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Anti-theft and no start problems

  #1  
Old 12-29-2008, 07:01 PM
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I have a 1996 Sable LS that has been parked the last two weeks or so during a major winter snow storm. When I tried to start it the other day, the door was frozen shut. lI was able to pry it open, but the door wouldn''t latch and when I started the car, it started as usual, but then slowly idled down and stalled. While it was idling down, all of the various dash lights flashed, then went off, the vehicle''s various electronic features made strange beeps and clicks and the like, and the car then died. When I tried to restart, the sequence repeated itself. The battery seems to be reasonably charged, and the car is in a good state of overall maintenance. Is it possible that trying to "force" the door triggered the anti-theft to cut the power to the engine, and what is the correct procedure to de-arm the system and return normal power?Both the battery and alternator are new last year, so I doubt they are at fault. The symptoms are very much like an anti-theft system shut down.
 
  #2  
Old 12-29-2008, 07:57 PM
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I doubt very much that it would be the anti-theft. what it sounds like is a voltage regulator issue or loose cables issue. make sure that the battery cables are securely tightened. the battery may not have been getting charged properly while the car was running. check the cables to the alternator as well. they should all be secure. if anything moves, tighten it (this includes putting mild torque on bolts - they should be reasonably tight). if you have aftermarket battery terminals (you''ve had to replace the terminals with clamp on types) make sure the clamp is very tight to the wires. even if the wires don''t wiggle in the clamp, it may not be tight enough. the bolts holding down the clamp on the wire should be very tight. also, check for corrosion and clean the battery terminals with a wire brush or battery terminal tool.

if the battery is shorting out under load, this can also happen (though usually that would prevent the car from starting). If you can, get the alternator tested. a friend of mine had a car (chevy corsica) that would eat alternators. he had to get a new one every year. they would just burn up in that car.
 
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:00 PM
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Thanks Slymer! Searching around on the "net" has produced similar advice. For whatever reason, some vehicles seem to be really sensitive to electrical current issues, probably due to the high electrical demands of highly optioned vehicles of today. After an overnight charging of the battery, the car started and appeared to be okay as of this morning. I''ll keep my eye on it and follow through on the battery cable cleanup and retighten. Since the alternator was recently replaced, those cable connections are suddenly suspect as well. Thanks again
 
  #4  
Old 12-30-2008, 07:05 PM
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yeah... been there and done that more than a few times myself, except my cars are usually base models. I did have experience with one car not wanting to start because it had a voltage safety on the starter and the battery had a weak cell. when the voltage would drop below a certain level, it would not even engage the starter to protect it from over-amping.
 
  #5  
Old 12-30-2008, 08:30 PM
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Sometimes I really miss cars like my old ''56 Mercury Meteor and even my ''70 Boss 302. Everything on those cars was there for a performance related reason pretty much, and as a result, easier to diagnose and maintain. But I''ve gotten old and jaded I guess, and fall more easily for the higher maintenance ladies like my Sable. But when all is said and done, when she''s "hot" she''s really hot, and when she''s not, she''s just high maintenance. Keeps me hanging on! Happy New Year to all!
 
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