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Electrical Problem...Please Help!!!

06-07-2006, 09:59 PM
I'm having a terribly difficult time diagnosing an electrical problem in my Geo Prizm. I have a 1995 Geo Prizm LSI 1.8.

About a year ago, the battery light in my car started turing on. Not having any physical symptoms, I chose, for better or worse, to ignore the light. The car drove fine. Suddenly two weeks ago, the car would not start, it wouldn't even turn over. Not only will the car not turn over, but the starter does not make any noise, and there's no power to the console. For example, the headlights do not turn on, the wipers do not turn on, the stereo will not turn on, and I cannot put the car in neutral with the key in any position. It would seem that nothing connected to the steering column is receiving power with the key turned "on" or "ACC".

Here's where it gets sticky, my battery is brand new, the cable terminals and wires are brand new, the alternator is fine, and the starter checks out fine. As a result, I purchased an ignition switch from the dealer ($110), installed it, and...nothing. So it would seem that the ignition switch is not the problem either.

I am, quite simply, out of ideas. This is supremely frustrating! If anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate them.


06-09-2006, 12:46 PM
Sorry I am not going to be any help other than to say, some of those problems sound like what my daughter's car is doing. She has a 92 Prism. First the radio stopped briefly when she put on the turn signals, then the radio died. She had just dropped off her brother and was trying to get home. Almost made it when it stopped dead in a turn lane at a busy intersection. She put on the hazards and they died very soon. No power of any kind.

We pushed it to a parking lot and jumped it. It started right up but there was a distinct rattling sound on acceleration while idling. The engine then started surging and died. Her battery is only about a year old. I put in an old battery that had been sitting around and was able to get home (the rattling had disappeared) but the radio would not work and the engine died when I tried the fans.

We also ran into the same problem with trying to shift it into neutral, but we eventually got it. Is there some kind of trick to that?

06-09-2006, 01:46 PM
Thanks for the reply. What you've just described sounds very similar to what I've been experiencing. I'm taking...er...towing my car to a mechanic this afternoon. I'll post what he says may be the problem.

Thanks again.

06-09-2006, 10:22 PM
I just put a new alternator in. I went to Autozone and they checked it and it was dead. A friend helped me and we installed an new one, so far so good, but its early.

06-12-2006, 06:09 PM
So, the mechanic removed the alarm from my car, and it started right up. He said that the alarm had shorted, cut the power from the ignition, and drained the battery. The only problem...my car doesn't have an alarm! I'm the original owner of the vehicle, I never had an alarm put on this car. I'm not exactly sure what he removed, but whatever it was, the car is working fine now. I just hope that whatever it was, removing it won't further damage the car...I think I'm going to buy a scooter.

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