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Old 12-24-2007, 02:52 PM   #1
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Default Total Power Loss

Last night while driving from California into Oregon heading toward the summit between the two on I-5, I lost all power. Not so good. It was dark, it was raining, there was no power...as if the car had stalled for a moment. Headlights went out, dash lights out, loud *pop* through the speakers.
It happened twice more, but not as bad, after I had stopped to inspect things.
If the car really had stalled, perhaps it was the fact that it was still in motion and in OD that got everything working again.
Stopped by the side of the road, looked for likely culprits around the battery, stereo wiring (only in use for about a week now) and in the trunk around the amp. Nothing stood out.
Now, I did have my cell phone charging from the cigar lighter outlet, and I could've sworn that I recalled some strange behavior from this Bonneville in the past when accessories were plugged into the cigar lighter - like the lights going out and such. The more I tried to remind the original owner of that last night, the more he thought it sounded familiar.

SO, as vague as all of that was, I was wondering if anyone might have any ideas as to where I might begin to troubleshoot before it starts to snow later today.

..by-the-by, I happened to notice last week that the carpet padding on the passenger side behind the front seat was wet - not sopping wet, but wet..where might this be getting in, and could it be a possible culprit?

For now, I'm going to run the length from the battery, along the power lead from the stereo more carefully and see it perhaps it'* shorting out somewhere.

Cheers.
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Old 12-24-2007, 03:07 PM   #2
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I could be wrong on this, but I seem to remember others saying there'* a bunch of wire connections along the doors by the front seats. If these are wet or coroded that could be a problem. Check this out, I seem to remember it being under the carpet, but I personally have never looked there.
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Old 12-24-2007, 05:14 PM   #3
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Yes, I believe the talk is of the ground busses...everything looks intact in that area, and dry as a bone. The water intrusion seemed prevalent only behind the front passenger seat.
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Old 12-25-2007, 08:27 PM   #4
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I'd suggest starting with cleaning up your battery cables. Pull off the boots on the battery end to clean up the corrosion that builds there. Check and clean the other ends, too.
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Old 12-25-2007, 09:40 PM   #5
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Mike, where are you, and PM me your Cell number. You're in Oregon, I'll talk you through what I can.

Better yet, I'm pm'ing you mine.
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:21 PM   #6
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Archon: Good suggestion - but oddly enough, it was something that I happened to do just this past Friday.
Will: I'm currently in Grants Pass - departing tomorrow morning.

It looks like I've at least temporarily fixed things up - the car audio business that I had supply me with a longer bolt that I could connect the positive amp leads to, did just that - but their longest bolt, could only run a few threads deep into the positive battery terminal. I went back to them, and they provided me with their "solution." The "very longest" battery bolt that they carried. Turns out that it worked just fine for the majority of the trip up here from the Bay Area. But between the damage that had been done from the first bolt they supplied me which stripped out some of the threads, and their last solution which had only a slightly longer shaft, it would appear that the bolt in the positive battery terminal managed to back itself off just enough to make a headache.
My solution, therefore, has been to replace the positive battery terminal bolt with the OEM bolt and rest easy with the knowledge that though I may not be able to use my stereo on the way back tomorrow, I will make it home.

Thanks alot to all who offered help and suggestions - I very much appreciate it!

M..
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:42 PM   #7
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FWIW, I believe that the bolt was your problem. The "loss of power" is a very common symptom when the cable plate does not "bite" into the battery terminal completely.

Hopefully the right bolt exists that can both bite into the battery terminal and provide the extra length needed for your stereo system.
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