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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
1996 DOHC

Last night I parked my car everything was fine. This morning, I turn the key and nothing. The radio works, the lights work, the locks work, battery voltage tested fine.

When I turn the key to the ON position there is nothing, the radio doesnt turn on, no lights on the dash, its dead. The accessory position the radio turns on.

I've noticed a random "clicking" sound coming from under the dash, and if I jiggle the wire that is attached to the brake pedal it will make a clicking sound.

Any ideas on what the problem might be?
 

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Could be a starter soiliniod or a relay. What is the voltage on your battery reading? If its fully charged(assuming ti would be since you drove it the night before) you should be getting around 12.5 volts straight from the battery. Another thing you could do i have done this with chevy starters is take a hammer and tap on the casing sometime starters will stop in a bad spot. This only happens very rarely but it has happend before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Now when I lock the door, it goes click click click click click click click and the locks close real slow. This is weird.
 

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sounds like your battery is dead or your wires are loose on your battery try jump starting it. Your alternator could have went bad and killed your battery.
 

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did you make sure the battery terminals are tight? i had the same problem on my aurora and i just tightened the terminals and never had a problem after that.
 

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It really sounds like the starter to me, I would do what dieselman069 said and tap on the starter while someone cranks it. It is not just chevy, evey starter does this when they are going bad. In fact that is how they go bad. It starts with a dead spot in the electric motor, and you can tap on it for a while and it will work until it finally leaves you sitting. Anyway I would just start with that. It should only take a minute to try that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was able to jump start it, drive it around, but the radio lights and dome lights would flicker.

The alternator was replaced last year.

The battery does hold a charge though.

Right now I'm thinking the terminals need to be cleaned, this was at my moms house so I didn't have a brush to clean and limited tools. I did the scrape with a screw driver thing but thats about it. The battery had a lot of build up on a negative pole.
 

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I was able to jump start it, drive it around, but the radio lights and dome lights would flicker.

The alternator was replaced last year.

The battery does hold a charge though.

Right now I'm thinking the terminals need to be cleaned, this was at my moms house so I didn't have a brush to clean and limited tools. I did the scrape with a screw driver thing but thats about it. The battery had a lot of build up on a negative pole.
Sounds like you should definitely start by cleaning up the posts on the battery. How old is the battery? How do you know it holds a charge?
A Lot of buildup like that would most certainly cause it to have potential power issues so i feel that is a solid 1st step.

Baking Soda Cleaning Tips - Auto Battery a link for using baking soda to clean up battery terminals in case you need it :-D

Have a good one, keep us posted!
 

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Measuring no load batt voltage with a DMM tells you almost nothing, as the DMM draws almost no current from the batt. Measure batt voltage and then turn on the headlights. Voltage should drop very little, a vew 1/10s volt max. if batt is in reasonable shape.
 

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my dads expidition does this all the time the negtive crodes and loses contact. so try that take it off and clean it with a terminal brush. and it should work just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Cleaned them today, still doing the same thing.

I was able to jump start it, when I drove it, all of a sudden it would "buck", then steer a little funny. then back to normal. When it would be idling the lights again would kind of "pulse"

As soon as I would shut it off, putting the key back in the "On" position, nothing, no lights nada.. But the accessory position everything was fine.

I measured the battery at 12.48 sitting from last night, and while it was running it was 13.8 something and would go up and down .2+/- or so.

Strange thing today, was when I was moving the key from accessory to ON the door locks, opened then locked then opened.

I think I need a priest!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Checked battery voltage today 12.3 (still within tolerance imo)

Could there be a chance the battery might be bad?
 

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at 12.3 i would say the battery is dead. It should have at least 12.6 sitting overnight. You could try charging it and see if it would do it any good.
 

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at 12.3 i would say the battery is dead. It should have at least 12.6 sitting overnight. You could try charging it and see if it would do it any good.

12.3 is not dead. I have a red top and it sit at 12 to 12.5 when its shut off. The problem could bad alternator. While your car is running the eletrical system runs of the alternator so if your getting flickering light while its running i would be inclinded to say thats the problem. The resisters are fading out and just worn. So there for your car has been relying on your battery to run your accessories and the alternator isnt charging the battery so therefore you get a flat battery. Easiest thing to do and it will only take have the day(if you can spare it) take it off and run it to Autozine. I used to work and they test alternators for you free of charge. If it is bad then you can replace it right then and there(given you have the money) and they wont charge a core charge for not bringing the old one in.

If it is good that i would resort to getting your car running fair enough to get it to Autozone and they can hook it up to the machine and put a load test on it and it will test everything in the electrical system(i.e. battery, alternantor, and the complete charging system) all free of charge.

Hope this helps out.
 

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As Jeff said. Hook your meter to your battery, turn on headlights, battery should still read over 10 volts. If not bad battery. Start car, voltage should be 13-15 volts, if not bad alternator.

Ed
 

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I am having this same problem, I replaced the alternator and the battery.
It was driving fine for a few days, now it feels like it's going to die and "bucks" again...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Turns out it was the battery, I missed the manufactured date of 2006. I guess the reason i overlooked the battery in the first place is because I was used to the starter clicking when the battery was low, not all the relays inside the cabin.
 
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