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Tim West
Tim West, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4638
Experience:  ASE Certified Service Manager for Bridgstone/ Firestone
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oldsmobile bravada: it keeps losing power..electrical problem

Customer Question

I have a oldsmobile bravada and it keeps losing power. could it be a electrical problem?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Tim West replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for visiting Just Answer,
Can you elaborate on the issue ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
At first i thought it just needed a tune-up. I did that. Then i had it put on a machine and it said the alternator was bad (that alternator was about 5 years old). I had it tested 3 times but it still reads that the alternator is bad. I had that replaced and it broke down again.
Expert:  Tim West replied 4 years ago.
So is there a problem with the charging system? Does the vehicle stall and drain the battery?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes it stalls but once the alternator was changed it would be fine for while and it will do it again so battery is okay.
Expert:  Tim West replied 4 years ago.
So the vehicle is stalling, but you are not having to jump start it?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It stalls to the point that i have to have it towed.
Expert:  Tim West replied 4 years ago.
Will it start up later on? If the vehicle isn't needing jumped after it dies the alternator is OK.
Sorry for all the ?s
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
your fine with the ?'s. It wont jump start. it wont start later either. once the the alternator is changed it starts again.
Expert:  Tim West replied 4 years ago.
Well the alternator isn't going to cause the vehicle not to start.
That would be the battery. The alternator keeps the battery charged. It can only work with the vehicle already running. So there is a fluke somewhere.
Do you have a check engine light on?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
no the battery light flashes on and off. and the lights goes low and bright
Expert:  Tim West replied 4 years ago.
So after it stalls will the vehicle still crank?
Is it starting right now?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
once it stalls, it stalls and will not crank at all.
Expert:  Tim West replied 4 years ago.
Gotcha, I have a feeling this problem has something to do with the ignition switch or starter relay.
Check for voltage on IGN E, ENG 1, and TBC IGN 1 fuses.
Probe the Pink wire coming from the ignition switch and see if there is no voltage on it with the key on.
If no power and power on the fuses are low, replace the igniton switch.
ignition switch failures are common on this vehicle to cause this kind of problem.
There is also a service bulletin on this issue:

When diagnosing a concern regarding an intermittent vehicle no crank or dead battery, technicians should remove and reinstall the ignition switch using the Ignition Switch Replacement procedure in the Steering Wheel and Column section of SI. The ignition switch may have been misindexed in the steering column during a previous replacement.

If the ignition switch is misindexed in one direction, the ignition switch circuits will not be completely open when the ignition switch is in the OFF position with the key removed. This may result in lights remaining on or instrument panel lights illuminating, which will drain the battery. If the ignition switch is misindexed in the opposite direction, the ignition circuits will open correctly but the ignition switch may not close the crank circuit properly when the ignition key is turned to the crank position. This will result in a no crank concern.





Removal Procedure

Caution: Refer to SIR Handling Caution In Service Precautions.



  1. Disable the SIR system. Refer to Disabling the SIR System in Air Bag Systems.
  2. Remove the steering column trim covers from the steering column. Refer to Steering Column Trim Cover Replacement - On Vehicle.
  3. Disconnect the steering column electrical connectors.



  1. Remove the wire harness assembly (1) from the wire harness straps (2) and the steering column.



  1. Slide the 2 connectors (2) of the turn signal and multifunction switch assembly out of the bulkhead connector (1).



  1. Remove the key alarm connector (1) from the lock module assembly (2) in the following way:
6.1. Rotate the key alarm connector (1) 90 degrees.
6.2. Pull the key alarm connector (1) out of the lock module assembly (2).
6.3. Remove the passkey connector from the lock module assembly (2).



  1. Remove the connector (2) from the electric park lock (1), for vehicle equipped with floor shifters.



  1. Slide the ignition and key alarm switch assembly (2) out of the lock module assembly (1) by releasing the tabs.

Installation Procedure



  1. Slide the ignition and key alarm switch assembly (2) into the lock module assembly (1).



  1. Install the key alarm connector (1) into the lock module assembly (2).
2.1. Push the key alarm connector (1) into the lock module assembly (2).
2.2. Rotate the key alarm connector (1) 90 degrees so that the key alarm connector (1) locks into place.
2.3. Install the passkey connector into the lock module assembly (2).



  1. Snap the electric park lock (2) onto the lock module assembly (2), for vehicle equipped with floor shifters.



  1. Reconnect the connector (2) to the electric park lock (1), for vehicle equipped with floor shifters.



  1. Slide the 2 connectors (2) of the turn signal and multifunction switch assembly into the bulkhead connector (1).



  1. Attach the wire harness assembly (1) to the steering column with new wire harness straps (2).



  1. Connect the steering column electrical connectors.
  2. Install the steering column trim covers to the steering column, Refer to Steering Column Trim Cover Replacement - On Vehicle.
  3. Enable the SIR system. Refer to Enabling the SIR System in Air Bag Systems.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

are you saying that the switch is the cause of the car stalling? the car stalls while driving it.....im a little confused now.

Expert:  Tim West replied 4 years ago.
YEs, a failing ignition switch can cause the vehicle to stall.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Your saying that the ignition switch needs replacing and that there seems to be no problem with the alternator, battery and we can rule out electrical problems. (even the wire that goes to the alternator). I had it put on a machine and its giving a false read of the alternator (code) being bad while on the car. But when alternator is off the car its okay.

Expert:  Tim West replied 4 years ago.
Do you get power at pin B?

The voltage on terminalB (red wire) on the Alternator connector will not light a test light. It needs to be tested with the connector disconnected and the engine running, using a voltmeter. There are three different voltage values of 5 volts, 10.5 volts or 12 volts on the wire to pin B depending upon vehicle application. If the voltage measured is one of the above values, check the output terminal for 12V and the alternatgraphicor case for ground. If these tests are OK, then replace the Alternator.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
remember there are two alternators.....both did the same thing. I had a ase tech put a machine on it and read bad alternator. when he took it off and put another one on it ran fine for a while. later that day, it did it again. he put another on there and it did the same thing. I took the first alternator and had it tested to 3 different companies and they all said it was okay. So are you saying that I need another alternator, do you think i need another battery, or what.
Expert:  Tim West replied 4 years ago.
Well, if jumping the battery doesn't change anything I am afraid it might not change anything. I would be nice to know there is a good battery because a weak battery can cause problems.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
so what should i do?
Expert:  Tim West replied 4 years ago.
Start and run the engine, verify greater than 5 volts on the Brown wire at the regulator.
Check the voltage on the Red wire at the output terminal of the alternator.
If the voltage on the Red wire is less than battery voltage, check the connection and fusible link at the starter solenoid
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

so you think its the alternator?

or the battery?

or the ignition switch?

 

Expert:  Tim West replied 4 years ago.
well it sounds like the ignition switch, but you said there was an obvious alternator issue, so I was suggesting just checking the system out to see what is showed,
Let me ask you when the vehicle stalls, are you losing everything electrical? Lights? engine? Does it stall slowly or just cuts out ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
it just shuts off
Expert:  Tim West replied 4 years ago.
And when it shuts off can you turn the radio or other electricals back on?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
no...no power at all
Expert:  Tim West replied 4 years ago.
Oh man, this is a tough one. I will need to opt out so another expert can assist you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thanks

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

is anyone there?

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
still awaiting for a answer from Bob
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

awaiting answer from Pavliin

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
never got a answer from tim, bob or palvin..still waiting on a answer...?

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