AskPatty Certified Female Friendly Logo
I own a 1977 Oldsmobile Delta 88. The starter, alternator, battery, and practically everything else of basic knowledge has been replaced with the exception of the Transmission. What happened was a door was left opened and the battery drained. No big deal, I had it jumped the next day and let it run a good hour before shutting it off. The next day I go to use it, and there is no power-but my headlights would turn on, but only on high beams-low beams gets no power, no interior light and it will not start at all, no noise at all. I

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Michelle, If the battery is aged I would replace it, due to a possible dead cell. An alternator will not fully charge a battery to full state in an hour, so I would test the charging system as well. AJ Pierce

Lori Johnson, Owner and Instructor at Ladies Start Your Engines Dear Michelle, It sounds like you definitely have an electrical problem. Look at the dash when you try and start the vehicle and see if you have any lights coming on. An example would be your seatbelt light, temperature light, ck engine light etc. If the dash stays completely black, with no lights, then the battery is pretty dead. It sounds like your battery may have just enough juice to turn on the lights, but not start the vehicle. Have the battery checked to see if it just needs to be re-charged, or it's time for a new one. If a battery is on it's last legs and then it gets drained, many times it cannot recover. Any shop should be able to connect it to a battery tester to give you this information. As for the low beams not working...that may be a separate problem that you'll discover once the battery is replaced. Make sure when you try to start the vehicle that you have all the accessories off. This way the battery can concentrate on starting the vehicle only. Good luck. Lori Johnson

Suzanne Grego, Technician at City of Philadelphia Fleet Management Michelle Gray, This is not a problem that I have ever before seen. Are the high beams the only thing that work? (No heater fan, radio, etc.?) This would take some snooping around and studying schematics for your vehicle before I would have a guess. I would probably first start with fuses and checking connections and grounds. Good luck. Suzanne

Contribute to this question:

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Oldsmobile Eighty Eight FAQs

Need Car Advice?

Ask The Experts!

Looking for a New or Used Car?

Search for our Certified Female Friendly® Car Buying Marketplace locations

Help Our Charities