1999 Chevy Malibu Lights flashing before jumps between gear

Tiny
CURIUSBTCAR
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 192,000 MILES
My 1999 Malibu has started jumping between gears. Before this happens the ABS light comes on and the seatbelt light starts flashing. After this happens just like clockwork the car starts jumping between gears. It acts as if it's tired. Sometimes along with these symptoms the headlights come in and out. Just barely so it's still safe to drive. Is this an electrical problem? Could it be an oxygen sensor.A while back a mechanic said one was about to die. Could it be the alternator? Please help!
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Monday, August 18th, 2008 AT 2:01 PM

11 Replies

Tiny
RHALL77
  • MEMBER
Could be about anything. Have you had the vehicle scanned lately
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Monday, August 18th, 2008 AT 6:56 PM
Tiny
CURIUSBTCAR
  • MEMBER
I've taken it in twice and first they said it was a detached vacuum line. They reattached it and problem is still there. Still lights flashing and car jumping. Then they said the battery was not holding enough voltage and maybe that was affecting the fuel injectors. So they replaced it and still same problem.
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Monday, August 18th, 2008 AT 9:22 PM
Tiny
JNBLANK
  • MEMBER
Sounds like you might be having a computer problem. Or a power or gound with high resistance somewhere. Especially when you start talking about the headlights being dim. It also could be a alternator. Take your car somewhere and have them check the alternator. Even the belt. If good. Then I would recommend telling the shop to check the powers and grounds to your computer systems.
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Monday, August 18th, 2008 AT 9:45 PM
Tiny
RHALL77
  • MEMBER
I agree have the alternator checked, but I would also have the PCM scanned. I have never seen a alternator make a transmission act up. Thats why I think there is more to it than just a alternaor.
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Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 AT 7:15 AM
Tiny
JNBLANK
  • MEMBER
Yeah, ive never seen the alternator do anything to the transmission but if you start missing power to the computer systems on the vehicles now, it will definately make stuff act weird. Also, I see alot of problems that come in to the shop where scanning the Powertrain Control Module doesn't even help. Or any of the computers on the vehicles. I would check connections at the computer looking for water intrusion of some sort.
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Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 AT 5:38 PM
Tiny
CURIUSBTCAR
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the advice. Another thing that just started happening is the battery light comes on. This rarely happens but does. And it's new. Also the air conditioning comes in and out. Which I forgot to mention
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Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 AT 8:09 PM
Tiny
CURIUSBTCAR
  • MEMBER
If it's the PCM. Does that mean big money to fix? Does anyone know where the PCM is located in a 99 chevy malibu?
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Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 AT 8:28 PM
Tiny
RHALL77
  • MEMBER
Have the voltage output on the alternator checked and get back to me. You can check this with a volt meter. Should be 13.8-14.5 volts. Your AC might be low on freon if it is cycling in and out. You will have to have the pressures checked.
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Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 AT 7:08 AM
Tiny
JNBLANK
  • MEMBER
It should be below the left side of the Instrument Panel close to the steering column.
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Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 AT 5:42 PM
Tiny
CURIUSBTCAR
  • MEMBER
I took the car in and they said it needs a new alternator and a new transmission. In other words. Take it home and let it die. THey said there is a tube that is full of metal so it's only a matter of time before the transmission goes. I don't understand why the transmission only acted up when the lights were flashing. If it has it's own problems I would think it'd act up without alternator symptoms. Maybe they just were saying it's not worth fixing the alternator when the transmission is almost shot. Thanks for all of the advice.
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Monday, August 25th, 2008 AT 5:36 PM
Tiny
RHALL77
  • MEMBER
I would say if you really think it is the alternator, just put one in and see for your self. If it doesnt fix it return it.
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Tuesday, August 26th, 2008 AT 7:10 AM

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