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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2019 Thread Starter
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Weird Electrical No start issue 2001 impala

Have a 2001 Impala with a weird issue. Drove fine this morning.
When the key is turned to any position, all kinds of things happen -except for the engine starting... I really don't know how to describe it, so I


Basically, dash lights flickering in and out, gauges keep resetting to minimums, weird buzzing noises coming from the cluster, the center display with mileage and gear select seems faded around the edges.


Any ideas on what this might be? Ignition switch?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelb View Post
Have a 2001 Impala with a weird issue. Drove fine this morning.
When the key is turned to any position, all kinds of things happen -except for the engine starting... I really don't know how to describe it, so I made a video.<snip video>

Basically, dash lights flickering in and out, gauges keep resetting to minimums, weird buzzing noises coming from the cluster, the center display with mileage and gear select seems faded around the edges.


Any ideas on what this might be? Ignition switch?
Sounds like a weak battery to me. When they get low enough, rather than slowly cranking, you get nothing. I did hear some clicking which sometimes also occurs with a weak battery.

You can take the battery to a parts store or Walmart and they will test it for you. While you are at it, inspect the wires on the battery looking for corrosion. It's usually white, powdery crud, or sometimes light blue (from the copper). The corrosion can impede the flow of electricity which has much the same effect as a weak battery.

If someone can help you, you might try jump starting it. If that works, it's pretty much an indicator that a new battery is needed.

HTH.

Doug

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If your socket set is all the same brand, you might be a city slicker.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2019 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by plano-doug View Post
Sounds like a weak battery to me. When they get low enough, rather than slowly cranking, you get nothing. I did hear some clicking which sometimes also occurs with a weak battery.

You can take the battery to a parts store or Walmart and they will test it for you. While you are at it, inspect the wires on the battery looking for corrosion. It's usually white, powdery crud, or sometimes light blue (from the copper). The corrosion can impede the flow of electricity which has much the same effect as a weak battery.

If someone can help you, you might try jump starting it. If that works, it's pretty much an indicator that a new battery is needed.

HTH.

Doug

.

Battery voltage is 12.6, battery is about a year old. Might put a charger on it overnight.


EDIT: I should add the in the first 10 seconds of the video, the key was turned to the acc position, not on or start, and that weird noise is not the radio.
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Originally Posted by michaelb View Post
Battery voltage is 12.6, battery is about a year old. Might put a charger on it overnight.
That's the no-load voltage. When you turn the key and current begins to flow, the voltage can very quickly drop below the level necessary to start the car.

If the battery has a bad cell, or there's a bad connection (corroded wire). the added resistance will cause a big voltage drop when the key is turned to crank.

One test you can try is to probe the battery with a voltmeter while someone turns the key. If it drops below ~10 V, that can indicate a bad cell. But most digital meters are too slow for such a test. The old analog meters are better suited for that.

Anyway, if you take the battery to a store and get it tested, they can determine if it has a bad cell.

HTH.

Doug

.

_

If your socket set is all the same brand, you might be a city slicker.

.
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Just tried using the fob to lock/unlock it
When I hit lock, horn relay clicks but no horn. Bit of noise from door locks but no locking occurs.
When I hit unlock, just some noise from door locks.

Not sure if this means anything, but it seems unable to lock/sound horn, even though it can turn on AC fans/radio.
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^+1 on the getting the battery, alternator and starter load-tested for free at a parts store.
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