Car dying, electrical death?


#1

Recently my KIA Rio 2002 has been having this electrical problem, where when I hear the motor change pitch, I can turn the key to the acc. where only the radio would be on, but during this not only will the motor stop, but all the electrical parts will shut off and won’t come back on until I turn the key all the way off and then back on. Then yesterday while it was raining, I pulled out of a parking space and got about 40 yards when I lost all electricity, but my motor sounded like it was still turning a bit. After trying twice to restart the car by turning it all the way off then back on, the car started and acted like nothing had happened, but my radio had to be reprogrammed.


I’d think that the motor pitch change could mean an alternator problem, but my battery is still charging. The loss of electrical could mean that there’s a bad switch. But the latest problem seems to be a short in the system.


#2

Clean the battery connections using a battery post cleaning brush. Then make sure the connections are snug when you tighten them back on to the battery. If that doesn’t fix the trouble look for a power connection problem between the battery and the main distribution panel under the hood. The ignition switch may be causing some of the problem also and you may need to replace it.


#3

My car works great most of the time but there are time just last monday that I was eating breakfast at McD’s and after about 30min I went back out to my car and tryed to back out at wich time my car just died even after running fine when I drove to McD’s. I tryed to start my car and nothing until my 3rd attempt and then after getting it started I drove like 50 yards with no trouble then it started cutting out and then catching itself and starting back up and it keep doing this for probly 30 or 40 feet.

I don’t think this could be the battery because my Dad always told me that the battery is only really needed to start the car then the alternator keeps the car going.
-battery terminals snug
-battery cables look good
-car starts great unless it’s haveing one of it’s fits
-battery terminals could use a cleaning around the outer parts
But is the main distribution panel under the hood where the fuses and relays are?


#4

Even though the battery connections may ‘look ok’ to you there still can be a problem there so I suggest you follow the advice in my previous post. A thin layer of corrosion on the inside of the terminals can cause a problem like this. Even if it isn’t causing the trouble it is a good idea to clean the connections. Poor battery connections are one of the highest electrical problems there is with vehicles. Clean the smaller wire connection that runs to the main panel under the hood along with the battery to chassis ground connection.


#5

Be sure and check both ends of the negative (black) cable, too. Corrosion there will basically disconnect the battery from the electrical system, and shut everything down.

Chase