Question about 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

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Altenator will not charge battery

Hello, I have a 1997 Olds Cutlass 3.1. Here goes: I had my engine swapped due to the original being blown. I had the SAME engine put in. Well, at first my battery was dead, so I bought a new one. Then the car kept stalling on me while driving. So we ruled out it was the altenator. Bought a brand new one, it worked for 3 hours, then car would stall again. Had a buddy try to jump start me, but nothing, battery completely dead. So I bought another altenator (brand new Denso brand), same thing. Had the wiring replaced for it too.. nothing. Changed my battery again.. same issue. The altenator is not charging the battery. I works for 3hrs (sometimes less), then stops. I also noticed this is happening when I put my headlights on, my heater, radio etc. Any help?

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  • Angelo Attard
    Angelo Attard May 11, 2010

    have u put a volt metre on the battery what volatage is it when the car is about 1400 rpm

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  • Oldsmobile Master
  • 959 Answers

Seems to me you neglected to reinstall the ground cable body (to the eng.) possibly?
What did the 'new' engine come out of?
I hope you bought the alternators from auto zone or something and are getting them replaced under the lifetime warranty...

This is what I would do... remove the battery cable from the battery after you shut of everything in the car... lights blower fan et al... and see if you are getting an arc when you reattach it. That will give you a clue to whether a dead short is involved (if it arcs strong ) .
if you only get a spark it is normal , as there are draws that you can't dislocate w/o removing fuses.
If you dont get the dead short arc , then put a lead on the - NEG. post and ground the neg. to the engine dirrectly from the battery to any bolt on the engine bigger than 10mm. ( a bracket or the instilation hooks on the eng. should give you a reliable ground. if that causes an arc while the car is running my first thought is correct.
The lack of a good solid ground to the engine will cause the stalling out due to the numerous electrical componants that do thier job via variations in voltage. This voltage is measured in very small incriments,
and any deviation from set limits will cause your engine to run poorly.
It is my assumption that your battery starts the car , then the sole source of electric is being drawn from the altenater .
My ¢.02

Posted on Jan 08, 2009

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