Originally Posted by homer12
Tonight, I started and measured volts on the battery and got 12V, 12V from block to starter solenoid. I pulled the dash panels looking for fuses or loose connections and didn't find anything. pulled the ignition switch and check out ok. Next thought the battery could have mysteriously discharged completely on me so I hooked a charger up to it. 5min later I was able to get gauges and horn to work. I'm going to let charge overnight and see what happens tommorow. I should also pull the battery and go have it tested.
I have a new starter to put in as I knew the one in it is starting to go bad. Do you guys think it's frozen and that could have almost instantly drained the whole battery?
As I posted before, you can't dump a ton of current without a lot of heat. If the battery is unable to store enough voltage (the fact that it only shows 12V is one indication that either the alternator is only delivering 12V and a battery will only reach the voltage it receives) or the plates are damaged/depleted, it won't deliver adequate current. In this case, the voltage will take a big dump as soon as it has any kind of load.
Do you have anything that runs on DC, like an inverter for providing 120VAC? If you do, connect it to the battery and load it almost to its limit. Also, connect a voltmeter to the battery and monitor the battery's voltage. If you see it dropping quickly, the battery is toast. Have it load tested.
If you want to see if the starter is frozen, remove it and connect it to your car battery with jumper cables. If it's frozen, remove the cables ASAP.