Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Power intermittently goes on/off, shutting down everything. 2004 Saturn Vue

asked by on

Starting about a month ago, we believed my car battery would just die on us randomly. It would not be every time, but on occasion (it may be an hour or a few days between driving) I would try to start the car and nothing. No clicking, no lights, no sounds, no power. Jump starting it worked every time. We replaced the battery, it did not fix it. We tested the alternator, came back good. Replaced the battery again with no changes.

Then things got worse. The issue was so intermittent I can not drive anywhere. I was backing the car up after getting everything tested and out of now where the car turned off like you unplugged the battery. 2 sec later the lights came on and was able to start.

We tested the connections to the battery (positive, negative, and ground) and all are in great order with no corrosion. It almost seems like there is a wire or something not connected to the battery that moves, which would explain why it is intermittent. Thanks so much!

My car has 280000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hello - this does sound like a loose wire, ground or bad fuse box. As you suggest, something has a very large power path break that is vibration or temperature sensitive. I would recommend an electrical system inspection by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will come to your location, diagnose this problem, give you an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  • Home
  • Questions
  • Power intermittently goes on/off, shutting down everything. 2004 Saturn Vue

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Code reader indicates bcm not communicating

Hello. The message you are receiving is displayed when the scan tool is unable to communicate with the vehicle's body control module. Depending on the model of scan tool this could mean that it is unable to communicate with the...

Q: The TPS error code P0123 appears only when the AC is on

Hello. The low charge in the A/C system is going to cause the A/C compressor to work harder than it should. This will put a greater load on the engine and may cause your throttle position sensor to give a...

Q: Battery is dead

It is possible that the weird noise you heard was either the serpentine belt coming apart, or the alternator failing. Either way, I would ask for help from one of the mechanics at YourMechanic, so they can come to your...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.