A couple of times in the last two months I would take my car somewhere park and go do my thing. When I came back I turn the key in the ignition and the electrical quickly came on and then nothing: no clock, no radio, no head lights, no powered windows, no engine sounds, . . . .nothing. I would call for help to get a jump-start and after a 30 minutes to an hour when help arrived it started normally. The first time was after a 45 minute drive to a different town, the second time happened in the grocery store parking lot down the street from where I live.
This last week, I got in my car to go to the store. I turned the key and the electrical came to life briefly and then nothing. I cam back an hour later and nothing. As an experiment, I flipped on the head lights and got nothing. I left them on and came back 20 minutes later and they where on. I open the door and the inside light comes on. The clock is on. I turn the key and everything goes dead again. I repeated this two or three times in the last 48 hours. I got someone to jump-start me so I could get to a doctor’s appointment. After the appointment I come back to the parking garage and there is no electrical what-so-ever. I get someone at the garage to jump-start me and I make it home, but it is too late on a Friday to find a mechanic.
Since I’ve been home I’ve checked the car twice within 30 minutes and the car will start normally. I have left it now for a few hours and just went to check. Everything appears to be working properly, but I am afraid to take it any ware if I can’t start it again. Now, I can rescue a bad hard-drive from the brink of disaster, but when it comes to cars I am clueless. Some people have suggested an alternate, the ignition, a power transistor unite, or the battery. The battery is about 2.5 years old, from what I can tell there is no corrosion on the plugs, and reading about alternator problems doesn’t seem consistent with my experience, and I am not sure what a PTU is or does.
It is an 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera with 180,000 miles on it. If anyone has encountered something like this before or have any ideas It is appreciated.