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Old 12-11-2008, 04:11 AM   #1
digiforce
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2002 SL2
2008 SKY Red Line
Default Voltage jumps and drops

last weekend, i resealed my timing chain cover. During the process i snapped the thread/hole for the idling pully ( the one that just spins and is not connected to a component.) About half the thread was gone but i still had about half of the thread on the block itself. After putting everything back together, i noticed that my capacitor stays on while im driving and the voltage jumps from like 11-14 randomly with no pattern.

it would normally hover around 13.8-14.06, and during surges( when my audio system hits ) it would jump down to 13.70 at max. Whenever i start up my car it jumps below 10volts. Also my serpentine belt sometimes will squeak for about 3-5 secs during slow speeds( 25mph or lesser) but nothing major . in the morning when i first start up,it will stay near 13.84 but that is about it. When i drive home from work, it walks all over the 11-13 band, but tends to stay near 11-12. i have an 02 SL2 w/ red optima battery. yes I do have a lot of accessories ( lights, 6 inch tv screen, and a dc-ac converter audio system) however they never affected anything.

After reading some threads im thinking it has to do with the belt and or Alternator. when i look at the belt itself, about 1/8 an inch of the belt hangs off the pully toward the inside of the pulley( like it wants to touch the block). Im thinking that either the belt is slipping some thus not turning the alternator as much as it use to. Any ideas you guys. And yes i have unplugged all accessories except my cigarette light, and audio system. I found a timing cover on ebay for 40 bucks im thinking just about replacing it.

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Old 12-11-2008, 08:46 AM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Voltage jumps and drops

If the idler pulley isn't bolted squarely and allowed to bend (cock to one side) from the broken mounting hole, the serpentine belt system won't track correctly. That would explain why its not riding perfectly. Not being familiar with the 4-cyl. block, you'll have to look this over very carefully because the belt drive most likely is slipping, either from a stretched belt and/or the tensioner has lost its springiness to hold the belt taut preventing slippage. When running correctly, the alternator will stabilize above idle speed around 13.8-14.3v, not fluctuate as much as your description. Idling speed will have varying voltages as the alternator isn't at its optimum operating speed so establishing rpm's above idle speed (will have the alternator regulator stabilize no higher than 14.8v) to around 2,000-2,500rpm will show better. The belt drive must be in good condition and slipping from a worn tensioner or stretched belt otherwise false readings can occur.

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