Stereo & Electronics - Road side EMERGENCY! Help
08-16-2012, 06:34 PM
I just got back from Afghanistan and took the Trans am for a spin. I was informed after I made it several miles down the road that there was in issue with the car while I was gone. While driving, my car died completely. My radio still read time but all the needles look like they where having a seizure. Not working at all. Now theres no power to roll my windows up so i no now i need jumper cables and jack. Still cheaper than towing. Now it's either go to wal mart to buy what I need or get it towed. Fayetteville charges too much for towing so I was thinking about getting the tools and doing it on the road. Need to know if you think it's an alternator issue or something else before I buy tools. Please help. Thanks FML!!!!
08-16-2012, 07:33 PM
Checking on another forum for you. From the easiest to hardest...Have you removed both battery terminals, hit them with a wire brush and re-tightened? I'd even consider taking a fully charged battery out to the car and swapping it out. Battery could have a bad cell, but I am guessing that the terminals are corroded and making intermittent contact. Also check the other end of the battery cables.
08-16-2012, 08:51 PM
terminals, battery took a dump, or the alternator did is my guess. clock doesnt take much juice is why it still works. so take what you need to clean the terminals really good and jumper cables. also a voltmeter to see if your getting a charge
08-16-2012, 11:16 PM
Check your grounds also. Did you notice if the volt gauge dropped shortly before the car died? It'll run off the battery for a little bit.
08-17-2012, 12:06 PM
Yea it did drop but so did all the other ones. I ended up getting towed last night. Kinda in a bad part of town. I will start working on it today and checking every thing out. Hope it's not my battery though. It's a optima red top. Thanks for the info. Hope it works out the cheapest way possible. Ha
08-17-2012, 12:23 PM
my car did the same thing it sounds like the alternator
08-17-2012, 12:43 PM
This definitely sounds like a cable or ground issue as stated before remove the cables thoroughly clean the cables and terminals, and check all grounds, check battery voltage, and if all else fails have the alternator spun if this doesn't solve it we can dig into the "fun" stuff.
08-17-2012, 01:07 PM
Some welcome home, huh?
08-17-2012, 01:46 PM
check the little exciter wire in the top of the alternator, this happened to me when that wire was touching the headers
08-17-2012, 03:00 PM
Will do. Thanks for your guys help. Yea less than 24 hours home and I can't drive my car. FYI... The night before I left for the deployment, my wife took me on a detour. Bad idea. I ended up in the middle of a drop zone stuck in sand. I think my wife is setting me and my true l
08-17-2012, 03:02 PM
Love (my Trans am) up for failure. LOL. Anyways. I will be going and this tonight and dropping the Trans for a new clutch. Once again thanks for the advice. Stupid phone keeps sending everything on its own.
08-18-2012, 04:11 PM
So I got the car home and found the alternator wire loose. No big deal. But now my car won't start. I ran it for a while when it died because it had enough juice to get me to a parking lot. What's the issue now? I borax the fuel lines. Not really getting pressure and I also tried to jump start three times. It rumbled but didn't start. Sound more like it was hungry. Since my electrical went out, do you think it could be my fuel pump ran out of fuel through the lines since the pump had no juice? Now it just needs to build back up? Or something else? Thanks for the help.
08-18-2012, 07:15 PM
Please fill in more details. Once you got the alternator wire tight, did you have to jump start, or the the battery provide the juice? Did you take the battery to a store and have it tested? This still could be a bad Optima IMO. Did you find the loose alternator wire when checking and cleaning all battery cables? If not, I would still go at that until all connection issues are ruled out.
I don't know if your thought on the fuel pump is on the right track, but again, if it is, you are again chasing that electrical demon. I know folks love Optimas, but I have heard they are more about show than reliability. That said, if the car has had limited use for months, any battery would stand to let you down. If you can't borrow another battery, and the parking lot seems safe, I'd pull your Optima and take it to AA or AZ and let them diagnose and charge it, and return it to the car for another try. If that is a no-go, I'd pull the alternator and have them check that. It takes running around, but it is cheap.
Thanks for keeping us posted.
08-18-2012, 09:53 PM
I have two optimas. One was in my 68 which I pulled. It was reading 11.48 so I used it. Pulled the other one out. i did drive it for a while before the alt. got loose. Neighbors are kinda made but could care less. I got to jump start it three times before my hill ran out and each time it rumbled like it was running but extremely low idel and I pushed on he gas but idel didn't change. I tried starting it several times off the battery then with it being jumped by another vehicle. Didn't want to distroy the starter so it was limited to the ammount of try's. Just wondering that if when I was driving it and it died, since I was running off of pretty much no battery, did that distroy something. Checked all the fuses too. Thanks for he help and let me know if I forgot something.
08-22-2012, 11:28 AM
First, thanks for your service. I really appreciate you and others that put themselves in harms way for this great country we live in.
I have read through the thread and your last post gives me the information I needed to complete the puzzle. At a voltage of 11.48, your battery was 90% discharged. It did start the car, but with the loose alternator wire, and no power going back into the battery, you simple drained the battery until it wouldn't keep all the required systems running. Back in the day before computers in cars, you were running an ignition system that could run on as few as 9 volts, and with a mechanical fuel pumps, etc, a weak battery could go a long ways. However, not so, as you know, with today's cars with everything we demand from our charging/electrical system. It sounds like the alternator is fixed now, so I think if you will simply recharge your now deeply-discharged RedTop, you should be fine. Remember, no more than 10amps when recharging an Optima, more amperage could damage your battery. Fully charged, a RedTop should read a voltage in the 12.6-12.8 range, so check to see if you are close to that range. Once you have the battery back up to full charge you should see all those strange gauge readings and other issues disappear.
I hope this helps,
eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries, Inc.
08-22-2012, 12:57 PM
So I got a good red top back in there but no fuel is coming from the schrader valve where you purge the air. No what? Did the fuel completely drain from the lines and now it's just sucking at pulling it back through the lines?
I loved the older vehicles. This is my only fuel injected vehicle I have owned.
08-22-2012, 01:05 PM
Thanks for your service,
Can you hear the fuel pump turn on?
Maybe your pump gave out... how long was the car sitting?
08-22-2012, 01:37 PM
Not longer than a day. I can't hear the pump come on but I was working on to projects at the same time. The alt. and the traction mod. My wife came out yelling so I stopped what I was doing. When I went back to the car, forgot to tighten the ECM down. Palm to face. Hopefully that is why my car won't start now. Hope I didn't mess up anything.
Thanks. It's easy when you enjoy what you do. :-)