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Old 08-18-2017, 12:09 PM   #1
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2017 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Bozeman , Montana
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 55
AI STEP - old problem, new question

Hello all -- I know many Interstate owners have reported problems with the automatic step. We have a 2017 AI and the step began extending intermittently shortly after taking delivery. We live 5 hours from the dealer which is why I've put up with it so far.

I recently isolated the problem to the magnet-triggered switch which is riveted to the frame behind the sliding door. If I give the switch a firm tap with a small hammer, the step extends. My wife finds this quite amusing, but I'd rather be able to return the hammer to my toolbox. Waving a magnet at the switch causes the step to retract. Sometimes the step then extends again on its own. and more often than not it wants another tap.

Has anyone else isolated the problem to this switch and found a simple solution? I read one post suggesting that the switch may be slightly deformed when it was riveted to the frame, so I've considered drilling out the rivets and attaching the switch with screws.

Any other ideas or feedback greatly appreciated!

David
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Old 08-18-2017, 12:42 PM   #2
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Hilliard , Ohio
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Last trip to Michigan UP, we had the AI step alarm go off after a stop. Looked at the door magnet and it was broken again. This being the 3rd time. Each time, the step with continue going in/out but the alarm sets. I remove the 15amp fuse #12 located under the drivers seat and this stops the alarm and step works as expected. magnet remains broken and I watch to make sure contact is made with main door. You might try to poll this fuse to reset and then test.

I live in Columbus Ohio and have local AI maintenance that I plan to drop off for repair.

Thanks,
Monte
2015 AI Grand Tour Ext.
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Old 08-18-2017, 03:27 PM   #3
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2017 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Small Town TX & CO , Colorado
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We have a '17 in which the step just started acting possessed! Can you shoot me a pic of magnet location?
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Old 08-19-2017, 03:51 PM   #4
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2017 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Bozeman , Montana
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Left side of side door
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Old 08-19-2017, 11:51 PM   #5
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Small Town TX & CO , Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcherTC View Post
Left side of side door
Attachment 292706


Thank you! Ours has started working again - guess the gremlin has temporarily relocated!
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Old 08-28-2018, 03:12 PM   #6
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2017 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Fort Lauderdale , Florida
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My turn to deal with step issues on my 2017 AI. I have read through all of the past posts and my symptoms are not matching up with anything posted. The step works sporadically and I have checked a few things so I know it is not a power/fuse problem. I also know it is not the set-screw, running motor problem.

I think the step is confused and is trying to retract when already in and deploy at the wrong time. When I open the door it does not come out. With the door open I put the step switch in the lock position and the step does come out - some times. With the step fully retracted (in) I can see the motor shaft attempting to turn when the door is closed. It turns 1/16" and stops. I think it is trying to bring the step in when it is already in.

Starting the engine when it is deployed does automatically retract it. So that defies my theory.

Magnetic switch is intact and still in the original position on both sides.

Any thoughts? Could this be a mag switch problem? Any troubleshooting/test ideas?
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Old 08-28-2018, 03:40 PM   #7
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Lake Oswego , Oregon
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I have had a few of these issues as well.

The step retracts into a metal enclosure. On mine, the middle of the top sheet metal enclosure was sagging a bit due to a tiny piece of gravel that got in there and caused the sheet metal enclosure to dip down more than it should. This caused interference with the treads on the step and it was getting finicky; not retracting 100% of the way, or hanging up on the way out... a little nudge let it keep going. Once I found the gravel piece and removed it AND... I had to pull the fuse (#10 on mine) and replace it and then all was well.

Since then, I've had it malfunction but no gravel was present, so I pulled and replaced my #10 fuse and all was well again.
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Old 08-28-2018, 04:04 PM   #8
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2017 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Fort Lauderdale , Florida
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Thanks for that. Pulling the number 10 fuse does make my problem repeatable. I put the fuse back in and hear the step motor trying to do something for a second. I open the door and the step does not come out. I flip the switch to "hold" and the step does come out. Flip the switch off "hold" and the step stays out. Close the door and the step still stays out. Only turning the engine on brings it back in.

Since my original post I did find another post on replacing the magnetic switch. I am not a big fan of "throwing parts at the problem" but since a new switch is $6 on Amazon I thought it was worth a try.
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Old 08-28-2018, 05:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txntravlr View Post
Thank you! Ours has started working again - guess the gremlin has temporarily relocated!



It's afraid you'll get out the hammer.
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:06 AM   #10
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2017 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Bozeman , Montana
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AI Step Switch

I confirmed the problem with my switch using a strong magnet and a small hammer. Sometimes the magnet would activate the switch and step, sometimes a sharp tap with the hammer was needed. It's worked perfectly since I replaced the switch!


Good luck with yours.


David J.
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:15 AM   #11
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Austin (Hays County) , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcherTC View Post
It's worked perfectly since I replaced the switch!
I was a design engineer for IBM and we used reed switches of that sort. If the screws are over tightened, the switches can be damaged and either fail totally or become intermittent. Hand tighten the screws just enough to secure the switch.
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Old 11-27-2018, 12:05 PM   #12
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Haddon Heights , New Jersey
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Hi, where is the #10 located?
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Old 11-27-2018, 12:43 PM   #13
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Columbus , Ohio
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In our 2015, the #10 fuse is located inside the panel on the side of the drivers seat, You'll need to lift up the leather flap that covers the door first to access the fuses inside.
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Old 11-27-2018, 01:33 PM   #14
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Ok, Thanks for this quick response. I will try the fuse, if this correct the step behavior.
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Old 11-28-2018, 09:01 AM   #15
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Lake Oswego , Oregon
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For those of you that replace that magnetic switch:
Mine was operating intermittently and I found that merely touching it would sometimes make it work, so a new switch was installed. When I removed the bad switch I noticed the casing had cracked as if from the sliding door colliding with it upon closing. Probably the cause of the failure right there.



When I installed the new switch I only had one "pretty" screw on hand so just used one at first. A few door closings later I saw the switch was getting pushed around away from the original position. So I put the two screws in just barely tight so the door could push it into its preferred position. I left it that way and so far so good. Hopefully will avoid a damaged switch now.
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Old 11-28-2018, 07:44 PM   #16
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2018 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Madison , South Dakota
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just a replace mag switch on 2018 GT. what I learned: the step is controlled by a module that is under the galley cabinets, tucked into the insulation on outside wall of the van, not mounted just tucked in. removing and replacing the # 10 fuse (Drivers seat panel) resets this module and the step lock switch will put the step out 1 time after reset. I found the best way to trouble shoot the switch is to cut it off. The white wire is common, the red is normally closed the green is normally open and they reverse when the magnet comes by. The easiest way to get to the wires is to take the fixed screen out (two screws top and bottom) and remove the plastic covering the bottom of the cabinets. Otherwise you will have two connectors on each wire which may be ok and certainly less work. I drilled the rivets out with 1/8" bit and put the new switch in with 1/8: rivets. Thanks for sharing your observations Tronadora, I will look at the door and perhaps the sliding screen for potential impact with the switch.
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