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New member here , just wanted to post my fix for this wiring gremlin I’ve had. About ripped my hair out trying to fix this and I couldn’t find any resolution online or through the factory service manual.

1996 Impala, 162k miles.

Problem:
-anytime you hit unlock on the driver door , fuse #35 immediately pops , all the interior lights go out. If you hit lock it kind of works. Locks try to work from passenger door but all lights dim. Also kind of works with the key fob but not very well. The door lock solenoids all seemed sluggish.

Things I tried:
- ensured the power post on the fuse block was brass and not
Zinc and cleaned.
  • cleaned grounds. A main one near that battery on the fender and two beneath the driver kick panel. (Note: one is an airbag ground. So disconnect battery and wait 15 minutes before servicing).
  • checked/cleaned/inspected several wiring unions behind kick panel.
  • replaced door lock relay (rectangular bugger hidden at top of e-brake mechanism on the fender side up high)
  • tried two different lock switches I had on hand and one used lock solenoid. Also tested operation of each with a harness end straight to a car battery.
  • replaced the keyless entry module. Also popped it open , cut top off the relay, checked for cleanliness and proper operation. Clicks one way for unlock and one way for trunk pop.
The repair:
Finally I found the gremlin. On the driver door , with panel removed, directly above the speaker, the main harness runs from the switches back inside the door. The harness was resting on top of a metal edge of the door. 25 years of the door opening and closing chaffed the white/tan wire that was for the unlock and shorting on the door. Mine actually was sparking against the door. Re-taped the harness , put some thick tape over that metal edge and done.

Solved !
I hope that saves someone some grief in the future.
 
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