94 Electric Problem? thanks for any advice

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Old 19 Dec 2004, 09:52 am   #1 (permalink)
Barry Feldman
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Default 94 Electric Problem? thanks for any advice


Before my mechanic starts replacing the whole electric system here's
the symptoms.

These are the things I noticed

First the radio crackled as the power to the radio hesitated. Then
there was a periodic diming of the headlights, slight but they dimmed.

Next Phase...

The whole electric system seemed to stutter when I used the turn signal
then it started when I would turn on the brights.

Now yesterday I put on the brights and the whole car, the motor etc
seemed to stutter which means an electronic breakdown is on the
horizon.

Does this seem familiar in terms of what part of the electric system is
failing to anyone. I appreciate any help. I know even good mechanics
can have big problems with electric stuff.

BF
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Old 19 Dec 2004, 10:06 am   #2 (permalink)
HachiRoku
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Default Re: 94 Electric Problem? thanks for any advice

On Sun, 19 Dec 2004 09:52:12 -0500, Barry Feldman wrote:

>
> Before my mechanic starts replacing the whole electric system here's
> the symptoms.
>
> These are the things I noticed
>
> First the radio crackled as the power to the radio hesitated. Then
> there was a periodic diming of the headlights, slight but they dimmed.
>
> Next Phase...
>
> The whole electric system seemed to stutter when I used the turn signal
> then it started when I would turn on the brights.
>
> Now yesterday I put on the brights and the whole car, the motor etc
> seemed to stutter which means an electronic breakdown is on the
> horizon.
>
> Does this seem familiar in terms of what part of the electric system is
> failing to anyone. I appreciate any help. I know even good mechanics
> can have big problems with electric stuff.
>
> BF



Two educated guesses here, before your mechanic starts replacing the whole
electrical system:

My first guess is that your alternator is going bad, either the brushes,
or the regulator. If you have a volt guage you can see this, if you don't
buy an inexpensive *digital* meter and hook it up to something where you
can see it while driving.

Second guess, due to the weird things happening: ground. You could be
losing a ground somewhere, and from what you say it is some common point
in the car (i.e. many things are grounded there)

Behind the kick panel on the driver's side (assuming you're in America,
that is...)is a fuse block. The fuse block is
grounded to the body by a bolt. On two of my older cars, this bolt has
come loose. You can try to tighten it and see if this has any effect. If
it starts doing these things at a later time again, replace the bolt, and
use a nut to secure it to the body. BTW, the bolt is generally at the
bottom of the fuse block.

Also, check the ground to the fuse block under the hood, the ground from
the battery (esp if it's corroded) and various grounding straps under the
hood. Look for that 'green' corrosion. If it at the end of a connector or
on the battery terminal, clean it, sand it, coat it with grease, connect
it and coat it with grease again.

Good luck! Grounding problems are a PITA!!!
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Old 19 Dec 2004, 10:27 am   #3 (permalink)
Barry Feldman
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Default Re: 94 Electric Problem? thanks for any advice


thanks very much for the quick response and your time! worst comes to
worse I'll print out the note and hand it to my mechanic to keep him on
his toes!

BF

In article <2Ogxd.3443$152.2608@trndny01>, HachiRoku <Trueno@ae86.GTS>
wrote:

> On Sun, 19 Dec 2004 09:52:12 -0500, Barry Feldman wrote:
>
> >
> > Before my mechanic starts replacing the whole electric system here's
> > the symptoms.
> >
> > These are the things I noticed
> >
> > First the radio crackled as the power to the radio hesitated. Then
> > there was a periodic diming of the headlights, slight but they dimmed.
> >
> > Next Phase...
> >
> > The whole electric system seemed to stutter when I used the turn signal
> > then it started when I would turn on the brights.
> >
> > Now yesterday I put on the brights and the whole car, the motor etc
> > seemed to stutter which means an electronic breakdown is on the
> > horizon.
> >
> > Does this seem familiar in terms of what part of the electric system is
> > failing to anyone. I appreciate any help. I know even good mechanics
> > can have big problems with electric stuff.
> >
> > BF

>
>
> Two educated guesses here, before your mechanic starts replacing the whole
> electrical system:
>
> My first guess is that your alternator is going bad, either the brushes,
> or the regulator. If you have a volt guage you can see this, if you don't
> buy an inexpensive *digital* meter and hook it up to something where you
> can see it while driving.
>
> Second guess, due to the weird things happening: ground. You could be
> losing a ground somewhere, and from what you say it is some common point
> in the car (i.e. many things are grounded there)
>
> Behind the kick panel on the driver's side (assuming you're in America,
> that is...)is a fuse block. The fuse block is
> grounded to the body by a bolt. On two of my older cars, this bolt has
> come loose. You can try to tighten it and see if this has any effect. If
> it starts doing these things at a later time again, replace the bolt, and
> use a nut to secure it to the body. BTW, the bolt is generally at the
> bottom of the fuse block.
>
> Also, check the ground to the fuse block under the hood, the ground from
> the battery (esp if it's corroded) and various grounding straps under the
> hood. Look for that 'green' corrosion. If it at the end of a connector or
> on the battery terminal, clean it, sand it, coat it with grease, connect
> it and coat it with grease again.
>
> Good luck! Grounding problems are a PITA!!!

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Old 19 Dec 2004, 11:25 am   #4 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Default Re: 94 Electric Problem? thanks for any advice

It could be a simple fix as Hachi said but diagnosis of the alternator
is a free test when shopping for a battery, it takes just a few
minutes.

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Old 19 Dec 2004, 01:59 pm   #5 (permalink)
Jason James
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Default Re: 94 Electric Problem? thanks for any advice


"Barry Feldman" <L5tc@Optonline.net> wrote in message
news:191220040952120504%L5tc@Optonline.net...
>
> Before my mechanic starts replacing the whole electric system here's
> the symptoms.
>
> These are the things I noticed
>
> First the radio crackled as the power to the radio hesitated. Then
> there was a periodic diming of the headlights, slight but they dimmed.
>
> Next Phase...
>
> The whole electric system seemed to stutter when I used the turn signal
> then it started when I would turn on the brights.
>
> Now yesterday I put on the brights and the whole car, the motor etc
> seemed to stutter which means an electronic breakdown is on the
> horizon.
>
> Does this seem familiar in terms of what part of the electric system is
> failing to anyone. I appreciate any help. I know even good mechanics
> can have big problems with electric stuff.
>
> BF


That 'stuttering' effect can be a symptom of an inadequate battery supply.
As the cold-filaments in the light-bulbs draw extra current for the first
few milliseconds, the less than solid battery supply starts to drop, thus
causing other circuits to falter (during that time),......I'd be checking
your battery connections are clean and tight. Intermittant connections can
cause the car to run on the alternator alone for short periods. The
alternator is no-where near as good a supply for current surges as the
battery.

Jason




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Old 19 Dec 2004, 02:19 pm   #6 (permalink)
Barry Feldman
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Default Re: 94 Electric Problem? thanks for any advice

I was thinking that it could be something simple like the battery. I've
been through alternator problems before and there's starting problems
and stuff I haven't encountered.

BF


In article <32m18eF3mm3d1U1@individual.net>, Jason James
<vellicet@bigpond.com> wrote:

> "Barry Feldman" <L5tc@Optonline.net> wrote in message
> news:191220040952120504%L5tc@Optonline.net...
> >
> > Before my mechanic starts replacing the whole electric system here's
> > the symptoms.
> >
> > These are the things I noticed
> >
> > First the radio crackled as the power to the radio hesitated. Then
> > there was a periodic diming of the headlights, slight but they dimmed.
> >
> > Next Phase...
> >
> > The whole electric system seemed to stutter when I used the turn signal
> > then it started when I would turn on the brights.
> >
> > Now yesterday I put on the brights and the whole car, the motor etc
> > seemed to stutter which means an electronic breakdown is on the
> > horizon.
> >
> > Does this seem familiar in terms of what part of the electric system is
> > failing to anyone. I appreciate any help. I know even good mechanics
> > can have big problems with electric stuff.
> >
> > BF

>
> That 'stuttering' effect can be a symptom of an inadequate battery supply.
> As the cold-filaments in the light-bulbs draw extra current for the first
> few milliseconds, the less than solid battery supply starts to drop, thus
> causing other circuits to falter (during that time),......I'd be checking
> your battery connections are clean and tight. Intermittant connections can
> cause the car to run on the alternator alone for short periods. The
> alternator is no-where near as good a supply for current surges as the
> battery.
>
> Jason
>
>
>
>

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Old 19 Dec 2004, 03:49 pm   #7 (permalink)
Comboverfish
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Default Re: 94 Electric Problem? thanks for any advice

>>>>thanks very much for the quick response and your time! worst comes
to
worse I'll print out the note and hand it to my mechanic to keep him on
his toes!>>>>

I hope you don't do that, or I hope that the mechanic doesn't 'need'
this info.

>From the list of components that are failing I would initially suspect

(1) a internally shorting or opening battery or (2) a loose main
connection either battery pos., neg, alternator post, or chassis
ground.

Fuse boxes don't need to be grounded. They are much more efficient
when insulated. Atleast in the case of your 94 Camry. Toyota runs
wired grounds from several grounding points and junctions around the
body to every individual device that needs ground to operate. There
are VERY few devices that ground directly to the body. Your starter
comes to mind. But as much as a common grounding point can cause a
bizarre series of symptoms, it takes a major powerpoint (as listed
above) to cause so many symptoms, especially the engine stumble. Were
talking a total system voltage available to the ECU and ign coil of < 9
volts {with the alt. charging}!

It's possible you have a bad alternator. But you need to have some
other problem along with it for these symptoms to occur. Usually
Nipondenso alternators fail because the brushes wear out. This causes
the charge light to come on and the battery to slowly wear down. I
can't remember the last Nipon alt that failed for another reason,
except a couple remans. Remans can have subpar regulators and
rectifier components though.

Toyota MDT in MO

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Old 19 Dec 2004, 04:07 pm   #8 (permalink)
Comboverfish
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Default Re: 94 Electric Problem? thanks for any advice

Sorry, I got my >>>>s out of place.

Toyota MDT in MO

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Old 19 Dec 2004, 07:34 pm   #9 (permalink)
toyotawiz
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Default Re: 94 Electric Problem? thanks for any advice

this isnt typical on any toyota. but the camry had a problem with broken
wires on the trunk hindge and in the door jams. i doesnt seem to be the
case here but you never know

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Old 19 Dec 2004, 09:17 pm   #10 (permalink)
HachiRoku
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Default Re: 94 Electric Problem? thanks for any advice

On Sun, 19 Dec 2004 10:25:08 -0600, m Ransley wrote:

> It could be a simple fix as Hachi said but diagnosis of the alternator
> is a free test when shopping for a battery, it takes just a few
> minutes.


Generally, on a Toyota (or Nissan, too) the Battery and Brake warning
lights *both* light up or flash!

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