: Alternator problem??



BLUCAT98
04-08-05, 11:12 AM
Hi all, Steve & Jeffrey..,

The car died on me 3 times the day before yesterday :madtalkin ! I immediately thought it was the alternator but I'd like to hear anyone's oppinion. I now realized that all along the car seemed to be running at a voltage range that's only half way up the 0-16 volt gauge in the Instrument Panel. That would only be 8volts :eek: ! I never thought a car could crank up on just 8volts??

On Wednesday I was cruising :burn: with my girlfriend when all of the sudden poof..., the car just died :banghead: !!!!!!! The Check Engine light had poped up for a sec, I noticed the voltage being below 8 volts, probably just 7volts, then all was off! I managed to pull over to an empty metered parking spot and lucky for my girlfried she found the stores she was looking. Meanwhile I was outside trying to KICK THE CATERA OUT OF MY POOR CADILLAC!!:brutal:


The car usually runs at just above the half way line on the Temp gauge. I tried to crank up the car again but it wouldn't go. It wasn't untill I oppened the hood and let the car cool for a hole hour :fan: that the car decided to turn back on. I immediately yanked my girlfriend out of the store and home we left to have this happen to us 2wice more before we got home!! The car would die at operating temperature and get back on the road when it was cooler!

Am I right to think its just the alternator and not some sensor? How can I test this out with a volt meter?

I've read lots of threads in this forum with similar symptoms that would point to the Idle Air Control valve (IAC), the Camshaft Position Sensor (CPS) or the CrankShaft Possition Sensor (CKP), but I still dont think it's any of that???
If it were one of these sensors, is replacing them something I can do myself? Do they require any special tools for calibration or glues, lubrication or anything I dont already have in the kitchen :suspense: ??

I didn't want to go to the dealer to find the codes on the car fearing the dealer would finish off the car just to get my money!! I'm ordering the "3110 CANOBD2 Tool " code reader : http://www.iequus.com/item.asp?cid=10&pid=3110. I've seen it for $200.00 and supports the "KWP 2000 ISO 14230-4" OBD-II protocol used in my 98 Catera.

I dont have any tools but I'm willing to try swapping out the Alternator? Does anybody have clear procedures and tools needed? Removing the drive belt and getting it back in correctly adjusted worries me!!!

Please Help!!

AllenPacla
04-08-05, 11:33 AM
I don't think half way of the voltmeter gauge is 8 because if i am not mistaken each line is a volt, so from 16 going to half way is 4 lines which makes it 12 volts. Just come to think of it, the manual said that the red line is critical volts level, which in your analysis would be 0 volts, i don't think anything will run at that voltage level. Anyway, I believe that Steve and Jeff would have a good answer to your other question.

Chaztera
04-08-05, 02:37 PM
BLUCAT98,

If it is your ALT. here is a link that can save you some $.
http://www.cadillac-parts-dealer.com/parts.htm

BLUCAT98
04-08-05, 04:29 PM
Thanks Allen,

I take it that your Catera also has the volt meter at half way then? My car would die only when warm and the volt meter would be at what you would concider 11 volts without a load - no AC on , fan blower nor extra light etc..? The needle would sit one line below halfway on the meter.

If this is normal then..., it looks like one of the sensors is bad!!

Vesicant
04-08-05, 04:47 PM
You can get your alternator tested either on a bench or in the car at say an Autozone. As well as get codes checked.

I would have it tested first, and then see what volts its actually producing. Sometimes the gauges in a car dont always tell the exact truth. In the meantime, check battery connections for corrosion and the ground strap.

AllenPacla
04-08-05, 05:38 PM
Jeff, where does the ground strap connects to? I also wanted to check on the grounding of mine, because i am thinking that it may be contributing to the voltage going down when some accessories are on.

BLUCAT98
04-08-05, 06:48 PM
I'll have the Alternator checked first, thanks!!

Is there an OBD code for an under-performing Alternator??

Vesicant
04-08-05, 08:23 PM
I'll have the Alternator checked first, thanks!!

Is there an OBD code for an under-performing Alternator??

Yes there can be. Usually it'll be about a system in the car not recieving enough voltage.

When your alternator is getting checked, do the battery as well.

Vesicant
04-08-05, 08:27 PM
Jeff, where does the ground strap connects to? I also wanted to check on the grounding of mine, because i am thinking that it may be contributing to the voltage going down when some accessories are on.

To a good metal to metal location on the frame. The two bolts with wires connected on the front of the battery sitting atop the insulation are the straps if im correct on this.

BLUCAT98
04-11-05, 02:30 PM
Ok..,

It seems to be a sensor problem. My code reader only gives the "P0335 - Crankshaft Possition Sensor A Circuit". The only thing is that it doesnt say since when (date) the trouble was detected!!

Can I erase the code off the on board computer and should it re-appear with a quick short drive arround the block? I dont want to drive the car too far!!!

Cat_Beatle
05-02-05, 11:54 PM
try to clean up the crackshaft postion sensor first. The end of the sensor might be sticked with some dirt so that it would not sense any signal.

It is very easy. Go underneath the engine to unplug the sensor. Then clean it up with a soft cloth. Then put it back in.

CoolHandLinc
10-12-05, 12:38 AM
Hi!

I am researching an alternator problem on my mothers catera. So I can answer a few questions I have seen.

Ground cables I did trace out go to the right front of the engine block behind an accessory. Another junction of ground cables attaches to the body just to the back of and below the battery itself.

The voltmeter in the car. The top of the red zone is 11 1/2 volts. This isn't enought to charge. The large lines are volts and the smaller lines in between them are 1/2 volts. So count down from the 16 volts at the top of scale.

Can anybody tell me where the regulator is for the alternator? It has on somewhere among all the relays. I don't have a book and would like any specific data and a wiring schematic if possible,

Thanks :cool2: