fluctuating voltage, bang shifts and a puff of smoke. is it related? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


Buick When starting new posts, please specify YEAR, MAKE, MODEL, ENGINE type, and whatever modifications you have made.

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-01-2013, 11:33 PM   #1
certified crazy person
Certified GM nut
Thread Starter
 
eltatertoto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: hobart indiana (1 hr from chicago)
Posts: 1,871
Thanked 64 Times in 52 Posts
eltatertoto is a jewel in the rougheltatertoto is a jewel in the rougheltatertoto is a jewel in the rougheltatertoto is a jewel in the rough
Default fluctuating voltage, bang shifts and a puff of smoke. is it related?

hey all. recently i have been having some issues with my car, and they are making me want to sign on the dotted line more than anything else im afraid.

a few weeks ago, i noticed that applying the brake caused the lights to flicker along with a constantly fluctuating voltage. (started a thread about it mistakenly calling it the impala, but since they are the same engine, i didnt see a need to correct it)

recently, the car has randomly been putting itself into high pressure shift mode, even though its not slipping.

and today on my way to work, i noticed a nice big stream of smoke coming from the grille. enough to make me think it was the truck in front of me'* exhaust. but upon craning my head upward, i noticed the truck had a side output exhaust. this abruptly stopped and i pulled into the first parking lot after that light to find nothing wrong at all. (did discover a mouse nest under the engine cover though).


my question is, are there any possible links between these 3 things? the car has no blow-by, good oil pressure, god clean oil and good clean coolant. t-stat was replaced last winter, and is functioning properly. both valve cover gaskets were done this summer.


along with this, and the fact that my subframe bushings are going and the fact i need a new front motor mount, im honestly thinking about answering one of those "we need more used car inventory" letters i keep getting from the dealer.

sorry for the rant. any help is greatly appreciated. im kinda leaning toward the low voltage to the trans computer causing the issues, but i wanted to get some advice before i go out and throw more parts at it.
eltatertoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2013, 07:46 AM   #2
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
jwfirebird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: western,ny state
Posts: 9,616
Thanked 563 Times in 481 Posts
jwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond repute
Default

im no auto trans expert but my inlaws 96 bonnie was doing that banging a couple months before it had to be rebuilt. seems alot of the fwds do that. as far as the steam seems different to me, something could be leaking under pressure when cruising and not at idle, or less so its not as visible.
jwfirebird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2013, 07:03 PM   #3
certified crazy person
Certified GM nut
Thread Starter
 
eltatertoto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: hobart indiana (1 hr from chicago)
Posts: 1,871
Thanked 64 Times in 52 Posts
eltatertoto is a jewel in the rougheltatertoto is a jewel in the rougheltatertoto is a jewel in the rougheltatertoto is a jewel in the rough
Default

here is a video i took today. trans fluid looks bran new. no leaks either.


buick park avenue alternator problems - YouTube
eltatertoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2013, 07:20 AM   #4
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
jwfirebird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: western,ny state
Posts: 9,616
Thanked 563 Times in 481 Posts
jwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond repute
Default

to have your gauge be a volt lower than at the battery seems normal. and as far as the fluctuation could be bad alt or going bad but i have suspicions about the optima. i have had a few flake out for one, and i dont think the yellow tops are meant for starting engines(quick discharge-recharge), i would charge it externally and see if it makes a difference. but could be nothing the voltage is supposed to go down as the battery charges
jwfirebird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2013, 03:41 PM   #5
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
Soft Ride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: BC Canada
Posts: 3,579
Thanked 335 Times in 298 Posts
Soft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud of
Default

Jason sorry to hear about your ailing PA. Regarding your PA, when was the last time u serviced the trans, did u use dexron 6 fluid and do you have a shift kit in there or spacers in accumulator? Scan for codes? What is the level of trans fluid when hot.The PA likes it a bit above the full line.

Mine does that blink often too but then I am running brighter brake bulbs, and I got an Odyssey battery and a 110 amp at idle 160 amp max alternator. I think the voltage sensing mod would help if your alt is ok. I simply add one volt to the inside dash reading and dont worry about what it is doing anymore as I know the main problem is that the PA idle is too low to produce the correct power until the idle gets above 800 rpm which is the sweet spot for rpm and power generation for the size of our pulley.
I took the top engine cover off, a mouse nest, wonder if they were having a snack on your wiring ...ouch.
Soft Ride is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2013, 10:24 PM   #6
certified crazy person
Certified GM nut
Thread Starter
 
eltatertoto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: hobart indiana (1 hr from chicago)
Posts: 1,871
Thanked 64 Times in 52 Posts
eltatertoto is a jewel in the rougheltatertoto is a jewel in the rougheltatertoto is a jewel in the rougheltatertoto is a jewel in the rough
Default

welp, i took it to the zone and the nice old dude there told me that the alt was functioning properly, but that also was a block from work. he said if it only happens when the car is warm (like mine) it could be the rectifier in my alternator. i am starting to agree.


the light was so long i actually got the video with my phone. i dont care how far off the DIC is, when all the lights dim like that, theres a problem.
eltatertoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2013, 11:02 PM   #7
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
rjolly87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 6,854
Thanked 298 Times in 246 Posts
rjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant future
Default

Something just popped in to my head: Cooling fan issues

This would be really easy to identify if you are looking for it. Smoking up front, and why it only happens when warm and stopped. It could explain the tranny concerns as well if you are getting a bit warm and it is upsetting the tranny, but I am assuming you are attentive to your temps.
rjolly87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2013, 11:03 PM   #8
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
rjolly87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 6,854
Thanked 298 Times in 246 Posts
rjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant future
Default

I say that though because it is acting like there is excessive draw on the system, like a short or something, and the cooling fans are one of the higher amperage applications on the car.
rjolly87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 07:25 AM   #9
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
jwfirebird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: western,ny state
Posts: 9,616
Thanked 563 Times in 481 Posts
jwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond repute
Default

when fans start to go they draw even more current as well
jwfirebird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 07:30 AM   #10
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
Soft Ride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: BC Canada
Posts: 3,579
Thanked 335 Times in 298 Posts
Soft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud ofSoft Ride has much to be proud of
Default

The other excessive draw is from the rear air shock compressor kicking in too..
but I tend to go with both cooling fans kicking in...like Randall stated.
A good shop should be able to properly test the alternator with a load applied and see how many amps the alt is producing. I am wondering if a Midtronics or Snap On tester would show a defect in the rectifier bridge or charging system .
Soft Ride is online now   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I get a puff of smoke sometimes...PCV? kaptnjack 1987-1991 4 12-14-2006 06:24 PM
Stiffer Shifts vs Softer Shifts Hans Performance, Brainstorming & Tuning 9 12-06-2006 09:17 PM
Big puff of blue smoke!! merlin 1992-1999 7 05-14-2005 02:37 PM
tranny shifts lare hard when cold.. bang ,, thd, whap...:( delta88 1987-1991 15 12-18-2004 10:23 AM
By the same guys who brought you Bang Bang Bang MOS95B Lounge 11 02-13-2004 01:36 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:34 AM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.