Chevy Cavalier – Battery Goes Down While Driving – Have to Jump Start

Reader Question Hi Austin,

I put in a new battery and the car starts fine. {1991 Chevy Cavalier} My battery light is staying on. After a few times driving the car kept stalling and needed to be jumped. Then it dies continuously. I think it may be the alternator or the voltage regulator. But, I thought the car wouldn’t start if the alternator is no good. What would you think is my best route? Also is the speeodometer partially electrical? All of a sudden it stopped working at the same time.

I thank you in advance for any assistance you may provide.


If the battery is draining down AS you drive, and the engine has to be jump started again, I would suspect a bad alternator as you are already assuming yourself. The voltage regulator is inside the alternator so you should replace the whole unit. Yes, the speedometer could be affected by the lack of electrical power…not coming from the alternator.

Also make sure the battery bolts are tight and clean. The bolts are what attaches the cables to the battery, they can become corroded in between the plastic cover of the cables. You should NOT be able to move the battery cables with your bare hands if they are truly tight.


Austin C. Davis

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