Question about 2000 Buick LeSabre

2 Answers

Car was running great. Stopped dead. No click when key turned, Nothing. Got a jump, started fine and was fine for three days, then went dead again. It started with another jump. I drove it down the highway for a half hour to charge the battery. I stopped in the driveway and tried to restart the car right away, There were a few dim lights on the panel then dead dead dead. No lights, no clicks. Battery put in new at Christmas 2009. Any hints?

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  • bkennedyy Jul 19, 2010

    Please Check out my posts and see what you think. Thanks BK

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2 Answers

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  • Master
  • 2,926 Answers

I have seen this problem many many times. It is either the battery has a shorted internal cell, causing a restrictive amp supply to the starter or there is a bad/corroded connection. This is the primary circuit of your vehicle, and there is not much science too it. Most times a battery terminal looks ok, but when a starting problem arises, they are over looked or considered good. Take a volt meter and place the meter on the outside of the bat terminal and place the other end on the post of the terminal and read the voltage (while it is connected of course,don't remove them). It should read zero. If not, cut off the terminals and replace them. Also, if your vehicle reads the battery voltage that is below 10.5 volts, it will shut the engine down. This is because the PCM (computer) monitors this voltage, and when it is too low, it knows there is not enough voltage to power the electronic components....then shuts it down. Let me know what you find.

Posted on Jul 19, 2010

  • 5 more comments 
  • GetMeOttaHere Jul 19, 2010

    I am not able to check out your posts. if you mean other communication with other experts, then this is why I can not see this info, the info to me must be submitted again.

  • bkennedyy Jul 19, 2010

    http://www.fixya.com/ThreadAskerGS.aspx?...

    this is the story so far.Thanks for your help.


  • GetMeOttaHere Jul 19, 2010

    Nope, that is not how they work this site. If you copy what you see and posted, then paste it again, I will be able to see.

  • bkennedyy Jul 19, 2010

    Jul 18, 2010
    - OK. Just got back into town. Had my buddy charge up the battery that used to be in the car while I was away.

    I took out the battery I thought was dead and put the old one in. Car fired up right away but will not run unless I keep my foot on the gas. Just stalls out over and over. Easy to start now though.

    Put the old battery back in after testing the voltage at 12.75V. It now cranks and starts the car, so there was something improved after cleaning up the contacts.

    The car now starts but will not idle.

    Jul 18, 2010
    - PS The connections at the positive terminal were pretty groddy. Buffed with wire toothbrush and baking soda. This has definitely got power to the starter and solenoid. Now it just won't idle. Runs as long as you keep your foot on the gas.

    Jul 19, 2010
    - Vacuum leak or possibly a faulty Idle Air Control solenoid/valve
    A dirty/plugged fuel filter could also cause this.
    As long as you have spark to each cylinder and good gas pressure

    Jul 19, 2010
    - Why would the idle problem appear only after the battery contacts were cleaned. There was no problem before?

    Jul 19, 2010
    - Could have shorted something out. The only other thing that could cause bad idle is a lack of battery or altenator power

    Jul 19, 2010
    - Battery cranks like crazy. What are the odds it is the alternator? As I say, the car was fine before the battery thing came up. It runs well as long as you keep the revs up.

    This is where I stand right now

  • GetMeOttaHere Jul 19, 2010

    Ok , what is the battery voltage while the vehicle is running?

  • bkennedyy Jul 19, 2010

    I can't check it yet because it stalls if I let off on the gas and I don't have a helper. Could the voltage go too low as the motor slows down? If so, won't I get a false reading if I get someone to rev it up?

    The dashboard digital display is between 14 and 15 volts while running but it bounces around alot.


  • bkennedyy Jul 19, 2010

    Well, FWIW the car is now running perfectly.

    Checked on the internet and called a local repairman. Both sources suggested that the car would need to "relearn" the idle settings after about 20 min of driving and it appears that this was correct.

    This idle problem happens frequently after a battery is changed or allowed to die completely.

    Cleaning the battery contacts appears for now to have done the trick.

    The alternator reads 14.7V under load.

    Something tells me I have not seen the last of this, but for now, its all good.

    Thanks for your help....


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  • Master
  • 11,896 Answers

Altenator is likely bad and not recharging the battery.

Posted on Jul 15, 2010

  • 11 more comments 
  • bkennedyy Jul 15, 2010

    Hi, and thanks. The car runs like a top after its jumped though. The onboard battery state gauge shows 14V and everything runs like A/C car stereo etc.

    Would all this still work if the alternator was bad?

    Is there anyway to just check whether the battery is getting charge current?


  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield Jul 15, 2010

    If the battery was good and altenator was bad. Everything would still run great. Car runs off of altenator when running. Battery is basically just used to turn the starter.
    You can use a voltmeter on the battery terminals to test it.
    To test the altenator, remove the one cable that runs just to the battery, then attach altenator between the cable and the connection bolt that it was attached to.


  • bkennedyy Jul 15, 2010

    Its a bit difficult with the battery in the backseat:(

  • bkennedyy Jul 15, 2010

    What about restarting the car with a jump and checking the voltage across the battery terminals with the car running?

  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield Jul 15, 2010

    You could do that. That will tell if you the altenator was good or not. Part stores will test starter, alt, and battery for free as well.

  • bkennedyy Jul 18, 2010

    OK. Just got back into town. Had my buddy charge up the battery that used to be in the car while I was away.

    I took out the battery I thought was dead and put the old one in. Car fired up right away but will not run unless I keep my foot on the gas. Just stalls out over and over. Easy to start now though.

    Put the old battery back in after testing the voltage at 12.75V. It now cranks and starts the car, so there was something improved after cleaning up the contacts.

    The car now starts but will not idle.


  • bkennedyy Jul 18, 2010

    PS The connections at the positive terminal were pretty groddy. Buffed with wire toothbrush and baking soda. This has definitely got power to the starter and solenoid. Now it just won't idle. Runs as long as you keep your foot on the gas.

  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield Jul 19, 2010

    Vacuum leak or possibly a faulty Idle Air Control solenoid/valve
    A dirty/plugged fuel filter could also cause this.
    As long as you have spark to each cylinder and good gas pressure


  • bkennedyy Jul 19, 2010

    Why would the idle problem appear only after the battery contacts were cleaned. There was no problem before?

  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield Jul 19, 2010

    Could have shorted something out. The only other thing that could cause bad idle is a lack of battery or altenator power

  • bkennedyy Jul 19, 2010

    Battery cranks like crazy. What are the odds it is the alternator? As I say, the car was fine before the battery thing came up. It runs well as long as you keep the revs up.



  • bkennedyy Jul 19, 2010

    Well, FWIW the car is now running perfectly.



    Checked on the internet and called a local repairman. Both sources
    suggested that the car would need to "relearn" the idle settings after
    about 20 min of driving and it appears that this was correct.



    This idle problem happens frequently after a battery is changed or
    allowed to die completely.



    Cleaning the battery contacts appears for now to have done the trick.



    The alternator reads 14.7V under load.



    Something tells me I have not seen the last of this, but for now, its
    all good.



    Thanks for your help....

  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield Jul 20, 2010

    Oh yes that is true. It should relearn in about 20 starts on average. Anytime you disconnect the battery or disconnect the computer it needs to relearn.

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