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1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 08-18-2006, 12:00 AM   #1
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Default Houston, we have a problem...

Ok...this cant be good...there is some sort of problem with either my wiring or my alternator...i am thinking its the Voltage Regulator..

Whenever the car is idle, whether in gear or not you can see the Volt gauge flickering...and then every once in a while it will drop down to a really low level for about 2 seconds and everything goes dim then it comes back and continues doing it.

i will get a video of this tonight...
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Old 08-18-2006, 01:20 AM   #2
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check the battery cable connections? Had a similiar problem with my 88 Royale, ended up being bad battery cable. Of course I went thru 3 alternators to figure this out.
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Old 08-18-2006, 01:55 AM   #3
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I agree with the battery cable idea. Always start with the least expensive stuff first. I have had problems before with remanufactured alternator. This last time I went with the new one and havent had any trouble for 2 yrs. It was worth the $$ and no hassle with taking it back to the parts store and being stranded. An inexpensive battery charger is a handy tool also, I was able to keep the same battery through 2 reman alts by charging it myself, again less hassle. Hope you don't have a wiring problem, those can be a bitch to find.
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Old 08-18-2006, 02:19 AM   #4
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electrical problems are the sneakyest ones to pin point easely.
However, your symptoms sound like the ones I had few years ago.
Energy was surging suddently showing the gauge needle showing overcharging for few second then the diming draw immediately after...even my A/C was put himself at on "whoooooo a gosh had possessed my Bonnie" idle was fluctuate also from noirmal RPM to near 1600 trying to compensate the energy draw and surge.
Touching the brake pedal was making the car to shutdown and the DIC which was dead few years ago was producing a beep beeep beep steady alarm signal ...something I never taugh a beep would come from there.
had no more choice after changing the battery and the alternator to had it scanned by an auto electric expert.
there was few weak grounds and bad connexions in the electrical wires network in the shifter causing on and off symptomas.
A real costy nightmare...almost put the Bonnie to the death penalty that day.
good luck...hope this is a simple thing on your.
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Old 08-18-2006, 02:51 AM   #5
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ok...i am now discovering that it is an intermittent problem...

i took a video...but unfortunately...or maybe fortunately..(im not sure yet) it was not doing it, but i made a video anyways...

i will make sure to get one when it does it..

Video HERE

But anyways, thanks for the responses...

FYI it is a remanufactured/rebuilt alternator that I bought from Mills Fleet Farm on Feb 5th, 2005, so its about 1.5 years old now....maybe its just that, but then again..i do only keep my negative battery connection finger tight.

I will tighten the connections and have the alternator and battery tested at Advance. So we will find out.
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:15 PM   #6
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STILL DOING IT!!! NEED ANSWERS!
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:26 PM   #7
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Can you have someone (buddy, sibling someone you can instruct?) to wiggle the positve battery connection just UNDER the connection while you watch the gauge? Keeping the negative only finger tight is asking for a problem, IMO. The 2 cable setup for the positive side has to be clean all the way thru, discovered that quite stupidly myself BTDT got the t shirt.
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Old 08-19-2006, 05:16 AM   #8
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thanks..i will try that
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Old 08-19-2006, 11:57 AM   #9
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How old is your battery?
Can you swap batteries to rule that out?
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Old 08-19-2006, 01:11 PM   #10
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When the voltage drops, is there any change in load? Anything just turn on? Does the idle speed vary also? Did you take apart and clean your cables and connections, or just tighten them?
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