Question about 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera

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Power drains while driving is it my battery ?

When heater and wipers driving then turn signals , the radio shuts off and the car seems to lose electrical power ,one time it shut down and I jumped it and it still nogs down like no electicity

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If you jumped the car already and it seemed fine while the cables were connected to the other car, then the electrical systems began to fail after the cables were disconnected, your most likely culprit is the alternator.

Once the car is started, all the electrical systems should be running off your alternator, not the battery itself. When the alternator goes out the electrical systems on most modern cars will continue to feed off the battery instead of the alternator. When this occurs you will see your battery light illuminate on the dashboard display for most vehicles.

Your best bet when you see the electrical systems failing like this is to get the car to a safe location quickly as once the battery voltage gets too low, the electrical systems (including your computer which controls timing and everything in your engine) will fail and the car will stop running.

If this is the case the car does not necessarily need to be towed. If you intend to move it on your own, you should 1 turn off all headlights, radios and everything else that is a drain on the electrical system (heat/ac, etc), jump the car using another with a good alternator and battery. Leave the cars connected and running for 15-20 minutes or so and have the person follow you DURING THE DAY only. Do not attempt this at night as your headlights will be a major drain on the battery and in the event they go out you could cause an accident.

If you are only running vital systems off the now fully charged battery, you should be able to get 5-10 miles before the battery clunks out on you again. This process can be repeated until you reach your repair center, but the safest and best option is to simply have the vehicle towed to it's destination. This option is only for those who can not afford it and are willing to take the risk. If you car dies in an area where it cannot be jumped easily, you will most likely need to have it towed anyway, but if your destination is within 10 miles or so, this option can save you a lot on the towing fees.

Posted on Mar 28, 2009

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You would need a volt meter to monitor your battery voltage to determine if you have a battery problem or an alternator problem.

i can help you diagnose it if you will give the voltage readings of the battery while sitting and not running, and while idling.

tnx 4 using fixya,


Posted on Oct 24, 2008


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