Question about 1999 Pontiac Montana

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No power on start-up

I've been having trouble starting lately, i got jump started twice this weekend. i figured it was the battery so yesterday i got a new one and changed it myself. i made sure everything was connected the way it was and started with no problems. this morning i tried to start and there is no power at all....to anything. no lights anywhere and no sound when i try the ignition. before i had no probems after i got a jump start and drove 30 min to work without problems. if anyone could help me it would be much appreciated

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Your Alternator is not charging well.

Posted on Jun 03, 2009

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Two possibilities.

One, as Murphybanton suggests, is an alternator problem. There are two tests for this:

Simple alternator test: Get somebody to jump start your car. Once the engine is running, leave the donor vehicle connected for a couple of minutes, then remove the jump leads. Look for the Ignition light (the red one that looks like a small battery) on the dash. With the engine running, it should not be lit. Now turn the engine off, then turn the key to back to the run position, without cranging the engine. With the engine on, but not actually running, the red light should be on. A light which is on when it should be off, or off when it should be on, indicates an alternator problem.

If that isn't conclusive, try a more direct test of alternator function: You will need a multimeter. Get someone to jump start you again. Once the engine is running, leave the donor vehicle connected for a couple of minutes, then remove the jump leads. Connect the multimeter (on a DC Volts range of about 20V) and see what you've got. Anything less than 13V (and falling) suggests an alternator problem.

If either test suggests an alternator problem, investigate further before spending a lot of money. Sometimes it's as simple as a wire having come off.

If the alternator seems OK, the other possibility is that something is stuck switched on, and is draining the battery when the engine is running. These are allways a bit harder to trace. STOP THE ENGINE before you do any of this. If your multimeter has a 10A DC range, disconnect the negative lead of the battery and put the meter between the battery and the disconnected lead. Be very suspicious of anything much over half an amp. All you can do after that is to pull fuses one by one until one makes the current drop (or look around in the dark for courtest lights which stay lit up when they shouldn't).

A.

Posted on Jun 03, 2009

  • Alastair Macleod
    Alastair Macleod Jun 03, 2009

    And the inevitable round of clarifications and corrections once I've reread my own post:



    Paragraph 3: "cranging" should read "cranking"



    Paragraph 4: The meter leads need to be connected to the battery terminals for this test.



    Paragraph 6: I can't spell "always" either.



    A.

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