Long story short, my car was a victim of “phase separation” over 3 years ago. Ever since I replaced the fuel filter – which took care of most of the problem – there’s been some drag in acceleration. I’ve replaced a ton of parts. Some were proven to be sloshed and some power was restored – TPS, cam and/or crank sensors, oxygen sensor, and every part in the fuel system that the pure ethanol touched – most weren’t. Now the accessories are all getting weaker. The factory alternator gave out a year ago. I had to have its replacement replaced last month as the accessories were really weak at the time – lights flickering, etc. But the accessories are still a little weak, and the pedal still has some hesitation/resistance through all this. The accessories are getting so bad my power windows are slow to roll up when the car is off, so that tells me at least one of three things is sloshed – battery, battery cables, or ignition switch. The one that would make the most sense is the battery. But I had that tested a couple months ago and Autozone said it was fine. I installed the current battery right after this phase separation happened at 70k miles. It just wrecked whatever was left of the factory battery. The car now has 106k miles on it. So this replacement battery has over 35k miles and 3 ½ years on it. The new alternator squeals a little FYI. But the dealer said it's fine.
Last week I had another dealer test the resistance in my ignition system. They said it read 0 ohms, so that pretty much tells me the cables are ok. I’ve seen the theory that it’s good or necessary to change a battery when you change an alternator. Is there any truth to that? I don’t know, maybe the battery and alternator aren’t getting along. Any insight and direction would be fantastic.
Oh yea, the car is slow to start too, even as the weather warms up. It starts every time, but it's getting slower and slower to crank. Gotta be the battery. It was a Wal Mart special.
March, 22, 2013 AT 10:44 PM
Are you blaming all this on ehtanol?
April, 14, 2013 AT 10:43 AM
Hardly. I think the water was most likely the problem. When the gas was diluted, I had to ram on the gas pedal to get the car to go and cruise, and it would not shift into 5th gear. So I was driving around pushing the pedal harder than usual to get the car going, and driving highway speeds in 4th gear. I think all that extra pressure/juice on the drive-by-wire system trashed something along the circuit.