2001 Suzuki Esteem Lights dim and low idle

Tiny
UTHNKUNOME27
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 SUZUKI ESTEEM
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 206,000 MILES
I recently had the alternator go out on the car. I tried to get the thing repaired but they said the regulator was bad. I purchased a new one from Autozone and installed it. When we drive the car now, sometimes when I come to a stop sign or redlight the car will idle real low. Not low enough to stall out the engine but its abnormal. When the a/c gets turned off, the idle rpm is normal and the seatbelt light is bright red. When we turn the a/c on high the light dims and the rpms drops low. It also sounds like it surges sometime too. The amount of air coming out of the vents that is. I drove it for 2 or 3 minutes and pulled up to another stop sign and it didnt do it.
Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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Sunday, August 8th, 2010 AT 12:16 PM

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Tiny
UTHNKUNOME27
  • MEMBER
When the car sits after being ran, it doesnt want to start. Its like the battery is really weak. I took it to advanced auto parts and they tested the battery and said it was fine. They also ran a system check and it showed a drain of 1.70 on the battery within 45 seconds probably. I cant imagine what the issue could be. Its easy as cake putting an alternator on and this isnt my first rodeo. The main power wire on the top of the alternator and the plug that snaps in the back of it. Am I possibly looking at a bad alternator. They are ordering me another one to see if that is it. I probably wont get it on until wednesday though.
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Monday, August 9th, 2010 AT 2:12 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi uthnkunome27,

Thank you for the donation.

Was the charging rate tested?

Alternator installation is rather simple and from your description of work done, it seems to be correct.

Is the alternator new or rebuilt? If it is a rebuilt unit, I would not discount the possibility if of it being bad as well.

The drain of 1.7 amp is rather high. Something could be on and not being turned off, mostly would be a sticking relay.
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Monday, August 9th, 2010 AT 2:35 PM
Tiny
UTHNKUNOME27
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It is a remanufactured one from autozone. While the car was running we put a volt meter on the battery with a/c on and it was showing about 13.8-13.9 at the battery terminals.

As far as a sticking relay. How would I go about testing them to trying to pin point them. We havnt used windshield wipers in a while here. Turning signals are fine. What other relays could be involved.

Even traveling down the road, when I apply the brakes, the a/c tries to slow down.
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Monday, August 9th, 2010 AT 2:45 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
13.8 - 13.9 volts is correct for the charging.

To test for sticking relays or any parasitic drain, disconnect the battery begatice terminal. Attach an ammeter between the battery terminal and the negative cable. Note the Amperage reading. If it is more than 0.5 amps after a minute, start pullng out the underhood main fuses one by one and keep monitoring the ammeter. Any fuse that causes the amperage to drop would be the one that has to be looked into.

It could be a fan relay or any other power relays that is not indicating, eg the power socket etc.
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Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 AT 6:57 AM
Tiny
UTHNKUNOME27
  • MEMBER
Ok so I got another alternator today and put it on. Simple as pie as usual. Started it up and everything is fine like it was last time. I drive down the road and stop at the stop sign, and it idles really low. Low like 300rpms. I think that car supposed to be around 750 or so. I just dont understand what the deal is about the idling. The a/c drops down also. When I leave the stop sign the a/c picks back up. Could this be so simple as the spark plugs need changing?
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Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 AT 4:11 PM
Tiny
UTHNKUNOME27
  • MEMBER
Ok one more bit of info to add to above statements. Just sitting in my driveway with the car running and the a/c on it does ok. Not great but just ok. When I turn the blinker on the a/c goes down and someone surges with the pace of the blinker. When I turn the bright lights on the blinker slows down a little and so does the a/c and the indicator light goes pretty dim also. When I apply the brakes it goes even dimmer and a/c even slower. I checked the main fuse box under the hood but havnt had the assistance to do the mentioned test with pulling relays.
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Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 AT 5:01 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
After disconnecting the battery, the computer needs to relearn and driveablity would be different from normal until the PCM completes relearn functions. You need to drivel the vehicle around for a bit for the process to complete.

In the meanwhile, check the charging voltage with engine running.

What is the idling speed after warming up to operating temperature?

There is a possibilioty the idle system is not functioning correctly and it could be due to dirty throttle body and/or Idle Air Control valve. Get them cleaned and retest.
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Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 AT 8:53 AM

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