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Electrical problem? Please help.

This is a discussion on Electrical problem? Please help. within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; So my car drove to campus fine this morning, started right up. Went to go leave on lunch. Put the ...

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    Lead Foot mammoth713's Avatar
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    Exclamation Electrical problem? Please help.

    So my car drove to campus fine this morning, started right up.

    Went to go leave on lunch. Put the key in the ignition and turned it to Run, all the lights came on and everything as usual lit. Turned the key to Start and it clicked once and every single electrical component shut off immediately and the engine did not budge or even try to turn over.

    Tried this multiple times after waiting for whatever electrical problem to stop..

    Some really scary things happened like the "open door" beeper beeping erratically as well as the gauge needles randomly jumping.. again, this is even with the key out of the ignition and nothing running.. and then i noticed the radio wouldnt work as well as my key fob wouldnt lock the doors. So obviously i figured it was a dead batt.


    Ran to buy a new battery with a friends car and threw it in.. Car started and idled horribly. Probably the worst i ever heard it idle. So i shut it off, and started it again. and it idled fine... (PCM had to reboot or restart?)


    SO, after getting home. Just for the hell of it i put a voltmeter across the OLD BATTERY's terminals to find it still read 13V.

    I am thoroughly confused. What could be the problem? Could it be my old battery is still shot eventhough it reads 13V with a voltmeter?

    Please help.

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    Member transamgirl89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mammoth713 View Post
    So my car drove to campus fine this morning, started right up.

    Went to go leave on lunch. Put the key in the ignition and turned it to Run, all the lights came on and everything as usual lit. Turned the key to Start and it clicked once and every single electrical component shut off immediately and the engine did not budge or even try to turn over.

    Tried this multiple times after waiting for whatever electrical problem to stop..

    Some really scary things happened like the "open door" beeper beeping erratically as well as the gauge needles randomly jumping.. again, this is even with the key out of the ignition and nothing running.. and then i noticed the radio wouldnt work as well as my key fob wouldnt lock the doors. So obviously i figured it was a dead batt.


    Ran to buy a new battery with a friends car and threw it in.. Car started and idled horribly. Probably the worst i ever heard it idle. So i shut it off, and started it again. and it idled fine... (PCM had to reboot or restart?)


    SO, after getting home. Just for the hell of it i put a voltmeter across the OLD BATTERY's terminals to find it still read 13V.

    I am thoroughly confused. What could be the problem? Could it be my old battery is still shot eventhough it reads 13V with a voltmeter?

    Please help.

    Hmmm have you looked at the starter? Sometimes if that goes bad it can temporarily drain the battery. Or it could be a simple blown fuse. What year is it? If it's a 98 then it could be the wiring harness for the crank shaft.

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    Lead Foot mammoth713's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by transamgirl89 View Post
    Hmmm have you looked at the starter? Sometimes if that goes bad it can temporarily drain the battery. Or it could be a simple blown fuse. What year is it? If it's a 98 then it could be the wiring harness for the crank shaft.
    doesnt explain why it started with the new battery and also doesnt explain the erratic gauge and beepings as if the voltage supply was low..

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    Member transamgirl89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mammoth713 View Post
    doesnt explain why it started with the new battery and also doesnt explain the erratic gauge and beepings as if the voltage supply was low..
    Hmmm that is weird. Might want to take it to a shop that can trace electric problems. I had to do that with my old TA cause the guy before me put in an aftermarket alarm and it shorted out the computer somehow. Hope you find the problem and get it fixed.

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Those symtoms are definitely low voltage symtoms.It was probably a loose or poor connection at the battery. That old battey might still be good and would have worked ok if you tightened up the connections. I've run into this a million times with side post batteries.

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    Lead Foot mammoth713's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutlass View Post
    Those symtoms are definitely low voltage symtoms.It was probably a loose or poor connection at the battery. That old battey might still be good and would have worked ok if you tightened up the connections. I've run into this a million times with side post batteries.
    THANK YOU SIR!


    hearing that from someone other than what i thought makes me feel 100% better..

    so i think i will return the new battery... what a pain in the ass.



    JUST TO MAKE SURE: the old batt registered 13V outside the car with nothing attached except a voltmeter. Is this enough to say this battery is totally fine? or could there still be a problem with the battery thats not shown through voltage readings?

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mammoth713 View Post
    JUST TO MAKE SURE: the old batt registered 13V outside the car with nothing attached except a voltmeter. Is this enough to say this battery is totally fine? or could there still be a problem with the battery thats not shown through voltage readings?
    NO, there could still be a problem with it. To make sure its ok, take it somewhere to have it tested. In the end you might wanna stick with the new battery because the old one might just be borderline ok

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    Senior Member Lunatikgixxer's Avatar
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    Batteries can still hold a normal charge in the cells but have problems with starting cars, i had a battery like that in my old car for my stereo system in the rear, the battery read 14.xv on the dmm but it would not start my car for shit, like cutlass said if anything your battery terminals came a little loose and to be safe you should get your old batt checked out. It probably isnt low voltage unless you have a big amp in your car, atleast 1000w rms. If your lights dim when youre playing music 3/4 volume or louder then you DO have low voltage and your wet cell battery cant take it. If thats the case then it could be putting some hurt on your alternator and your electrical system too, causing some funky shit.

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    Lead Foot mammoth713's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunatikgixxer View Post
    Batteries can still hold a normal charge in the cells but have problems with starting cars, i had a battery like that in my old car for my stereo system in the rear, the battery read 14.xv on the dmm but it would not start my car for shit, like cutlass said if anything your battery terminals came a little loose and to be safe you should get your old batt checked out. It probably isnt low voltage unless you have a big amp in your car, atleast 1000w rms. If your lights dim when youre playing music 3/4 volume or louder then you DO have low voltage and your wet cell battery cant take it. If thats the case then it could be putting some hurt on your alternator and your electrical system too, causing some funky shit.
    i have the stock amp, so my lights dont dim when i blast music.

    Im guessing it was a loose connection on one of the terminals?

    that makes the most sense right?

    and yeah i'll have the old batt tested


    i just really dont understand what was causing my gauges to flicker all over the place.... (specifically the tachometer, and speedometer, etc)

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    Nitrous Tuner LS2Tuner's Avatar
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    That static voltage measurement you got doesn't mean shit! Put it under a load and will probably drop off like the Grand Canyon. Seen that Many time over the years. And yes the "bad idle" could have Everything to do with having a Bad battery.
    Don't be afraid of the bottle!!! Be afraid of your tune!!!

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    The one time the same thing happened to me, it was the alternator. I luckily pulled over next to a parts store, and put a new battery in. It got me home, and then I changed the alternator. That was the problem the whole time. The battery just had enough juice to get me home. The new one that is.

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    You can have voltage in a battery but no amperage. If one cell is bad the battery is shot and can do some wild things. The idle re-learn is normal when you pull the battery.
    Just make sure you terminals are good and tight and clean, most auto parts stores do free charging system checks.
    You can also put your multimeter across the battery terminals with the car running and see what your voltage is, also run it throught he rpm range and see if it fluctuates.
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    Lead Foot mammoth713's Avatar
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    so whats a trusted car battery company?

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    Nitrous Tuner LS2Tuner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mammoth713 View Post
    so whats a trusted car battery company?
    Johnson Controls.
    They make MANY companys batterys. Duralast @ Autozone, Interstate's, Diehard's,Optima's,etc.

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    Lead Foot mammoth713's Avatar
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    k. i went and got a Duralast 75-DL

    Thanks for all the help everyone.

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    Senior Member Lunatikgixxer's Avatar
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    get a dry cell battery next time, like a red top. wet cells blow and wear out faster. dry cells last forever!

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    Nitrous Tuner LS2Tuner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mammoth713 View Post
    k. i went and got a Duralast 75-DL

    Thanks for all the help everyone.
    Glad we could help!


    Quote Originally Posted by Lunatikgixxer View Post
    get a dry cell battery next time, like a red top. wet cells blow and wear out faster. dry cells last forever!
    Forever. . . . . . . . . I got 3 DEAD Optima's sitting in the garage now! I wish that were true.

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Yeah I've had mixed luck with dry cell batteries also. One Optima I had lasted 4 years right up until I sold that car. Another one was dead after winter storage and I fried it trying to recharge it. Apparently you need to recharge a weak/dead dry cell battery very slowly.

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    fyi...most electrical problems with these cars are from bad connections - either the battery connections or the grounds. First thing I always advise is take the battery connections off and clean them thoroughly, and clean the grounds then put it back together. If you haven't taken the battery connections off in two years I strongly recommend it as part of maintenance.

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    Lead Foot mammoth713's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunatikgixxer
    get a dry cell battery next time, like a red top. wet cells blow and wear out faster. dry cells last forever!
    TBH, I plan on selling the car in 3 years if that. So as long as it serves me well for 3 years i will be happy. The one i bought has a 7 Yr warrenty anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by DaddySS View Post
    fyi...most electrical problems with these cars are from bad connections - either the battery connections or the grounds. First thing I always advise is take the battery connections off and clean them thoroughly, and clean the grounds then put it back together. If you haven't taken the battery connections off in two years I strongly recommend it as part of maintenance.
    Yeah i made sure i checked that the day of the problem because i knew tractors were picky about not having good connections too..

    Mine seemed fine.

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