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Electrical system funkiness (list)


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12 replies to this topic

#1 Phaedras

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 11:11 PM

All this has increasingly been occurring lately:

1. dash lights flicker slightly and humming noise variates in tune with the blinkers on.

2. car will sometimes randomly decide not to start. fuel pump hums and dash warning lights flicker but no other noises. getting a jump seems to help, but so does letting the car sit for 5-10 minutes.

3. rear speakers make a scratch 'n pop noise which rises in pitch with engine speed. been doing some rewiring for an amp lately (though not yet installed) so that might be it. only occurs with engine on, not otherwise.

4. windshield wipers tend to inch and jerk along when set on intermediate.

5. Interior/exterior lights dim when brake is applied with engine off.

6. A/C will not work at all (R12 is confirmed full) then randomly decide to do so for a few days...then stop again.

7. (has happened only once) turned key and lights went on as usual then "pop" and everything shut off. waited a second and it started fine, but radio had reset.

8. (possibly related) idle has an increased tendency to drop to a lumpy 500. turning idle speed screw doesn't seem to help and I already soaked my IAC valve in intake cleaner twice.

What gives???



#2 hooziewhatsit

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 11:25 PM

sounds like alternator/battery issues, mainly towards the alternator end of it.


I've fixed #7 by cleaning the battery terminals

#4 can probably be fixed by re-grounding the wiper motor.

#1 happens all the time in my loyale, even makes the fuel pump pulse a bit. I've decided it's due to poor grounding, and will eventually get around to doing something about it, maybe.


do you have a DMM to check the voltage the alternator is putting out? Beyond that, I'd check all the ground and make sure they're clean.

#3 Turbone

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 11:30 PM

I think I would disconnect the amp wiring you did and see if it still does it. At least rule it out as a problem. If it still does it, check the alternator output. It probably wouldnt hurt to add some grounds also.

#4 BlueTrain

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 12:41 AM

sounds like alternator/battery issues, mainly towards the alternator end of it.


I've fixed #7 by cleaning the battery terminals

#4 can probably be fixed by re-grounding the wiper motor.

#1 happens all the time in my loyale, even makes the fuel pump pulse a bit. I've decided it's due to poor grounding, and will eventually get around to doing something about it, maybe.


do you have a DMM to check the voltage the alternator is putting out? Beyond that, I'd check all the ground and make sure they're clean.


yep, my loyale does the little fuel pump pulse when i use the blinkers as well.. ive gotten used to it, and people seem amused at all the "fun" little noises it makes at various times.

#5 myfinalcoffinx

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 02:38 AM

I've gone through most of this stuff recently in the process of fixing all of the problems with the wagon.

I would start by checking the main ground from the battery. Mine was loose and causing all sorts of problems. Tightened it up and most of the flickering went away.

2 was a big problem for me. i thought getting a jump helped, but i think it was mostly superstition because it turned out to be my ignition switch. i didn't have to replace it, but a small fix. i ended up taking the plastic off of the steering column as to gain access to the ignition switch. the key was turning in the lock, but the switch had to be turned just a tiny bit more than i could through the lock. i used pliers to twist the stem coming from the ignition lock just a wee bit, enought to turn the switch to get the starter going.

4 was a problem in my car also, i replaced the relay and it worked just fine. I would also recommend opening up the windshield motor and cleaning the contacs in there. sometimes they get covered with grease and fail to make contact properly. also check your ground for the motor.

5 sounds like a low battery...

7 happened once to me also, i freaked out but it hasn't happened since. i've cleaned all the contacts to the battery and whatnot, but i doubt that had anything to do with it.

8 has been happening to me as well recently, and i am curious as to what is causing it. if i find out, i'll let you know though.


peace

#6 85Sub4WD

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 09:31 AM

3. rear speakers make a scratch 'n pop noise which rises in pitch with engine speed. been doing some rewiring for an amp lately (though not yet installed) so that might be it. only occurs with engine on, not otherwise.

you need to add a filter capacitor for the coil to eliminate RF interference - they are common and inexpensive - basically, you are picking up the sound of your engine firing because the is inadiquate isolation of th coil/related components - better grounding helps too

#5 - happens to me too, with a new battery - standard voltage drop due to battery load - would not worry about it at all

#7 - I agree with hooziewhatsit that it is dirty battery terminals - cleaning may also help #2 and #5

Good Luck!!

#7 Cougar

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 10:24 AM

Another thing to check for is a bad connection with the fusible links. Mine were in a plastic box mounted on the coolant reservoir.

The AC problem sounds like there may be a wiring connection problem also.

#8 Phaedras

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 10:31 AM

This is great :) By all means, continue.

#9 curtis@sdicasper

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 10:50 AM

I had an experience with a 94' Chevy S-10 where after I changed the hood release cable I unknowingly pinched one of the wires for the turn signal against the inner fender. From there on it was not the same truck, turn signals, dome lamp, brake lights, dash lights, gauges either all worked differently or not at all. My favorite was opening the ashtray turned on the dome lamp. I was certain it was possessed. Grounding can effect everything.

#10 Phaedras

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Posted 16 May 2005 - 09:28 AM

I'm trying to figure out why the interference would pop up out of no where. It didn't occur with my old MSD blaster, and didn't for the first couple weeks of the Accel Super Stock I am now using. I'll admit that it's kinda wedged in there with all the other cables, since I've been too lazy to drill the proper holes to mount it.

#11 Hendrik

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 05:04 AM

All this has increasingly been occurring lately:




What gives???






Mesure the resistance of the ignition switch and read :
http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=38952

#12 Cougar

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 07:56 PM

Also check for bad grounding problems. You can make a long jumper and tie one end to the negative side of the battery. Then place the other end on suspected bad ground points. If things clear up then repair the ground. Also make sure the battery connections are clean.

#13 85Sub4WD

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 11:07 PM

1. dash lights flicker slightly and humming noise variates in tune with the blinkers on.

somewhat normal for these cars - grounding issue in the design - the humm is probably your fuel pump - don't worry about it

2. car will sometimes randomly decide not to start. fuel pump hums and dash warning lights flicker but no other noises. getting a jump seems to help, but so does letting the car sit for 5-10 minutes.

bad battery connectors - less than $5 if you replace them
may be ignition switch, but battery connectors are cheaper/easier, and on a car that old they probably need to be replaced anyway

3. rear speakers make a scratch 'n pop noise which rises in pitch with engine speed. been doing some rewiring for an amp lately (though not yet installed) so that might be it. only occurs with engine on, not otherwise.

the filter capacitor for the radio is missing/broken - most car audio stores should sell them and have proper instructions as to installation - common with aftermarket radios

4. windshield wipers tend to inch and jerk along when set on intermediate.

motor/pivots may need lube - i like moly grease

5. Interior/exterior lights dim when brake is applied with engine off.

normal (if extreme, battery connector bad) - you are drawing more current, and there is naturally a voltage drop associated with it - we are actually talking about that characteristic in one of my Electrical Engineering classes right now

6. A/C will not work at all (R12 is confirmed full) then randomly decide to do so for a few days...then stop again.

could be many things, there is a belt protection system on these cars, the main component of which is a "pulser" which sits on the top of your compressor and detects the compressor rotating against RPMs - if the gap between the compressor/pulser is too big, the system will engage momentairly - it could also be a bad pressure switch, A/C relay, and if it is a panisonic system there are several other inhibitor switches - check fuses

7. (has happened only once) turned key and lights went on as usual then "pop" and everything shut off. waited a second and it started fine, but radio had reset.

definately bad battery cable/connector/connection, inspect & replace as necessary - cheap parts


8. (possibly related) idle has an increased tendency to drop to a lumpy 500. turning idle speed screw doesn't seem to help and I already soaked my IAC valve in intake cleaner twice.

adjust timing with timing light - 20 degrees BTDC at idle of ~750 rpms (the change in timing will affect the RPM of the engine as well) - connect green test connectors while doing so, and make sure all accessories are off

In short; it needs a minor tune-up, don't sweat - I don't think you're talking big bucks or a lot of time except maybe with the A/C.

Good Luck!

I had an experience with a 94' Chevy S-10

so have I (exc. it was a '90 - basically the same thing)

never again - why do american cars have horrible elecrical systems??
(I include Chevy, Ford, and Dodge in that statement)





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