Jim Grant's Tech Tips
'92 Chevy Astro - No Power when you turn the key
Q: I have a 92 Chevy Astro van that was all of a sudden dead one day. I turned the key and nothing happened. The battery was tested and they said it was giving a good 12 volts and fully charged. When I put the key in, I got a door chime. When I turned the key, everything died including the interior lights and even the chime, until I returned the key to OFF. Is there a coil or starter problem, or should I be looking in the direction of the computer?
- Chris H.
A: It sounds more like you have a connection problem. Why is that? Generally, when there is a connection problem only enough electrical power will pass through to run/operate a few small power requirements, such as dome lights. As soon as you ask for some real power (like using the starter to crank the engine over) the poor connection heats up and fails completely. The fun part is that poor connection, once it cools down a bit, can get well enough to supply power for small electrical loads again. Closely inspect the big cables from the battery to the starter and the battery to the engine. It is likely a good cleaning or replacement cable will get you cranking again.