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Old 10-22-2003, 10:44 PM   #1
Rally1
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Default Engine surge, flickering lights, alternator issue?

This is actually on my Eagle Talon, but it is an electrical issue that is not really car specific.

On start the engine idle surges to 2k, up and down every second.

Common on 1G DSM carslike the talon was the fact that the capacitors in the ECU tended to leak. So I replaced the ECU with another used one that had the caps replaced. The problem still exists.

The interior lights and headlight will flicker rapidly when the car is on, if i give it gas (RPMs over 2k) they lights are solid.

With the car off (ie just on Batt.) there is no flickering.

I am guessing alternator. It is an "upgraded" alternator, rebuilt to put out 90A rather than 70A.

If I put a meter on the battery with the car on the voltage sits at 14.2V, even though the lights flicker, the number doesn't change. And i tested it with a digital VOM and an analog one so i could see the needle swing (it didnt).

Does it sound like alternator, or does it sound like a voltage regulator or something else?

Need more info, just let me know.
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Old 10-22-2003, 10:55 PM   #2
Mulder
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What does the battery voltage read with the engine off after sitting for at least a few minutes? Should be at least 12.5, less indicates a weak battery.
The battery acts as a filter for the alternator output, so if it's weak you may see some flickering, probably at too high a frequency for the voltmeter to register although an analog meter should show something.
Could also be a problem with the alternator, such as a bad diode.
You'd need to have both the battery and alternator checked with the proper equipment to be sure.
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Old 10-22-2003, 11:05 PM   #3
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It's been doing it for a while, and new battery has been put in over that time. But i'll will check it. I think I had sears test the battery, and it came out good a year ago. (I have been ignoring the problem now that i have car that works )

Do kragens and autozones still test batteries and alternators for free?

I have spent hours on this (back when it was my daily driver), everytime i think i have it figured out, the "solution" never works. The latest is the new ECU.
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Old 10-22-2003, 11:09 PM   #4
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12.8V with car off
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Old 10-22-2003, 11:10 PM   #5
Mulder
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The electrical problems and the RPM surge may be related, or not. Try to resolve the electrical side first and see if that corrects the surge, if not then you can treat it as a separate issue.
How long was the car off when you took that reading?
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Old 10-22-2003, 11:19 PM   #6
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1/2 hour
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Old 10-22-2003, 11:21 PM   #7
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Just curious..but....is the battery terminals bolted on tight!!
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Old 10-22-2003, 11:23 PM   #8
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Battery is probaby ok then but should also be load-tested. Have the alternator fully tested also.
I don't know what the parts stores out there will do for free, I do know Autozone no longer does free CEL scans in CA.
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Old 10-22-2003, 11:39 PM   #9
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I am not doubting you, i am just trying to learn a little, hence this question:

If the lights dont flicker on just battery, then how is it battery related? And would flickering only occur if the voltage was jumping up and down? Maybe i am not testing it in the right place. Should I test for voltage at the light it's self?

When the car is running, all power is coming off the alternator right, and the alternator charges the battery at the same time?

Too bad the alternator is such a PITA to replace on these cars. I am spending more on this thing now, and i dont even use it....

Go Marlins bottom of the 10th
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Old 10-22-2003, 11:43 PM   #10
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Other things I have done:

Tightend alt. belt.
Checked for shorts.
Cleaned batt. terminals.
Trickle charge the battery (using a solar charger that stays in the car)
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Old 10-22-2003, 11:44 PM   #11
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The alternator may need to be checked with a scope, to see if one or more diodes have gone bad.
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