1990 olds 88 no start and dash gauge lights blink ????? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
Hotrodders.com -- Hot Rod Forum

Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Unanswered Posts Auto Escrow Insurance Auto Loans
Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Electrical
User Name
lost password?   |   register now

LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-17-2010, 02:20 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Crandon, WI.
Posts: 2
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
1990 olds 88 no start and dash gauge lights blink ?????

1990 olds 88 no start and dash lights blink ?????
Cranks and some times starts then dies right away. then if you just have the key to the on postion the fan clicks on and off and the dash gauge lights click on and off I tried to read the codes but it will not because the gauges are blinking.. some one said it was the computer I wsa wondering if anyone has had this problem and solved it???

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09-18-2010, 12:43 PM
vicrod's Avatar
life is a ride

Last journal entry: 2014
Last photo:
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Telford, PA
Age: 74
Posts: 1,545
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 3
Thanked 99 Times in 94 Posts
Try this first.
Main contributors to Troubleshooting electrical problems

* Jon (Talk | contribs) [4]
* (Talk) [1]
* Steve M (Talk | contribs) [1]
* Crashfarmer (Talk | contribs) [1]
* Techinspector1 (Talk | contribs) [1]

Troubleshooting electrical problems
From Crankshaft Coalition Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

* 1 Basics
* 2 Cleaning terminals
* 3 Grounding
* 4 Cable inspection
* 5 Bigger is better
* 6 You're grounded
* 7 Wiring harness

[edit] Basics

Most electrical problems are due to poor connections. Batteries and alternators will go bad in time and should be tested at your local parts store IF the basics mentioned here do not fix the problem. Take both in at once to eliminate further problems.
[edit] Cleaning terminals

Start at the battery. Regardless of how the connections look, remove the cables. Remove the positive cable first, then the negative cable. Use a battery terminal wire brush tool to clean the battery terminals and the cable terminals. Remove all old oxidized contaminants. Be aware that lead is likely present, so wear gloves if you are concerned about lead migrating through your skin.

To prevent future corrosion, a light coating of non-conducting grease such as Dow Corning DC4 should be applied. While a professional might not recommend this, I had Japanese mechanics put regular bearing grease on my car battery terminals when I was overseas and it never presented a problem. It seemed to prevent acid build up and corrosion.

Remove the other end of the battery cables and clean those terminals and where they mount with a wire brush. Make sure you see shiny bare metal. Again a light coating of non-conducting grease would be optimal, but not mandatory.
[edit] Grounding

The battery negative (-) terminal usually mounts to the engine somewhere and often, but not always to the alternator bracket. This makes sure you get the direct connection to the battery which the starter needs since it draws more current than anything else on your car.

The battery Positive (+) terminal connects to the starter solenoid. Again, this is due to the demands of the starter. It requires maximum power transfer from the battery.
[edit] Cable inspection

Look your battery cables over very well for signs of problems. Sometimes you will see a green color on the wire somewhere. This is corrosion of the copper and is called verdigris. It is similar to rust on steel. This is a sign you may need to replace the cable if it can't easily be removed. Even if you can clean it, the corrosion may have traveled up under the insulation and would likely eventually cause problems if it's not already degrading your cable's ability to carry current.

Battery cables are cheap. Yes, they can be a pain to change in some instances, but changing them when you can in a controlled environment might save you from being broken down on the road in bad weather.
[edit] Bigger is better

When it comes to battery cables, while the factory cables are "adequate", oftentimes they are replaced with cables that may not be as large in diameter as the originals. In this case, bigger is better. A larger diameter cable can carry more current safely and with less resistance to current flow.

While welding cable has been used, the insulation is not ideal for an engine environment. There are, however, other sources of oversized cable that have the proper insulation. Still, a high quality, more than adequate battery cable can be found at most auto parts stores.

You should know the length you need before going in. Remove the current cables and take them with you to be sure you have the proper length. You can add a little to the length, but keep in mind, the longer the cable, the more resistance to current flow.
[edit] You're grounded

Be sure there's a ground strap going from the engine to the body and to the frame. Make sure that two grounding straps exist and are also clean at both ends. Most electrical gremlins are due to bad grounds. All too often these bad grounds can be traced to these grounding straps or the battery cables not making a good connection. If all of these connections are good clean connections, you have a solid foundation to build from and will eliminate most electrical gremlins.
[edit] Wiring harness

All too often our cars have had their wiring harness hacked up, cut into, re-routed, and who knows what previous owners of the vehicle did to butcher the factory harness.

The wiring in our cars is often in bad shape from age as much as anything else. Wiring insulation was barely adequate decades ago. Add to that the fact that we add on things that demand more than was ever imagined by electrical engineers back in the day.

Considering that electrical fires happen all too often and our classics deserve to be protected, a new wiring harness should be considered in most cases. Aftermarket companies are making some very nice kits and some are car or class specific.

Contributors to this page

Crashfarmer, Jon, Steve M, Techinspector1
Retrieved from "http://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/wiki/Troubleshooting_electrical_problems"
Category: Electrical

* Page
* Discussion
* Edit
* History
* Move
* Watch

Personal tools

* Vicrod
* My talk
* My preferences
* My watchlist
* My contributions
* Log out


* Main Page
* Recent changes
* Random page
* Help
* All articles
* Start a new article
* Hotrodders forum



* What links here
* Related changes
* Upload file
* Special pages
* Printable version
* Permanent link
* Main contributors

Powered by MediaWiki
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5

* This page was last modified on 26 August 2009, at 21:15.
* This page has been accessed 550 times.
* Content is available under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 .
* Privacy policy
* About Crankshaft Coalition Wiki
* Disclaimers
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 09-18-2010, 05:26 PM
randolphi's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: South Central Texas
Posts: 46
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you turn on the headllghts, are they bright, and still let the engine crank.?

Last edited by randolphi; 09-18-2010 at 05:28 PM. Reason: dumb keyboard skips
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Recent Electrical posts with photos

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name (usually not your first and last name), your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Please select your insurance company (Optional)


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1985 Dim Lights on Dash BillH 85 Electrical 3 09-07-2010 06:20 PM
dash lights stay on--help!! wickedwitchinak Electrical 7 07-22-2004 11:44 PM
dash lights and turn signals - again SteveMach1 Electrical 2 12-13-2003 10:22 PM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:27 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright Hotrodders.com 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.