Question about 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera

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I have no electrical power at all. New battery has 12.79volts

1995 cutlass cierra

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  • smontet Jan 09, 2009

    I have checked battery cables and fuses. the terminals are spotless.

  • smontet Jan 09, 2009

    even if I have a bad alternator, should'nt the car show poew somewhere?
    I cannot even get dome lights or dashboard lights. I mean zip,nada.

  • smontet Jan 09, 2009

    the battery is brand new and shows 12.79 volts.

  • smontet Jan 09, 2009

    thanks guys, but your solutions are not helping . they are things i've already done and redone.

  • smontet Jan 09, 2009

    thanks again, bye , frustrated steve

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10 Answers

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  • Oldsmobile Master
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Hi there ,

If you are reading 12 volts on battery, that means that the battery is not the problem, and same about alternator.

When battery reads fine, the most likely is a faulty ignition switch, this at least is what they use to test at a garage.

An easy test can be done by bypassing the ignition switch.
To do this disconnect the connector from solenoid termiinal, then jumpwire battery + and solnoid S terminal contact. If the starter cranks the engine, then look for a broken wiring between starter and ignition, or replace ignition.
Other parts that also must be checked, apart the ignition switch are the fuse links and wirings.

On cars with auto trans also check A/T gear position switch, and on manual trans check starter cut relay, clutch interlock switch, and wiring/connectors.

All works should be done by a mechanics, as it is quite easy to end up damaging more parts while you are working on your car wirings.

Get the repair manual before doing the job.

Instead of jumpwiring is also better using a remote starter switch when you do the test, that will be safer.

Hope this had been helpful.

Best regards



Posted on Jan 10, 2009

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Hi, If the battery is good, there has to be power. Did you check each terminal from the battery source using a multimeter ?
I hope you checked both the fuse boxes (one near engine and other inside the car).

Posted on Jan 09, 2009

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  • Master
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You are going to need to do some electrical diagnosis.
Get a 12 volt DC testlight. Connect the clamp end to the NEGATIVE battery terminal. Touch the pointy tip to the POSITIVE battery terminal to determine that the test lamp works. Now, Follow the wire from the POSITIVE terminal, check the small wires (fusible links) for power, poke right into the insulation with the pointy end. As long as the lamp lights, the circuit is GOOD to that particular point.
Keep tracing the POSITIVE wire until the test lamp ceases to light. When the lamp stops lighting, you back up and check where the open circuit is. I would bet that the fusible links are open, right off of the POSITIVE batter cable end. Please let me know what you find.

Posted on Jan 09, 2009

  • Toyota Ed Jan 09, 2009

    Lovely...

    machador and nematics, you are copying each other's solutions, and, your copied solutions were nonsense.

    Plus, advising the Client to remove the cable with the engine running will damage his alternator.



    abishiek, your answer is of no use to the Client; utter nonsense.



    You guys provided the Client NO VIABLE INFORMATION.



    I do NOT blame him for being upset. If you guys are going to solve automotive problems, have some real advice prepared.

    IF not, leave these Clients to the real experts.

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  • Master
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Hi and welcome to FixYa,

Initially, a couple of ideas you may want to consider. explore or try:

  • normally on most vehicles, there would be two (2) wires coming from the + terminal of the battery (or in some cases from the starter terminal). One would be for the electrical system of the vehicle other than the starter motor;
  • this other wire would need looking into. In some models, this is a fusible link that could open or its connectors corroded;
  • from the + terminal of the battery (or the starter), the wire would then go to the main fuse/relay box and would branch out to several feed points. This would also need looking into;
  • perhaps your best bet would be to use a voltmeter or a test light and check for the presence/absence of +12 following the wire(s) from the battery's positive post/terminal.
Pls post back result(s). Good luck and Thank you for using FixYa.

Posted on Jan 09, 2009

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For the following checks, wear safety glasses.

First thing to check are the terminal connectors on the battery.. 
Make sure they are clean and tight. If there is corrosion, Take them off (negative first). Then take a wire brush to both the terminals and connectors. Reattach and tighten them up. See if there is a difference (probably not, but worth a shot).

Check the belts, specifically the one the drives the alternator. 
If it's loose or frayed, it may be the problem. If it's broken or missing, it is the problem.

If your battery is the sealed type, skip to the next paragraph. If not, Check the water (acid) level. (You're wear safety glasses, right?) If low, add distilled water.

If you have access to a charger, hook it up at 2 amp (trickle charge) and let it charge over night.

If not, you can get someone to give you a jump. Be patient though, you may need to allow your battery to charge a bit before your engine will turn and start. You will be able to see an immediate change in your vehicles electrical components though.

Once you get it running, get to an auto parts store. Most will test batteries and charging systems free of charge (in the hope of selling you a battery or alternator). You should probably ask the person who gave you the jump to follow you in case of trouble. 

Once you're there, most healthy batteries would be charged. Ask for a 'Load Test'. This tests more than just voltage, it simulates the amp draw caused by an engine starting. 

Anything other than 'Good', is 'Bad', meaning replacement.

Covered a lot of bases. Let me know if it still gives you trouble. We can take it from there.

Posted on Jan 09, 2009

  • ABHISHEK.C
    ABHISHEK.C Jan 09, 2009

    After checking fuses your only sure hope is replacing the BCM module in the passenger compartment. (Body Control Module) . It runs all the electrical systems...basicly its the engine computers counterpart. Unfortunately mine cost 500 bucks, but it restored all the funky systems that were not functioning. ...cski


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Loosen the negative battery cable, then if you are able to jump the car, when it starts remove the negative battery cable with the car running, if the car dies and shits off you need to replace your alternator

Posted on Jan 09, 2009

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  • Contributor
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The best thing i can suggest is to use i a different battery..borrow one from a friend or family member and try starting the vehicle..

Posted on Jan 09, 2009

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  • Master
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First you need to check the battery terminals if they are too loose, deposited etc. After that check cables if they are brocken. After that check the fuse box. If everything is fine try to jump start the car. If you can not do it some cable connection is gone. If you can do it battery is a problem. If car stalls after you disconnect the (-) of your battery alternator/wiring is a problem. If you can not jump start the car look for spurk plugs/fuel supply/ground wires.
Good Luck

Posted on Jan 09, 2009

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Loosen the negative battery cable, then if you are able to jump the car, when it starts remove the negative battery cable with the car running, if the car dies and shits off you need to replace your alternator

Posted on Jan 09, 2009

  • machadojr_fe Jan 09, 2009

    it would not show power if the battery is dead since if the alternator was bad it would not be able to charge the battery

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Check fuses, cables and battery connections. something must be cut.

Posted on Jan 09, 2009

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