Dies randomly every now and then after I turn the car off.

Tiny
99CAVALIERGIRL
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 141,000 MILES
I have a 99 chevy cavalier and it turns over and runs just fine for the most part, but sometimes it dies randomly. Its weird because to turn it on all I have to do is connect jumper cables to the battery terminas. I dont need another car to get it to start, as if there were a short or something. It dies sometimes when I turn it off. Today for the very first time it died while driving which was crazy. When it dies it makes like a tick tick tick noise.
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Monday, September 30th, 2013 AT 11:17 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Sounds like you need to clean and tighten the battery cables. GM's side post design is not very friendly or easy to get high current through so they have to be maintained. Also, due to the generator design, they develop huge voltage spikes that can destroy its internal diodes and voltage regulator and they can interfere with computer sensor signals. The battery is the key component in dampening and absorbing those spikes. With a poor connection, those voltage spikes could be confusing the Engine Computer.

It is common to go through four to six replacement generators in the life of the car. If it fails, to reduce the number of repeat failures, replace the battery at the same time unless it is less than about two years old.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, September 30th, 2013 AT 12:03 PM
Tiny
99CAVALIERGIRL
  • MEMBER
Hi and thank you for replying, okay so your saying to disconnect and clean the terminals and battery itself right? And if the problem persist to try a new battery?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, September 30th, 2013 AT 12:07 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
My comment about replacing the battery is something I include for future reference for all GM car owners for '87 and newer models. The generators are a real common problem and the aged battery is the solution to repeat generator failures. As the batteries age, they lose their ability to dampen and absorb those harmful voltage spikes.

In your case the jumper cables were the clue. They will put tension on the connections by their very nature of being a stiff wire. With the better connection, that's why the engine will crank. Start by taking the cables off, (remove the negative one first because if the wrench hits the metal of the car, nothing will happen. If you take the positive off first or put it on last, and the wrench hits the car, you'll have a serious spark issue. Sparks can lead to a battery explosion from the hydrogen gas they give off). Scrub the cable ends and battery terminals with a wire brush to shine them up. If you see excessive white corrosion that looks like cauliflower, that is a sign the battery is about to fail within the next six months to a year, so you can be justified in replacing it. There are a lot of chemicals and coatings for that corrosion but none can address the underlying cause of the imminent battery failure.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, September 30th, 2013 AT 12:53 PM
Tiny
99CAVALIERGIRL
  • MEMBER
I cleaned the terminal there a definate improvement in the battery charge I had autozone check. Thank you very much well see if that fixed the problem ill keep you posted. I really appreciate your great advice.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, September 30th, 2013 AT 2:09 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides