Interior lights and headlights flicker and RPM gauge is at 1 when gear is in park, what is causing this?

Tiny
ZOOEY
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 SATURN SC1
  • 24,100 MILES
I thought is might be the alternator because it would take at least two attempts for car to start along with the flickering of the lights - I had a new battery put in last Fall of 2011 - mechanic replaced the starter - said the alternator was fine - he did not know what was causing the flickering of the lights and the problem with the rpm gauge - mechanic told me not to worry about it unless my engine light comes on - which it hasn't but obviously, there is something wrong with my car and I want to avoid it leading to a major problem with the car. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank You!

Zooey
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Monday, March 26th, 2012 AT 7:41 PM

2 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Could be the alternator have it load tested, failing ignition switch and ground issue problem-could also be a instrument cluster itself-
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Monday, March 26th, 2012 AT 7:45 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • MEMBER
Just to add to this one when you say it takes a couple of attempts to start it does it turn over normal speed and just not start right away?The 1997 model year saturns had a issue with the fuel pumps bleeding down causing excessive cranking to start them. Very common on the 1997 model year I have replaced a ton of the fuel pumps because of it. Also the coolant temp sensors fail very often on those cars causing starting and other many other symptoms. The sensors also leak coolant into the connectors corroding them. So have you made sure the battery cables are clean and tight?Meaning removing the cables from the battery make sure there is no acid on the cable ends and make sure the battery cables are tight on the battery?Also do you have a multimeter to do some testing?You will need one just because your alternator tested good a year ago doesnt mean its not bad now.A alternator is a ticking time bomb that can fail at anytime. Especially those externally cooled alternators.
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Monday, March 26th, 2012 AT 8:22 PM

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