Freezing outside - No heat - Not starting - Alternator dead? - 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 01-14-2004, 10:59 AM   #1
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Default Freezing outside - No heat - Not starting - Alternator dead?

So, here'* a little background...

About a week ago, I woke up to head to work. It was 0F outside, and my 96 Bonneville SE wouldn't start. The whole car felt frozen, couldn't push the brake pedal down, could barely turn the key in the ignition, couldn't move the shifter at all. The engine was turning over (slowly), but the car never actually started. Next day, just as cold, I went and bought a new battery, thinking that was the problem - car groaned for a second, then started right up.
Fast forward a few days - No heat. Car'* hot, but blowing cold air, and the temperature gauge is blinking on and off. Brought her into the mechanic, he cleaned out the tubes (said they were full of "gunk"), and lo and behold I had heat. For about 30 minutes. And then right back to cold air and blinking lights.
Woke up today to drive her back to the mechanic, -5 outside, same problem as before - everything feels frozen, and she won't start.

This is driving me nuts, I'm about ready to suck up the extra cost and bring it to a dealer, but I'm wondering if anyone has any idea what'* causing this before I decide what to do.

thanks
-c
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Old 01-14-2004, 11:11 AM   #2
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Sounds strange and awful. Maybe the heater core is gunked up with whatever was in your hoses. Is your coolant any color other than green? (or orange if your car uses the Dex-Cool stuff?) Also, my alternator was bad and the the ammeter in my car would show the voltage going back and forth between to positions (sorta like the needle was dancing haha) until finally it danced no more and it seemed like I was running on just the battery! Ever since i got a good alternator the car seems to start up faster. Make sure your cooolant levels are good.

My heater stopped working about a year ago but my problem was a bad thermostat, however since your temperature scale is reporting the engine being warm then I doubt the thermostat is bad.

Anyone else got any ideas?

Mike D
1987 Bonnevilllllllllllllllllllllllle!
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Old 01-14-2004, 11:15 AM   #3
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Well the first you cranked it over and it didnt start, then it sat untill you got a fresh battery. I bet the plugs are fowled up with carbon? The heat thing well if you had gunk in the lines and he cleaned it out and now its back tells me he didnt get all the gunk out, get a complete coolant flush and new spark plugs.
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Old 01-14-2004, 12:11 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick replies...

Speaking of spark plugs, I have another question, and I should've thought of this earlier...

About four months ago, before getting my engine replaced when the upper intake manifold started filling the cylinders with coolant, the car started acting very odd, but only when going uphill around 40-50 mph. It would suddenly start jerking, like it was slipping gears or something... I brought it to one mechanic, he said I was imagining things, and two days later the engine blew. So. I assumed having the engine replaced would take care of the jerking, but it didn't. Brought it to another mechanic, he checked the plugs, saw that two were cracked and one was fouled, and replaced them. It ran fine (no jerking) for about a month and a half, and suddenly started up again a few weeks ago. So. I don't know if all these problems are related somehow, but I'd like to know why my plugs are getting fouled ever month or so...
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Old 01-14-2004, 01:09 PM   #5
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It would help if you included your car and mods in your sig, location wouldnt hurt either.

Now we're gettin some where, do you have after market coils? Maybe one of your coils is spiking taking out 2 plugs (the cracked plugs were they from the same coil?) What plug are you using? I've heard of some plugs wearing faster than others.
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Old 01-14-2004, 02:01 PM   #6
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You have electonic climate control, right? It'* blinking is telling you that you need to go to the dealer to have them retrieve the climate control codes. That will tell you what the problem is. Probably the air temperature mix door is broken or stuck.
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Old 01-14-2004, 04:26 PM   #7
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I have the exact same problem right now...
just got the new battery then heat stoped working....
todya in going to put her in a heated garage and go for the air mix door i believe the switch is stuck.... the dealer told me scince i have an obd 1 it wont be able to pinpoint the problem for me just tell me it was broken....
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Old 01-14-2004, 09:35 PM   #8
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Does your temperature display blink?
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Old 01-15-2004, 01:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlehovey
the dealer told me scince i have an obd 1 it wont be able to pinpoint the problem for me just tell me it was broken....
Oh, bologna; if it'* OBD1 (and I'm not sure that'* even relevant here because we're talking about the climate control system, not engine management; two different computers) I think you should be able to get the error codes out of the climate system controller yourself, and the code will tell you which component is faulty. Don't know why your dealer is being so pessimistic, unless you just found yourself talking to some guy who doesn't know the older cars.

Don't we have TechInfo articles on getting the error codes out of the '94 climate control system?
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Old 01-15-2004, 02:55 PM   #10
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Not 94. That'* a dealer thing. 92 and 93 only for the diagnostics 'at home'. You're right. OBD compatibility has nothing to do with it.
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