My car just shut off?!?!?! - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 03-26-2005, 12:31 PM   #1
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Default My car just shut off?!?!?!

I was driving down a cobblestone street, going slow, and all of a sudden, my car just shut off. I took the key out and tried to turn it back on and nothing happened. I unhooked my computer waited for a min and plugged it back in, turned the key in accessory, the chime came on this time, i didn't hear the fuel pump come on, and when i tried to turn it over, the gauges all turned to thier max value and the engine made no noise at all. i tried to change my memcal chip and got the same results. The weird thing is that my mini afc stayed on the whole time, with the key out ect. so i unhooked my power cable(the mini afc did shut off, that would scare me if it didn't), unhooked my computer, hooked everything back up after a minute and it gave the same result when i tried to start it. I checked all my fuses, all my grounds, and wiring. My windows don't even roll down, and my door poppers don't work.
So did my computer just take a big dump or what?
I've got a check engine light so i'm going to try and get it scanned today.
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Old 03-26-2005, 12:36 PM   #2
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I'm betting corrosion on battery cables. Undo them all, clean them, and put them back. Both ends of every cable, especially grounds.
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Old 03-26-2005, 12:49 PM   #3
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There is barely any corrosion on the terminals, only a hint of oxidizing. I took them off and inspected them when it happened. And i wasn't getting any low voltage befor this happened. (I'm always watching my gauges. I still have power to my gauge cluster and afc though too.
Another thing i forgot to mention is when i put the key in and turn it to accessory, the chime comes on but sounds different, the gauges start to climb up slow, like normal, but when i turn the key to turn it over, the gauges move faster torwards thier max value, if i let go the gauges slow down and if i try to turn it over agian, the gauges start moving faster agian torwards thier max value. all while nothing is happening in the engine, no clicking or anythin.
Dunno if that helps.
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Old 03-26-2005, 01:04 PM   #4
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Alternator. You were running off the battery until the spark voltage got too low. Charge the battery and I bet it'll start.

Slow gauge sweep is the clue.
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Old 03-26-2005, 01:09 PM   #5
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The weird chime also happens at low voltage. But you say you watch the gauges all the time and didn't have low voltage? When my alternator went, I definitely watched the voltage drop over time. Test the battery voltage first if you don't have your own charger.

At any rate, you should have had a low voltage warning buzzer and light long before the car stalled. My low voltage warning goes off early enough that the car will still start even after it goes off.
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Old 03-26-2005, 01:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
Alternator. You were running off the battery until the spark voltage got too low. Charge the battery and I bet it'll start.

Slow gauge sweep is the clue.
But what about my mini afc staying on with the key out? and the windows don't even make a peep when i try to roll them down. Also when i've had a dead battery in the past, i at least heard a clicking in the engine as it tried to turn over. And when I accidentally knocked my alternator wire loose one time(it wasn't hoooked up to the battery) it did not exibit the same situation. The voltage dropped over time and if my alternator died this would be the same as the wire not hooked up to the battery. Another thing is after my gauges go all the way up and i take my key out, they still stay up at thier max value. Only after connecting the computer(specifically the white terminal on the computer) or the battery do they come back down.
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Old 03-26-2005, 01:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Deere Boy
The weird chime also happens at low voltage. But you say you watch the gauges all the time and didn't have low voltage? When my alternator went, I definitely watched the voltage drop over time. Test the battery voltage first if you don't have your own charger.

At any rate, you should have had a low voltage warning buzzer and light long before the car stalled. My low voltage warning goes off early enough that the car will still start even after it goes off.
My car has no low voltage buzzer, and never threw a light until it was almost done. My radar detector warned me of the low voltage first (Bel builds this feature in).

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But what about my mini afc staying on with the key out?
That'* a typical low-voltage bug. Electronics do funky stuff at low voltage. Your window regulators or relays don't have enough, but your AFC may be lacking enough to switch OFF. Or your AFC is faulty, and bled your battery down.....but that still doesn't answer why you died while running.

I'll stick with Alternator.
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Old 03-26-2005, 02:11 PM   #8
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It WAS a bad ground!!!!!!!!!!!
I went back out for a second look. Sometimes it takes 2.
Thanks guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm gonna go drive my car!!!!!
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Old 03-26-2005, 02:21 PM   #9
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Bad ground on the negative battery cable? At the engine bracket or block?
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Old 03-26-2005, 03:29 PM   #10
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Bill you hit that on the money.... Low voltage, say a drop below 9-10v will send the PCM into an unhappy world of nonfunctionality... Mine was very displeased when my alternator went belly up...

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