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Old 09-29-2014, 08:32 PM   #1
Ubie
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1999 SL2
Wrench Starting/Electrical issues

My brother has been borrowing my '99SL2 for the last 3-4 months or so and called me with a starting problem today. Hoping someone can help me narrow this down, I have my suspicions but am looking for some outside advice. I haven't had a chance to get under the car to take a closer look, nor a chance to have the alternator/battery tested. I did make sure the connections were good, but that's been about all i've had time for.

The car: 1999 SL2, 230k mi, 5sp. Has a 3 1/2 year old battery.

Major work done recently: New starter 6mo ago (it def. had died) and new transmission shift cables a month ago (one sheared off near transmission housing).

The problem: Often won't start.

The tangential symptoms that worry me: The ignition is making a 'click' sound like a starter issue, not like a dead battery 'click'. However, after pop-starting the car and while driving under acceleration the radio will cut out and the speedo and tach will flutter and drop to zero. Fuel and temp gauges still read fine and no idiot light indicating batter/alternator problem.

I'm guessing it's both the alternator *and* the starter, but am looking for a 2nd opinion. Could it just be the alternator?
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:03 AM   #2
el diablo viejo
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1994 SW1
2000 SW2
Default Re: Starting/Electrical issues

Sounds more like an electrical contact or connection issue. When you checked the battery terminals did you actually take them off and check for corrosion ?
...
97 sl2 a/t 104 K
1989 GMC 3500 454 129 K, 1969 442 455 rat rod
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:07 PM   #3
Ubie
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1999 SL2
Default Re: Starting/Electrical issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by el diablo viejo View Post
Sounds more like an electrical contact or connection issue. When you checked the battery terminals did you actually take them off and check for corrosion ?
We have a winner! This is why I love the internet and this site specifically. While I had done the 'tug' test on the cables to make sure they were tight I hadn't taken a wrench to them. So, when I got home tonight I popped the hood, tightened them down and we're good to go!

Thanks for the advice, saved me the effort of replacing the starter and possibly the alternator.
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Old 10-01-2014, 11:24 AM   #4
el diablo viejo
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Default Re: Starting/Electrical issues

All well and good but I couldn't sleep without taking the terminals off and making sure they were nice and clean and shiny
...
97 sl2 a/t 104 K
1989 GMC 3500 454 129 K, 1969 442 455 rat rod
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