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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1994 AWD Astro Van (114k miles) that used to belong to a police department up in Alturas, CA. I’ve had the van for just over 3 years and I’ve had some random electric issues that come and go.

This has happened maybe 3 or 4 times where I’m either in idle or about to drive and when I turn my lights on I lose complete power. Then randomly it will allow me to start it again and it works normally.

The other issue is the battery drains pretty quickly if I don’t drive the van for a few days.

My regular mechanic said he couldn’t figure it out without having to put a lot of time into it

What’s really frustrating is just today I went to get a new battery cause the old one is fried and can’t even start it with my jumper. After installing the new one it ran great. I turned it off. Came back an hour later about to drive to the store. I start the van, go to turn the lights on and it loses all power and I can’t start it.

Anyone have anything like this happen to them?

I tried to call a couple electric shops. One told me he only works on 2000s and newer. Two others said they are too busy. And the other one I called said “I’m expensive” when I told him I have a 94 AWD Astro.

Any direction or ideas is appreciated
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I have a 1994 AWD Astro Van (114k miles) that used to belong to a police department up in Alturas, CA. I’ve had the van for just over 3 years and I’ve had some random electric issues that come and go.

This has happened maybe 3 or 4 times where I’m either in idle or about to drive and when I turn my lights on I lose complete power. Then randomly it will allow me to start it again and it works normally.

The other issue is the battery drains pretty quickly if I don’t drive the van for a few days.

My regular mechanic said he couldn’t figure it out without having to put a lot of time into it

What’s really frustrating is just today I went to get a new battery cause the old one is fried and can’t even start it with my jumper. After installing the new one it ran great. I turned it off. Came back an hour later about to drive to the store. I start the van, go to turn the lights on and it loses all power and I can’t start it.

Anyone have anything like this happen to them?

I tried to call a couple electric shops. One told me he only works on 2000s and newer. Two others said they are too busy. And the other one I called said “I’m expensive” when I told him I have a 94 AWD Astro.

Any direction or ideas is appreciated

Update after 30 mins of shutting off - The dashboard clock is off which makes me think I can’t start the van. But when I put the key in I get the dash lights and noise because the door is open. But when I turn the key I just get the engine trying to start but it seems like it’s not getting fuel because it won’t start. Tried a couple times same thing no start 🤦‍♂️
 

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Yup, seen it more than once.

Battery cable gets internal corrosion…. Either end, but often up near the connector to the battery.

You can troubleshoot it by putting one meter lead on the starter terminal, another on the battery terminal bolt…. Read the voltage drop when “nothing works”…

Or you can just replace the cable.

Can also happen on the ground cable, but in my experience it is often the positive cable that fails.
 

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1998 LS AWD Forest Green metallic
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As Sailing_Faith said...
Those battery cable terminal ends can be taken apart. The actual bolt part can be removed and cleaned, along with the mating surface of the cable.
Apply your favorite battery terminal corrosion preventative 'goop' and try that for a while.
Rod J
issaquah, Wa
 

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2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
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The battery cable runs to the starter, where power is then distributed to the vehicle.
A worn or intermittent connection here could also be the trouble
This is not uncommon
I'll assume the battery end is tight, clean, and has be well inspected.
 

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Just to clarify, cleaning the terminals is a good step and May fix the problem…. But the failure I was specifically pointing to is internal to the swedge fitting…. It is where the cable meets the connector and often corrosion forms inside this junction (so throughly encased in soft plastic) that it can’t be seen.

Sometimes there is swelling, but it is not always visible. You can test the voltage drop as I mentioned above to verify this failure.
 

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I have a 1994 AWD Astro Van (114k miles) that used to belong to a police department up in Alturas, CA. I’ve had the van for just over 3 years and I’ve had some random electric issues that come and go.

This has happened maybe 3 or 4 times where I’m either in idle or about to drive and when I turn my lights on I lose complete power. Then randomly it will allow me to start it again and it works normally.

The other issue is the battery drains pretty quickly if I don’t drive the van for a few days.

My regular mechanic said he couldn’t figure it out without having to put a lot of time into it

What’s really frustrating is just today I went to get a new battery cause the old one is fried and can’t even start it with my jumper. After installing the new one it ran great. I turned it off. Came back an hour later about to drive to the store. I start the van, go to turn the lights on and it loses all power and I can’t start it.

Anyone have anything like this happen to them?

I tried to call a couple electric shops. One told me he only works on 2000s and newer. Two others said they are too busy. And the other one I called said “I’m expensive” when I told him I have a 94 AWD Astro.

Any direction or ideas is appreciated
It needs to have a current draw test done. A test light between battery and cable, (doesn't matter which one), and start pulling a fuse at a time till the light goes out, or gets very dim. With that huge draw, I suspect the alternator.
 
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