1992 Chrysler New Yorker headlights flicker on 92 New Yorker

Tiny
PAUSLEY
  • MEMBER
  • 1992 CHRYSLER NEW YORKER
  • 95,000 MILES
On my 92phone new yorker there is a couple problems one the headlights will start to flicker after about 10 min driving with them on dimmer switch has been changed it made no difference this makes it very unsafe to drive If I hold the brights switch the brighhts will remain on but I have to hold the lever back in place to keep them on. Is there a relay or anything the car does have the automatic headlight doors that flip up when the lights go on and down when they go off that works just fine mainly the lamps seem like they get too hot and trip some breaker and none of the fuses are blown I even put new ones in just in case they were old or something please help me fix this.

problem 2and there is something wrong with a constant draw that keeps killing our brand new battery and I have no clue where from all of the cars original parrts are still in it no after market cd player or anything

and also for the dash the gauge cluster works one of two ways either the lights work on it and everything lights up as it should and then the gauges dont work its very frustrating even put in a new cluster or the gauges work but the lights do not and when it works that way and I try to turn on headlights the stereo and interior lights go very dim almost to where you cant see them. I
I have seen many posts about these cars electrical problems did they recall anything I should be aware of it seems there is too many problems for how well maintained the vehicle has been?
Thank you for your help it is much appreciated!
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Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 AT 12:32 AM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You need to use punctuation in those huge sentences, otherwise they can be read at least three different ways. I did figure out you have a head light problem but you didn't say if the doors close when the lights flicker, or if the lights go off completely at times. I understand you may not be able to see or hear them closing, especially if the lights just flicker a little. These cars did not have a lot of electrical trouble. In fact, I ordered a '93 Dynasty the last month they were being built when I saw the newer models. It's those newer cars that have lots of electrical trouble, mostly because of all the unnecessary computers.

As I recall, the New Yorkers have a relay box. The LeBarons had one under the dash and those did cause some problems. They were sealed and you couldn't get in to replace relays with burned or pitted contacts. You had to replace the entire assembly. Intermittent head lights was the most common complaint. Look for that first. If there is one on your car it most likely would be under the dash around the steering column. Those relays could be in the under-hood fuse box too instead of in that sealed box.

Are you saying the interior lights go dim but they should be bright or off? Dim lights suggests a bad ground wire. The lights can turn on dimly when they should be out due to another circuit with a bad ground looking for an alternate current path. They can also be dim when they should be bright due to a bad ground and that circuit finds an alternate ground path through some other circuit. If that bad ground is related to the head light relays that would explain the head light problem too.
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Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 AT 12:56 AM
Tiny
PAUSLEY
  • MEMBER
Sorry about the punctuation. I often forget while using my phone, however the doors do not close when the lights flicker just strictly a flicker. The first time I noticed was pulling up to the front of a store and noticed, looking in the stores window I could see them doing that few seconds on few off. I have not checked yet for the enclosed fuse box, kind of hoping there is not one lol. If there is one what do I need to do at that point?

For the interior lights. Yes they go dim when supposed to be bright. No dash lights come on at all when I twist/pull the switch. Definitely thinking something is grounding out, due to the fact a brand new battery must be jumped if the car has not been used in more than 24I hrs.

Thank you for your help.
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Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 AT 6:43 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The symptoms you described suggest multiple problems including the possibility of a charging system problem. Those are real easy to diagnose on your car and we'll discuss that next if necessary.

Actually, now that I think of it, everything you said could be due to a charging system problem. First, use a digital voltmeter to measure the battery voltage while the engine is running. It must be between 13.75 and 14.75 volts. If it is low, suspect the alternator but we need to do a few additional tests first to be sure. If the voltage is okay, or even a little high, the next thing is to have it professionally load-tested to see how much current the alternator can produce. Normal is somewhere around 90 amps. If all you can get is exactly one third of its rating, or about 30 amps, it has a bad diode. 30 amps is not enough to run the entire electrical system under all conditions and the battery will have to make up the difference until it slowly runs down. Also, "ripple" voltage will be high. That is the variation in the voltage, and the voltage regulator will respond to those changes and can result in flickering lights.

The additional potential clue is the head lights will not flicker when the engine is not running. If they do, that rules out an alternator problem.

The store that sold you the battery should be able to test the alternator, and they'll often do that for free. The test only takes a few seconds. It takes longer than that to connect the equipment to the battery. Be sure they do the full load-test though. A lot of mechanics just measure the battery voltage like I told you to do, and assume everything is okay. That can tell you the charging system is working but it can't tell you if it's working properly.

Always have that load-test done on the car. Some people take the alternator off the engine and carry it into an auto parts store for testing. That doesn't test the whole system, and those test benches aren't strong enough to run alternators wide open. Here again, they can tell you it's working but not if it's working properly. Alternators and generators are very inefficient at low speeds so we have to raise engine speed during the test. Can't do that on a test bench. Alternators can easily draw between five and ten horsepower from the engine. Most test benches have one horsepower or smaller motors to run the alternators. That's not enough to allow the full-load test to take place.

Also observe if you see any other lights flicker at the same time the head lights do. For example, if the brake lights, tail lights, interior lights, and the radio display don't flicker, that points to a head light circuit problem. Typically that will get worse very quickly until the head lights don't turn on at all. THEN we'll have something to find that will be obvious when we do.
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Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 AT 9:12 PM

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