Alternator on the way out?
My alternator started making a very slight whining noise this past weekend. It's seems to be still charging OK and it doesn't sound like a bearing noise. It's the original and the car has 38K miles on it. At first I couldn't tell where the noise was comming from. I had my neighbor look at and he pulled the electrical connector off the alternator and the noise stopped. He put it back on and the noise started again. This happened to anyone? I'll probably just order another alternator, but am still
Gone but not forgotten
Yes, you'll hear it whine when it's ready to die, as we all are apt to do when confronted with death.
Thanks for that. Makes it a lot easer to shell out the bucks to order another one.
Gone but not forgotten
I had an alternator poop on me without any warning whatsoever.
From personal experience, buy a new one. Don't be cheap like I was and buy a junkyard alternator.
I bought a new Delco unit for $150 and it's been running for 1 1/2 years with no problems whatsoever.
Don't buy the Pep Boys alternator with the lifetime warranty (yeah I know it 'sounds' attractive), but you will end up replacing them once a year
The early C4 alternators are pretty bad... I bought an alternator with a lifetime warrantee from Discount Auto Parts when I had my '87. It is so easy to change out I didn't want to spend more money on a better one. I can change out an alternator on an L98 car in less than 20 minutes.... I had a bad computer at the time too, and it was causing the alternator to fry itself out... needless to say, i swapped about 10 alternators out of the car for free
Get to it before it really dies!
When they die, the electrical system doesn't have enough volts to run the engine management system and as a result, the engine miss fires and half the digital dash stuts down.
The cars system draws more power than what the battery alone can muster up!
We have had this problem on quite a few Vettes in our club.
Do it now.
Thanks for all the replys and the advice about getting a new one. I do appreciate it. Better to spend a little extra now to avoid future proplems.
I was burning up alternators for awhile and a smart person from this forum recomended I upgrade to a new (not rebuilt) 87 high out put alternator. They supposedly are better built and smaller.
There is a good article posted here: http://www.idavette.net/hib/reman.html
I've been very happy so far. It's only been about 1 month however.
Guess I've been lucky, going on three years now...
My air pump made the sounds you describe before it pooched but as you pulled the wires and the noise stopped (no longer under load) I guess the alternator is the culprit.
My dash still has these light pulsing motions that I thought were the charging system but with a new battery all is the same so...
the dash pulsing a bit is pretty normal for a C4. Mine does it all the time... it takes a split second for the electrical system to 'catch up' to extra load. you will probably notice it the most when you hit the brake pedal, and other stuff is on (like the headlights, wipers, and A/C). you may also see a slight pulse when the fans kick on. Basically, the more stuff you have on, the more it will pulse (so, during a rainstorm it is most noticable because you will probalby have the windows up with A/C on, lights on, wipers on, radio on, etc.)
Yes mine does this also, normally at night when i have the headlights up and the radio on.
My 500 watts and 6 speakers likely have something to do with it as well. I use the A/C once in awhile but don't think I've ever driven it at night...
Gather around and I'll tell you my iceberg story. Two years ago I bought an iceberg alternator, with the implicit reassurance that I would never need another alternator again, and I believed them. The cooling fins and the heavy-duty bearings and brushes were impressive, and I was sure the alternator would outlast the car itself.
Originally Posted by Ken
Late last year, or early this year, I hear the tell-tale sound of bearing whine coming from under the hood. Could it be the alternator? I look at the back of the alternator, and the bearing is on its way out. The seal was shot, and there were maybe five little silvery bearings left inside, holding on for dear life. How can this be????????????????
Shlep down to Carquest and purchase a new alternator with the boring non-finned and heat-absorbing stock casing.
How long will this new alternator last? I don't know. But from now on I take product claims with a grain of salt. No more icebergs for me, thanks.
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