1990 SSE Electrical Problems - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 09-21-2004, 09:36 PM   #1
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Default 1990 SSE Electrical Problems


My Mom is having a problem with her 90 SSE. It was stalling out and dying on her so she took it to the dealer my Dad bought it from. The checked the battery and told her it was OK and charged her $55. Three days later same problem. Now they are trying to tell her it is because my Dad had the side post battery replaced 3 years ago with a top post one. They did the work and replaced the battery and cables. Now the wire from the alternator to the battery is heating up to 240 degrees they say. We must return it to factory specs they say. It sounds like bull to me. I am going to speak to the Service manager in the morning. What is your opinion on their logic? What else should I ask if they checked. The battery is still under warranty! This dont sit well with me and Dad would have never stood for it either.
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Old 09-21-2004, 09:49 PM   #2
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Run, do not walk. Top terminals are connected to eactly the same place in a battery as side terminals (I usually buy batteries that have both so can switch between cars). Now while I would not make that kind of cable switch on a car (side terminals resist corrosion better) electrically, both look identical.

Now the heating of a cable from the alternator usually indicates some kind of short either in the cable or the battery.

If it were here I would start instrumenting things but you are a bit far away so I would suggest a reputable independant shop that specializes in electrics, there is noting magical about it but does take someone who understands such.
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Old 09-21-2004, 10:02 PM   #3
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I would but they have the car and are trying to charge her another $72 for another battery check. The ground and postive cable are only 3 years old. Where else might the short be? Would this cause it to stall and die on her? Thanks.
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Old 09-21-2004, 10:29 PM   #4
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Sorry but "insufficient data". Are a number of possibilities. If it were me, I'd just try the battery from a different car but only after checking for a frayed wire shorting to ground. (Heat is caused by an excessive load or short somewhere). Since this is an SSE it has a voltmeter. What is it doing ?

If the electrical system drops under 9-10 volts, the car is liable to die.
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Old 09-22-2004, 10:41 AM   #5
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Try reading some of the other posts here on car dies.
There are lots of reasons for this and usually not the battery.
I think my problem has been solved by changing the computer. So far so good.
They had problems from 88-90
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Old 09-22-2004, 11:06 AM   #6
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Is there a way to test these? How much do they usually run? We have decided to take it to an independent repair shop to have it checked out. Thanks.
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Old 09-22-2004, 11:46 AM   #7
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Don't jump to any conclusions, the only way to find out what is the problem is through *competant* troubleshooting. I only suggested swapping batteries because it is easy and most people have access to a second one.
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Old 09-22-2004, 08:47 PM   #8
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Agreed, the bateery and all the connections is the logical start if you have one you could swap from another car.
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