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Electrical Question

Baldie88

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
551
Location
Waterloo, IL USA
Corvette
2016 triple black vert.
I've got an intermittant electrical problem that just started yesterday. After driving about 30 miles I got within a couple of blocks of the house and it seemed like I lost all electrical power. Radio went off, HVAC temperature display flickered and entire dash instruments flickered and went crazy. Engine seemed to lose power. Lasted about half a second. Quick as it started, it stopped, only to do it a couple more times till I got it in the garage. Let it sit for about 30 minutes and it started right up and no problem. Let it idle about 10 minutes and nothing happened.

Now I don't know if I can trust it to not strand me somewhere till I figure out the problem. I'm thinking maybe alternator or bad grounding. Volts read 13.8 while idling when I restarted.

Would appreciate any help. I really hate intermittant electrical problems!! :(
 

jeepie

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 6, 2002
Messages
162
Location
Dunmore, Pa.
Corvette
1991 Coupe Blk/Blk
Start by checking your battery cables, make sure they are not corroded or loose. If they are either then I would say you are all set.
 
B

boblx2a

Guest
Be sure to remove the battery cables to check them. They can corrode on the inside where you cannot see it. This very thing happeend to my '86 and it took me quite awhile to believe that MY battery cables could be corroded! :) My son in law finally talked me into removing them (and lose all my radio settings, etc.) and there it was. This was after a total failure and a tow home.

Good luck with it...........
 

Baldie88

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
551
Location
Waterloo, IL USA
Corvette
2016 triple black vert.
Thanks for the tips on the battery cables. They appear to be fine. I put on a quick disconnect for the battery several months ago and checked the cables then and made sure the terminals were clean. That's the first thing I checked tonight and everything is still tight.

I did some further checking. Once started I disconnected the battery and noticed the courtesy lights under the hood flickered in time with the engine. Connected up the battery and no flicker. I checked the grounds and they look fine also.

Once I started it and disconnected the battery it ran for about 20 seconds and then died, just like someone threw a switch. Fired right back up and idled for about 20 minutes and wouldn't die again.

Idling in the garage it seems fine. Took it around the block a few times and when stopping something seemed to pull the engine down slightly, sort of like when the AC kicks in. Dash display dimmed slightly. Idled between 400-500 rpm when its normally about 500-600. Never died again.

I did notice the HVAC readout doing crazy things and flickering. Pressed through all the buttons several times before the Off stayed lite and the temp. display stayed on.

Any further ideas please let me know. I really hate these intermittant problems. However it is the first thing to go wrong in about 7 months of ownership. :confused
 
E

evolution

Guest
Dont know 'bout everyone else but...

I had a problem with my ignition module on a 78 Chevy Van and an 84 Cressida (I think thats what its called....the thing that you put the key in...):confused NEwayz... That thing would cause my engine to cut completely most of the time but sometimes a bad ground on it (ignition thingy) can cause wierd things to happen.

Food for thought.:drink
 

Florida Guy

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2003
Messages
166
Location
Florida
Corvette
'96 Torch Red LT4
Baldie88,

Suggest you do not operate the engine with the battery disconnected. You could damage your alternator.
 

warp8

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 5, 2006
Messages
95
Location
Florida
Florida Guy said:
Baldie88,

Suggest you do not operate the engine with the battery disconnected. You could damage your alternator.

True---Bad idea
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2002
Messages
1,533
Location
Colorado Springs, CO USA
Corvette
84 Z51 auto R.I.P. 89 black roadster SOLD
Also check the main chassis ground...on the 84 it's on one of the transmission mounting bolts on the driver's side, not sure if the 88 is the same or not.

I also have to disagree with the notion that running the engine with the battery disconnected may damage the alternator (respectfully mind you!). Maybe there's a reason for that I'm not realizing?

Bill
 

Hot Rod Roy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Messages
317
Location
Mission Viejo CA
Corvette
Yellow '84 Coupe
I also have to disagree with the notion that running the engine with the battery disconnected may damage the alternator (respectfully mind you!). Maybe there's a reason for that I'm not realizing?

Bill

To help you realize that it's dangerous to disconnect the battery while the engine is running, put your volt meter on the battery cables (not the battery posts) as you remove one cable. The voltage will go quite high. Do you really want to risk damaging your voltage regulator (inside the alternator) or any of that complex electronic system, your sensitive digital dash, or your computer? When you see sparks at your battery cables, the voltage goes very high for such a very short time that it won't even register on your volt meter. You'll need an oscilloscope to measure this voltage spike. This practice is just too risky!!

If you're the geek (speaking respectfully), what's your theory?

:w S.T.W.
 

Wayback

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
572
Location
S-NJ
Corvette
93 Ruby Aniv roadster/6spd
Pull the rubber boot off the altenator,it covers the batt stud conection.Mine was loose & it overheated.That wiped out the conector & the alt,it also caused my battery to drain after a couple of days.
 

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