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Car stalls when fan turned on or emergency brake released

(1999 Saturn SL)
in Niagara Falls, NY on January 31, 2010
I haven't been driving my car much and after jump starting it this morning it stalled on me several times.

I started by jumping the car and after it had been running for about 5 minutes I turned the heat on in the car and turned on the fan; stall 1. I restarted the car with the fan off and let it run for another 5 minutes then I tried to release the emergency brake and back out of the driveway; stall 2.

I restarted the car again and let it run for a few minutes. While waiting I watched the gauges periodically observed the Tachometer twitching as it dropped to zero (while the car was running), the Odometer and clock blanked out, and the gas gauge dropped to empty. When I tried releasing the parking brake again the car stalled again.

I suspect its a power problem, the battery has likely been discharged for a while and it has been discharged several times. The alternator is also original so this could play a role but I didn't see the charge light activate.

I'm just trying to get an idea of what I might be up against before I start investing $.

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Popular Answer
on January 31, 2010
It does sounds like a charging system problem. I would start by replacing the battery, and cleaning the battery cable terminals. With the lack of use, and the cold weather, it is a perfect scenario for battery issues.
One more thing, when you turn the key on, does the charging/battery light illuminate?
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