Intermitent loss of electrical power. - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 10-30-2003, 11:41 AM   #1
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Default Intermitent loss of electrical power.

HI All,

Newbie here to this forum. I'm trying to figure out what the deal is with my mother'* car. 98 SE. About once per month it will not start. She will go out to the car, insert the key and get nothing, no dings, clicks nothing. At this time she will notice that the clock on the radio has reset. So it appears that the car is loosing power.

The battery had been load tested and checks out fine. The battery cables as well appear to be fine, although I haven't taken them off and checked for resistance.

Now here is the really weird part. She can wait 5-60 minutes and it will start fine and be fine for over a month. Go figure.

My guess is either a loose battery cable at the starter or the starter/solenoid is shorting out causing the car to loose power for a while.

Suggestions on where to start?
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Old 10-30-2003, 12:39 PM   #2
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Clean your cables...
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Old 10-30-2003, 01:28 PM   #3
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First of all, a grand welcome!! Finally another KS member!!

Let'* see some more info here, so our resident gearheads don't have to ask when they get here...first of all, I see a year a year and trim...is there any other information you can give us regarding the problem, i.e. what are some constants? Have you tried using different keys? Does it just do absolutely nothing, or does it turn over and not start? Any clicking, or odors??
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Old 10-30-2003, 06:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Intermitent loss of electrical power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NotDadsW41
My guess is either a loose battery cable at the starter or the starter/solenoid is shorting out causing the car to loose power for a while.
Not a short; I think it'* more likely a cable that'* just plain loose. Check both ends of all battery cables, especially at the starter and engine-block ground connections.
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Old 10-30-2003, 06:40 PM   #5
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Does you car have the dual positive battery cables?
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Old 10-30-2003, 06:54 PM   #6
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Since it'* my mom'* I'm not sure on dual cables or not.

It'* really wierd though. It acts like the battery was unhooked for an instant and then it will be fine for days on end. Then one day, nothing.

It makes no noises, buzzes, clicks, pops etc.

I'll check all the cables next time I can get to see the car. I'm in KS and she'* in SE Nebr.

TrueWildMan - I went to school and worked in Salina for several years. Nice Town. It'* sure grown in the last 5 years too.
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Old 10-30-2003, 07:21 PM   #7
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Check the relay center under the hood. If there is a bolt in the middle of that, check if it'* tight. Had a similar problem on my LeSabre and that was the culprit.
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Old 10-30-2003, 08:42 PM   #8
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I'll go with the intermittent loose connection. Especially the ground like acg said. I'd also not rule out a bad battery. I've seen batteries with a broken or cracked post on the INSIDE do that.

Start with the cables, though, and we can go from there. Next month, right?
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Old 10-30-2003, 09:04 PM   #9
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So this isn't a resistor pellet foul-up??
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Old 10-30-2003, 09:08 PM   #10
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The clock power on the radio resetting is the clue......can't be VATS.
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