Emily (deltablues) wrote in crappycarclub,

What's wrong with this car?

My boyfriend drives a 1989 Oldsmobile 98. We bought it for about $300 a year ago, as its transmission is dying. It was dying then, and the car still runs (normally) though we generally drive around in second, and only around town.

In the past couple of weeks, it has started to hum when it's running, with the pitch of the hum increasing as we accelerate.

Last weekend (while I was away) my boyfriend noticed that the blinker was working very slowly. Shortly thereafter, the car wouldn't start. The lights (dome light, clock and whatnot) all worked, but it wouldn't start.

He thought it was the alternator, but was advised by his mother that it might be the battery, so he bought a new battery, and the car ran fine for a few days. It is now having the same symptoms as before (slow lights, the radio fades out when the blinker comes on, and won't start.)

He is reluctant to go to a professional because of the cost, and I don't want him to spend any more money when he doesn't know what the problem is.

Do we have a dead alternator and two dead batteries now? I suppose I have two questions:

What do you think is wrong with the car?

What will it cost to fix? If it's more than $100, we're just going to thank the $300 car for lasting a year, and get another one at auction.

UPDATE Yes, it was the alternator. We had it tested at Schuck's and it was dead. We bought another one for about $90 after trading in the core. Thanks.
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