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car keeps dieing losing power?please help


HAYEZ
12-06-2004, 11:06 AM
1997 cavaler with 4 cyl 55,000 miles
what could be wrong with my car?when i start it it starts up,then i go to take off and the car loses electric and the lights and dash and everything starts blinking going off and on etc...the radio is reset everything,it takes about 4 or 5 times to get it to stay running,,it turns over perfect everytime and starts but then it just seems like it has some kind of electrical problem and shuts the car off and loses all electric in the car ,then i have to switch the key to off and the power comes back on when i try again,anyone know what the problem could be?

roth_k
12-01-2005, 12:28 AM
1997 cavaler with 4 cyl 55,000 miles
what could be wrong with my car?when i start it it starts up,then i go to take off and the car loses electric and the lights and dash and everything starts blinking going off and on etc...the radio is reset everything,it takes about 4 or 5 times to get it to stay running,,it turns over perfect everytime and starts but then it just seems like it has some kind of electrical problem and shuts the car off and loses all electric in the car ,then i have to switch the key to off and the power comes back on when i try again,anyone know what the problem could be?

I am having the same problem with my 2003 Cavalier... I also just recently noticed that when I turn the key off (and even take keys out!!)the gauges click on and off every few seconds... I'll let you know if I find a fix...

corning_d3
12-01-2005, 12:50 AM
Without being there to test it, i'd guess the PCM is bad. I've heard a lot of the same complaints on cavillacs.

roth_k
12-01-2005, 03:11 AM
Without being there to test it, i'd guess the PCM is bad. I've heard a lot of the same complaints on cavillacs.I'll do some research, but what exactly is a PCM and how much/how would I go about testing something like that? I have noticed that if I mess with the positive cable to the battery, I can get it to start and run, but I can tell the second something is not right. While engine is running, anything I do electrically has an effect on the power to the car, it almost seems like there is little or no battery power at all. But a few times, it idles just fine and seems perfectly fine, but when I turn off the car and try to restart it, I get one of 4 results...

1) Nothing at all. No interior lights, no cranking, no clicking, nothing...
2) Car will try to turn over but ends up just clicking. I'm assuming that this is caused by the battery being drained therefore not enough power to start from the gauges clicking off and on (which as I mentioned above, I just tonight noticed)... I have disconnected the positive cable for the night to save battery, and will check it out in the morning.
3) If i mess with it (positive cable connection) I can see when the interior light comes on brighter and I go in and all interior lights/gauges turn on as normal, but as soon as I turn key, *CLICK* and it seems power is lost and I'm back at #1 on my list of results.
4) Same result as #3, but the car starts right up just fine (until I turn off the car and try to start it again).


I will try messing with the connections some more in tomorrow and see if I'm able to narrow it down some more.

roth_k
12-01-2005, 12:22 PM
Well, I think I've figured it out, or at least narrowed it down a whole bunch. Went out this morning and re-hooked up the positive cable and it was still real touchy.

*Note* I kept driver side door open to watch for interior light to go on and stay on bright, that was the sign I had a good connection.

Still had the same hit and miss results, and just for kicks, I tightened the negative a bit more, and just barely tightening it did the trick for now. I'm not having problems with the gauges clicking on and off like they were before, so we'll see how long it lasts. If I don't post anymore consider the negative/ground the problem.

Hope this helps!

corning_d3
12-02-2005, 12:39 AM
Might be time for some new battery cable ends...

roth_k
12-02-2005, 02:16 AM
Might be time for some new battery cable ends...
Well, it held up all day today with ZERO problems, but I'll know the first place to look if it happens again.

I'm just really happy that all I found that out before I replaced the alternator or anything else. Sometimes the simplest things are the problem.

corning_d3
12-02-2005, 02:24 AM
yup, and alternators are expensive...

inatalonIXLR8
12-08-2005, 12:14 PM
Good clean conections are a must. If there's any corrotion at all use baking soda in water to clean it up. Replace positive and negative cables plus conections off the battery and swab on lots of petroliem jelly to stop more corroding should clear up any future problems.

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