00 I'd t hink. That's a LONG way from that $900.00 quote you wee given.

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Old 07-27-2011, 10:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: BCM Failing on 2003 L300 V6

Thanks! I'm pretty sure it's located at the same place. I will have to take a look at it and get the part number, but the BCMs I've found online so far are no more than $150. Hopefully this fixes it. But is there anything I should check before buying a new BCM?

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Old 08-03-2011, 08:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: BCM Failing on 2003 L300 V6

A Saturn dealer years back quoted me about $700 for new computer and programming. I bought a OEM new Saturn L300 computer off ebay for $40 (probably 'hot'), and they did installation and programming for $135.

Unfortunately, a dealer will need to flash the memory on the computer.

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Old 08-03-2011, 08:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: BCM Failing on 2003 L300 V6

Quote:
Originally Posted by showtime757 View Post
Thanks! I'm pretty sure it's located at the same place. I will have to take a look at it and get the part number, but the BCMs I've found online so far are no more than $150. Hopefully this fixes it. But is there anything I should check before buying a new BCM?
You would be very fortunate to find a new bcm for that price unless its a used one.

Used bcm's cannot have their mileage changed, period. In addition to mileage retained on used bcm's, only GM can program your remote(s) to the used bcm otherwise you'll have no remote function. If you go this route you'll have to perform a relearn routine to marry the used bcm to your car. The 30-minute procedures are posted around with a search.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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Old 08-03-2011, 11:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: BCM Failing on 2003 L300 V6

Just had the BCM go out on my 2001 L300 V6. What a fiasco that was!!! I took the car to my mechanic and they quoted about $770 with tax to replace the BCM (OEM dealer part $440) and program it. Well after about 5 weeks of waiting and going thru three different nasty loaner cars, I finally got the car back.

After my mechanic couldn't seem to fix it, they sent it to a Chevy Dealer(Bankston Chevy Fort Worth, TX). It turns out that GM's software is messed up and the dealer had the same issues as my original mechanic. Their own software apparently killed 3 brand new OEM BCM's. So they actually had to get one pre-programmed from Detroit and send it out. Needless to say I'm just glad to have my car back. But now the A/C is starting to act up and we're having 110 degree days here in TX! Could this still be related to the BCM??

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Old 08-03-2011, 11:36 AM   #7
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Default Re: BCM Failing on 2003 L300 V6

Uhh, no. The a/c is a totally separate issue. Expect a leak to be the main issue and if this is the first time for a/c problems then count this as exceptionally good service.

If the service valve caps are loose or missing their O-rings, a slow leak can cause loss of cooling. Dye was added at the factory and is greenish yellow, glows nicely in the shade and illuminates with a small uv light at night to find the source of a leak. 98% of the system is in the engine area and the remaining 2% are the evaporator coils and expansion valve in the HVAC box behind the firewall. Inspect the entire system otherwise a typical shop may simply say you'll need a compre$$or for no good reason other than to take advantage of ignorance. Many members post this as a typical diagnosis when its never a compressor. Its just a money maker for unscrupulous a/c shops. Half the troubleshooting is accepting that a leak has caused failure of cooling and find the source before deciding which way to proceed; repair it yourself completely or replace the faulty parts and leave the technical refrigeration work to a shop with all the equipment.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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Old 08-03-2011, 12:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: BCM Failing on 2003 L300 V6

fdryer,

Thanks for the quick response! When I originally got the car back from the dealer who replaced the bcm, they forgot to program the remotes. So up until I took it back (yesterday) the A/C was working great. Including the drive home from the dealer. There's no way that they could have re-programmed or erased the compressor control? Obviously I'm not positive that the BCM controls the A/C.

One other possible cause: the A/C fan control switch inside the vehicle is starting to go bad. When you turn it all the way to max it sometimes loses the connection and the fan will go off unless you push the switch hard so it will stay engaged. It does not do that on settings 1-3. Could that be a possible cause? Thanks for your replies.

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Old 08-03-2011, 01:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: BCM Failing on 2003 L300 V6

The automatic climate control head has failed on early L-series cars too and you may have a point. Basically when a/c is requested through the HVAC control panel, a signal is sent to the bcm that goes to the ecm to turn on the compressor. This signal is just a command so the bcm can track any a/c problems for diagnostic errors. It should not be a factor with loss of cooling. The fan control switch doesn't affect compressor ON/OFF power switching as this is done by the ecm. While automated climate controls can affect a/c operation, they're usually reliable. Seeing the a/c indicator LED and hearing the compressor metallic 'click' should mean the a/c is operating. No metallic 'click' with the a/c LED on would mean loss of refrigerant because a pressure sensor can determine excessive high or low pressure to disable the compressor to protect it and the system from damage.

Turn on the a/c and listen for the metallic click as an aural indication that the compressor is running or look at the center portion of the compressor pulley. If the center is turning then the compressor is running. If the center of the pulley isn't turning then loss of refrigerant (leak) triggered the pressure sensor to disable the compressor until repairs are made.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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Old 08-03-2011, 08:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: BCM Failing on 2003 L300 V6

Still no luck finding a new BCM... Anyone know where to find one at a decent price? If I could just find this damn part I'd be in good shape but Google and ebay are not coming up with anything.

Also, anyone have any ideas as to why the car doesn't want to start when it's hot outside?

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Old 08-03-2011, 08:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: BCM Failing on 2003 L300 V6

After you go through all the fuses, there's still the issue of spark and fuel to check. Fuel is easier to check, by the fuel rail test valve when ignition is ON. Either a fuel pressure gauge is attached to check pressure or depressing the valve stem and expecting a spray of fuel. The pump runs for 2-3 seconds and shuts off automatically unless the engine is running. Spark is difficult to test for but the main component that has a direct bearing on ignition is the crank position sensor (CPS). Next to the oil filter. Measuring the resistance at room temperature, immersed in boiling water, and rapping it against the table a few times will duplicate heat, cold, and vibration to induce failure by opening the resistance circuit. 700-1200 ohms should be measured in all three conditions and any one reading resulting in an open circuit means a faulty cps.

Search for how a cps works.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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Old 08-05-2011, 10:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: BCM Failing on 2003 L300 V6

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Originally Posted by showtime757 View Post
Still no luck finding a new BCM... Anyone know where to find one at a decent price? If I could just find this damn part I'd be in good shape but Google and ebay are not coming up with anything.

Also, anyone have any ideas as to why the car doesn't want to start when it's hot outside?
partswebsite.com has one for $257.55, new I guess.

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