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'98 Blazer electrical problem (maybe?)

Hullo. I’ve been lurking around these parts for a while, and I’ve been meaning to register for a while now. However, a recent incident has finally given me the impetus to do so.

You see, I drive a 1998 Chevy Blazer LS, and I had a rather . . . unusual experience with it this morning when I was getting ready for work. (I’m a security guard, which is why I have to work on New Year’s Day.)

Well, I got in my vehicle this morning, turned her on, and everything seemed just fine. I went to start the engine, though, and suddenly everything goes dead. Radio, lights, heater, you name it - even the dash-mounted GPS unit I’ve got.

So, I figure I’ve got a battery problem - probably a low charge, and trying to crank the engine killed it.

Now, I’ve got a battery charger on my porch - I keep it there with an extension cord, just in case I have a dead battery and there’s nobody around to give me a jumpstart. So I plug it in, bring it out to the car and hook it up to the battery, giving the amperage gauge on the front a look once everything’s all hooked up.

Now, this gauge on the charger tells you how much juice is going into the battery - as the charge builds, the amout of power going in drops, and the needle drops from about 15 (battery’s drained) to zero (battery’s fully charged).

Now here’s a surprise - the gauge is holding steady at zero - which means the battery’s fully charged (or close to, at the very least).

Naturally, this makes me curious, so I get back in the car (with the charger still hooked up, mind you) and try turning the car back on - but nada. Not even the faintest glimmer of light from any of the dashboard lights.

So, this makes me think I’ve got a blown fuse (or possibly more than one) - a logical assumption, to be sure.

The question is, am I right? Did I somehow blow a fuse or two when I tried to start my car this morning, and if so, which fuse (or fuses) should I check?

Conversely, if I’m wrong (and it’s not a fuse), then what is the most likely problem, and how do I go about remedying it?

--Emmanuel Goldstein (no, not THAT Emmanuel Goldstein!)

I’d be looking the that positive battery cable assembly for corrosion.

Remove both battery cables and peel back the red rubber cover from over the two positive terminals. If a lot of corrosion is found under this cover, replace the positive battery cable assembly.


I agree with Tester, the positive cable on my 2000 Blazer needs to be cleaned on a regular basis.

Have you checked the batterly with a volt meter? 12.6 Volts is a fully charged battery, 11.9 Volts is fully discharged. 11 Volts or less may indicate a dead cell and a new battery is needed.

Do you have the insulated cover on the battery? It’s a tight fit under the hood and the engine heat is bad for the battery. The last battery (AC Delco) in the Blazer only lasted 3.5 years.

One last thing, have you tried starting it in neutral just in case the Neutral Safety switch is out of adjustment?

Additionally check and clean the ground connection at the engine block from the battery. 4 star tester.

It appears you are not getting any power to the main power panel under the hood. The panel distributes power to many sub-circuits of the car. Check the main fuses in the panel for any bad ones. The trouble may be due to a bad fusible link that is between the battery on the panel or a bad wire connection between those points. Look for a smaller gauge wire coming from the positive terminal of the battery or at the other end of the main cable going to the starter solenoid. If you don’t find a problem there then the trouble may be with the ignition switch.

If it were a corroded battery cable - or, for that matter, ground cable - why would I have power before trying to start the vehicle, but lose it after?

Would such a problem cause a fuse to blow elsewhere?

Yeah, the battery insulator’s in place.

However, I doubt it’s an internal problem with the battery, as I had it replaced just a month or two ago when I started having trouble with the last one (which I’d had for about six years).

I’ll try the NSS test in the morning, though I may be Sierra-Oscar-Lima with that if I can’t get any power.

You can have corroded connections that will let a small amount of current though but when you demand a lot the connection fails (usually because of insufficient ground ). You can see this in a small way in a tail/brake light that will light up with the tail light but goes out when you step on the brake. Those small bolts on the GM side terminal batteries don’t help-spray some wd40 in the holes when you have the bolts out.