2002 Chevrolet Malibu Electrical

Tiny
JAKETITUS0916
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • V6
  • AUTOMATIC
Ok my car starts up from a jump start but I will drive it and it's perfect my battery has been tested it's good alternator is good also so wat can be the problem cuz sumthin keeps killing my battery when ever I shut my car off
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Friday, September 12th, 2014 AT 4:02 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Do you mean you stop the engine, then it won't restart right after that, or the battery goes dead after sitting for a few hours or overnight? I you charge the battery with a battery charger, then let it sit, will it crank the engine hours later?
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Friday, September 12th, 2014 AT 7:05 PM
Tiny
JAKETITUS0916
  • MEMBER
Ok in full detail ok my wife drove it to a bunch of different places then pulled in to get gas turns the car off gets the gas an goes to turn the car bac on and nothing just a click sound but not even multiple just one so I come and jump the car and it starts up no problem I drive it 45 mins to charge battery for 2days car works just fine now I'm getting the same problem like twice a day I got battery checked it's fine I got alternator checked also fine so now I'm stumped wat could be killin my battery rt after I shut the car off
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Saturday, September 13th, 2014 AT 11:50 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Ahhh. It's highly doubtful you have a battery problem at all. You have a starting problem. The part that confused you is the jump-start. It sounds like you have an intermittent starting problem. It cranks at times and not at other times. And it just happened that one of those times it started you had the jumper cables on it. That used to be real common on Chryslers, Hondas, and Toyotas with the little silver Nippendenso starters, and it had an inexpensive fix. That was to put new copper contacts in the starter solenoid.

I haven't heard of that being a common problem on GM vehicles so we should look for other causes first. Typically that would be a poor battery cable connection. The clue to burned-away solenoid contacts is the starter will work if you just keep on cycling the ignition switch repeatedly. At first it might take four or five attempts, but as the problem gets worse, it can take dozens of attempts, or in my mother's case, I ignored it for so long, that she lost count after 700 attempts, but eventually it did still start.

To find this you need to catch it when the problem is acting up, and you have a helper to turn the ignition switch. Use a digital voltmeter to measure the voltage between a paint-free spot on the engine block and the larger terminal on the starter. Place the meter probe right on the copper stud on the starter, not terminal on the end of the cable or the nut that holds it on. You'll find full battery voltage there. It will be 12.6 volts if the battery is fully-charged. Now have your helper turn the ignition switch to "crank". If the starter cranks the engine, you should still find at least 9.6 volts, but the goal is to see what you have when it doesn't crank.

That click you mentioned can be one of two things. There's a light click of the starter relay, but that can be confused with all the other relays turning on and off during cranking. And there's the rather loud clunk of the starter relay. If you're getting that loud clunk, the critical piece of information is what that voltage is. Does it stay near 12.6? That points to the starter solenoid. Does it drop to 0 volts? That's due to a bad cable or connection and we'll have to narrow it down.

The additional clue that this is not a battery problem is the head lights or interior lights. You'll see they're nice and bright, and they don't get dim or go out when the starter isn't working. If this was a battery problem, the lights would go out when the starter engages.
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Saturday, September 13th, 2014 AT 7:36 PM

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