1999 Buick LeSabre won't start, has no electricity

I have a 1999 Buick LeSabre 6 cylinder automatic transmission. My son drove it yesterday morning and parked it. Last night he was going to leave and the car was completely dead. I tried, and there was no electricity at all. I hooked it up to another car, and it started right away, only to die again. The radio stayed on, so I shut it off and started the car again, only for it to die once more. This time, all the electrical quit as well, and would not come back. It didn’t fade in or out, it just came on, then cut off like it was unplugged. The battery is good, and the cables are cleaned and secured. Up until yesterday this hadn’t happened. I checked it again this morning, and no electricity. It was suggested to me that the voltage regulator might be faulty. Does anyone have any other ideas? Right now I have no way to get it to a shop other than tow it.

Hopefully you have at least a test light probe to verify where power is getting to. First off clean the battery connections even though though they may look okay. A thin layer of corrosion can cause this type of problem. If that doesn’t fix things then check for power getting from the battery to the main fuse in the panel under the hood. There could be corrosion inside the wire near the battery connection that is causing the trouble. You can try using a jumper wire from the battery to the main fuse to see if that gets power to the panel. Also check and clean the chassis ground wire connection from the battery. If power is okay to the fuses in the main panel then check the ignition switch for a problem. It supplies most of the power to the dash fuse panel.

Since the electricals worked okay by jumping the battery it seems the trouble has to be with the battery or the connection to it. While there could be a problem with the voltage regulator or the alternator the car shouldn’t die the way you described things unless the battery is nearly dead. When you get it going it would be a good idea to have the charging system load tested to check the condition of things.

Maybe the problem is corroded wire ends at the junction terminal. All electrical power for the car except for the starter motor windings go through that terminal and it can cause some odd symptoms.

The junction terminal should be located near the battery positive terminal on the chassis and is normally under a little plastic cover. It will be a stud with a number of wire ends held down by a nut…

A SAAB I owned used a similar terminal (GM influence…) and once while on vacation in Colorado I checked into a hotel, walked out to the car, and everything was stone dead. The terminal had decided to act up but being familiar with the problem it only took a few minutes to sort it out.