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2001 Oldsmobile Silhouette GL 4dr

2001 Oldsmobile Silhouette
Trim Info:
Front Wheel Drive, 4 Door Ext WB, 2WD Minivans
19 mpg city / 26 mpg hwy
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September 19, 2011, 7:16 am

AutomotiveForums M

Question: Battery running down but testing fine at auto-shop

Ok, here is the problem. I recently replaced the alternator in my van because the battery kept draining and the alternator/battery light was coming on. We tested both the alternator and the battery before doing this and they tested fine. But for safe measure we put on a new alternator. The warning light would continue to come on, and stay on, but if I turned my car off and restarted it, it would go away and never came on while driving it. One night, I noticed the same problem, so when I pulled into a place i could stop, I turned the car off like I had been doing and turned it on, thinking it would start right up. Well, it didn't. I made this fizzy electrical sound and wouldn't even turn. So my husband jump the car from his truck and after a minute or so it started right up, ran fine all the way home (we were vacationing at the beach and drove home AT NIGHT--using lights, for 3 hours!) Got it home, turned it off, started it again, no problem. Got up the next morning, started it. No problem. A few days later, went to start it, got the same "fizzy" sound, and it wouldn't crank. Put it on a portable charger in the start mode and it cranked right up. Drove it for another couple of days and while driving it the alternator light came on, the ABS light came on, all my dials on the console (gas guage, SPEEDOMETER) dropped to zero, my radio clock reset itsself, etc. I got it home, but the power was going FAST and I barely made it. Turned it off, tried to start it, got the fizzy sound again and it would not start. Put a charge on it, it started, but after leaving it running for a minute or so, all the lights and dials started acting up again and the idle was funny sounding (like it was getting little bursts of power, but obviously DYING!) Soooo, that is where I am. I threw a full charge on the battery, then it started right up. But it started dying again after a minute. Took the battery out, and had it tested at Advance Auto. They said the battery was putting out 650 amps, which was perfect and that it wasn't the battery... So we are looking at getting a new alternator, which was just replace 2 months ago... Coutd there be anything more going on? My husband checked all the connections for corrosion, followed all the wires around to see if they were all connected well, looked for obvious signs of wear in the wires, etc... This is completely baffling us! HELP!!!!! I love my van. It is a GOOD van, still beautiful, still has a good running engine and transmission... Still a smooth ride. This has been our only major problem since buying it 8 years ago!


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