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Oh Hell.....

1804 Views 25 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Jesda
Well tonight "Ol' Reliable" crapped out on me. My '99 Malibu with the 3100 V6 while on my way home at like 9:30 at night in the freezing cold 20 degree night completely died. I was driving along and my battery light was on. Now this was on when I went to work and I had no choice I had to drive home like that. So my instrument panel was noticably dimmer than usual and my high beam headlights were actually dimmer than my lows. So while crusiing along I started to see more dash lights. ABS was the next light to come on followed by the Airbag light. So I started shutting things off to conserve power since I knew my battery was now dying. I shut off my foglights, CD, and heat. Next thing to come on was the Theft System light which is odd because my Malibu doesn't have one. It was about that time I lost all my outside lights, inside backlighting, and had really weak turn signals. Then the Brake light came on then the Service Vehicle Soon light (No ****ing kidding, thanks OBDII!) and finally Oil Pressure followed by Check Engine. Then I lost my instruments. The tach, speedo, fuel, and temp gagues all dropped and my digital odometer and PNRD123 display vanished. I pulled into the parking lot of a bar I was nearby with my engine still running and managed to park somewhere and shut my engine off.

I called my dad and told him what happened and while waiting for him to show up played a game of pool which I won. :highfive: Go Dope...... He showed up and we had the idea to jump the car. We jumped it and it ran and I had power. So we let it run for a few minutes then quickly took off. We got about 300 feet from the bar when it all happened again and this time the engine cut out. Of course being a 99 I'm more than positive the fuel pump and fuel injectors were electrically operated unlike the mechanical fuel pump and carb on my Caddy. Well now I'm stuck in the middle of the road and my father has vanished prolly not realizing he's lost me. Well **** me, here I am, pitch black with absolutely NO electrical and NO hazard flashers.

So I'm outside waving a flashlight to signal cars not to smash into my Chevy or myself while I call my dad to turn the **** around and stand with me. No tow trucks would come out when we called our AAA-like service through the warranty company for the car so I called the cops and got it towed through a local wrecker to my shop.

Well so what do you guys think happened? My dad had a similar experience one night when he was driving home. The battery light came on and then the ABS light but nothing else, no dim displays or anything like that. He took it into the shop and the battery failed a load test so they put a brand new Interstate battery in. That was a few days ago and now this happens. battery's new so it can't be that. I'm guessing alternator but I dunno because when they tested the battery they tested that too and it was fine. I'm at a loss here, any thoughts?
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lol.....all that description....

for a simple soultion....

bad alternator :)

that was easy enough....

all the lights were coming on because the voltage was dropping below safe levels... so then ABS stops etc....

it started when you jumped it because it quickly juiced up the battery, then shut down because it wasn't recharging.

It could be some parts of the alternator, voltage regulator etc... but just save the hassle, go to Advance auto and buy a new altenrator for like $120, throw it in and you have a lifetime warrantee.

On a fuel injected, computer controlled car... when the voltage drops below 12 volts... you are basically choking it off and it'll freak...

couple times, for various reasons something similar happened on the '93 DeVille, dash went crazy, the trans (electronic contrl) stopped shifting, so I had to shift manually, even then it woudln't respond all the time, the engine would cut out... I barely got it home to find a major short around the battery....

the '79 DeVille tho... gosh... that thing will run forever, or even start with a pretty dead battery.... man, I just like old school so much more then new school.

So yeah, alternator and you should be fine :)
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good chance its charging related from the sympoms.

Autozone will test your alternator and battery for free!

Good thing no one ran into your car though....its scary losing all systems like that.
Yup, I think Night Wolf hit the nail right on the head with this one. Gotta be a bad alternator.
Hopefully they fix the thing tomorrow before I gotta go to school. The roads up here are all salty and there's snow and I don't wanna drive my Fleetwood in that since it's clean and covered. If they can't get the car fixed by the time I gotta head off to school I think I'll go rent some thing for the day. Maybe a nice 2006 Malibu SS. :lildevil: Maybe even a 2006 DTS if I feel like spending a little extra. The worst part was sitting in the MIDDLE OF THE ROAD with no flashers around a curve with a bar down the road with I'm sure drunken idiots driving home..... Alternator's a 30 minute job and my shop is usually good with Chevy parts.

They go bad on the older Hyundais all the time.
You have to be 25 to rent a car?! When the hell did this shit happen??!?! Now I gotta bank on them finishing by 10 this morning so I can go to school.... And I prolly shouldn't have went off on the guy at the rental place..... but still!!! Son of a bitch!
Yeah bad alternator.

The one on my IROC crapped out on me about a mile from home just last week.
Got a ncie shiney new one on order.
Ha! I had virtually the same experience, minus all the idiot lights coming on, when I was a passanger in an old friend's POS Pontiac. We basically rolled in nuetral into a parking spot at our dormatory at school. She said she had the gas petal all the way to the floor and the car would not go over 15mph for a good mile or so.

I replaced the alternator and all was good after that.
That's exactly where mine died! Maybe no more than 2 miles from my door. God dammit it couldn't have went slightly further then I coulda sat in my room waiting for a tow. Isn't that always the way it happens? A car will never go and die as you're pulling in will it?
Yeah most rental joints have a 25 or 26 minumum but I think Enterprise has a lower age limit and ofcourse you could probably find local operations willing to rent to anyone :) Save the $$ and get a lift from someone no?
Haha actually, see my "Crap in a Hat" thread.....
Should be the alternator.

Something similar happened on my dad's 1999 Vectra when I was driving it home one night last year. Now on that car the radio display io built into the dash, i lost that first, the spedo went to zero, the mileage disappeared, the rev counter went to zero, temperature went to zero, radio lights went off, all switches had no lights, the central locking started to lock and then unlock, and then my headlights began to flash on and off so i shut them down, the flashers wouldnt come on, and then the engine started over revving. I was nervous to say the least. This happened at 70mph. I had to get the rapidly slowing car over three lanes of traffic at 5pm in the winter with no lights. It was scary.

I had to get out of the car and walk along the shoulder to the next exit and wait for the recovery to come get me. I didnt want to take any chances of getting hit by an artic. or something.
It might be the alternator but it could easily be as simple as poor connections at the battery terminals. If they are corroded you will get very weak or no charge at all. I usually check that first, clean them real good and charge the battery. Then I have the charging system checked with a full charge on the battery.
Yea if you have that white baking-soda-y stuff on the terminals it kills the current flowing through the system.
We got it back today, it was the alternator. *Shrug* Oh well, I'm just glad to have my V6 Rocket back. Now the Caddy can go back to sleep....
Yeah, the Malibu's didn't get good reliability until about the '02 model. My first guess was the fuel injectors too, since they're a known failure on the '99 Malibus...:

But, the alternator....well, it is a GM bread and butter car...As I say, You should have gotten a Honda...:histeric::thumbsup:
I dont think the fuel injectors were the problem at all, known issue or not. Hed still be having problems right now.
No it was the alternator. The FI or at least the Fuel Pump is electrical. Without power your engine gets no gas and well with no gas, well, you know what happens. Car runs fine now. I do love my Chevy, wouldn't trade it for a Honda ever. I do wanna trade it for an 06 Malibu SS in black. I love those things, they look great and are ****in' speed machines. Haha actually after reading those negative reviews, we had all that happen already and it's all been fixed. The charging and starting was just done. That's the last one on the list. Do I care? Nop. We have a warranty so we don't pay for NOTHIN'!!!! BWAAHAHAHHAHAA!!!! :lildevil:
Playdrv4me said:
Yea if you have that white baking-soda-y stuff on the terminals it kills the current flowing through the system.
What is that 'baking-soda-y stuff' anyway? I am always cleaning
it off the wife's SUV (Durango SLT :suspect: :hide: ) battery.
I am glad everything worked out for you Sir Dope, the
exact same shit happened to my Olds '88.
Best Regards,
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