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Why do my gauges go nuts when the key is taken out of the ignition? Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   djfirebird93 

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 05:45 PM

I have noticed that when I turn the car completely off and take the key out of the ignition, the temp gauge goes anywhere and everywhere across the range, the oil always goes to 45 the volts go to 0 and stay there, and the fuel gauge goes directly to half. As soon as the key is in the ignition, they go back to where they're supposed to be. Why is that?
My bird is a working progress. New Marshall engine-forged pistons, upgraded rockers and stronger rods/bearings. Rebuilt transmission. New LSD. I wish money grew on trees :)
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#2 User is offline   1993TransAm 

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 06:04 PM

Do you mean you put the key back in the ignition but don't turn it on?

If the ignition cylinder is in the "off" position, none of those things should be happening.

Are you having lots of electrical problems with this car?
"Simon, you finally moved on from those punk-a** V6s and turbo 4-cylinder cars." -- Mike R.
THERE IS NO REPLACEMENT FOR DISPLACEMENT.
1993 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am..."Abygail"...Black...5.7L LT1 OHV V8...4L60
U1A CD player, '02 Firebird Monsoon Amplifier (12 speakers!), HUD, '91 Grand Prix UK3/NP5 steering wheel, SiriusXM, etc.
1992 Pontiac Richard Petty Special Edition Grand Prix SE..."Robbyn"...Neon Blue Metallic...3.4L LQ1 DOHC V6...4T60E
UB3 digital cluster, UP3 CD player, 10-disc changer, DIC, HUD, AQ9s, SGS switch, Firebird Monsoon amplifier (10 speakers!), etc.
1995 Pontiac Grand Am SE..."Missy"...Bright Aqua Metallic...3.1L L82 OHV V6...4T60E
Pontiac Firebird UW2 amplifier, sail panel tweeters (8 speakers), UP3 CD player, GT tail lights, GT exhaust, etc.
1992 Oldsmobile Toronado Troféo..."Norma"...Light Driftwood Metallic...3.8L L27 OHV V6...4T60E
Delco cassette player, Remote CD player, Olds Alero UQ3 amplifier coming???
1992 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme SL..."Stormi"...Bright Red...3.1L LH0 OHV V6...4T60
UB3 digital cluster, UQ3 amplifier, Audio Bass Control slider, U1C CD player, Driver Information System, leather AQ9s, etc.

1992 Buick Riviera..."Josephine"...Sapphire Blue Firemist...3.8L L27 OHV V6...4T60E
Delco cassette player, Remote CD player, Buick Century Monsoon amplifier coming???

1988 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz..."Emma"...White...4.5L LR6 OHV V8...440-T4
Delco/Bose Gold Series CD player!!!!! N-Body Monsoon configuration in the works...gonna bang!
1993 Chevrolet Lumina Z34..."Summer"...Medium Maui Blue Metallic...3.4L LQ1 DOHC V6...4T60E
Not pictured - Delco CD player, Chevy Camaro Monsoon amp coming???

WANTED: 1990 CHEVROLET BERETTA INDY - Know anyone who has one? Let me know! Let them know!
"NERDS? I MAKE NERDS JEALOUS. NERDS THINK ABOUT THE THINGS THAT I DO."
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#3 User is offline   djfirebird93 

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 06:24 PM

Well, as soon as i turn it the tiniest bit, they go back to 0 values, until the ignition is turned fully "on" then the gauges act normal, except the fuel gauge, which has never worked right. Yes, I have noticed a few. The BCM for the radio and windows....i already resoldered it. I have noticed that when the key is completely out of the ignition the fuel gauge will litterally move all over, from empty, to full, back down to half, but it moves VERY slowly. The driver side park lamp (the yellow light) will go out when the ignition is on, but car the engine is off. The bulb is fine though.

This post has been edited by djfirebird93: 28 April 2011 - 06:25 PM

My bird is a working progress. New Marshall engine-forged pistons, upgraded rockers and stronger rods/bearings. Rebuilt transmission. New LSD. I wish money grew on trees :)
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#4 User is offline   1993TransAm 

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 10:15 AM

If the "behavior" you are describing occurs when you turn your key from "on" to "off" and from "off" to "on," that is normal. Temperature, oil pressure, and fuel gauges are essentially ohmmeters (they read resistance values to ground). When the ignition switch is in the "off" position, the cluster has no voltage, therefore, the ohmmeter style gauges are not functioning. It is normal for the needles to rest toward the center of the gauge range. The voltmeter is a solenoid voltmeter. The needle has a magnet attached to its base that normalizes a zero reading in the absence of voltage. As the voltage increases, an electromagnetic field forces the magnet over to reflect higher readings on the gauge range. Nothing you described sounds unusual to me.
"Simon, you finally moved on from those punk-a** V6s and turbo 4-cylinder cars." -- Mike R.
THERE IS NO REPLACEMENT FOR DISPLACEMENT.
1993 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am..."Abygail"...Black...5.7L LT1 OHV V8...4L60
U1A CD player, '02 Firebird Monsoon Amplifier (12 speakers!), HUD, '91 Grand Prix UK3/NP5 steering wheel, SiriusXM, etc.
1992 Pontiac Richard Petty Special Edition Grand Prix SE..."Robbyn"...Neon Blue Metallic...3.4L LQ1 DOHC V6...4T60E
UB3 digital cluster, UP3 CD player, 10-disc changer, DIC, HUD, AQ9s, SGS switch, Firebird Monsoon amplifier (10 speakers!), etc.
1995 Pontiac Grand Am SE..."Missy"...Bright Aqua Metallic...3.1L L82 OHV V6...4T60E
Pontiac Firebird UW2 amplifier, sail panel tweeters (8 speakers), UP3 CD player, GT tail lights, GT exhaust, etc.
1992 Oldsmobile Toronado Troféo..."Norma"...Light Driftwood Metallic...3.8L L27 OHV V6...4T60E
Delco cassette player, Remote CD player, Olds Alero UQ3 amplifier coming???
1992 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme SL..."Stormi"...Bright Red...3.1L LH0 OHV V6...4T60
UB3 digital cluster, UQ3 amplifier, Audio Bass Control slider, U1C CD player, Driver Information System, leather AQ9s, etc.

1992 Buick Riviera..."Josephine"...Sapphire Blue Firemist...3.8L L27 OHV V6...4T60E
Delco cassette player, Remote CD player, Buick Century Monsoon amplifier coming???

1988 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz..."Emma"...White...4.5L LR6 OHV V8...440-T4
Delco/Bose Gold Series CD player!!!!! N-Body Monsoon configuration in the works...gonna bang!
1993 Chevrolet Lumina Z34..."Summer"...Medium Maui Blue Metallic...3.4L LQ1 DOHC V6...4T60E
Not pictured - Delco CD player, Chevy Camaro Monsoon amp coming???

WANTED: 1990 CHEVROLET BERETTA INDY - Know anyone who has one? Let me know! Let them know!
"NERDS? I MAKE NERDS JEALOUS. NERDS THINK ABOUT THE THINGS THAT I DO."
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#5 User is offline   djfirebird93 

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  • Transmission: 4L60E Automatic

Posted 01 May 2011 - 07:15 PM

Oh okay, thank you for the information. I saw a WS6 the other day and all the gauges were rested at 0, only had 492 miles on it. But if it's normal, then great! Thanks for all the info everybody!
My bird is a working progress. New Marshall engine-forged pistons, upgraded rockers and stronger rods/bearings. Rebuilt transmission. New LSD. I wish money grew on trees :)
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#6 User is offline   djfirebird93 

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  • Engine: 3800 Series II
  • Transmission: 4L60E Automatic

Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:07 PM

Ok, so I think I have a bigger issue than normality. Here's some notes I made about a friend's 99 vs my 99.

On my friends: The temp gauge, oil pressure, volts, and fuel gauge sit at the far left side of the gauge. see pic:http://images.craigslist.org/5N95H75J13K73G63Jfc4g635f6e948bb21ac4.jpgnotice that the fuel gauge is all the way at the left side?

On my firebird: the temp gauge will eventually end up showing ~150*, the oil pressure gauge will climb to the first tick everytime, and the fuel gauge immediately goes to a little bit above halfway, meaning within 2 seconds, it will climb back up to above halfway.. No other firebird that I have seen has done that, they all sit at EMPTY until the key is turned on. Also, If I hit my hatch release button, my oil pressure gauge will flicker, whether the car is on or off.
My bird is a working progress. New Marshall engine-forged pistons, upgraded rockers and stronger rods/bearings. Rebuilt transmission. New LSD. I wish money grew on trees :)
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