1990 Oldsmobile Cutlass It Won't Start When Sits Overnight!

Tiny
ROADCAT
  • MEMBER
  • 1990 OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 147,000 MILES
Ok, My 1990 Olds Cutlass Supreme SL sometimes sits overnight and then the next morning it will not start. This is an intermittent problem that happens once every couple of months. More often in cold weather. It ALWAYS happens when the car sits overnight. I have had three different mechanic shops check out the battery, alternator, replace the refuseable link, and run it through a complete system check. They can not find anything wrong with it. This includes the dealership I bought the car from. This is the only major problem I have had with the car. I want to keep it. What the heck is wrong with it?
I can put the car on a charger and it charges up fine and runs fine for a while. Then it does it again. I can't pinpoint anything particular that makes it do it.
Except for today my car is dead as a doornail when I try to start it.

Today it did make some blings and other accessory noises, but 9 time out of 10 it is dead and will not even attempt to turn or start. I recently did replace the back engine seals and replaced a leaky water pump.

My car has the digital electrical panel and has had regular checkups and all maintanence performed that should be. The battery is brand new, the alternator is around 2 years old. I have replaced the alternators every four years. Can you please give me a clue to what is wrong with my car? I hate when it will not start because of no apparent reason.
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Sunday, November 16th, 2008 AT 4:35 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
When you say it won't start. Do you mean it won't crank over, or cranks over, but won't start? If it won't crank over, does it click? Please advise.
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Sunday, November 16th, 2008 AT 5:21 PM
Tiny
ROADCAT
  • MEMBER
I mean It won't do anything. It won't make one noise. It is "dead in the yard" Normally, It will not start, it does not make a sound. Nothing. It does not even attempt to crank. No noise. Nothing. No light, bumps, whistles, chimes. No sound and it will NOT crank.

This normally happens every several months. A couple of times it has happened within a week to two weeks from the last episode. The car has been plugged in and checked with diagnostics at three different shops. They can't find anything. HELP! I drive for a living.

The starter has never been replaced.
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Sunday, November 16th, 2008 AT 6:20 PM
Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
Bear with me please, I'm trying to see this through your eyes. When you turn the key to "on" not start, if I read your post correctly, you have no dash lights, chimes, bells, nothing. What about blower fan, horn, interior lights and headlights?
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Sunday, November 16th, 2008 AT 9:51 PM
Tiny
ROADCAT
  • MEMBER
Sorry, went to bed on you last night.

The answer is "yes". Exactly. When I turn the key on I have NOTHING. It will not crank.

There are no lights, no dashboard light, no bells, whistles, dings, no nothing. I mean there is NOTHING!
There are no headlights, interior light, no blower fan, no horn. There is NOTHING at all.
As I said, this ALWAYS OCCURS after it sits over night.

I have replaced the alternators "on time." The current one is 2 years old. I have a brand new battery. The fuseable link was suppose to have been replaced. I have gone by the repair manual and done repairs on time. I don't get it!

I mean the car will run fine, then when it sits overnight there will be absolutely nothing the next morning. The car will not crank there are no sounds or anything. It is almost like something is draining the battery or there is a short. I can not figure this out. It has been going on for around two years. It happens off and on with no set schedule or incidents that cause it.

I can put it on a charger and the battery charges up and the car runs like a spotted ape!
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Monday, November 17th, 2008 AT 6:57 AM
Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
Good morning, I went to bed also, but this one kept me awake. I've never seen a spotted ape. Are they common in your area? Anyway, I have poured over countless diagrams and this is what I have come up with being the problem is intermitent. Have you changed the ignition switch? If not, I would recommend you do. This is a shot in the dark, but the switch may not be killing monitor power to the ECM so it is still waiting for inputs from the engine even though it isn't running. This could be a cheap fix. If the switch doesn't solve the problem then we look at the ECM itself. Keep me posted, please, Jim.
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Monday, November 17th, 2008 AT 8:39 AM

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