Oct 162017

2007 Pontiac G5

How can I tell if my G5 has the VIC (Vehicle Information Center) or not. It has to do with programming a remote access AC Delco fob.

Pontiac refers to the information center as a Drivers Information Center (DIC) which is essentially the same thing. So as far as programming the new fob the answer would be yes it does.

Driver Information Center (DIC)

Your vehicle has a Driver Information Center (DIC). The DIC display gives you the status of many of your vehicle’s systems. The DIC is also used to display driver personalization menu modes and warning/status messages. All messages will appear in the DIC display, located at the bottom of the instrument panel cluster.

drivers information center button

The DIC buttons are located on the left side of the steering wheel.
(Information): Press this button to scroll through the vehicle information mode displays.

(Reset): Press this button to reset some vehicle information mode displays, select a personalization menu mode setting, or acknowledge a warning message.
Press and hold the information and reset buttons at the same time for one second, then release the buttons to enter the personalization menu.

Driver Information Center (DIC) Description and Operation

The driver information center (DIC) displays important vehicle information when it first powers up. The DIC is also used to display Odometer and Outside Air Temperature when other important vehicle information is not being displayed. The DIC switches are hardwired to and read by the instrument panel cluster (IPC). The IPC provides power to the DIC switches via the IPC ignition 1 voltage circuit fused in the body control module (BCM). The BCM is responsible for driving and processing the DIC display through GMLAN serial data. The BCM is responsible for reading the outside air temperature (OAT) and season odometer. The outside air temperature and season odometer is transmitted to the IPC over GMLAN for display in the DIC. The OAT data is transmitted in degrees Celsius and the cluster is responsible for converting the outside air temperature (OAT) to Fahrenheit.

There are 2 DIC buttons on the instrument panel cluster (IPC):

  • INFO

The 2 DIC buttons however provide 3 switch functions. Pressing the INFO and SET/RESET button at the same time provides the MENU switch function.

The INFO button is used in order to navigate through the following driver information center (DIC) information modes:


Other instrument panel cluster (IPC) information displayed in the DIC are Season odometer and Outside Air Temp.

Oct 092017

2006 Pontiac Montana

How do you reset the in dash temperature? Or the temperature sensor for ambient temperature, outside temperature? It is a 2006 Pontiac Montana SV6 with the 3.5 engine.

Ambient Temperature Sensor Replacement

There is no reset procedure. If the reading is off you may need to replace the sensor or check the wiring harness connections. The ambient outside temperature sensor is locate on the radiator support.

The radiator support flange mounts the ambient outside air temperature sensor near the radiator baffle. A 2-wire weather pack electrical connector attaches the ambient outside air temperature sensor to the forward lamp harness. In order to service the ambient outside air temperature sensor, perform the following steps:

  1. Disconnect the electrical connector (3) from the outside ambient air temperature sensor through the fascia opening.
  2. Remove the push in retainer (2).
  3. Remove the outside ambient air temperature sensor (1) from the vehicle.

ambient temperature sensor location diagram 2006 Pontiac Montana

Sep 282017

2005 Pontiac Vibe

Stopped running at all

I’m pretty much looking for some information on this transmission problem, before I set it on FIRE.
I recently bought an ’05 Pontiac Vibe for almost nothing ($500.00) now I know why. The previous owner stated that the original transmission had went bad (now I know there was a recall at one time) some time back and had a used one put in afterwards. Knowing that the same transmission is in both Pontiac and Toyota, I figured it couldn’t be too bad. I’ve always had good results from Toyota’s. So, with every car that I have bought, I give it routine maintenance; coolant flush, oil change, etc. On this particular vehicle after having the transmission flush and refilled along with new filter, 24 hours afterwards it started knocking like the flywheel was loose something horrible and then stopped running at all, NOTHING, just the sound of destruction. I inspected the flywheel and all bolts are intact and it torque convertor looks Ok from what I can see. Pretty much my question is to you is…Why would flushing the system cause that and what could possible be my problem? Is a new transmission in my future? Please help it Scotty before it BURNS!!!

The vehicle stopped running wouldn’t have much to do with the transmission. If it just quit moving then I would check to make sure the cv shafts are still intact. They can break and cause the vehicle to no longer move. This would also cause a horrible racket. I wouldn’t think this would have anything to do with changing fluids though.

Sep 132017

1992 Pontiac Firebird

Electrical popping sound while starting

I had a starter replaced on my 1992 Firebird. Now somethings not right. When I start my car with new starter, I hear a electrical popping sound while starting. Any ideas? I think there’s one way to install the starter, only 2 wires…what’s else could it be? Touching wires?

Loose connections and or worn wiring rubbing against the block.


Jun 262017

1970 Pontiac FirebirdSelecting an alternator

I recently add several electrical components to the engine and chassis.
Before selecting an alternator to handle the extra loads, I’ve been advised to compile a list of units and amp draws.
The add-ons list this info in their included literature, but I’m unable to find amp draws for the OEM units like: fan blower, headlights, ignition, radio etc.
Where I can I get this info?

Just use the max amp draw for that circuit. For example, the radio has a 5 amp fuse. even though this is the max amperage you could use it and be safe. Headlights use a 20 amp fuse. 30 amp for the blower. I would think just go for the largest available and you should be good. I am sure the 100 amp alternator would be fine but if you also have a hopped up stereo you may want to opt for the 130 amp alternator. Might as well through in an extra large battery as well.

Alternator Precautions

To prevent serious damage to the alternator and the rest of the charging system, the following precautions must be observed:

  • When installing a battery, make sure that the positive cable is connected to the positive terminal and the negative to the negative.
  • When jump-starting the car with another battery, make sure that like terminals are connected. This also applies when using a battery charger.
  • Never operate the alternator with the battery disconnected or otherwise on an uncontrolled open circuit. Double-check to ensure that all connections are tight.
  • Do not short across or ground any alternator or regulator terminals.
  • Don’t try to polarize the alternator.
  • Do not apply full battery voltage to the field (brown) connector.
  • Always disconnect the negative battery cable before disconnecting the alternator lead.
May 292017

1993 Pontiac Grand AmWhen it sets at idle it is fine. But when I start to back up the driveway it starts missing real bad and blows black smoke.

Black smoke is an indication of fuel that did not get burned. The engine miss may have something to do with this. The best approach would be to check for any existing check engine light codes that may have been stored. These codes can point us in the right direction. Fortunately the 1993 Pontiac is an OBD I system. This means we are able to pull the Pontiac Codes without a scan tool. Once you have pulled the codes post them below in the comments for more information.

May 032017

2001 Pontiac Boneville

Check engine light starts flashing

I’m stranded on the side of Interstate 5 in Northern California. I was traveling at about 70 mph and all of a sudden I lost power and my check engine light starts flashing then it overheated and I stalled out. After it cooled off but won’t start even jumped the battery. Removed the spark plugs to check for water in the cylinders. There was water in 3 cylinders so I removed the spark plugs one at a time and then started the car to blow out the water. About 3 weeks ago had the oil changed but now the oil smells burnt but there isn’t any water in the oil.

You are experiencing all the classic symptoms of a blown head gasket or intake gasket.

May 032017

2008 Pontiac Torrent

Torrent that was serviced a week ago

I have a front wheel drive, 6 cyl engine, 151,00 miles on it, Torrent that was serviced a week ago. The service performed included a coolant system flush. The following day the engine light indicated it was overheating. The next day the warning system sounded that the engine was overheating. Since it was a weekend I could not contact the dealership until Monday.

I took my car in this past Tuesday, April 18, and they kept trying to find the problem all week long. Now they are saying it was not a problem from what they did, but just a coincidence. In order for them to find the problem they want to begin taking the engine apart. They said it might be the heads, or an engine crack. The cost to just take it apart has been quoted at $660, then any and all repairs will need to be done. Are they correct in stating that the coolant flush, and oil flush had nothing to do with the problem?

Prior to taking it in because of the engine light being on

Prior to taking it in because of the engine light being on, which was emission related, I have not had the vehicle overheat. I only drove it 10 miles home and then 10 miles back and forth to work for 2 days. It only overheated on the way to work, not back. The temperature gauge only elevated on the trip going to work, I do work nights, but the temperature in Michigan has not been warm during this period. There was also no fluid leaking in my driveway or garage, nor was any seen in the parking lot. The dealership now claims it is leaking fluid after they drive it, which is causing it to overheat.

I have had all service done with this dealership since I bought the car new. I’m afraid to drive it in fear it will completely destroy the engine. But I don’t feel putting in a another 2 to 3 thousand will be worth it.

Are they correct in stating that the coolant flush, and oil flush had nothing to do with the problem?

It is hard to say. Not sure what your reason for having a coolant system flush performed was to begin with.

If the issues occurred from the coolant level not being refilled correctly it is possible that it would be partially at fault. However the vehicle should have been removed from service when the gauges indicated a problem. Continuing to use the vehicle is a distressed condition was your decission and may be the reason further damage has occurred.

Coolant System Flush

Important Do not use a chemical flush.
Store used coolant in the proper manner, such as in a used engine coolant holding tank. Do not pour used coolant down a drain. Ethylene glycol antifreeze is a very toxic chemical. Do not dispose of coolant into the sewer system or ground water. This is illegal and ecologically unsound. Various methods and equipment can be used to flush the cooling system. If special equipment is used, such as a back flusher, follow the manufacturer’s instruction. Always remove the thermostat before flushing the cooling system.
When the cooling system becomes contaminated, the cooling system should be flushed thoroughly to remove the contaminants before the engine is seriously damaged.

  • Drain the cooling system.
  • Remove the surge tank.
  • Clean and flush the surge tank with clean, drinkable water.
  • Install the surge tank.
  • Follow the drain and fill procedure using only clean, drinkable water.
    •Run the engine for 20 minutes.
  • Stop the engine.
  • Drain the cooling system.
  • Repeat the procedure if necessary, until the fluid is nearly colorless.
  • Fill the cooling system.


Apr 042017

Fuse Blows Grand PrixFuse Blows. I replaced the starter for it was bad, now when I try to start it I’m blowing fuses. I have looked for an exposed ground and no luck…any ideas???


Double check your work. It is common for the big power cables, that attach to the back of the starter to touch something it shouldn’t. Look there first.

Fuse Blows

A fuse blows from a direct short. So look for one of the cables to be touching the side of the engine block or starter case.

Starting System Description and Operation

When the ignition switch is placed in the Start position a discrete 12 volts signal is supplied to the BCM notifying it that the ignition is in the Start position. The BCM then supplies a class 2 message to the PCM notifying it that CRANK has been requested. At the same time the BCM is supplying 12 volts for the IGN 1 relay closing it and supplying battery positive voltage for the Crank relay coil. The PCM verifies that the transmission is in Park or Neutral. If it is, the PCM grounds the control circuit of the Crank relay. When this occurs battery positive voltage is supplied through the switch side of the Crank relay to the S terminal of the starter solenoid.