When I turn the key, first I get real bright lights on the dash, then when I continue turning the key to turn the engine, the lights go dim and I hear a clicking sound. Then when I quit turning the key the lights are bright again. I noticed that when this happens my time and date are cleared and I have to reset them, as if the battery has been disconnected. I have been able to start with a jump, starter sounds ok, had the battery checked and it is in good shape. The battery terminals are spotless with no corrossion. I am a single divorced mom with little money.....I'm trying to go from cheapest first. I feel I should check the voltage regulator next then the altenator (I have ordered a repair manual....but won't be here for a week). HELP PLEASE!!! Thank you so much for your kindness in helping me. Jill PS - I recently had to have an electrical short in my steering column fixed (my emerg.flashers wouldn't turn off and no blinkers) along with an issue with my intermittant wiper mode (which would fail and my wipers would quit until I turned off and restarted my engine). Don't know if this is a related issue or not.
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Have you tried jumping the car yet? What have you tried so far? I would get someone to jump it real quick. Theres other ways to see if battery is dead but a quick way is to get a jump then tell us what happens. Good luck-
PARK SWITCH ------ STARTER RELAY-------- IGNITION FUSE
TRY SHIFTING IN NUTRAL TO START
SEE IF GROUND WIRE TO MOTOR AND BODY AS GOOD CONTACT
DOES POWER TO SIGNAL WIRE OF SELENOIDE ON STARTER COMES LIVE
WHEN TURNING KEY TO START
IS THE SECURITY LIGHT FLASHING IN DASH
if the lights are bright and you hear a clicking and your heat blows good, the head lights are still real bright after trying to start a few time replace the starter (you can try to hit the starter with a hammer otr somthing heavy a few times and then try to start if it sounds better or starts replace the starter) if the battery goes dead try to jumpit if it starts then dies after a few min its the alt if it starts runs good and you let it run for about half hour shut it off and it wont restart rite away its the battery.
When you say "turn key dash lights go out and all is dead", do the lights come back on when you turn the key back to "off"?
With key off, try turning on your headlights- are they bright?
Flip to high beams-do they get brighter?
**If lights get dim while trying this, it's the battery-(dead/needs charged or replaced-which may have been caused by a bad alternator).
Leave lights on, now turn your ignition switch to "on"-do the lights get dim or go out?
Try and start the car-anything change?
If the lights were fine until you tried to start the car, more than likely your battery terminals need cleaning/tightening.
The lights should at least get dim when you try and start the car but only while the starter turns over: when the engine is running your lights (as well as all your other electrics) are powered by the alternator.
If you do all this and lights are okay all through this procedure, your problem is probably in your starter circuit. (Starter relay, ignition/key switch)
Your problem is either the Alternator isent charging its 13.5 volts and the battery is flat or wont hold the charge SO do this.
Jump start engine again let it run for 2 minutes then turn on lights,, the head lights should go bright at 13.5 volts. it engine cuts out..and the lights dont go bright,, then the Alternator is not charging,,,, If they go bright and still cuts out the batterys NO GOOD.
Replace battery or get it checked outit must hold 12volts all the time Let me know how you get on.
Is the theftlock light lit up on the dash? It it is you may have a problem with the GM manufacturer theftlock device. The Theftlock system prevents the vehicle from being started without its own key and shuts of the fuel injectors which is typically why it turns over but won't start. It's quite problematic on mine and locks the car so you have to replace the cylinder.
If the "Theft System" light is flashing on in the dash sit in the car with the key in the "On" position. When the light stops flashing it will light solid for a second then go out. Open and close the driver side door, turn the car off, turn and start the car. This resets the theft lock and I kid you not it works.
try over riding the starter relay on the fender ,it has one there right?. dont go to a mechanic yet. the engine aint seized. if it doesnt have this relay then i would get the alternator tested. if you want to test it yourself it can be costly for the right equip. autozone usually tests for free. i dont know were you live so if theres not an autozone. let me know if you cant get it tested.