Hello! I have a very similar problem with my van. Although, the way my vehicle broke down was different.
I turned on the van and heard a strange noise before I began to drive. It scared me, so I turned it off and turned it back on. No strange noise, but the engine did sound different. I proceeded to leave and drove to my destination, all the way with the van running different than usual. When I arrived, I opened the hood and heard a strange noise coming from the side with the alternator, I assumed it had something to do with the alternator, but did not know what. I turned off the van and used a screw driver to make sure the belt still had tension, it did. When I left, the van was still running strange and the battery light had turned on, I knew it was due to the alternator. Began driving to my next destination. While driving down the freeway, I lost all power. Of course, the van made strange unusual noises, that I cannot remember. I had no lights, and the van was still on. I drove about 10 minutes with no power, just off the battery and when I finally stopped, the van was hot and steam and coolant began spewing from the van.
After all that, I found that the alternator pulley was very loose. Which caused my belt to tear off, affecting everything on that belts path. I put in a new alternator, new belt, new battery and a new radiator. The old one developed a crack, I believe from over heating. I went to start the van and it would crank, but never turned over. I tried the starter fluid in the engine trick and still wouldn't start, so I ruled out a fuel problem, I can also hear the fuel pump turning when I turn the key. I replaced the coil pack just in case, so I ruled that out as well. The spark plugs and wires are all only about a year old, but there seems to be no spark going to them or the coil pack.
So, I now know I have a short somewhere and I saw what you said about the light trick, but I have no idea where to even start with that. I am completely ignorant of how the electrical system works, so everything is new to me. This is my first vehicle, so everything I fix, I am learning for the first time.
I had a friend come look at it, and he noticed a burnt out asd fuse. He switched it with the abs fuse and the van turned on for a bit and turned off. The fuse then burnt out, as well. Do you have any suggestions or advice? I really do not want to go to a shop, but if I need to, I am willing. I would just try to fix it myself before paying for a ton of labor. Is this something I can even fix on my own? Thank you.
Thursday, January 29th, 2015 AT 9:50 AM