2001 Buick Regal on Hospice... Pull the Plug?



I have a 2001 Buick Regal w/175,000+ miles. Recently my husband was driving it and, while stopped at a red light, the engine stalled and all the dashboard lights started flashing. He was able to re-start it and limp back home, although it happened several times. It was parked in the garage for a few days. Yesterday, he started the car and backed out of the garage and the same thing happened… engine stalled and all dashboard lights flashed, only now it refuses to start at all. He’s not mechanically inclined, and neither am I - so I’d appreciate your feedback, realizing that “free” advice is worth exactly what I pay for it. Thanks!!


This sounds like an electrical problem and the plug has already been pulled! Seriously, I think that either the battery croaked and went to heaven, in which case a new battery may be in order. If this is not the case, the clamps on the battery cables where they connect to the battery may be corroded. This means cleaning the terminals, which is not a “terminal” sentence for the car. The alternator may not be charging the battery. Again, an alternator replacement doesn’t sentence the car to the salvage yard.


Thanks for your input! We’ll check out the battery terminals. Any idea on cost to replace the alternator? And, can a mechanic check the alternator in advance of replacing it to see if that’s the issue?


You really need a mechanic with a meter and competent with electrical work to check this car out before you start guessing what parts it needs.
If you don’t know a good mechanic you can find one on cars.com:


Yes, a good mechanic will check out the electrical system, pinpoint the problem, and only replace the defective part.
I haven’t replaced an alternator for quite a while, but I suppose it would be around $200 for a rebuilt unit at an independent shop. Someone else may be more helpful here.


its the ignition switch, same prob on a 98, solved.