Alternator guage is oscilation light is blinking

Tiny
JACKANDREWS1956
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 BUICK PARK AVENUE
  • 3.8L
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 100,000 MILES
My alternator gauge is dipping down to around nine just above the red zone especially when I first cut it on and give it the gas and let off quickly. Also the light blinks, on the voltage regulator gauge, for about five times in quick succession (twice now it's happened) then stops. My mechanic tells me that it is charging at fourteen volts and dips down to about twelve whne my guage goes down to the red zone. My power-steering unit blows power-steering fluid on and about the alternator ( I don't actually see it on top but it may be on the bottom of it) and you can see where the belt has thrown it up against the firewall an also down on hoses below the alternator and in in the general area. I thought that it might be belt slippage from the fluid causing the needle to dip down into the low area just before the red zone however I cleaned the belt with starter fluid and the needle stayed steady for a while. My battery was charged fully at the parts place and it was completely dead, once charged up my car cranked up just fine. However they said it was on it's last thirty-five percent of its life ( can you tell me how many miles I have on this battery)? And this is a one/two yo battery the best they have at O'Reilly's. I have had to charge it about five times and when I took it to O'Reilly's they said it was completely dead, it has a parasitic draw on it and I don't drive a lot, however it shouldn't have been completely dead as I had drove it not to long before hand. Any word to alleviate my worries about this because I have to travel about seventy miles to see my doctor to fill my Rx's two of which I cannot stop taking abruptly or I go into withdrawal and I have to get them filled in then next four days. As you can see I really need you're help. Thank you for your sharing your experience and knowledge.
Jack Andrews
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Friday, September 25th, 2015 AT 4:36 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Fix fluid leak first then replace belt and tensioner as recommended is 60,000 mi. Then have battery checked for condition including load test. All cars have a slight draw due to electronics nowadays. But if larger draw it will draw it down over nite or two days. If it does that then have it checked.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, September 26th, 2015 AT 6:46 AM
Tiny
JACKANDREWS1956
  • MEMBER
Unfortunately I don't have the money to fix my power-steering unit for I have been without a job for several years and am in very bad health with no money coming in. I'm concerned in that I have to travel a 120 mile round trip to my doctor and I'm afraid that the alternator/battery is not reliable enough to make the trip. I can afford a fifty dollar alternator from the junkyard, as my rebuilt alternator only lasted about seven k miles so why shouldn't I get one from a junkyard? The reliability couldn't be much worse, the alternator that was on my car originally lasted 110K.
My (personal mechanic, in whom I completely trust, who has worked on cars his entire life, and my vehicles for 35yrs, his father was Bobby Allison's mechanic who was burned badly at the race track) said that the alternator is charging, I took it to him to let him check it out, he said he'd put a another on one at no charge because the rebuilt one on there now has only about five to six thousand miles on it. But because I seldom drive the warranty is out of date. He said it was charging at 14v and when the gauge dipped down to just above the red zone it was still charging at 9v. Immediately going back up to 14v.
When the rpm is around one k and I quickly give it gas the alternator gauge needle will go up but then go down to just about the red zone for a moment then go back up to around thirteen. I drove it yesterday and the needle, while it usually stays at thirteen went up to 15 just below the red zone and stayed there a for about fifteen minutes before dropping back down to 13, it's normal charging number. Is this because I had left my negative battery cable hooked up over night and it had been drawn down because of the parasitic electrical draw? Or because the battery is down to it's last three quarter's of life, this battery is only about two years old and is the top of the line O'reilly battery. I have have had to charge the battery about six times because of the parasitic draw killing my battery when I forget to unhook the neg. Bat. Cable. I only drive to my Dr.'S office, grocery store an pharmacy so I don't get to charge the battery every day. Should I hook up a trickle charger? I have to buy prescriptions every month and have to watch every penny, or just unhook the neg. Bat. Cable as I only have a couple of hundred dollars and don't know where any money will come from after that is gone. I just can't keep replacing eighty dollar battery's every eighteen months.
I took the battery to O'Reilly's cause my car wouldn't crank and they said it was completely dead, they charged it and checked it and said that it had about thirty-five percent of life left. Once charged it started right up which was a blessing cause I thought it might be the starter. Later on I took the negative battery cable off and checked the volts and after about fourteen hours of siting in the garage I checked it again and the voltage seemed to be the same.
If I had a new battery and the alternator went out how many miles would my car travel if I turned off all electrical draw from the battery?
I just checked my bat. 9-27-15 /with my multimeter after sitting all night and most of yesterday afternoon, and the V reading was12.13 and the parasitic draw was 0.17. I have all electrical systems including my air shocks suspension system unhooked. Is this simply the computer draw? Is my best course of action to unhook the neg. Bat. Cable when I finish driving it?
"replace belt and tensioner as recommended is 60,000 mi. " This was done less than ten thousand miles ago when the Alternator was changed because the belt came off.
Your advice is greatly appreciated, God bless you.
Jack Andrews
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, September 27th, 2015 AT 11:43 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
If oil is on belt that is more than likely your problem even if you clean it off it gets more on it and slips even more, the leak has to be fixed to properly repair this. Then I would suggest putting a trickle charger on it.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, September 27th, 2015 AT 11:56 AM
Tiny
JACKANDREWS1956
  • MEMBER
Thank you for your quick reply.
Will the powersteering fluid if it gets inside the alternator have a detrimental affect on the alternator itself?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, September 27th, 2015 AT 12:26 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Yes it will eventually short it out
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, September 27th, 2015 AT 1:20 PM
Tiny
JACKANDREWS1956
  • MEMBER
I took my car to my mechanic day before yesterday and I'm having the powersteering pump replaced. It wasn't as expensive, the pump that is, as I though it would be. The labor on the other hand may be a killer because it was at the very bottom of the motor. I don't know why but It's one thing after another wilt this car. I like the car, Buick park ave ultra supercharger, but it just seems that I can't get five k miles on it without have something break. It only has 110k. And was owned by my uncle, mom, and myself so it has been well taken care of. It has been garage keep yet all the paint has peeled off. Cheap American garbage. It will be the last American vehicle I ever own. They all get their cheap parts from the same companies.
Jack Andrews
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 AT 5:32 AM
Tiny
JACKANDREWS1956
  • MEMBER
My brother has had two pathfinders and has had very little trouble out of either of them, they have over 250k and other than routine maintenance only had transmission replaced.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 AT 5:46 AM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides