1972 Cutlass won't start, won't even crank. Funky burnt smell appearing shortly after


Asked by Apr 03, 2014 at 11:38 AM about the 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

So this morning i tried to start my Cutlass. And nothing, it wouldnt even crank. The
HEAT and GEN lights would come on before starting but once i go for the ignition it
wouldnt start or even try to start. Shortly after trying a few times i noticed an odd burnt
smell of something to which i couldnt identify. It also seemed odd to me that as i left
the car alone i would hear what sounded like a turbine or something for a few seconds
and then stop, and this continues sporadically. I think i even saw some smoke coming
out of the farthest left hand AC vent. Does anyone have any idea whats wrong?

2 Answers


I would start by checking your battery and cables to make sure its not grounding out on something.


Yes, check battery connections and grounds. After that I would trouble shoot the starter. Sometimes when they fry there is a bit of smoke and the smell of burning electrical stuff. Doesn't really explain the whining turbine sound though, but if things are melting down electrically sometimes weird things happen. In the mean time I would disconnect the ground lead to the battery unless you're right there working on it. I would be concerned about something shorting out and starting a fire. If the ground is disconnected that can't happen.

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