Mechanics

WHY DID I LOSE ELECTRICAL POWER WHILE DRIVING?

2000 Oldsmobile Alero • 189,500 miles

I have a 2000 Oldsmobile Alero GX 2.4l Automatic and while I was driving last night, my headlights and dash were going dim. After a few miles all of my gauges stopped working and dropped, my dash lights went out, my headlights went out, radio turned off, could not get out of first gear, seemingly full electronic failure. I bought a new battery last year and when I parked and shut off the car, the trunk/interior lights worked.
Now I can't get the car to turn over, it clicks once or twice but won't start. My ignition switch is a bit touchy, I have to wiggle the key to get the car to start. I've been doing some research and read that it may be the alternator, or possibly some bad electrical connection like a bad ground (I don't know how to check this?), Or that it may be the ignition switch. I just had this car inspected barely 2 months ago. Any ideas or suggestions?
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Rlbutta16
September 10, 2012.




Update: I went to start my Alero this morning and it started up, but now the battery light is on. Not sure how reliable this is, I do have a repair shop down the street a few blocks and I am fairly able to replace parts myself here and there.
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Tiny
Rlbutta16
Sep 10, 2012.
Check the tings I have in the arrow n the picture, you may have a fusible link going bad and check state of charge of battery, just because it's new doesn't mean they can't go bad, especially if it's a sears die hard. It also could be an ignition switch problem as you say it's "tricky".


Hmac300
Sep 10, 2012.
Can you elaborate to where that is? In the fuse box under the hood? The front driver's side fuse box? Or am I looking in the wrong places? I got it to start up a few more times and now its not turning over again. I still have power for my lights, power locks, radio, etc.


Tiny
Rlbutta16
Sep 10, 2012.
The one is plainly saing where it is. The other runs off the starter solenoid it's a blue wire going to a red. But that would be for charging. If it doesn't start check to see if the red wire is getting power to ign switch then theh yellow wire when you hit the switch to start then through the neutral switch to the purple wire. Start at the purple wire and work your way back that way if it's getting power to purple it may be just a bad starter. Also check the fuse in the diagram i'm sending.


Hmac300
Sep 10, 2012.
Thank you I'll be checking these today. Wiring isn't really my thing but I found some pictures of those parts you highlighted. Much thanks.


Tiny
Rlbutta16
Sep 10, 2012.
Now that its daylight I can see that my serpentine belt went bad and fell off. Its shredded so once I get a new one on I'll give you some feedback, in case this happens to anyone else.


Tiny
Rlbutta16
Sep 10, 2012.
Make absolutely sure taht you replace the tensioner as well


Hmac300
Sep 10, 2012.
OK now that those are replaced, I tried to start the car and it just clicked a few times before the remaining power went out. I tried to boost it with my other car, a 94 Mazda Protoge. I let that idle once connected for a solid 30 minutes and while the batteries were connected the Alero clicked when trying to start it up. After disconnecting the jumper cables I tried a few more times to start and it clicked a few more times before it stopped. After that I didn't have enough power to pop the trunk or use the power locks. Think the ignition switch is next to try? Your help is so appreciated! I always recommend this site!


Tiny
Rlbutta16
Sep 11, 2012.
Make sure the battery is in great shape first take a volt reading with a digital voltmeter and it should be above 12.4 it may taek a while for the battery to charge. Then try hitting the starter on the body of it while trying to start. If it does then your starter may be bad. But you should do the checks I said earlier to see if the switch and everything else is sending good power so you shol dhave a brigh tlight or 12 volts at those wires.


Hmac300
Sep 11, 2012.
Thanks I'll try to pick up a voltmeter today and check those out. I figured after I found the serp belt was bad, one check at a time. Thanks again.


Tiny
Rlbutta16
Sep 11, 2012.

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