99 SE Just Shuts Down - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 05-29-2009, 09:12 PM   #1
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Default 99 SE Just Shuts Down

Have a 99 SE with 240,000 kilometers (approx 150,000 miles) on it.
Have been having an issue with it just shutting off while driving. Its a complete loss of power.
There is no warning. No dinging. No Engine light, Nothing. It just shuts down. Windows wont work, radio wont work, Nothing.
The Check Engine light will be on when trying to restart as well as the Rear defrost light (which is very odd)
After about 5 minutes it will restart. Then again runs like a dream.

Has a new battery. Alternator has been tested and is fine.
Has a new fuel pump. Has a new sending unit.
Fuel filter is new.

There are no codes stored, none whatsoever. Not so much as even a Loss Of Communication. Which makes me fairly certain its not a computer issue.
It does not chug as though its starving for fuel or running too rich.

It just shuts off without any warning. It can be hot. It can be cold. It can be at any speed.
It can be while turning. It can be while driving straight.

We have been fortunate enough to have a fair dealership that has been trying to diagnose this free of charge for the last 5 days. The manager had been taking it home while hooked up to a reader in the hopes of it dying on him and receiving a snap shot and some kind of code. But no luck.
As far as hes concerned it runs like a dream. It handles as it should. It has the power it should. It responds as though its new. But he couldnt get it to shut down for him.

Please! Please! can anyone help ??
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:15 PM   #2
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Clean both ends of both battery cables. Ive seen several cars do as you describe because of a bad connection at the starter.
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:57 PM   #3
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When my wife picked up the car this eve, Dave told her that he had taken the time to clean a bunch of connections and tightened stuff up.
I will take a look this weekend and see if that was taken care of. Then hope for the best.
Lately its been once every week and 1/2 to 2 weeks. If nothing for a few weeks then maybe we'll be good.
Thanx Danthurs.
Hopefully I wont need any more advice LOL
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:08 PM   #4
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Good luck. If anything else comes up just ask.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:28 PM   #5
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Something just came up. LOL
Im curious as to how a bad battery contact could cause a running vehicle to shut down.
I dont know a lot about electrical. I know the basics of the basics.
But it was my understanding that a battery isnt needed for a car to run. Its only needed to start it.
Once its started, as long as the alternator is good it will continue to run.

Please dont take this the wrong way. Im not questioning your advice. Im only questioning what I myself know about electrical systems. If you could possibly enlighten me, (in laymen'* terms), how a bad battery contact could cause a running vehicle to shut down, it would be......well...it would be enlightening LOL.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:32 PM   #6
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You are correct. However, the power still gets there threw the same wires. The negative connects at the block, and the positive connects at the starter. Remove either of those connections and you open the circuit.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:48 PM   #7
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Hmmmm. I think I get it.
Sure Ive disconnected batteries, But honestly Ive never looked at where the cables go to on the other end.

Battery is just the beginning of the circuit for starting power.
Once started the battery can be removed totally and the vehicle will still run ?
But if the connection at the block, (would that be ground per say ?), and or the connection at the starter were then also interrupted, then that would break the circuit for the alternator ? Hence no power ?
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:06 PM   #8
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Correct.
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:34 PM   #9
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Still have the same problem.
The battery connections are good. They were taken care of.
Thursday evening it wouldnt start. So left it till Friday morn. Still wouldnt start.
Called the dealer. The service manager and the head mechanic came to our house. (Now thats good service!)
They pulled something off at the coils to check for spark. Spark was good.
Then hooked up a pressure gauge to the fuel rail. Nothing. No pressure.

Got a tow to she shop. And sure enough once it got there it started and continued to start and run all day.
ARRRGGGGHHHHHH !!!

They said they tested what they could from back to front. Everything looks fine. It has a new fuel pump, new sending unit, fuel filter was changed about a year ago. Also, most of the fuel lines are new. New battery too.

What they tried on Friday was to change a relay/connector. Apparently the fog lights have the exact same one as for something to do with the fuel. So they swapped them over.
But it didnt work. Picked up the car on Saturday and almost didnt start. Almost stalled on the way home. Then also wouldnt start this afternoon after work. But finally did after a few tries.

Like Id said before its not throwing any codes. But what is very odd. When hesitates and "Almost Dies", its not the engine light that comes on. Its the "Rear Defrost Light" ? If it does finally die then the Engine light will come on also.
This afternoon after work, my wife knew it wouldnt start, because as soon as the turned the key to accessory, the defrost light came. After about 5 start attempts it started. She then turned off the defrost and it began to sputter so she turned it back on and all was well. She drove home and the defrost went out on its own.

I know this sounds insane and I think Im going to go insane.!! Any other ideas ??
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:37 PM   #10
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has anybody check the key switch. if the wires on the cylinder are starting to break the car will do that to. just a thought
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