I own a 94 Caprice Classic with the 350 Engine, approximately 1 - 1.5 years
ago all of a sudden the car battery would go dead on us for no apparent
At first we thought it was just because it was the battery being old so we
brought it to Sears for a replacement battery as it had an old Die Hard in
it that had not yet run out of it's warranty, they put it on their machine
and said it's not the battery but some cable that ran between the alternator
and the battery?
Thinking something was fishy (I used to work at Sears a long time ago) I
said no thanks and brought it to the local garage where we have most of our
work done now and they checked it out and said it was indeed the battery and
they replaced it. For a while the car was fine then all of a sudden one day
the car was dead again?
For awhile I could start the car with my battery charger/jump starter and
the car would be OK for awhile but then it would not be. Now the car cannot
be started and driven and restarted any where We recently had to have it
jumped by AAA and they said that something in the car was drawing off the
battery when it was sitting off doing nothing and that's why the car would
not start after being run any more?
Today I brought it back to the local garage who said they would make good on
the repair the last time they fixed it, they just called me and said that
after checking out the car they found nothing wrong with the car at all or
battery? It's just that the car has only been driven 1900 miles in that 1.5
years and needs to be driven more and driven highway miles.
Does this sound correct to anyone out there? I agree that the car is not
driven much but it is driven once or twice a week for a few miles and as far
as I know that should be sufficient to keep the battery charged up and
everything working fine.
My wife is going to start driving the car on a more regular basis and I
don't want her to get stuck, do you think she will or is the garage correct
in what they say?
All replies will be appreciated.
Thanks in advance
I received the following replies:
Is the battery only dead after the car sits for awhile?
If so, then there's probably little risk of being stranded unless the
vehicle is left overnight.
My reply: The car will not start if it sits over night, it will start if it
sits for a couple of hours, like if my oldest son takes it to school, but
not if my wife takes it to work but it will if she takes it to work and
remembers to go out and have lunch next to it and starts it at lunch?
Did the shop do a parasitic draw test? What was the draw amperage?
I don't know for sure, they said they did ALL of the tests and they checked
out fine, they said that it needs to be driven on the highway so that it
will start all the time. My wife works about 45 mins away about 35 mins of
that is highway miles. It still gives us fits.
Sounds like an alternator to me. In those years, they had problems. It could
also be losing its 5 volt signal to the alternator.I would have the
alternator load tested it may just be a little low on the output and if you
have extended idle time with the fan on high, it will discharge.If it is an
intermittent draw, you would not get it started sometimes.But you are saying
that it cannot be restarted anywhere.I have seen pcms do this when they
don't feed the alt voltage. If you don't have any high amp draw
normally(like a camper or add ons) then I would test the alt with the head
lights on and the fans on high at idle.Its an easy alternator to change.
I have no idea if that is true or not? We have been told at 2 different
places that the alternator is good, at Sears we were told that it's a cable
that runs between the alternator and the battery that is at fault, anyone
know what cable they may have been talking about? They said it was not the
main cable that charges the battery but a secondary cable. My wife was the
one who brought the car in and of course the tech who told her about this
phantom cable never wrote it down and they have no record of her ever
bringing the car in never mind the tech who she saw that day. We all know
how fast Sears turns over their help in their auto departments :).
I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to everyone on this, to be
perfectly honest I had forgotten I wrote this question in here until this
morning and I had to go to google and look it up as my server did not even
retain it any longer. Right now the car sits unless we want to use it and
then we bring out the battery charger and jump start it (it's a great
charger with a jump start feature, slow charger etc :) ) and then we only
use it when we have to, we are going to bring it back to the garage again
but they are too inept to fix it (obviously) but all we want them to do is
put in a new battery but we don't want to create any bad blood with them as
we still need a place to do oil changes, state inspections and other minor
work for us.
It looks like unless we can get a definite answer on this we will have to
spring for the big bucks and bring it to the Chevy garage and have them fix
it, at least we know that once they put it on their machines they "SHOULD"
be able to get it fixed the first time through and if not they will keep
trying for free until they get it right.
Thanks in advance.