Electric Gremlin in 92' Buick Lesabre

Particularity when my car sits unused for a while in the cold, it acts like the battery is dead even though it has a full charge! In fact there is a brand new battery in it right now. What is going on? The headlights are bright as are all the idiot lights. Everything functions fine, and if I hook up jumper cables, it will start right away. But if I don’t, it acts just like a dead battery. It just “clicks” without turning over at all.

I have had the car for about four years and originally this would only happen while driving and very rarely. The car would suddenly die completely, as if some ghost had just turned off the key. I would have to pop it into neutral and restart the car, which it always did. This happened a few times while approaching a toll booth. It once happened at the bottom of a hill, and would not crank at all (just clicked) for about 15 minutes, then started normally, then was fine for the next “umpteen” months. But lately, starting last year after sitting all weekend under the results of a snow storm, it just clicked and wouldn’t even turn over. When I hooked up jumper cables, it turned over instantly (without having to be charged by racing the other engine for a while) and started very easily. Since then everything was fine, although it sat most of the summer and fall due to a transmission problem. Now it is suddenly a unreliable car due to this “clicking” problem, despite a new battery and a rebuilt transmission. Any ideas?


It’s possible the battery cable terminal connections are not clean and/or tight enough to make a solid contact. There also MAY be a poor ground connection.

Instant ‘cutting out’ on the road could be an electrical fault . Perhaps within the ignition system.

I suspect there are codes sitting in there waiting to be discovered, so I suggest you get Autozone or some other place to read the codes for free and post those codes back here for the techs.

I agree with Roadrunner that it may well be the cables and that you should start there, check both ends of all cables. However I have to ask, how do you know the battery is good and it is fully charged?