It sounds like the battery has shorted out and needs replacing there is a guide to confirm the failure.
Here will give you an idea on how to change it.
You mentioned the steering went out completely. When the engine stalls, the power steering pump stops running, and you will lose the power assist, that is all. There is always still a mechanical backup but it is going to take a lot of effort to turn the steering wheel. The greatest effort will always be when the car is standing still. In fact, some people are not strong enough to turn the steering wheel then, but that is hardly a safety concern when the car is not moving.
The faster the car is moving, the easier it will be to turn the steering wheel. At highway speeds you do not even need the power steering, and you would barely notice if it failed. Too may people think they have no steering at all if the engine stalls, then, when that day comes, they do not even try to avoid a crash.
There are two things you can do to get the diagnosis started for the stalling problem. The first is to follow the smaller battery positive wire to the under-hood fuse box. Be sure that connection is clean and tight. That connection causes a lot of problems on all brands of cars.
Second, have the charging system tested by checking out tis guide
As a guess, based only on the age of your car, the typical generator is rated at around ninety amps. If the full-load test shows it can only develop exactly one third of that, or around thirty amps, it has one defective internal diode of the six. That can cause or aggravate the symptoms you described, but there's more to the story. Since GM redesigned their generators for the 1987 model year, they have a real lot of generator failures caused by the huge voltage spikes they develop.
The battery is the key component in damping and absorbing those spikes, but they lose their ability to do that as they age and the lead flakes off the plates. If testing proves the generator needs to be replaced, always replace the battery on GM vehicles at the same time unless it is less than about two years old. That will reduce the high number of repeat generator failures.
Please let us know what you find.
Friday, April 14th, 2017 AT 11:48 PM