Hey guys, I was out today trying to get my 97 back on the road to get ready for winter. I haven't driven it very much this summer but it has run no problem. Today I did some brake work and I took it out for a spin. As I was coming up to a bend in the road I went to turn and I had no power steering. I realized the car was completely off as if I had turned the key. Many of the lights were on in the cluster. I didn't realize the car was shut off because I was just kinda coasting. So I thought nothing of it, parked it, started it back up no problem and continued on.
About 15 minutes later I was turning onto my road and it died again. Same deal with the lights in the cluster, and once again started without a problem.
Any ideas where to start looking? It's not giving me a check engine light at all.
sounds like Alternator...
Why would it start right back up though without a problem? I'll take the voltmeter out to it tomorrow and see what its putting out.
Sounds very much like the ignition switch. Let me guess, this is what happens:
You're driving, the car "shuts off", but not really, the dash lights are still on and everything is lit up exactly as it would if you had the key in the ON position?
I've had this happen on other GM vehicles, and seen it happen to friends as well. On my Jimmy, it got really bad though. At first, yeah, it turns back on right away, but then it takes longer, and longer and longer. In that vehicle it became very dangerous, as when the power steering and brakes went, it was hard as hell to turn and stop (it's a well-known, well-encountered and well-documented problem on the '97 Jimmy though).
There was actually a recall on these on Sunfires/Cavaliers at one point in time because they would overheat and literally begin to burn up and melt the wiring. Something to look into...
Check this article out on how to install it, but it's super simple on J-Bodies though, and takes about 5 minutes to do: Ignition Switch Installation Article
That sounds exactly like what its doing. That's an awesome article. Thanks a ton, I'll give it a whirl doesn't look that hard and/or expensive.
Well...small delay. Got the switch, got the stuff apart no problem. Don't have a small enough star socket.
I know you already got the parts, but my car was doing this off and on for a couple weeks, and it turned out my fuel pump relay was failing. Replaced it (10 bucks) and voila, haven't had that problem since.
Just got the socket today (ordered a few more sizes so this never happens again, I hate not having the right tools for the job). I wish I could edit that tutorial because that socket isn't available at "any local auto parts store".
What a pain in the butt it is to get to that back one even with the right socket. Cars aren't made for people with pudgy hands. LOL. Anyways switch is installed and i'm going to take it for a spin after dinner. We'll see if she still does it.
Greg Z thanks for that input, i'll keep that in mind in case that switch isn't the problem.
With the fuel pump relay going bad wouldn't the car spit and sputter then shut off because of the loss of fuel?
So far so good with the ignition switch. Drove it for a half hour friday, no problems yet. Still not 100% convinced yet, but only time will tell.