98 Park Ave won't start

About 5 months ago the “check engine” light was on, but I didn’t have it checked out because the car wasn’t doing anything crazy. After being on for a month or so I went to park the car and when I turned the keys off everything electrical in the car went dead (radio, lights, etc). Turning the key back on got no response, so I got out and played with the battery wires thinking there was a loose connection or something. I tried the key again and still got nothing, but after sitting in the car doing nothing for a few minutes I tried it again and it came to life. The car was fine until a few weeks later when I was slowing down to stop at a four-way and as I decelerated to close to zero the car shut down (everything, engine, electrical, etc.). I did the same as before and jiggled the wires and let it sit for a few minutes and it came back on.

After that the car was fine for a couple months before going through this cycle of shut-downs again- the first as I was parking the car, the second a few weeks later as I was braking. Not wanting to have the car cut out like that on me while on the road again I began using my wife’s car as much as possible. This, however, caused the battery in the Buick (which is less than a year old) to need to be jumped after sitting a week or two.

This brings us to my current dilemma- the car won’t start even with a jump. When I try to start the car nothing comes on (no electricity). When I hook it up to a power source to be jumped the lights/radio will all come on, but nothing happens when I turn the key to start it (no crank). I’ve tightened the battery and such, but it doesn’t seem to help.

Remove battery cables from battery and clean. With these side terminal batteries, the doubled up positive is usually where you’ll find the problem. Use a wrench or socket. Not pliers. 8 ft lbs is the proper torque.

If cleaning the battery connections doesn’t help then check to see if power is getting to the power panel under the hood.

I recommend starting out by removing and cleaning each end of every cable going to the battery.