1999 Oldsmobile Alero Olds Alero Will Not Start

Tiny
DREK717
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 OLDSMOBILE ALERO
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 135,000 MILES
Have a '99 Olds Alero I've had for ~6 years now, took it from 40K to over 130K miles.

Had it parked in a lot for ~2 months while driving a work truck every day. When it came time to start it up again it wouldn't start. Boosted it and it ran fine. The wife drove it home and used in infrequently for about two weeks before it refused to start again. Boosted again but didn't keep running. Assuming the battery was shot I bought a new replacement.

Started the car with the new battery and everything seemed to work except the radio and lighter plugs. Drove the car to work for ~1 week and on the way home Friday it made it all of about two miles when it died. Was rolling the windows up, they visibly slowed down during the process, blinkers where giving a slower than normal blink cycle, and then the car lost power completely and died. Got it to the side of the road. Tried restarting with no luck. When key is turned to accessory/on the dash lights up fully and the gauges (temp, tack, etc.) Shoot all the way up and then all the way back down repeatedly. The emergency flashers also go from a slow blink to a rapid blink when the key is turned to accessory.

Tried jumping again, no luck. Replaced the alternator about 5 years ago, seemed to be doing fine up until this most recent adventure. I've checked all the fuses that I can check under the hood and inside the panel on the driver's side. All fuses look fine. I can not check a good number of the fuses under the hood however (no visible fuse to check for a break).

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Monday, August 30th, 2010 AT 9:17 AM

2 Replies

Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Are there any applicable charging system codes? Some of the national brand autostores used to check codes for free. If the battery is down, take it off and get it charged. Don't let the alternator try to charge a dead battery. Use a digital multimeter across the battery posts, engine running. What is the reading? I can't rule out excessive battery drain, with key off.
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Monday, August 30th, 2010 AT 9:55 AM
Tiny
DREK717
  • MEMBER
Looking to borrow a code scanner and pull some codes tomorrow. The battery seems to still be holding a good charge, jumping did nothing and the electrical all powers on, the car just doesn't start and the gauges all behave erratically.

Currently looking to pull codes (like I said above) and probably going to see about digging up a multimeter to test the various relays with.

My biggest concern is that either the alternator or PCM is fried. I've had alternators go before and they've never had this wonky gauage behavior. PCM, I've got no idea. Just looking for ideas on what kind of component could have been behaving fine for a few days and when I started the car, only to go belly up when I'm on the road and driving.
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Monday, August 30th, 2010 AT 1:22 PM

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