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  • Electrical Problem Today


    Nice day today so I drove over to the storage facility and took the Avanti out to bring it back home to work on the wind noise problem.

    Locked up my other car and planned to make two stops on the way back home. First stop at Lowes was no problem. Car started right up and I drove on over to the Post Office. Picked up my mail and when I got back in the car the car would not start. I had nothing, no electrical power at all. Normally when you turn the switch on you can operate the windows without starting the engine.

    Also the switch on the steering column did not feel quite right as I turned it. I tried shifting it in and out of park, tried neutral but got nothing. All battery connections were OK under the hood on the new battery.

    Called a tow truck and rode with him over to the shop. After unloading the car my mechanic got in, turned the key and it started right up without any problem at all. We started the car a dozen times and all was normal.

    Could this be the switch trying to tell me something?

    One more really weird thing....My clock keeps perfect time but after I got the car home I noticed it had lost 15 minutes of time?

    Steve


  • #2
    did you think to try the headlights when you were having the issue? if the ignition switch felt odd *and* the headlights still worked I'd consider that confirmation that you need a new ign. switch.

    On the other hand, if the headlights went way dim while trying to start the car I would suspect a bad connection somewhere.

    nate

    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    http://members.cox.net/njnagel
    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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    • #3
      Most likely your car has two parts to look at...the ignition lock (where your key goes in), and the switch itself which would be at the bottom of the steering column. If your lock on the column feels funny, that's the first place to look into...it's probably worn. I don't know if an '82 Avanti uses a GM, AMC or Mopar steering column, but if you would need any new replacement parts you'll need to identify its maker.

      It's always possible your neutral safety switch is out of adjustment, but again, if your column lock feels funny, look there first.




      Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.
      Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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      • #4
        quote:Originally posted by N8N

        did you think to try the headlights when you were having the issue? if the ignition switch felt odd *and* the headlights still worked I'd consider that confirmation that you need a new ign. switch.

        On the other hand, if the headlights went way dim while trying to start the car I would suspect a bad connection somewhere.

        nate
        Nate,

        I did not think to check the headlights but the trunk would not open with the glove box switch while all of this was going on. The trunk opens fine now but would not operate at the time.

        Steve

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        • #5
          I think you need to find the wire that supplies 12 constant volts to everything. That wire could be a pigtail from the + battery terminal or at starter solenoid from the big terminal. It energizes everything so if it's loose somewhere you lose power to everything.

          On your GM engined car I'm pretty sure it would originate from the solenoid on the starter. Could be right on the big terminal or a small terminal with a "B" marking.

          A bad ignition switch wouldn't cut off the constantly powered accessories, like the clock.

          ErnieR




          R2 R5388 @ Macungie 2006________________ 1988 "Beater" Avanti

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          • #6
            quote:Originally posted by bige

            I think you need to find the wire that supplies 12 constant volts to everything. That wire could be a pigtail from the + battery terminal or at starter solenoid from the big terminal. It energizes everything so if it's loose somewhere you lose power to everything.

            On your GM engined car I'm pretty sure it would originate from the solenoid on the starter. Could be right on the big terminal or a small terminal with a "B" marking.

            A bad ignition switch wouldn't cut off the constantly powered accessories, like the clock.

            ErnieR
            Ernie,

            Thanks for this info, I really think I have a problem other than the switch because everything was dead on the car. Normally when I open the glove box I can see the light and the trunk button operates regardless of whether the key is in the ignition. This afternoon there was nothing.

            I am wondering if loading and unloading the car from the truck bumped it around enough to make it work again.

            Thanks again,

            Steve

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm sure there's something loose somewhere.

              Don't rule out the connections right at the battery. It's always amazed me how a slightly loose terminal or one with a light coating of corrosion can completely shut everything down.

              Check at the alternator, battery terminal and starter solenoid those are all spots that can have a 12V feed wire.

              Leave a door open and start jiggling the wires and harnesses watching for the courtesy lights to flicker.

              ErnieR



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              • #8
                The first place I'd look would be where the cable from the battery positive post attaches to the stud on the starter solenoid. I had that exact same problem on my '88 Suburban a few months ago, and that was the cause, loose nut.

                Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
                Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                • #9
                  Thanks Guys,

                  I checked everything this morning including the starter solenoid and all were fastened tightly. The only thing I did notice was the ground cable on the battery could be turned on the post by hand so I tightened it up.

                  The car is starting easily and the problem has not resurfaced.

                  On a good note I took the towing bill of $55 with me to my State Farm agent this morning and they cut me a check for the $55 right on the spot. I was there to get coverage initiated on my 69 Chevelle which is going to shipped to me the next day or so.

                  BTW, I was blown away with how cheap the insurance on the 69 Chevelle is.

                  Thanks Again,

                  Steve

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