what is wrong w/ my n*
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, what is wrong w/ my n* in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; this is getting really annoyning, when car is on idle, stopped, the lights, all lights, turn signals, headlights tail lights ...
  1. #1
    CaddieMan709 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Exclamation what is wrong w/ my n*

    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

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  3. #2
    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: what is wrong w/ my n*

    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.

  4. #3
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: what is wrong w/ my n*

    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.

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    CaddieMan709 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: what is wrong w/ my n*

    thanks for the quick reply guys

  6. #5
    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: what is wrong w/ my n*

    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...

  7. #6
    CaddieMan709 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: what is wrong w/ my n*

    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??

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    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: what is wrong w/ my n*

    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.

  9. #8
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    Re: what is wrong w/ my n*

    Quote Originally Posted by CaddieMan709 View Post
    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.

  10. #9
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    Re: what is wrong w/ my n*

    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.
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    Re: what is wrong w/ my n*

    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

  12. #11
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    Re: what is wrong w/ my n*

    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.

  13. #12
    CaddieMan709 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: what is wrong w/ my n*

    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

  14. #13
    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: what is wrong w/ my n*

    Did I mention bad alternators kill batteries? Did you even go for the free alternator test?

  15. #14
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    Re: what is wrong w/ my n*

    Quote Originally Posted by eldorado1 View Post
    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.

  16. #15
    CaddieMan709 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: what is wrong w/ my n*

    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

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