Why did my car die?



Hi. So the other day on the way to the store all my dash lights, every single light, were repeatedly flashing on and off for a good 10 or so seconds. Then it stopped and ran fine. I arrived home and when I attempted to go to the store again a few hours later the car wouldn’t start. I turned the key and the engine didn’t even attempt to turn. Just click and everything was off. What could have caused that?? Also, overnight my neighbor let me use his trickle charge battery charger and not even a flicker of light came on. It feels like something was draining the battery even while it was off. But I’m clueless when it comes to cars. Hopefully it’s nothing severe. Oh, about a week or so ago while at the red light I noticed the light on the dash that’s shows its in drive was very fainting going dim to normal while the car was sputtering (thats a different problem) cars has been sputtering alot lately even after a new spider assembly. It rumbles the most during turns. I already had alot of work done but for now Im curious as to what caused my battery to just die that quick. Another about trying to start it, you know when the battery is dying and when you start the car it’ll sound like it’s struggling, like a noticeable dead battery sound? Well it didn’t do that, when I turned the key it was a split second when the dash lights came on then nothing, no clicks no nothing. Sorry, kinda rambled a bit there but I wanted as much detail as possible


Do you park it outside by any chance?

Sounds like at least some of your problems could be caused by the kind of electrical mayhem that can happen when squirrels chew your wires. That’s the first place I’d look.

Spider assembly? Did you hear that wrong? That’s a part for a washing machine. :wink:


Your battery is the side-post type

The very first thing you need to do is check your connections

Make sure the battery terminal bolts are tight. Tighten them as needed. You should not be able to move the cables by hand

If you can’t tighten them, remove them and physically inspect them. They’re probably stripped. If so, replace them. Any auto parts store will have them.

Also make sure the battery cables are clean. Peel back the red and black rubber to inspect, as needed

Just how old is that battery? This is the time of year when it gets colder and marginal batteries fall flat on their face, with no warning whatsoever. If it’s more than 5 years old, just replace it, consider it preventive maintenance

If you happen to do get the truck started, I suggest heading to an auto parts store and getting the charging system checked out. They’ll probably do it for free.

I hope you’ve been checking your engine oil level, and topping off as necessary? I’m not making an accusation, by the way

To be honest, I believe your truck has at least 2, possibly more, problems. But the first step is getting it to start reliably. Then we can deal with the sputtering


CPI is central port injection which uses a plastic tube spider assy under the intake manifold to distribute fuel to each port. yes they do fail and leak


I’m well aware of that . . .

However, consider this

I don’t necessarily doubt the truck has a fuel problem. But unless this “new spider assembly” was utter garbage and failed quickly, I’m wondering if the fuel problem lies elsewhere


I think he was educating me, not you. :wink:


I’m pretty sure they call the fuel injectors in the blazer a spider assembly because it looks like a spider


GM CPFI spider assembly.



That’s an insect assembly because it has six legs. The V8 one would be the spider assembly :slight_smile:

When I tried to use a smile emoji instead od posting it it tried to post the words “slight smile” Anyone else have this happen?


The dash light problem sounds like an electrical system problem to me. It’s very common this time of the year to hear of this kind of problem b/c winter is approaching & the temperatures are dropping, which stresses the electrical system, esp the battery. No cranks a very common report here this time of the year.

the first test for the electrical system is to measure the battery voltage after the car has been sitting overnight. It should measure about 12.5 volts. Then start the engine. Now the battery voltage should measure 13.5 to 15.5 volts.

If you can’t get the engine to crank well enough to start it, clean and tighten the connections using a battery tool, and try again. If it still won’t crank take the battery to your shop for a load test to determine if the battery is good or bad. That’s a good start.


Batteries in my 2000 Blazer only lasted 3 to 3 1/2 years on the average. I think it was a heat issue in the tight engine compartment. The original battery was surrounded by an insulating blanket, even with the blanket the batteries had a short life.

As db4690 mentioned it’s important to check and clean the battery terminals on a regular basis and batteries can fail without warning. The battery condition can affect driveability. When the battery was low on charge, my Blazer would idle 100 to 200 rpm higher and the torque converter lockup would not engage.

Best of luck,

Ed B.


Or spider gears in a differential.


look to the right-hand preview pane, and it should show the actual graphic. the “slight smile” thing is bookended by colons, which is code to call the emoticon.


existential despair.


Okay so it has been 3 days since I tried starting my car and as I explained before how I turn the key all lights came on and then when I turn for the engine to start it just clicked and shut off. So now I have no juice no nothing car is completely dead but now it’s Wednesday evening so yeah three days later I just for the hell of it try to turn the key to see what happens and someway somehow my car battery has enough juice for the lights to come on when I turn the key on to the on position but of course when I try to start the engine everything dies again so I’m assuming that is the cold that recharge the batteries somewhat just to give me that tiny little bit of juice but I’m still not sure now I’m starting to think maybe it might be the solenoid I’m not sure or maybe the starter is bad


Have you checked out those battery terminal bolts and cables yet?

How old is the battery?

What are the outside temperatures during the night?


I’ve experience those exact symptoms before on my Corolla, turned out to just be loose / corroded battery connections at the battery posts. The dash light would come on just like you say with the key in “on”, then when I’d crank the engine all of them would slowly dim & go out, and I’d hear a click, but no cranking. Suggest to address this problem promptly b/c it is often weather and temperature related. So next time it fails, it’s not gonna be a nice warm sunny day; it’s gonna be bone chilling cold and bad weather. Not conditions you want to deal with when your car is a balky.

btw, the dash warning lights are supposed to come on when you turn the key to “on”, then turn off once the engine starts running. That’s normal. They turn on first like that so you can verify the warning light bulb is still working.


On any GM car with a side terminal battery and starting problems, the connections to the battery are the FIRST thing to be addressed!


I bought that battery Sept 9th last year


Yes the connections are pretty damn rusty