squirly gauges and downshifting on highway - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 02-06-2009, 12:39 PM   #1
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Default squirly gauges and downshifting on highway

Yesterday i started my car to leave work and I switched of my A/C and the car died. I have only had this car for 3 weeks so I didn't think much of it I knew it had some kinks and was planning on doing a tune up this weekend. After I started driving I noticed that the volts were at 15+. My 96 also had squirly gauges and I thought this was just a bonnie thing and continued with my drive home. while driving the car sputtered and the gauges went to 0 and back to normal like when you start it and also a chime went off. This happened 2 more times on the way home and was hoping that I could get to work and back so I could give it a good tune up this weekend. No check engine light

This morning it was find until on the highway the tack and spedo both went down while the car was doing 65 with a sputter. The car shifted into 2nd and when the spedo started to go back up it shifted into drive. The volts were at 15 when this happened and I didn't notice what the other gages were doing. The check engine light came on then off.

As I was in the parking lot at work I noticed that my volts were at 15 and my oil pressure was below 40. If I switch on the A/C the volts go to around 14 and the oil pressure goes above 40.

Don't know what to think of it. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:59 PM   #2
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Sounds liek you have some ground corrosion problems. Clean you battery cables and check your ground busses below the doors. Both of these are covered in the tech info area. Should be in general maintance.
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Old 02-06-2009, 03:37 PM   #3
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I checked the ground busses and they look fine. I am at work so I don't have many tools at my disposal to dig in much farther so I will try to go home early and clean and check the engine and body ground.

I was taking some volt reading at the battery and was getting over 17. I noticed that when I pressed down to get a good connection on the side posts the car would die. I was able to get the pos off but not the neg. I beat it on the battery to get some of the corosion off but i have seen a lot worse. After i put the pos back on it would not die when pressing down on the posts. I was still gettin over 17 volts but decided to drive to lunch to see if it just needed to charge the battery. By the time I got back the gauge was reading 14 but the meter was telling me 15+.

Lets say that the grounds are good and I am still getting strange readings. If the voltage regulator was going out and spiking would that cause the engine to die?
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Old 02-06-2009, 03:44 PM   #4
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The symptoms you discribed is clasic corrosion. It'* a common problem. I clean my battery connections 2 times a year and use dielectric grease. Another possibility is a bad battery. I've seen the posts break.
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Old 02-06-2009, 03:49 PM   #5
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I had the same problem with mine but it was the fact that the bolt for the pos + terminal on the battery kept un-screwing itself... would happen every couple days... got a new bolt for it and havent had a problem since... not that its your problem but clean the connections and make sure its tight
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Old 02-07-2009, 02:54 PM   #6
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I cleaned the terminals and all grounds I could find. after i started it the volts at the battery were up to 18 and the gauges were still a little squirly. While doing a tune up I noticed that the sensor on the airbox was unplugged. I remember this making my 96 act strange. I will update after i drive the car a little bit.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:55 PM   #7
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Did you clean between the two positive cables on the double connector? Check down into the plastic covering.
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