Ok, so it's not the alternator - what is up now?
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This is a discussion on Ok, so it's not the alternator - what is up now? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I posted this elsewhere, but wanted to get as many eyes on it as possible - I had previously posted ...

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    Ok, so it's not the alternator - what is up now?

    I posted this elsewhere, but wanted to get as many eyes on it as possible -

    I had previously posted these threads -

    Weird voltages - alternator problem? - NASIOC
    Alternator life expectancy? - NASIOC

    regarding an issue I THOUGHT was because of the alternator, due to the weird voltages I was seeing on the gauge. I brought the car in to have the alternator replaced this morning, and after running their tests on it again, were hesitant to replace it as while it was charging a little low (they said some cars would do that) it would not be affecting the car in the way that I was experiencing (described in the first thread above). Ok fine.

    They did some research and noticed a TSB bulletin regarding the cleaning of the ISC valve, hoping it might clear up the stumbling idle. They went ahead and did that, and still, no big results.

    They got back to me again and noticed that the car had a pending code of P1590 - Neutral Position Switch - Circuit High Input - (whatever that means) and were curious if maybe that was causing the problem. They cleared the code and test drove it again, it did not come back, but wanted me to bring it back in to have them diagnose it a bit more.

    So, at this point, what else could it be? I realize now that maybe the weird voltage readings are just due to the fact that the car is, in fact, stumbling a bit, so the output is going to change.

    Any insight would be appreciated. For reference, the car is completely stock, as far as I am aware, other than the factory installed OEM Lamco gauges.
    Last edited by rudemood12; 08-04-2008 at 12:52 PM.

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    Is in Love With the Admins Here 20WRX04's Avatar
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    Have the battery tested. It is the heart of the electrical system that is often overlooked for some reason.
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    The Default One SeattleJeremy's Avatar
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    +1 on the battery. Also check the grounding points make sure they are secure.

    BTW, your links don't work.

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    i agree on the battery thing, but I believe they tested that as well, and everything was fine.

    also, once the car starts, isnt the battery pretty much out of the equation?

    my other thought is maybe it is some sort of vacuum leak? only thing is that the car is fine for a while after starting. its just that once the car runs for a bit and is brought to a stop does the idle get funny. especially if the AC is going.

    my other thought - maybe the idle is too low? that would explain why its fine at first (due to the higher idle after initial start) then it gets worse afterwards, as the idle comes down a bit. any weight to this?
    Last edited by rudemood12; 08-04-2008 at 01:13 PM.

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    Is your car almost stalling after it's warmed up when coming to a stop or just by pushing the clutch in & taking a load off the engine? If so it may be something else entirely, & you might not like what it may be.
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    its an automatic, so the clutch is removed from the equation altogether. however, taking it out of drive when it is stumbling and putting it into neutral seems to help, but not always.

    and to answer your other question, it seems to happen when the car is not under throttle, most usually when coming to a stop. not that coming to a stop does it, more like now that the engine isnt running higher RPMs it will get restless.

    Again, it seems to get worse if I click on the AC.

    Haha, although your warning makes me nervous, what is your thought?

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    Coming to a stop involves using the brakes (or a tree or something -- but let's assume the brakes).

    Do you have a vacuum leak?
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    My car started stalling after warm up right before my motor started knocking. Coincidence?
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    about the brakes - true, I do need to use the brakes in order to come to a stop, so they are in use. i wondered about a vacuum leak myself. not sure if it happens when something ELSE stops me, however.

    as far as the knocking goes, i cant see ANY other problems with the car, no other symptoms. This has been going on for about 3 months now that I have noticed.

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    alright, ive pretty much convinced myself its a vacuum leak. it was suggested here, as well as by a friend of my brothers, and thinking back to when I forgot to reattach a vacuum line on my mustang (and it did the same thing) that this is the problem.

    if it is/isn't, whats the best/easiest way to test? does a shop have the tools to test it fairly simply or am I best served to do something myself?

    the other thing ive been reading about is this neutral position switch thing.

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    Soapy water, a careful ear, a keen eye, and luck. Be really careful, always be aware that you're working so close to a running motor.
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    Some shops use smoke machines. That's always an option. Good luck.
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    would a vacuum leak show a change in voltage on my gauges? thats what initially tipped me off to the whole thing.

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    Possibly indirectly, due to a lower idle than expected.
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    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    I had the same problem with my car. The car would drop in rpms when i turn on the the ac. In fact, it would stall all together. I changed the ac belt, then that literally burned off. I checked the clutch, but it wasnt seizing. After a couple of minutes cursing, yelling and looking around, it ended up being the idler pulley. Luckily I work at carmax, so the parts were cheap. Swapped out the pulley, changed the belts, and crossed my fingers. The car has been running perfectly since. no stalling, nothing.

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