Are there Embedded Chips In Starter or Other Electronic Modules in Automobiles? : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

I own a 1988 Ford Aerostar Van. The vehicle ran fine until I shut it off on Dec.31st at 11:45pm... I did not start it again until Sunday morning when, although it started just fine and everything worked, starter, lights, etc., the entire time I drove about 30 minutes...the little red "battery" light was on. Later in the day, when I tried to start it, the lights went on the radio worked fine but the only thing that happened when I turned the key was the strange, high-pitched noise that emitted from the switches for the fan, airconditioning and heat. As I moved these levers the noise changed pitch and tone. It sounded just like "feedback" from electronic amplifying equipment. My question is ... are there any date-sensitive embedded chips in the starter module or other electronics in this vehicle....or is this just a coincidence?? I should mention that I just replaced the starter module in June 1999, and I have had absolutely no problem with battery, starter or any other electronic component. The battery is charging just fine...even during this strange occurrence. Thanks for your response...this is the strangest thing I have ever heard! Sincerely, Eileen MacEnery (805)498-2121

-- EileenMacEnery (, January 03, 2000


eileen, there is another post somewhere on this board where a man disconneted his battery and some other action which seemed to "reset" the car correctly. find it and maybe it will help. it was an oldsmobile or buick.

-- tt (, January 03, 2000.

Most likely just Murphey showing his head. There are several 'normal' possibilities with those symptoms. Most likely is your alternator went bad, or your belts driving the alternator became slightly loose. Another possibility is the regulator going bad. Have you tried getting a 'jump start' for your battery yet? After getting it started again, did the problem reoccur?


-- Doyle Dacus (, January 03, 2000.


Hubby's a mechanic and should be home pretty soon. He's done a lot of work on Aerostars (hence the reason he didn't want me to get a Taurus, but I won), so if it's something "normal", he'd know. I'll post what he says.

-- Kat3 (, January 03, 2000.

While I've no specific knowledge about that model, I can say the following in general:

1. Every major carmaker has repeatedly said their cars have no Y2K problems that will prevent driving them, though a very few might for example claim forever after that they need scheduled maintenance or some such, in which case one simply ignores the warning light and keeps track of the odometer as one should anyhow.

2. There are enough Ford Aerostars on the road, and enough news media outlets eagerly seeking Y2K stories, that if there were a Y2K problem with that model -- or any model -- by now it would almost certainly have been given LOTS of media attention. In fact, I'd guess that if even 1% of all Ford Aerostars on the road had failed to start at the rollover it would have been given heavy media coverage.

-- Matthew D. Healy (, January 04, 2000.

Re: "Are there Embedded Chips In Starter or Other Electronic Modules in Automobiles?"

I saw a thread on the Time Bomb 2000 Y2k bulletin board about cars that wouldn't start after the rollover on 1/1/2000...

'84 Olds Custom Cruiser; '88 Olds; '88 Chrysler Lebaron Coupe. They disconnected the batteries, reconnected them, and the cars started up.

A friend told me that someone with a '99 Chrysler tried the same method and that vehicle started up. (Will find out the make tomorrow)

At Time Bomb 2000 people discussed possible alternator problems, corroded battery terminals, etc. The owner of an '88 vehicle claimed everything under his hood was clean.

I thought embedded chips weren't going to be a problem, except in 1999-2000 vehicles that used geosynchronous-tracking satellite programs?

If this trick works for the owner of the '88 Ford Aerostar Van, would you please post it here?

-- Lee Maloney (, January 07, 2000.

Re: "Are there Embedded Chips In Starter or Other Electronic Modules in Automobiles?"

(Lousiana's Dept of Transportation wasn't taking any chances...)

Y2K turns out to be OK

Published on 1/2/00

~snip~ ...School bus drivers in East Baton Rouge Parish have been asked to start their buses a few times this weekend to make sure computer chips imbedded in the ignitions of older vehicles still work.

The transportation department has set up a "help line" for drivers to call if the buses dont start so mechanics can fix them in time to return students to classes Monday morning, said Clayton Wilcox, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources and Technology.

-- The Advocate Online, Baton Rouge, Louisiana storyid=10075

-- Lee Maloney (, February 01, 2000.

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