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Car power problems (95 Grand Prix)

I drive a 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix. It was a fine car and used for travel for the first 2 of the 3 years I’ve owned it. Since then it’s gone through a series of problems which were simply age issues for the most part (approx 150k miles on the car). I’ve replaced the alternator, water pump, fuel pump and battery in the 3 years I’ve owned the car (not bad for a free car if you ask me).

Anyways, the problem I’m having is that without warning the car will start losing power. Initially it is shown by some dimming of the dash lights and headlights when the blinker is turned on. This gets worse and worse the longer the car is turned on until the car will actually die (usually while idling). I haven’t had it die on me while driving (yet).

At times the car dying will cut off all power everywhere (dash lights, head lights, radio, ignition all die) but doors still auto-unlock and the antenna attempts to go down (the antenna lowering mechanism is broken so it just gets noisy for a bit). After trying to make it die today I popped the hood and prodded around. It didn’t take long for me to notice that the auxiliary post cap was EXTREMELY hot (painfully so) and the post itself was similarly warmed to high temperatures.

Is the car dying and the heat from the auxiliary post connected? Either way, will this be an easy (cheap) fix, or am I better off looking into a new car?

Sounds like a voltage drop problem. The heat is caused by voltage not properly going through the wires. Is the battery wire hooked up to the aux post? If there is nothing hooked to it, then you have a bad battery. If you have some wires hooked to the aux post, then you have a bad connection, dirty, or corroded under where you can see unless you disassemble it.

Before I put in the new battery we had similar (seemingly similar issues at least) issues and a test on the battery said dead cell. The current battery is under 3 years old (likely 2-2.5 now).

The 2nd option you provided seems the most likely (“bad connection, dirty, or corroded under where you can see”) since, as I neglected to say and probably should have said, I believe that this is a flood car (headlight full of water and spare tire area full of water when I got the car).

Thanks for the help.