Reader Question: I have a 1999 Oldsmobile Alero. When I try to start the car, all of the dash lights come on. And, all I get is a clicking sound. I thought it could be the battery but last night after I left the battery disconnected, it started just fine.
Can you help me?
First thing, I would want to rule out would be a loose or dirty battery connection. Remove the cable ends and clean them well, and re-tighten on the battery. You should not be able to easily move the cable ends on the battery with your bare hands.
Next time when this problem happens, turn on the headlights.
If the headlights are dim or not working all together – you probably have a bad/weak battery
If the headlights are good and bright, try starting the engine while someone watches the headlights. If the headlights DIM when you turn the key to start, you probably have a weak battery or a bad starter motor.
If the headlights are bright, and stay bright as you turn the key, you might have an alarm problem, a wiring, a grounding problem, or an ignition switch type of problem.