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Old 10-20-2018, 02:29 PM   #1
Sc2Zr2
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Default all dash lights flickering + engine wants to stall

after work yesterday i started up my 95 sc2 manual and let it warm up for about 5 minutes. No problem starting but as i engaged 1st gear i felt it bucking like it wanted to stall. Shifted into 2nd and gave a little more throttle and slowly let out clutch. It bucked more and then i noticed abs light on solid. As i slowly drove all dash lights start flickering in unison with bucking...turned off engine. Restart engine abs light on for a minute then went out and had no problems on my 45 minute commute home. This morning started up fine drove 10 minutes to costco. Leaving costco after starting up i hit second gear and same thing check engine and all dash lights flickering on and off while car is bucking wanting to stall. After a few seconds flickering stops but abs light is on solid. Turned off car and restarted and it got me home with no issues. I also noticed a clicking sound in the center of the dash when the flickering/stalling was happening. Maybe from the engine bay it almost sounded like a relay...battery voltage doesnt drop below 10v at crank. 12.3-12.8 warm engine off. Voltage fro. Battery while running is 13.3-14.2 doesnt seem to be dependent on electrical load...any one have similar problems? Initially i was thinking charging system right now im trying to recreate the issue and measure voltage while its happening...but the clicking relay sound from the center of the dash/engine bay has me concerned. The flickering dash lights make me think its not a fuel issue but i could be wrong. No codes are stored in the computer. Oh another strange thing was i notice after this happens the clock on the radio resets. Any input would be appreciated.

Last edited by Sc2Zr2; 10-20-2018 at 02:34 PM..

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Old 10-20-2018, 02:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: all dash lights flickering + engine wants to stall

Im thinking with the loss of power while flickering/stalling enough to reset the clock its also erasing any stored codes...i want to throw an alternater at it real quick but i know thats not the right way to attempt to fix things. Plus i seem to be getting sufficient voltage when ive tested it. What checks tests can i do to determine my issue?

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Old 10-20-2018, 03:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: all dash lights flickering + engine wants to stall

Guess im going to let the car sit for a few hours and retest battery voltage. Im pretty sure its either the battery or the alternator going out. Just to determine which. Also im thinking the clicking sound im hearing could be the abs, hence the light coming on solid and then going out...

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Old 10-20-2018, 05:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: all dash lights flickering + engine wants to stall

More likely that clicking is the fuel-pump relay, it is in the panel at the lower-right of the radio. I don't think there is any noticeable clicking from the ABS, that relay is out under the hood.

I also think you have a poor wiring connection someplace, not a bad battery or alternator. Neither the bat or alt are likely to be rapidly "intermittent"; things would stay bad for a while, probably until the battery was charged, at least. Yes, there is a chance it is the bat or alt, but "not likely"...

The only definitive way to track this down is with a voltmeter you can leave connected to various places in the circuit and observe while the problem is happening. That is tedious, and will take several "uneasy" drive cycles, but may be the only way to avoid just throwing parts at it. Even after replacing many (all?) common items you may still have to track this down with the meter.

One of the first steps, though, is to do visual inspection of all wiring connections, looking for looseness, corrosion, or damaged wires. Be sure to include grounds...

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Old 10-20-2018, 05:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: all dash lights flickering + engine wants to stall

After inspecting battery cables and connections, ground wires etc i noticed that my serpentine belt is pretty worn and glazed. I can apply a modest amount of pressure to the belt with a finger or two and the tensioner will give. Is that a sign the tensioner is worn out? Im starting to wonder if a slipping belt could be what is happening.

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Old 10-20-2018, 06:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: all dash lights flickering + engine wants to stall

The biggest hint you have with flickering instrument panel lights, bucking engine and abs light turning on and off..........is the radio resetting, from loss of power. Radio and abs indicator are tell tale signs of a major power issue in the S-series.

Power issues; battery, battery cables, their condition and connections, fusible link wire and connection to the alternator, alternator, drive belt and belt tensioner. If all wiring checks out fine, the belt, belt tensioner and alternator are left to check.

Alternator output may vary. If this is the original alternator, it may be wearing out with random intermittent drop outs while driving. Store testing alternators may be best for this. A load test on the alternator from store testing may reveal a worn out one.

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Old 10-20-2018, 07:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: all dash lights flickering + engine wants to stall

The tensioner shouldn't move much, if at all, without a tool directly on it. Between that and the belt condition I'm betting the alternator isn't turning smoothly and slipping quite often which leads to voltage fluctuations and could lead to early death of the voltage regulator inside the alternator (technically replaceable separately but may require soldering and probably a small external torx bit (like an Allen key, but with a torx/star head instead of hex).

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Old 10-20-2018, 10:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: all dash lights flickering + engine wants to stall

Thanks for the replies billr fdryer and fetchitfido. Tomorrow i will thoroughly inspect all the wiring and the belt/tensioner again and go from there. Ive never opened up an alternator but i do have a set of E torx bits i bought a while back to re torque the upper engine mount studs on this car.

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