Low Voltage Reading When Turning Steering Wheel - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 04-03-2011, 12:59 AM   #1
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Default Low Voltage Reading When Turning Steering Wheel

I've recently noticed that when stationary in drive and the steering wheel is turned slightly either left or right, the dash voltmeter drops 3-4 needle widths and then rises to a normal reading within 1-2 secs. If I turn the steering wheel almost to lock, the voltmeter drops to approx. battery voltage (just above the red warning bar). After several seconds, the needle slowly rises to a normal reading again (normal being 1-2 needle widths below 14 V). The car has the Magnasteer option. Any ideas as to the cause? Defective alternator or Magnasteer valve on the rack?

Not sure if it'* related, but I'm also getting DTC P0102. I've performed the following actions, all failing to fix the problem:
- cleaned battery cables
- sprayed carb cleaner on throttle body, egr pipe, brake booster hose, UIM, and LIM
- disconnected and plugged vac hose from throttle body to evap purge valve
- disconnected egr valve to eliminate possible vac leaks
- disconnected MAF sensor
- cleaned MAF sensor
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Old 04-03-2011, 02:48 AM   #2
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I would check to make sure that the battery is in the best of health, and I would also want to make sure that you have proper belt tension, and the belt is not slipping.
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:33 AM   #3
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To close this thread, it appears the problem was caused by a faulty mass airflow (MAF) sensor.

Based on what I've read in this and other forums, the PCM cuts off the alternator field current below a certain engine RPM. The idle speed, at times, was low to begin with due to the defective MAF sensor, and turning the wheel caused a further drop in rpm due to the drag of the pump, resulting in low alternator output voltage.
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