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About PTAaron

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  • Birthday 04/03/1976
  1. Hoping so! It is the nephew of a friend who was badly in need of transportation... Nice to be able to help him out.
  2. I just wanted to give a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone on the forum here that has helped me over the past few years that I have lurked around and sought help in keeping my 1994 Cutlass Supreme alive and running... and keeping it going as my daily driver for the last few years. This forum is a great resource, and I'm really glad that I found it when I acquired the Cutlass from my in-laws. I know you guys don't know me - but I'm just going to go on for a little bit here: I was fortunate enough to get Bessie (my Cutlass Supreme) from my in-laws at a time when my newer, low mileage car had a major engine disaster - they were kind enough to sell Bessie to me for $1 to get me through that tough time. I ended up holding onto the car for around 3 years. My sister was replacing her Jeep with a newer model - and she offered me her 2009 Patriot at a price that was too good to turn down... so it was time to pass Bessie along to another person who was going through a tough "car time". She had 194,500 miles when she was driven away by her new owner a few days ago - it was a sad moment because the car had been around since her parents bought it while my wife was in high school... but it was nice to know that she was going to a new owner that was going to benefit from all of the hard work I had done making her reliable again. Anyway - let me say it again: Thank you all for this great site and for sharing your knowledge!
  3. PTAaron

    Where are the blower motor resistors at?

    Thanks guys!
  4. On a related note - fired the car up this morning to go to the gym and the horn started blasting... kept blasting after the car was turned off... until I was able to dig out my 13mm socket and remove the support bar, pop open the new fuse box, and use some pliers to yank out the horn relay. That was a fun surprise for me and my neighbors!! Didn't do it last night when we ran the car for about 10 minutes... Maybe this explains why the post/box got toasted in the first place? The car had been in a minor accident prior to it being passed on to me. The steering column had been rebuilt because of the airbag, and since I've owned it the horn has never worked. APPARENTLY the horn button is stuck in the "honk" position? I don't know... For now I will keep the relay out until I can track down WTH is going on.
  5. '94 Cutlass Supreme - manual heat... the fan settings 1-3 have stopped working on my HVAC system, only 4 works. We checked fuses and relays last night... but were unable to locate the resistors. The Haynes manual is no help, and after 20 minutes of looking around under the dash in the passenger footwell we didn't spot anything... Anyone have a diagram or photo? Thanks!
  6. Last night we replaced the drivers side underhood fuse box and the positive battery cable... and for the first time since I've owned the car the voltage gauge on the dash reads the actual voltage! The wire stayed room temperature while the car was running and I was able to run the AC, radio, headlights, turn signals, and have the car in drive without the needle dropping more than 1 volt. All that remains is to get the blower motor to operate on a setting other than "High"... I'm guessing there is a resistor somewhere that got fried, but it isn't listed in the Haynes manual anywhere... time for a forum search!
  7. Finally got a chance to get back on here for an update... No sir, everything is stock as far as I am aware. Thank you. That sounds like the most logical area for there to be a problem... == UPDATE: Replacing the starter (predictably) did not change anything at all, except it starts easier... My father in-law and I started trying to track down a voltage drop between points in the system - discovered almost immediately that the aux 12v positive post was too hot to touch and so was the wire leading to it. The post was also loose with cracked plastic at the base where it attaches to the fuse box on the fender well. Measuring voltage between the aux post and the battery negative (with AC running, headlights on, and turn signal on) showed a fluctuating 10-12v. Measruing alternator to battery negative showed around 14v. I don't know how that could be causing an intermittent ground issue... but we got a junk yard replacement part that we will be testing out tomorrow night. I also noticed that the battery negative cable that attaches to the transmission looked pretty ugly - exposed wire that was VERY green with corrosion... I will try to clean that up tomorrow night as well.
  8. I know there is definitely an electrical issue somewhere because the "thudding" in the speakers happens even when the car is in key on/engine off while I am trying to listen to the radio after stopping the car - just don't know where to look to track it down.
  9. EDIT: Problem solved - see posts 4 and 5. Okay - here is the slightly long story about my '94 cutlass supreme (3.1L): Over the winter/spring I replaced my head gasket and all other gaskets, MAP sensor, O2 sensor, fuel pump, fuel filter, ECT sensor, and a few other random bits and pieces - but the car had a persistent issue with not starting... turn the key - click - nothing - turn again - starts. I bypassed the "security" feature with some resistors which didn't help, so back in May I replaced the started with a "good" junk yard starter - that fixed the starting issue. About 2 weeks later pulling into my driveway I made it halfway to my garage and the car wouldn't move anymore - engine revved but the car sat there as if I had a slipping clutch, but the car is an automatic. It didn't happen again for another week or so - but by then the starter was once again doing the "click" thing randomly. I noticed that the voltage gauge in the dash was reading impossibly low at times that the car would suffer from the "slipping clutch" symptoms and also when those symptoms were present there would be a loud "thud" sound coming through the speakers. Turning off the blower made the noise stop, the voltage go up, and the "slipping" stop. I've been dealing with this off an on since May, but it has been very intermittent. In the past few weeks it has happened more and more frequently, and now the car is randomly stalling while at stop lights. I have resorted to dropping into "Drive 1" at lights so I can leave the light with some power - then the car drives as normal once I am moving. This morning the tach and speedometer needles started jumping all over the place while we were driving with the AC on - turning the blower off made everything go back to normal. So - I am ordering a new starter this afternoon (AMazon seems to have the best price...) because the problems all started after installing the starter... but I'm not sure this will fix the problems. Automatic transmissions are a mystery to me - I assume they work by some form of black magic, possibly voodoo, but it seems the transmission is having some sort of issue. Could that be caused by a voltage problem? When the "loss of power" is present it feels like when I would forget to downshift at a light with a manual trans and try leaving the light in 3rd gear. Could an electrical issue make the transmission "confused" or am I dealing with more than one thing here? I should also mention that the blower for the HVAC system only works on "high" right now - 2 weeks ago the other levels stopped working. Am I on the right track with putting in a different starter? My other thought is "something else" is wrong that actually caused the new starter to fail... but I don't know what that could be. I'm at 189,000 miles as of this morning - I really want to see this car make it to 200,000!
  10. I will check out the connections there and figure out what the charging wire is and report back! Thanks for pointing me in a direction! once I remembered that we just did the starter a few days before it started acting I figured that would be a logical place to start but I didn't know how it fit in with the charging system.
  11. Last night I got out the multimeter and tested from the alternator to the intake and got around 13.9v while the gauge on the dash was reading at the first big line above 8. That was with the engine running, headlights on, but blower off (I forgot to turn it on). Reading from the intake to the positive post sticking up near the battery gave me just over 12v. I tested again through the cigarette lighter socket in the car with the AC on, headlights on, engine running with the needle reading just barely above the 8 - restarted car after it sat for a while - and I was reading 13.0 there. Not sure what to think... When the needle reads low I can see the headlights brighten and dim at night... The turn signal makes the other dash lights dim, and that loss of power issue crops up when the blower is on. Only thing that was changed before this started (I just realized this) is that we replaced the starter with a good junk yard starter.
  12. It has always read low - but never THAT low. Usually between the line below 13 and the 13... but the level it was at this morning is a new thing. Will confirm actual voltage when I get home tonight with multimeter.
  13. Today the "thumping" was there off and on most of the drive into work - I figured out it is there when the blower is on, worse when the AC is on, goes away when blower is turned off. Lack of power is there when the blower is on and thumping is present. Also noticed that the battery gauge is reading EXTREMELY low. This is at idle with the blower off: This is with the blower on "bi level": Also when the turn signal is on the needle bumps down each time it blinks... so... alternator? Seems like the most logical thing... but I don't see how that would relate to a loss of power?
  14. It happened right after startup and I turned the radio off because I was trying to listen to the engine... so its hard to say. Before the headgasket replacement and all of the things that went along with that I would sometimes hear that "thud" when sitting in the garage with the key on/engine off trying to listen to the end of a song on the radio though.
  15. EDIT to update: The "thumping" in the speakers seems to be present mostly when the blower (vents) is on. The lack of power comes on when the thumping is present. It seems to happen when the car has been driven, then parked for 10-15 minutes and driven again. If it sits for longer than about 30 minutes the problem does not occur. Also noticed today that the "battery" gauge is reading extremely low - when the AC is on it drops almost to the 8v mark, when the engine is at idle and the blower is off it bumps up slightly to maybe "9"? I"m including pictures later in the thread. Original post: Okay - this was a strange one last night. Drove the '94 Cutlass Supreme to work, stopped off at the store near home to get some things, got back in the car to go home and on the first attempt at starting the car stalled out immediately. Second attempt it started really rough and there was a loud "thud thud thud" noise coming through the speakers even though the volume was nearly off. I revved it a few times and the idle smoothed out - drove the 3/4 mile back to the house and when I pulled into the driveway I could only make it halfway up the driveway! The engine revved, but the car didn't move! Some friends were coming over - so I let the car sit for about 2 hours, then started it up - no issues - and pulled it the rest of the way up the driveway into the garage with no problems. Drove the car to the gym this morning - no issues. Any idea WHAT would make the car do that?? Within the last 1,000 miles the car has had: new headgasket, new water pump, new MAP sensor, new ACT, new fuel filter, new fuel pump, new plug wires, plugs checked and regapped, several oil changes (because of the headgasket replacement), new starter, and some brake lines replaced after blowing out. I checked the trans fluid level - it looked good, but brown and probably in need of replacement; oil level was good and still clean looking... I know nothing about automatic transmissions - except from the perspective of removing them to install a manual, so they are a magical mysterious thing to me... but it seems like something between the engine and the wheels would be the culprit? but why would it suddenly work fine? Thanks for any ideas guys.