severe slipping, maybe electrical??? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 02-03-2004, 09:45 PM   #1
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Default severe slipping, maybe electrical???

We have owned a 94 SE since 96. A couple of years ago we had problems with starting it (acted dead when it wasn't). After replacing everything it turns out the battery cables were bad. Car has been okay since. It has had the slight miss at cruise that everyone else seems to have, but it is tolerable and hasn't gotten worse.

Here'* the problem now: was driving home the other day, noticed my SES light flashing erratically. Looked around at the gauges and noticed the ammeter going crazy. It finally quit moving and looked as if it wasn't charging at all. Replaced the alternator. Did okay for a little while. Then the craziness started again and has gotten progressively worse. Now the car is basically undriveable. At first it felt like the torqe converter was locking and unlocking erratically. Now it feels like it never locks up and sometimes you can even feel it shudder/slipping. It is like it is stuck between gears or something. Since replacing the alternator, the SES light has yet to come on so I don't know if anything will show up if it is scanned.

I am trying to figure out which direction to head in diagnosing the problem. Would an electrical short mess with the tranny or would tranny problems mess with the electrical? I will probably take the car to a mechanic tomorrow to see if he can pull any codes. Like I said, no SES light, so I don't think he'll have any luck. What do you guys think?

Jason
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:48 PM   #2
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I'd get a charging system test done at autozone. Alternator AND battery. Your battery could be over-taxing the rest of the electrical system. My personal rule of thumb is to replace these two components at the same time, if either fails. They can kill each other.

The TC in your trans is operated by an electrical solonoid, so it could very well be related. Do you know how many volts you're putting out? At idle and while driving? Day and night?
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Old 02-06-2004, 02:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: severe slipping, maybe electrical???

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsarrel
Here'* the problem now: was driving home the other day, noticed my SES light flashing erratically. Looked around at the gauges and noticed the ammeter going crazy. It finally quit moving and looked as if it wasn't charging at all. Replaced the alternator. Did okay for a little while. Then the craziness started again and has gotten progressively worse.
I think you're referring to a voltmeter, not an ammeter, unless somebody'* installed an aftermarket gauge there. If by "going crazy" you mean that it was pegging itself one way or another, then coming back again, it sounds like the gauge controller was rebooting, like it does when you first start the car and the gauges do their little proveout dance. This can occur if voltage dips below minimum (i.e. 8 volts or so) and the controllers go slightly bonkers.

I agree that you need to yank that alternator and get it bench-tested. Sounds like you may have a dud one. Give the battery a decent charge before installing the replacement alternator so that it doesn't get a big load trying to get everything going at once.
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Old 02-06-2004, 04:46 PM   #4
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Default update

As I figured, the mechanic couldn't pull any codes. The altenator was the first thing I replaced. You're right, I meant to say the voltmeter, I was reading another post that kept referring to the ammeter and that just stuck in my head. When I said it was going crazy it was erratically jumping around between the first mark (12V??) and 14V. It never dipped into the red area. The lights, etc, would dim and brighten as the needle jumped around.

Anyway, the mechanic also replaced the alternator and didn't have any better luck. I believe he said the voltage finally stabilized and is normal at 14V, but the transmission is still screwed up. Let me put it this way, if the car was a straight drive I would immediately say the clutch is worn out. I know automatics have clutches in them, but this wasn't something that happened gradually.

My father picked up the car today and said first and second are fine. Third gear is okay if you are real easy on the gas, but for the most part you can at most maintain speed on level ground. I still believe it is something electrical since this happened suddenly. We will be taking it up to a transmission shop on monday to let them check it out. It will be at home this weekend, so if there is anything I can check with a multimeter, etc. without having to drop the whole tranny, let me know.
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