1990 Oldsmobile Cutlass Car Stalls While Driving

Tiny
JUDEK
  • MEMBER
  • 1990 OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 98,000 MILES
Hello,

This car has to have a new battery replaced every 2 months. The alternator tested good. I just replaced the battery last night and the car completely died on me when I was driving down a hill this morning and I lost power steering. It started back up after I put in in park and died and started again at the stop light. It drove on the freeway and died/ stalled again as soon as I was pulling in to a parking spot. It feels like it wants to lunge when I am at a stoplight.

Please help. I had a head injury 2 years ago, and this is a get me through until I can afford a new one car. I am afraid to drive this to the school where I work.

Thanks!
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Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 AT 7:36 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I work at a school too. Lets see if we can figure this out together. There is no reason why you should need a battery that often. So, I'm leaning toward an electrical problem. When the car dies, does the starter sound like it gets enough power when you try to restart it? If the alt is good, has the fuseable link between the alt and battery been tested? What happens to the battery that justifies its replacement?

Let me know.

Joe
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Friday, April 9th, 2010 AT 1:36 PM
Tiny
JUDEK
  • MEMBER
Thank-you for responding. Nothing has been tested on this car except the alternator. Each battery lasts 1-2 months. My car dies if I do not drive it every day and then it still dies sometimes. When I have to get jump started all of the time, my son tells me to get a new battery.

It just died on me 3 times again today. I have to keep my foot on the gas. It stalls at stop signs, or if I am going slow.

I am not sure where to go for testing and how much it will cost. I was looking at the forum and reading up on cars like mine and someone said to replace the camshaft or crankshaft.

I had a hard time passing smog and my engine light comes on and off. It did come on when my car stalled today. I am praying for this car to last me for 8 more months.

Thanks for your help. You must love being a mechanic!
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Friday, April 9th, 2010 AT 6:53 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
When you say it dies, do you mean the battery? Or does the engine die because the battery is dead?

As far as the battery, you must have a draw on it all the time. Here is an easy way to check for a draw:

http://www.2carpros.com/first_things/why_is_my_car_battery_dead_over_night.htm

If you find there is a draw on the battery, remove one fuse at a time until the draw stops. That way we can limit the problem to one circuit.

Next, if the alternator is good, it should keep the car running. Here is how to test an alternator:

http://www.2carpros.com/how_to/how_to_test_alternator.htm

Now, if the engine dies but starts back up for you, then the battery isn't dead. At that point, then we have to consider things like the crank sensor... However, that would have nothing to do with the battery.

Let me know what you find. Also, I do love working on cars. I have done it for nearly 30 years now. However, for the past 15 years, I have been a teacher. I work in a buddy's shop on weekends and in the summer. It's something that I will do till I die.

Let me know what you find. Also, keep in mind the alt may show good, but there could be a bad fuseable link that isn't allowing power to pass. Let me know what you find with the draw test and the alt test. They are not hard to do. All you need is a multi meter. You can get them for under 10.00. If there is a nationally recognized parts store near you, they will check the alt for free.

Let me know how it goes.

Joe
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Friday, April 9th, 2010 AT 7:20 PM

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