Piston Slap: The Backwards Ascent?

piston slap the backwards ascent

Chris writes:

2006 Isuzu Ascender: the reverse lights are on while driving forward, in drive. I got pulled over for this. Anybody have an idea why they stay on when in drive? How I can troubleshoot this issue?

Thanks for your time.

Sajeev answers:

Usually my gut reaction is what I elucidate in a Piston Slap reply, but the obvious reverse switch for your vehicle doesn’t exist. Damn my incorrect gut!

But that’s fine, parts get consolidated as features integrate: no more individual switches for neutral safety and reversing, new vehicles put it all in a single Parking/Neutral Position and Backup Lamp Switch. Aside from the obvious need to check the wiring for damage/hackery, either the Body Control Module (BCM) or that switch are to blame. Check out RayVoy’s reply to this thread: does your gear indicator in the gauge cluster also read incorrectly?

So it’s your call, either you replace the switch or test the BCM to ensure buying the switch is the correct repair.

Judging by the hits on Google for failing switches, by its affordability (under $60, probably less than the BCM test at any shop) and by my experience with it being a wear item (changed my 1995 Mark VIII when it was 16 years old), you would be forgiven for replacing it prophylacticallyand hoping for the best!

Off to you, Best and Brightest.

[Image: GM]

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on Jul 27, 2018

    I remember on our old 1980 Accord 5mt that my brother and I drove in HS in the 90s (tan over tan btw) developed a problem where the brake lights would stay on permanently while we were at a regional tennis tournament with 2 other buddies. We rigged up a system with 2 tennis racket bag straps that the backseat passenger would tug on the whole drive home. It ended up being a worn out solenoid type switch on the brake pedal when we took it to the shop.Fun times.

    • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Jul 28, 2018

      I have used a tack or other small piece of plastic/metal/rubber etc to temporarily repair a faulty brake switch such as that.

  • Vulpine Vulpine on Jul 28, 2018

    Once a very common problem with column-mounted automatic levers. Switch would slip out of position and have the reverse lamps on while driving forward. I used to see this a lot in the 60s vintage cars, especially.

  • Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
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