What's wrong with my car? - 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 04-23-2006, 12:56 AM   #1
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Default What'* wrong with my car?

The problem started before Christmas. Car would start fine, then battery charge would start out real low and then fluctuate while driving. Heater would go on and off, lights would dim....Only happened a few times, every few weeks. As you were driving the charge would go up and after a while it would be fine. Then it started happening almost every day. I figured it was the battery because
A The alternator is only like 2 years old and
B the battery charges while driving, loses charge when parked, so obviously the alternator is doing its job.
So, I bought a new battery and it'* still happenning.
Had the charging system checked twice, but both times it was fine by the time I got it to the place to check it.
Now, it is hard to start, sometimes takes two tries. Sounds kinda like it'* not getting fuel, definitely trying to turn over. Seems to happen regardless of the odd battery behavior, meaning even if the battery is fine right after starting.
My mechaninc told me over the phone that it could be the starter, but could this be causing the battery problem? Haven't gotten it into him yet, it'* like a 45 min drive.
Check engine light does come on occassionally, but when it does car seems to be running fine. Haven't had the codes checked to see if any come up, guess I'll have to do that soon. Was planning on doing new plugs and wires soon.
Now, today it kinda stuttered a few times while driving, so I floored the accelerator and it was fine after that.
Also, I am losing coolant and I just had the water pump replaced like 2 months ago because of that.
WTF!!
I love my car but I am sick of all these problems.
Oh yeah, it'* a 95 SE with about 142,000 miles and it has been well taken care of. I only have less than $2,000 into it and want to get it fixed, but don't know where to start. Pleae help.
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Old 04-23-2006, 02:08 AM   #2
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Try cleaning the battery cable connections on both ends. When it'* hard to start, does it sound like the starter is spinning at the proper speed? A bad battery can kill an alternator. If cleaning the connections doesn't solve your problem, it'* possible the alternator could be defective. An intermittent voltage regulator, or bad diodes in the alternator can cause strange problems.

Find out what the fault code is, and that could tell us if it caused your stuttering problem.

Loosing coolant as in a leak that you can see, or one where you can't find the cause? If you can't see it leaking externally, it could be internal caused by the all too common upper intake manifold failure.
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Old 04-23-2006, 08:28 AM   #3
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Not sure how it suppose to sound. Someone else mentioned the diodes in the alternator, too. Like I said, everytime I try to get the charging system checked, it is fine by the time I get there. Not sure how I'm gonna get it checked. Might have to just start it sometime, and if it'* acting up, drive straight to AutoZone or something.

Yeah, I'll have to try to get the code or codes. I think AutoZone does that, too. My wife had a 94 Grand Prix that was acting up, and it ending up being a solenoid. So, we'll see. I think I'll still do the plugs and wires, too. Can't hurt, right?

As far as the coolant, not sure where the leak is from. But twice I have seen puddles under the car, right in front of the passenger side front tire. Once was when the car was running at idle, loading up the kids and stuff . The other was right after we got home, so the car had been running for a while. I think it might be somewhere in the lines between the radiator and the overflow tank.
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Old 04-23-2006, 11:16 AM   #4
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Get those codes pulled asap I have heard roames that autozone is going to start chargeing for that
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Old 04-23-2006, 09:13 PM   #5
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I am going to do it as soon as I can. I heard that the check engine light has to be on for them to do it. So I am gonna go as soon as it comes on next. And I am going to do the plugs and wires this upcoming weekend. I had the charging system checked again today and of course everything seemed fine. So frustrating!
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Old 04-23-2006, 10:24 PM   #6
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I thought you 96 or better you have 95 I don't think they will be able to scan it. IT obd II cable, but system is acutal obd I (I think)
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