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Discussion Starter #21
I found BCM behind the internal fuse box after doing an internet search and saw that the 2014 Malibu has it's BCM in the same location. The one I see, behind the fuses, looks just like what I see in a images when searching for a replacement BCM for a 2013 Malibu.

At this time, I'm just looking to fix the ICP problem. I realize cleaning all would help prevent potential future problems, but I'm not sure how much longer my mother will be using this car. If the ICP works after the cleaning, I at least have the knowledge (thanks to your assistance) to potentially fix any future problems of this ilk.
 

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Hopefully these steps will help or even resolve the issue completely. Only time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited by Moderator)
Now I'm not sure what module is behind the fuses. The harness connectors that are connected are wider than that compared to the BCM connection slots (which appear more square). I also see that fuse 10 (internal box) is for "Body Control Module 8" (J-Case fuse), Power Locks. What is J-Case and what is meant by "Module 8"? It is going to rain again all day so I will not be attempted anything on vehicle today, 7/23/2020.

I'm also not sure what a locking bail is. The connectors (the wider ones) I see are secured with a band that appears to have to be cut in order to unplug them. I have, in the past, just prior to the ICP working again for a few days, pressed in on the bottom 2 connectors, since I wasn't willing to cut the straps yet. But, I'm not sure if pressing them, had anything to do with the ICP coming alive a day later.

My first step, when I finally get good weather, is try and look around, under dash - center, from both the driver side and passenger side and see if I can find a module that has these more square type connectors.

I just wish I could tell, what harness, is connected to back of ICP and to what module the other end is plugged into.

I am also becoming weary if this cleaning process will help at all, since the only problem occurring is with the Instrument Cluster Panel (ICP). I would think, if fretting corrosion is the problem, there would be more problems showing up, than that with the ICP. Worth a try, I guess, if I could just locate the module and connections involved with the ICP.
 

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@KennyBrown

Please consider using the edit feature by clicking the 3 dots at the top right of your post.

Also, instead of making several posts within minutes of each other, please use edit to extend your posts or maybe take a few minutes to record all of your thoughts before posting the reply. This is a forum rather than a text messaging app.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
I did a test today. With the car running, no Instrument Cluster Panel (ICP) working, and I touched the probes of my new multimeter to the fuse (the little area that pokes through the top of fuse, looks like little silver dots) for the ICP. The multimeter was set to the 10 A setting and the fuse is a 5 A fuse. The reading was .004 A (4 mA, .004 Amperes). I will have to wait until I see the ICP working again before I can get another reading to compare. Hard to believe at this point that 4 Milliamps (4 mA) would be enough to run all instruments on the panel. If it was enough, I would think a 2 A fuse would be being used.

I am a novice at electrical current, but I believe the component must request power (so to speak) before any current flows through the circuit. For example, when you turn on a light switch, it is the light bulb (in working order) that completes the circuit, thus electric starts to flow and the bulb lights up. If the light bulb (in non-working order) doesn't complete the circuit, no electric flows. I could very well be wrong and the current is always flowing and just redirected back through the neutral line connected to the switch and fixture. The latter makes sense since I have used a tester (no contact), as it just beeps if the wire, or outlet, is live just by holding it a few inches away from outlet, or wire, being tested.

I thank you, in advance, for any information that could make me more knowledgeable in this area, as I am trying to find out if electric current is always present in a circuit. This information will be helpful after I get my next reading when the ICP is working and I can compare 4 mA with that reading.

As an update, I can't locate the Body Control Module (BCM), in my generation (8, 2013) of Malibu, so that I can clean the harness connectors plugged into it as well as the pins on the BCM. If anyone knows, please advise, and I can see if fretting corrosion is the problem, at least with the BCM, as it still could be fretting corrosion around where the grounding wire is attached from the ICP.
 

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I did a test today. With the car running, no Instrument Cluster Panel (ICP) working, and I touched the probes of my new multimeter to the fuse (the little area that pokes through the top of fuse, looks like little silver dots) for the ICP. The multimeter was set to the 10 A setting and the fuse is a 5 A fuse. The reading was .004 A (4 mA, .004 Amperes). I will have to wait until I see the ICP working again before I can get another reading to compare. Hard to believe at this point that 4 Milliamps (4 mA) would be enough to run all instruments on the panel. If it was enough, I would think a 2 A fuse would be being used.

I am a novice at electrical current, but I believe the component must request power (so to speak) before any current flows through the circuit. For example, when you turn on a light switch, it is the light bulb (in working order) that completes the circuit, thus electric starts to flow and the bulb lights up. If the light bulb (in non-working order) doesn't complete the circuit, no electric flows. I could very well be wrong and the current is always flowing and just redirected back through the neutral line connected to the switch and fixture. The latter makes sense since I have used a tester (no contact), as it just beeps if the wire, or outlet, is live just by holding it a few inches away from outlet, or wire, being tested.

I thank you, in advance, for any information that could make me more knowledgeable in this area, as I am trying to find out if electric current is always present in a circuit. This information will be helpful after I get my next reading when the ICP is working and I can compare 4 mA with that reading.

As an update, I can't locate the Body Control Module (BCM), in my generation (8, 2013) of Malibu, so that I can clean the harness connectors plugged into it as well as the pins on the BCM. If anyone knows, please advise, and I can see if fretting corrosion is the problem, at least with the BCM, as it still could be fretting corrosion around where the grounding wire is attached from the ICP.
Your 2nd paragraph: Electricity flows only when there's a circuit. The lights and other components use power only when it's sent to them by the BCM and/or ICP controller chip. There is no constant-power feature that is redirected to turn the light on, then shunted back to ground to turn them off. It's just like the lights in your house: you turn the switch off and it opens the circuit, which keeps power from flowing.

Electrical potential is there only if the circuit is always "hot" but switched ON by the ground. In that case, you can put a tester across ground and the circuit and find a reading, but unless the device is turned on, there is no power flowing because the circuit is open, just like in your house.

If, on the other hand, the circuit is switched ON by the power, then the entire circuit can be tested by putting a meter lead on 12V positive and testing the circuit, since it is at a ground potential.

Think of a AA battery. There's no juice flowing, but if you test it with a meter or a bulb, they light up. To turn them off, you just remove one lead and the circuit is dead, just like in your house. But there's still potential in the battery, which is what you're measuring. Potential is just that, a potential to flow. If you have a garden hose faucet turned on but the sprayer is turned off, the hose is pressurized but no water is flowing. There's a potential for it to flow, but something's gotta happen first, e.g. turning on the sprayer.

The BCM is located where each plug has a locking bail handle. You can see one in the image below. It's blue and the bail is gray. This is from a Gen7, but should be similar to yours.

69198
 

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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
I took a photo of my 2013 Chevy Malibu LS internal fuse box, just behind it, there is a module encased in black plastic. You can see a couple of the harnesses connected to it at the bottom of the picture. Also looks like the fuse box can swing down, or be taken out (the pins in slots at the bottom, makes me believe this). I will try and do this tomorrow, 7 / 26 / 2020, and get a better look at the module behind.

69201


AC Delco® - GM Original Equipment™ Body Control Module picture below.

Specifications say: Housing Height: 1.76".

The slots, in the image below, seem to be more square, than in the image above. Also notice, in the image above, the harness connectors are secured by a strap (not a locking bail), that must be cut in order to pull the connectors out. This may have been done due to space available to put BCM in this location. So, I'm not 100% sure if the image above is showing me the BCM, or some other module. The website I got the image below from, says it is for a 2013 Chevy Malibu.

If the connectors in the above image are a little less than 1.76" wide, then I believe this very well could be the BCM. Everything else about it looks similar.

69200
 

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Discussion Starter #28
After examining the images further, I noticed 2 elongated thin slots on each end of the module. They appear to be the same in both images. So, now I'm pretty sure this is the location of the Body Control Module (BCM).
 

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Those zip ties are to keep the harness in place on the connector. The locking bail appears to have been discarded as a design feature, opting instead to use a locking device that's built into the receptacle.

Either way, don't cut those zip ties! If you do, unplug the plugs and put new ones back on.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
The fuse box and BCM are combined into a single unit.

On my 2011, which is a Gen7, there is a BCM behind the removable inspection panel on the passenger's side console, plus there's another attached to the back of that BCM and it's more easily seen from the driver's side inspection panel.

Do all of the plugs that have a locking bail that you rotate backward in order to unplug it.

If you're feeling industrious, there is also the TCM under the hood and a number of other items (sensors) that use low voltages that might benefit from being cleaned and protected.

The ICP has a locking bail on its plug, but to get to it you have to remove it from the dash.
At one point, I was advised - to clean, burnish, then use dielectric on all connections (plugs & pins) coming from the BCM. This was to see if fretting corrosion could be the reason why the ICP is not functioning. Are we now believing, fretting corrosion, is less likely to be a problem? I was a bit doubtful to start, since I would think more problems than just the one I'm having with the ICP would be happening. But, I was willing to try, which is why I needed to locate the BCM in this Gen. 8 Malibu.

I prefer not to cut the zip ties (straps). So, DrivenDaily, if this was your vehicle, and you where at the point I am now, what would you try or test next? I thank you for all advice and information, thus far, and welcome your opinion as well as those from other members of this forum.

Let's remember, the ICP does work from time to time (sometimes it has power, sometimes not).
 

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Were it mine, I'd take the ICP out to make sure that it's solidly plugged in, then, with it out, I'd perform the fretting maintenance on it. It won't hurt, and it could easily help.

With it out, I could also see about gently tugging on the harness to determine exactly where it plugs into a BCM. You may find that it's a plug that is somewhat hidden from view, and if so, doing the same maintenance on it could help its current condition as well as extend how long before it even thinks about happening again, if at all.

Also, use your nose to sniff the ICP. There is a certain smell that comes from electronics that have gotten too hot, and if you've ever smelled it before, you'll know it if you detect it at this time. If not, consider buying some cheap electronic device or component and actively operate it past its limits so you can learn the smell.

Inspect any exposed circuits for discoloration due to heat, and any plastic that may have been damaged as a result of heat. If you disassemble the cluster, take pictures and keep the screws and clips organized so you can reassemble it successfully.

If you take it apart, look for poor solder joints. Use Google and YouTube to learn what good and bad soldering looks like. Years ago, the rear windows in my 2009 Malibu stopped working. By taking the master switch panel off the driver's door and removing the cover, I found a cold-solder joint for the power switch to the rear windows. All it took was to solder it again, adding a little bit of solder for insurance, and it never gave me trouble again.

Intermittent IC components are the bane of electronics. They'll work, then stop, then work, then stop again, and all without an apparent pattern or reason. Internally they get hot or somehow lose the ability to work, but later begin to work again, and it's not something you can see. You might be able to monitor the temperature of each chip or component, but that takes time and patience and may still not reveal the culprit.

It's still a good idea to apply the fretting corrosion maintenance to all of your BCM connections, but it's also your car and your choice. If things are working, this may just add insurance. If they're intermittent, it may resolve the issue. If they've failed, it may be effort with no improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Thanks for the reply. So now your saying, it is worth cutting the zip ties to do a fret. cleaning. Is that correct?
 

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No.

Those zip ties appear to hold the harness to the plug. What you want is to unlock the plug from the BCM and attend to the metal contacts.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
But, with the zip ties in place (uncut, they will not slide off), I cannot get to the metal contact points. The only way I know of, for now, to "unlock" the connector, is to cut the zip tie off. I can feel that, if I press on the ends, I can remove the connector (harness), Except, the zip tie is in the way. Sorry, but I'm confused. I see no way to clean, unless I cut the zip tie, so I can squeeze and unplug connector. I would hate to do this on a - maybe.

Also, the ICP does work sometimes, so if it is the ICP itself, it has to be something that is not always broken (not working on the circuit board).

Currently it is not working now, the weather is warm (94 degrees) and very humid. In two days, it is supposed to be 66 degrees at night. So, I'm going to see if the ICP comes on early the following morning. The ICP definitely seems to come back alive, a few times, when there has been a large change in temperature or because it rained.
 

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Another thing to check if the current process you have been discussing with DD doesn't help: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2016/MC-10118949-9999.pdf

It is basically checking the G103, G100, and G111 ground connections and R203 resistor for corrosion that has been identified as leading to radio blank, IPC inoperative, or steering stiff. I have location diagrams if needed. Even mentions intermittent.

Edit: newer version of similar bulletin HERE.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Just giving everyone an update. The only thing I have done thus far is clean the battery cables and used dielectric lubricant when reconnecting the cables to the battery. I also used the dielectric lubricant on the fuses involved, the one for displays and the other for the ICP itself. The ICP still did not come on just after applying. But, a few weeks later, the ICP came back to life, for a few weeks. I had noticed the temperatures at night were warmer than in recent weeks when it started working again. Also, the night before it stopped working again, it was cooler at night. This morning 7/16/2020 I went out to see if it was working again, since it was very warm last night. Believe it, or not, it is working again. I'm just not sure how warm and cold temperatures, or humidity, play a role in all this. I would appreciate some feedback from those that have knowledge of electrical circuits, where the power comes from a battery, and how colder weather would make the circuit not work.
Thanks for the post. As you see above, I have already posted about the fact that I cleaned the terminals of battery and cables. There is no ground connected to the negative terminal, so I'm not sure what ground, the link that was supplied, is talking about. The battery has also been thoroughly tested (12.60 V). The battery testing I, and others performed, happened a few days ago when I was testing to see if I had a parasitic draw problem. Supplied the link to this below. Conclusion was on that, is that it had no parasitic draw, and battery was dying every few weeks due to car sitting for days (sometimes weeks) at a time, and even when driven, it was not driven very far or with high RPMs - so battery was not getting the charging that is normally excepted from the alternator as would happen with a daily driven car (so to speak).

2013 Chevy Malibu LS 2.5L, 2 AMP Parasitic Draw after vehicle has been turned off for more than an hour.
 

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OK then, I had thought your instrument panel cluster wasn't working or was working intermittently... I guess I misread. I had just found another post where a 2013 owner had a non-functional cluster and removing ground corrosion per that bulletin worked. I shall bother no more! Best of luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #38 (Edited)
I appreciate everyone's replies, just pointing to posts that already explained that battery terminals and cables were cleaned. It was interesting that your post mentioned something about a ground from the battery. If someone can tell me where that ground wire is on Gen. 8 2013 Malibu, I would check and make sure it is cleaned and in working order. I have no other wires connected to the negative terminal than the negative cable itself.

This is about a non-working Instrument Cluster Panel. I just, recently had a problem of car not starting again after the car had been jumped and driven. This is why I mentioned the other post, as it was then, I and others tested the battery thoroughly. I hope, in the future, if you have any thoughts that could help, that you would post them. Again, thanks for the post, I now need to locate where the ground wire(s) are.
 

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As a rule, follow the largest cable from the battery negative terminal to where it is bolted to the chassis and/or engine. That will work on any vehicle that has a negative ground.

The zip ties hold the wires as they exit the body of the plug. You need to unplug the plug from where it's plugged in and service that end. Don't forget to service the BCM's terminals as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
I did try and disconnect. But the zip tie, would not allow my to pull it completely out. I'll try again.

From other research I have done, regarding grounding, if it was not grounded properly already, there would be other problems occurring, maybe even not start.
 
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