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Discussion Starter #1
The clamp on the positive battery cable is cracked and seperated, while all sides are making contact to the actual post. No problems had occured, until today. Sometimes when I would signal, or break, or turn on my lights, my sound system would get screwy. It would 'pop' and the CD player would reset itself. I also noticed the signals were blinking really, really slow. Later today I went to my dad's and when I was trying to leave, all I got was clicking from the solenoid. We moved the cable around and jumped it, and I drove home. After the jump and on the way home I noticed I had no signal lights. I assumed I had no brake lights either.

With the lights off, the tach is off about 200 rpms. As I was driving I was testing a bit more, so when I pulled the lights out to turn them on for the tach to be more accurate, when the tach needle dropped to zero and I felt the car die. The ignition turned off. Thankfully I pushed the lights back in on the dash (turning them off) and the ignition came back on again, and since the engine was still spinning it started back up. I made it home 3 or 4 minutes later. My e-brake light is always on due to the pedal being broken, and after this the light was very, very dim, not bright as usual.

My mom said I had no brake lights with the lights on but one brake light with the lights off, when the pedal was pressed. I didn't check headlights.

Can the broken clamp on the positive cable be the cause of all this? I don't really know how but since all these things happened and a jump fixed at least the starter...I'm not sure.

I had problems with the CD player before and it was the voltage regulator, but it's less than 6 months old. It's a Wells Solid State Regulator.

I'd hate to have to drive back to school tomorrow and this be broken. I can't get back until dark too so I need lights but if that means the ignition won't work... :confused:

Thanks for the help guys..
 

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I'm not saying that the broken terminal is causing ALL of your problems, but it's a good place to start! Replace it! Don't play games with it. I hava a Wells solid state regulator on my Chevelle for a number of years now with no problems. If your electrical connections are bad, all sorts of problems can occur. Change the battery cables and let us know.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Right, I'll get on the battery cable tomorrow. All these things happened to happen at once and some seem a lot to do with power drain so who knows. Usually grounds cause all the grelmins but if it was the main positive cable, hey, got it whooped...here's to hoping.
 

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Two great pieces of advice that I received many long years ago:

1) Always start by repairing or replacing what is obviously bad or broken.

2) When having a continuing problem always look back at the last item worked on or replaced.

Although our old Chevelles are farm simple when compared to more modern cars - that does not mean that all laws of mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic science can be ignored. Your battery cable may not be the entire problem, but for sure it cannot work much better than a 10 or 12 guage wire in the condition you have described. Even if fresh cables do not fix the immediate problem, they really needed replacing anyway. Also, with wires of any size you can have corrosion occuring under the insulation that you cannot see.

Thomas
 

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I think when you fix your battery cables, alot of your problems will go away. Electrical stuff is screwy, if thiers not enough power to go around, some circuits will "steal" from others. With your low voltage problems, could have triggered other demons? Dave.
 

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Replace the whole cable. DO NOT use the clamp on type cable ends-they are nothing but trouble!!

Good Luck
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, so far that fixed the problem for about thirty minutes, then it messed up again. We ended up running short on time today so we could only use the clamp on cable-end that we had on hand. Maybe they're not clamped on tight enough. I'll try to re-tighten tomorrow to see what happens. So far the ignition didn't die with the lights on, though all lights got very, very dim.

Maybe I need to check alternator output?
 

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I would bet it is something in the tail lights ground more than the battery connections. or even a two way bulb crammed into a one way slot. I've seen it before, it does strange things.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well it's strange but it turns out it was the alternator. At least it was a fairly easy fix and under warranty. Thanks for all the help.
 
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