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My 1996 Oldsmobile cutlass supreme is having issues keeping charge. It won't stay running and will start only with jumper cables. As it dies all my lights in the car dim till they are not visible anym

I have a 1996 Oldsmobile cutlass Supreme. A few months back I put in a new battery. My car is having issue keeping a charge. I cleaned the battery terminals of corrosion, and even took the alternator out to get it tested which passed. It will take a jump, but the charge doesn't last long. About 2 minutes idling or about 5 minutes on the road. The battery light goes on and off. We looked over the wiring and there were no apparent issues. My car has almost 200,000 miles on it. Is it possible there is a computer problem? I haven't had the opportunity to test the fuses. What kind of impact could the fuses have with my problem. Other threads suggest that I should test them such as a Parasitic-Battery-Drain to find if something is draining my battery. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Hi Timothy,

Quite a few things that you can check that can help to pinpoint the problem.

First, I would disconnect the battery and check the voltage with a multimeter. If the battery reads above 12V, it should be ok, but it does not mean that it is fine under load. You state that it is only a few months old, but keep in mind that any battery do have a limited lifetime, and with a car battery, cold weather is bad for it. Most auto electrician workshops can assist to check load capacity of a battery.

Secondly, to check the parasitic drain, use the multimeter to measure current to see if there is any significant power drain. To do this, remove one terminal from the battery and use the multimeter test leads in the current mode, highest setting available, then one multimeter connection on the loose terminal and the other on the battery pole. (In series connection) Do not try to start the car while doing this test, the current will be too much for the multimeter.

Next would be to check all your fuses, make sure that charging can happen.

Last resort (especially if you see any parasitic current) is to check all wiring for shorts or chafing where wiring isolation was damaged and can touch another exposed wire or any other metal area.

Hope this helps.

Posted on Nov 15, 2014

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You say you had the alternator tested, it STILL sounds like the charging system isn't working. Hook up a load tester when running and it should read at least 14 volts. If at 12 volts or under while engine is running, then there's no output from the alternator. Could be a faulty regulator or the main charge fuse is blown. Check all that.

Posted on Nov 15, 2014

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Try checking the engine to chassis or engine to battery ground cables. If there is a poor ground at the other ends that would account for things going dim . Try a jumper cable from battery negative direct onto a clean part of the engine block/heavy bracket and see if it sits there idling happily with lights on etc. If it does check the voltage across the battery while running as it should be a max of 14.5v and not less than 13.5v. roughly. It certainly shouldn't be near 12v running.

Posted on Nov 15, 2014

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I would try the battery drain test , disconnect the earth terminal and place an ampmeter between the battery earth pole and the battery earth cable if the read out is more than 30-50 milli amps then start looking for what or where the drain is from , as it drains so quickly i'd think it would be a high wattage user ie ignition system , so pulling the fuse's until the milli amps drop will tell you what the component is , also pull relays as one or more may be open all the time even when not required , keep me posted if you wish

Posted on Nov 15, 2014

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: Car Dies while driving and/or Wont even start after being driven

I would buy a cheap Votage meter from Walmart or Radio Shack and check voltage at the Battery. It should be 12.5 or more. Red positive lead of meter goes to red Battery wire. Black lead goes to black Battery wire on top of Battery.

You can check Alternator charging too, the same way The Voltage should jump to 12.8-13.5 volts. My Toyota would shut off and then start back up after moving the connection to the big fuses in the engine compartment Good Luck.

Posted on May 27, 2009

RamTek
  • 377 Answers

SOURCE: while driving the head and dash lights go dim then

Try to check the alternator and also check the fuse and alwas make sure that the battery terminal is fix and it is not loose.

Posted on Jun 09, 2009

  • 811 Answers

SOURCE: 89 oldsmobile cutlass supreme car dies when

check timing belt

Posted on Sep 13, 2009

RonPark
  • 855 Answers

SOURCE: issue with dash lights dimming while driving,

If the battery and alternator tested fine. I would have the charging system rechecked when engine is hot and at high rpm's. This way the checks are being done as if you were driving and driving for a long time. Alternators can work fine when cold but weaken when hot or stop working. This problem is not rare but only is seen occassionly. Unless it was checked at an electrical shop the average shop doesn't run these tests for they don't see the problem often enough to automaticly run them at all times. Good luck and let me know how you make out.

Posted on Sep 21, 2009

  • 436 Answers

SOURCE: Daughter called me ..car wont

it sounds like you have blown fuse to the Alternator.. I don't know what car you are talking about but they charging systems vary.. But if alternator isn't getting all the power it needs it won't charge. this should be checked.

good luck

Posted on Oct 21, 2011

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