Electrical Problem

elcaprerunner

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Today I went down the street to the drug store to pick up some pictures of contingency from the weekend at MDR. Anyways when I went out to my car to go home I turned the key and there was absolutely NOTHING. The car is an '86 Chevy El Camino. I know this board is not about cars, but I'm hoping a lot of the electrical in the car would be very similar to an '86 Chevy pickup?? Anyways, it has done this twice before, once this past sunday, and once a week or two before that, but it fired right up within a couple of minutes. Today, I sat there for an hour trying to get it to start. I checked all of fuses, and could not find anything there, no loose wires in the engine compartment or under the dash ( close to the fuse box) that I could see. But I would keep turning the key and there was absolutely nothing, no lights coming on, the car would not try to start, it is like the battery was completely disconected but it was not at all. It did this same thing the last two times as well. I decided I would turn the key one last time before I called Triple A, and when I turned the key the dome light came on, but it was very dim, also this whole time I had the door open but did not think that it would matter because there was no electrical working so I did not think the battery would die, but the motor was still not starting, so now I thought I just killed the battery. Anyways, I turned the key off and tried it one more time, once again the dome light came on, then I turned it all the way and the car fired right up like nothing was wrong.

Also, lately I have been driving around listening to the radio at night and would turn on my high beams and the radio would shut off and the lights in the guages would go off for just a second, then come right back on, then when I turn the high beams off they would do the same thing again. But then other times it won't do this at all.

The point is this is a big electrical problem that I really don't need with my daily driver. I need to know why my car just randomly does things like this???? And why most of the time it won't. If it was happening consistently maybe me or one of my friends would be able to pin-point the problem, but sense it just does this randomly there is no way I can figure it out. And I can't drive around like this worrying about it, because if it decides to this in the middle of nowhere ( i.e. on the way to the river) and it will not start at all, I am kind of screwed.

So if any of you guys that know anything about electrical can help me out it would be much appreciated, thanks in advance.

H.O.R.E.
Hemet Off-Road Enthusiasts
 

BIG_FAT_LOSER

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Check battery connections and the cable for corosion under the protective cover? Lack of current flow.

If your gunna go.........go Ghetto...
 

jeff

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My 89' S-10 did that. Turned out it was a badly corroded ground strap. Took two weeks to find and only a few bucks to fix.
 

elcaprerunner

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Cool, I will try looking at the ground connection, though when I glanced at it it did not appear to be corroded, but it sounds like I need to take a better look. If there is anything else you gusy can think of let me know please. :) Also, do you think this is why my radio and guage lights will shut off like that when I turn my high beams on and off? ( the radio and guage lights also do this when I turn the heater on and off too). Thanks again.

H.O.R.E.
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desertracer

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I had a similar problem with my 96' silverado. The car would die at times with no warning and would not start other times, the starter would just click (guess not enought voltage to turn over). My dome lights and alarm would be very faint. After chasing the problem it ended up being a corroded positive lead that corroded inside out of sight, (these are the sealed 1 piece screw in GM ones) and a bad alternator only putting out like 40 amps instead of 100. After I replaced the battery, battery cables and alternator my car was as good as new. Give those a try because the symptons that you are describing are what I experienced.

MDR Class 1
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Greg

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Check the ground from the motor to the chassis. Sholud come from the rear of the head/block area to the cab/frame.

Greg
 

phorensic2k

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Had the same problem on an old Chevy truck at work. Turned out to be a heavily coroded ground cable right at the battery terminal.
 

vwguy

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look at the cables and connections right on the starter they are probably fried
my oldsmobile just did the same thing a couple weeks ago and i fixed the cables and its fine

how ironic is it that most people slow down for speed bumps yet almost all of us here im sure pin it
 
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