98 Park Ave Ultra Interior Switches electrical problem


Asked by Oct 17, 2010 at 02:05 PM about the 1998 Buick Park Avenue Ultra FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I've got a strange issue with my Buicks. (2 , a 97 and 98) Both exhibit similar problems. Both all the sudden have the ABS and Traction Control lights illuminated on the dash indicating that they are not working. At the same time,,, the Steering Wheel Switches stopped working and also the Radio. In the 98,,, something even more odd occurs. The Radio will all of the sudden start working,,, and as soon as I depress ANY of the drivers side Window Lift Switches,,,, the Radio stops working for a while again and then starts again about 2-5 minutes later.  Is this a Bad Ground wire somewhere by chance? If so,,, where do I start looking?  Thanks Much!!

7 Answers


UPDATE. Last night I disconnected the battery on the 98 Park Ave.. Re-connected it this AM and nothing resolved at all. In fact,,, the Fuel Gauge now Does Not Work. (The needle went all the way around past full to the post inside the Sw. WTF?? Checked all the fuses under the hood yesterday. All OK. Any ideas anyone??

12 people found this helpful.

It is almost certainly a bad ground that affects almost the whole car. There is a wad of wires that bolt to the engine block near the oil pan. Remove that and clean all of the eyelets and then install hte bolt and torque it to about 15 lb-ft. There are many grounds on this car. Pull back the carpeting from the firewall and check anything that attaches to the sheetmetal.

4 people found this helpful.

Have the same problem in re the traction control light, Air bag, interior lights, etc. Jim's answer regarding grounds sounds likely and (GM!) 'logical'. You can bet I'll be checking my own grounding bundle. As for the fuel guage; another beautiful piece of....GM engineers' logic process (bet you thought I was going to say 'piece of' something else, didn't you? There are two ways to fix this quasi-accidental design flaw. (1) take your Park Avenue to your GM dealer (be sure to take a large bag of money!), or (2) get a powerful magnet, such as a agricultural one. Shut your engine off, place the magnet directly over the instrument panel face above the fuel needle, and turn the magnet count clockwise. It (the needle) will move back to a "reset" position and STAY there after the magnet is removed. I know is sounds stupid, but IT WORKS. When you're done, it will be just fine (until the NEXT time your battery goes flat/has to be disconnected for ANY reason. When you get the fuel guage "fixed", take a drive by your Buich dealer, lean on the horn--assuming IT'S still operating--and give the whole gang a great big social finger! ;-)

3 people found this helpful.

...regarding the speedometer needle: I solved a problem such as this a few years back, with a standard, 2 dollar magnet from Harbor Freight. Just be careful not to scratch the plastic instrument panel. (piece of kitchen towel works fine) People could not believe it solved the problem...in about 2 seconds!


i have a buick park avenue 97 same issue it turned out to be a ground for my tail lights was loose and barely touching anything. all dash lights would illuminate over hard bumps and when i pressed the brake my radio turned off.. which led me to the trunk.. so ya check your grounds

2 people found this helpful.

I'm having the same problem with my 99 buick steering wheel switches don't work and radio doesn't work what's was the resolution to the problem please and thanks


Been many many years since I first initiated this thread! :) I still have the car but am about to finally sell it. The folks talking about the gauges are correct. I didn't have a big enough magnet so I did the caveman solution and drilled a supper tiny hole near the lower part of each gauge. Insert a paperclip wire and rotate the gauge needle back to where it belongs. when the battery goes dead or gets really low,, these gauges go haywire and get stuck on the backside of the end post. just have to be rotated back around to get on the other side of the end post. ON THE OTHER ISSUE,,, about the steering wheel switches and the radio going out at the same time. There is a power connection/junction block on the passenger side fender where a large power cable goes into. There are some metal plates in the bottom of these block that get corroded and act as a bad power source/ground and it's what caused my issue. See picture! I did not find it myself. I took it to a good electrical shop and it took them 15 minutes to locate the problem. If your issue is not here,, you need to check ALL electrical connections to the body and to the engine. It's most likely a bad ground wire somewhere but they are hard to find. Look where I told you first because you cannot see it easily. If they hadn't found it,, I never would have!!

2 people found this helpful.

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