: what is wrong w/ my n*



CaddieMan709
09-24-06, 10:22 PM
this is getting really annoyning, when car is on idle, stopped, the lights, all lights, turn signals, headlights tail lights flicker, dim and bright dim and bright, but as soon as i step on the gas they dont flicker and jsut go bright again, when i lift up the hood the car has a pulsating humming sound, hm-hm-hm-hm-hm-hm and i notice when it hums is when the lights dim, ive had a lot of problems with my n* as far as oil consuption and having parts replaced on it, i dont want to take it in because they want 80 bucks just to look at it!!!!!!!! i took off the beauty cover and listened but i cant find whats wrong and i am about to the end of my rope, if anyone else has had this problem let me know, is it the engine or my electrical? they told me i needed to replace my battery but i dont think a low battery would cause this problem

eldorado1
09-24-06, 10:30 PM
Have the alternator load tested at one of the major auto parts chains. The battery could be a problem if it can't supply enough current at idle when the alternator is putting out little current of it's own. They can test those as well, usually for free.

Clean your battery terminals after they're done with it.

Ranger
09-24-06, 10:32 PM
It's electrical and the alternator would be my first suspicion. Use a stethescope to listen to it. If you don't have one, use a length of hoes but be careful around the spinning belt.

CaddieMan709
09-24-06, 10:38 PM
thanks for the quick reply guys

eldorado1
09-24-06, 10:52 PM
Also note that a humming noise could be an indication of a bad diode in your alternator, which could kill your battery.

Or a bad bearing, I guess it depends on what you mean by humming. Usually you'd hear humming on the radio if a diode was bad...

CaddieMan709
09-24-06, 10:54 PM
ok i listened to it, there is a high pitch whining for the first minet or so and then that goes away, its almost like a scratching sound, hard to explain, i pressed on the accelerator pedal and listened, the scratching/scraping sound just gets louder at a faster pace
another question, does the eletrical control the exhaust as well because i notice (since it is cold outside) that i can see the exhaust and it pulsates with the dimming lights excatically, but when i rev the engine, it stops and comes out in a steady stream??

Ranger
09-24-06, 11:35 PM
No, electronics has nothing to do with the exhaust. You're probably seeing your tail lights or back up lights reflecting off of the steam.

danbuc
09-24-06, 11:43 PM
ok i listened to it, there is a high pitch whining for the first minet or so and then that goes away, its almost like a scratching sound, hard to explain, i pressed on the accelerator pedal and listened, the scratching/scraping sound just gets louder at a faster pace

Shot bearing....have you looked at the voltage readout on the DIC to see what the car says it's putting out voltage wise? It can put out 14+volts with little amperage if it's bad, but that still should cause all the lights to dim or pulsate at idle, unless it can't supply enough voltage either. That's sounds like the behavior of an old generator. Some would only put out around 8-9 volts which causes the characteristic dim lights at idle that you see in many pre-1960's cars that used them. If you've got a scraping/whining sound and poor voltage/amperage output I would say it's time to start looking either for a place to rebuild your current alternator, or a new one (which is expensive for these cars).

edit: not sure if you can even get the voltage readout on the dash. No matter, just grab a Digital Volt Meter and connect it across both battery terminals while the car is running. You should read around 14 volts or so. If your lights are pulsing from dim to bright it should be reflected in the voltage you read across the terminals. If the voltage is anything lower than 13.8 or so than you've most likely got a bad alternator. Good Luck.

codewize
09-24-06, 11:58 PM
Definitely the alternator or battery. Since you hear a noise I'm thinking alternator. The noise you hear is probably the bearings on the front of the shaft.

CaddieMan709
09-25-06, 04:05 PM
got the voltage meter. w/ old battery its at 14.5 volts. since this battery needs replacement and its getting hard to start in the morning when its cold im replacing it tonight or tomorrow after work

danbuc
09-25-06, 06:11 PM
Well, it's certainly putting out enough voltage. If the battery is that dead, it might just be trying to keep it charge and not feeding enough to the rest of the circuits liek lights,..ect. If it's got a slow crank when it's cold just from sitting one night that I would defintiely replace it. You don't want it getting any worse as weather gets colder. It might solve some of your issues as well, but it's hard to tell until you throw the new one in there.

CaddieMan709
09-27-06, 06:56 PM
UPDATE* 8] 8] so i changed the battery, got a nice expensive one, cleaned everything ((had a hell of a time getting it out, the bolt that holds the battery down was rusted beyond belief had to replace it)) when i first started the car after changing i was confused because my RPM and spedometer and gas gauge all went up all the way to the other end, my spedometer read like 150 when i started it lol but it went back down i thought i broke it for a secrond lol but yeah the annoyning as hell flickering of the lights is over, the battery terminal was pretty corroded, it was hard to tell with the battery in because it was at an ackward angle and i was real nervous about taking out that battery because i picked it up and the sides were buldging out and i could feel the sloshing on the inside, i seriously thought it was guna crack. the new battery cost me 90 dollars, seemed a little high but i needed it

eldorado1
09-27-06, 09:11 PM
Did I mention bad alternators kill batteries? Did you even go for the free alternator test?

Mark Bunds
09-27-06, 09:39 PM
Did I mention bad alternators kill batteries? Did you even go for the free alternator test?

Yeah, believe it! If your regulator (built into the alternator) is bad it will kill your new battery! Your 14.5 volts at idle seems pretty good, but you will really want to know that the regulator will perform as well under a load.

CaddieMan709
09-27-06, 10:32 PM
yeah i do realize that i do understand that i was late for work when i was buying the battery didnt have time for them to test it, will do that later, but i figure if the alternate needs replacing it aint guna happen im not spending that much, those are expensive in my car and id soon rather get a new car then replace this on a 11 year old car and have something else go wrong with it anyway, when i went to get my engine serviced i had them do a complete under hood/under body inspection, would they have checked the alternator in that? they told me everything was fine except for my battery

GreenMachine
09-28-06, 04:55 PM
The symptoms you described were indentical to what was happening with my battery when it couldn't hold a charge under load, it eventually lead to poor starting but a new battery (replaced under warranty for half price) fixed it up and no problems since.

CaddieMan709
09-29-06, 12:17 AM
thats good to hear =] the new battery also got rid of the ANNOYNING ticking caused by my "failing" isc motor, dont know why but it used to tick while driving and after i shut the car off, for the past 3 days with the battery it hasnt done it once, i hope i just didnt jinx myself

MUGSANDLUKE
10-01-06, 08:59 PM
Guaranteed the alternator is not putting out enough at low RPM. These alternators have a cooling line riunning through them that carries anti freeze from the circulation system. Even if the voltage shows OK on the digital readout it's possible the amperage is too low. Change the alternator before you kill you battery.

Ranger
10-01-06, 09:31 PM
I think they only used the water cooled alternators for a year or two. '98 & '99 or something like that.

eldorado1
10-01-06, 09:38 PM
97 and 98 I *think*

It was a good idea, but they realized it brought too many extra leak points.

Ranger
10-01-06, 10:06 PM
Maybe 3 years then. The '99 my daughter just sold had it. I was hoping I would never have to change it.

CaddieMan709
10-01-06, 10:34 PM
like i said im not going to replace my alternator simply because of the cost, im basically running this car to the ground as long as it will last as is until i can purchase a new car, i love the new XLR's, or possible a newer, maybe '99 or '00 eldorado, i love cadillacs and nothing will ever change my mind, the only part i dislike is when something breaks it costs u and arm and a leg to fix, unless u can fix it urself and save some money but its still pretty pricey

eldorado1
10-01-06, 10:52 PM
If you take your alternator to a local reputable shop, they'll charge about $100 to install new parts and make it like brand new. It takes about an hour to swap out an alternator.

Alternatively, you could take it to AUTOZONE, and they can test it for FREE. I think I said that before. Don't fix what ain't broke. My wallet smokes when I do that.

CaddieMan709
10-01-06, 11:11 PM
haha! well my problem is why pay 100 dollars for labor + the cost of the part? my car runs LITERALLY 20 mins (MAX) every day, i go to work and back, which is about 5 mins each way, and maybe to the store or if i go out at night, except on weekends, i like my car but i dont need to be putting so much money into it, so yes, eldorado1 i will go get it tested, but if it is broke im not fixing it

EDIT: Plus, the only good** cadillac dealarship around is the biggest money hungry hoax place to go, sure they do good work, but charge twice as much as everywhere else! i once had a problem they quoted me more over 400 dollars on, got it done at a different one out of town, they charged 125, but i dont feel like driving 1/2 hr there and 1/2 hrback to get this fixed

eldorado1
10-02-06, 12:20 AM
i like my car but i dont need to be putting so much money into it, so yes, eldorado1 i will go get it tested, but if it is broke im not fixing it

EDIT: Plus, the only good** cadillac dealarship around is the biggest money hungry hoax place to go, sure they do good work, but charge twice as much as everywhere else! i once had a problem they quoted me more over 400 dollars on, got it done at a different one out of town, they charged 125, but i dont feel like driving 1/2 hr there and 1/2 hrback to get this fixed


You can change an alternator yourself. Piece o' cake. Learn a little bit about your car in the process and save yourself about $100.

If it's broke and you don't fix it... hey, I don't care. I'm not the one that's going to be stranded somewhere at night. ;)

You'll probably get lucky, and it will be okay anyways. And then you'd have peace of mind knowing it's okay.

Machster
10-02-06, 03:43 AM
I have a 2000 STS with 292,000 km. I have found when it is cold and my first move with the car is in reverse it will leak tranny fluid on the ground, and it's a little stream. Now I always park so I move forward first and no leaks. Any ideas? Here is another Good One! One time a couple months ago I thought I give her a top speed run. I got up to about 130 mph and it was very close to red line - about to shift, next thing it starts to vibrate like a bearing going bad. I let off on the throttle and the vibration/hum slowed down as it shifted but didn't go away. I put my foot back into it to see and the vibration came right back strong. I slowed down to a stop and it went away. It acts like an engine related problem that didn't like the extended time running at high rpm. It hasn't done it since then but I also haven't pushed it to that point. I have pushed it through the gears to around 80 mph and works fine. It was a very noticable vibration/hum, not just a little thing. Any thoughts? ...

CaddieMan709
10-02-06, 08:35 AM
where do u get up to 130mph? i always see people saying they got their car that fast, but i cant do that on the interstate here, so many cops, no race tracks close to here, where are we doin this at? because i want to, never taken this car past 80, if you are just taking a chance on the road hoping for no cops thats not something i want to risk, i was just wondering

Machster
10-02-06, 11:59 AM
Well I live in mid-western Ontario, Canada. The cops are few and far between on some roads and ... I just had to (once) see what the top speed was with my STS! My Dad had an '96 Eldorado a few years ago and I had it to 150 mph, had to see how mine compared.

eldorado1
10-02-06, 12:06 PM
I hope the people are few and far between too.

jss
10-02-06, 01:43 PM
I hope the people are few and far between too.

ditto

Ranger
10-02-06, 07:36 PM
Deer as well.

GreenMachine
10-02-06, 07:55 PM
didn't mean to contradict you guys when I said it was the same as my battery...when it couldn't hold a charge under load the alt would kick in charge it up, then when it thought the battery was ok, it would lose charge as it was getting loaded and the alt would kick back on to charge the battery up and just repeat this cycle while at idle.

I would do as they say and get it tested, especially since most parts places will do it free. My money is still on simply a battery that wont hold charge since you said the symptoms have dissapeered now. My thinking was that if it was the alt it wouldn't be charging the new batter very well.

CaddieMan709
10-02-06, 11:38 PM
yes! deer are a real problem >.< had a few close calls with them. i was looking into getting those whistles u mount on your bumper that supposedly keep deer away, can anyone tell me from actually using them if they work because everytime i see that deer crossing sign i get paranoid, ive seen too many hit deer

Ranger
10-03-06, 10:11 AM
From what I have seen I think they do get their attention, but there is no guarantee that it will not get their attention when they are in the middle of the road and then stop there and try to read your license plate.

dkozloski
10-03-06, 10:50 AM
Deer are a piece of cake. You haven't lived until you have a ton of moose come through the windshield into your lap. What's really great is when they burst and it's a half ton of guts.

CaddieMan709
10-07-06, 11:42 AM
***question*** ive heard a lot about "misfire" and what it means, and people say "i feel it misfire", so what exatically do u feel or hear?? if anyone could let me know that'd be great

Ranger
10-07-06, 11:58 AM
A misfire means that one or more plugs are not firing, thus the engine is running on 7 cylinders. It will run rough. Pull a plug wire loose and start your engine. You should see that it does not idle as smooth as it did before. If you take it for a ride, you'll notice it even more.

CaddieMan709
10-07-06, 12:14 PM
if u think one is misfiring how would u locate which one it is??
EDIT: or check to see if one is misfiring

Ranger
10-07-06, 12:41 PM
You can pull the plugs and look at the condition. One that is not firing will usually be wet or badly caboned. They also make tester that to plug the wire onto one at a time. If the wire is good, the tester will light up in place of a plug firing. You can also plug a spare plug into the wire and ground the threaded base to a ground under the hood and watch for the spark plug to arc. Don't hold the wire when you do this. If the spark leaks through the wire it will give you a shock you won't soon forget.

MUGSANDLUKE
10-07-06, 02:12 PM
The alternator has to be changed. No questions, no guesses, no other answer, period. Been there, done that many times, the exact same problem. Bite the bullet and get it changed a.s.a.p. before you kill your battery too.

CaddieMan709
10-07-06, 09:20 PM
The alternator has to be changed. No questions, no guesses, no other answer, period. Been there, done that many times, the exact same problem. Bite the bullet and get it changed a.s.a.p. before you kill your battery too.

um i guess ill say it for the 3rd time, if u were to read the other 2 posts a page or 2 ago, im not changing the alternator because its too expensive and there other things wrong with the car and i plan on getting a new car soon anyway so thanks, but no thanks