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: Charging system failure.

Hi There, You may have a failing voltage regulator that could be allowing the alternator to supply too much or too little amperage to the battery resulting in the battery never maintaining a consistent charge as it is designed to....

Q: Transmission range sensor code keeps coming on after replacing the range sensor.

Check the harness that goes to the range sensor and see if there is any burned contacts. If there is not burned contacts, then check for power to the wiring harness and see if there is a 5 volt reference....

Q: When accelerating car makes winding sound. What could it be?

This may be related to a variety of things that are driven by the serpentine belt that may correlate to the acceleration, however the most common noises resembling a whining sound are a failing alternator or a power steering pump...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...