Car Doctor Q&A: Replacing a Battery in an Aurora

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Oldsmobile had hopes that the Aurora was going to kick off a whole luxury brand, like Lexus, to the point that the early cars didn’t even have an “Oldsmobile” badge anywhere. Figuring out how to work on them now might be a challenge, but John Paul has this reader covered.

Oldsmobile Aurora

Q. My Dad’s 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora needs a battery, but I don’t have the radio anti-theft codes. The battery is under the rear seat and there are jumper connections under the hood in the engine compartment. Can I connect the battery from my motorcycle to the jumper connections and replace the battery without losing the radio memory or should I plug a “memory saver” into the OBD II connector?

A. Some technicians use a use a memory-saver that plugs into the under-dash OBD II connection. The problem with this method it doesn’t always power all of the computers on the newest models (the radio presets may hold but not the memory seat settings). Using a motorcycle battery connected to the jumpstart posts should work, but be careful since you are energizing the electrical system. The motorcycle battery, depending on its capacity, could be overtaxed by the car’s electrical load.

Before replacing the battery make sure all accessories are turned off. At AAA when we replace a battery we have found that “piggybacking” the battery cables with a jump pack to maintain power to all of the computers in the car is the best method. In addition when replacing this battery in your Aurora, carefully inspect the battery cables and don’t forget to hook up the battery vent hose.