Question about 1990 Chevrolet Cavalier

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Car won't stay running volts light is on bought a new battery thought that was the problem but my stereo shuts off and then if you don't hit the gas the car stalls then won't start with out a jump

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Sounds like the voltage regulator in the alternator is failing. Time for a new alternator I bet.

You can take the old one off, take to a auto parts store for them to test.

Posted on Dec 10, 2009

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You should have your alternator checked. If it is going bad, it won't produce the necessary power to keep your battery charged and run options like stereo, AC or heat. You might be lucky and a mechanic can fix it, but if you let it get burnt out it is going to cost considerably more!
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Posted on Dec 10, 2009

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When you shut the car off something is staying on in the vehicle, causing a current draw on the battery, causing it to go dead over night. something that would cause this would be like a under the hood light, trunk light, interior light staying on. visually check it. and if you don't find anything you might want to buy a fluke/ volt meter, to check for unwanted current draw when the vehicle is off. your local mechanic could help. it could become more extensive then this but most likely not by the sounds of it.

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The battery current draw may be caused by a few things, here are some to check: the most common is that a light stays on like the dome light, the brake l;ights may be staying on,aftermarket accessories can cause it as well, audio amplifiers or stereo equipment or aftermarket alarm systems, very common.

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the car uses slight voltage from the battery even when not in use,, ( clock,, security systems,, ) Don't assume that the new battery is ok, I've had issues with a new battery before, take it back to where you got it, and ask them to LOAD test it, this will let you know if a cell is bad, ( which just happens sometimes) if one is, ask for a replacement,, if not, ask them to fully charge the battery ,, once thats done, put it back in the vehicle, and statr the car ,, now,, if you have a meter,, put the test leads on the battery terminals, ( hopefully you cleaned and tightened all the connections when you put the battery back in ) you should get a reading of between 13.5 and 14.5 volts ,, if you do everything should be ok,, if you don't,, then you need to have your alternator checked, its not charging the battery correctly, and could have been the problem all along, if so replace it Good Luck

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I have a 98 S 10.The battery won't stay charged but the volt meter still shows 14 while running.Any ideas will help ,Thanks.


Ya, when the car is running, you're using power from the alternator. So it will show 14 volts as long as its running. The fact that it won't hold the charge means the battery is shot and you probably need a new one

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If you can jump start it and it stays running....I am assuming that you connect the Jumper Cable Ground to something other than your battery. If so, Your negative battery cable is suspect. Check both ends for ANY corrosion or loose connections.

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My radio stays on when I shut off the car and it's draining my battery. Now the battery is total drained and won't charge with a jump.


Has it been recently fitted? Most stereos require a permanent 12 volt supply and a secondary one connected to the ignition. Perhaps these have been mixed around causing the stereo to remain on?

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did they run a test on the alternator!! at battery when off should be at least 12.6 volts, less than 12 volts battery is bad. when running at battery voltage should be at least 14.1 to 14.7, thats if alternator is ok. if less than above replace alternator. if alt. is ok, could be a bad battery.

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Hi there.
You must have a drain some where.
Make sure the brake light are NOT staying on. if they are, it will drain the battery. this is due to faulty brake light switch.
I think the ESP light is related to the brake light switch.

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