Can you help with '98 Chevy Monte Carlo?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by clovis, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    '98 Monte Carlo, 3.1 engine, 99k miles. Has been a great car, and never in the shop.

    Haven't driven the car for a few days, but today is very humid, and I wanted to have the AC on.

    Ran several errands around town. I had the AC on max setting. While sitting at a light, the AC sounded like it was bogging down. I now have air blowing, but it is not cold air...just warm humid air.

    The VOLTS dummy light on the dashboard came on.

    I shut the car off, restarted it, and the VOLTS light did not come back on until I turned the AC back on. It stays on even after I shut the AC completely off. Have restarted several times and it has done the same thing over and over.

    Starter seems to drag just a bit when restarting it.

    Seems like the RMP guage goes up to 2k after restarting, then drops down to a normal 1k....not sure if this is higher than normal.

    Power windows seem a little slower on the up and down. Is this age or a symptom of the problem? The passenger window has been slower for a while.

    Otherwise, the car seems to have full electric power for the time being.

    I have an idea of what the problem is....but would love to have your input.

    THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!!!!!
    CLOVE
     
  2. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

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    First thing I'd check A/C compressor and see if it's turning. You can see this with the naked eye. The outer part of the clutch that has the belt turns all the time with the engine running of course. When you turn on the A/C it engages a clutch and the inner part turns, which turns the A/C compressor. If the inner clutch assembly is turning all the time even with the A/C off, try unplugging the wires to the clutch and see if it disengages. If you turn on the A/C and the clutch doesn't engage, check the fuse.
     

  3. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    Check the fan belt for wear/tightness. Sounds like it may be slipping at low RPM's and your not getting a charge out of the altenator then or turning the compressor fast enough.
     
  4. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    I bet your belt or belt tensioner is worn out and slipping. If it's slipping on the crank pulley all the accessories will stop, which can cause your voltage to drop and you may have also noticed a lack of power steering if this was happening. You can check for this by watching from the outside. Luckily if this is the problem repair is cheap and simple, just replace belt and tensioner. Under $100.
     
  5. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the replies!!!!!
    I am stuck at work right now..... IT IS KILLING ME NOT TO BE ABLE TO CHECK YOUR SUGGESTIONS!!!!!!!!!
    Will check all above posts and get back ASAP.
    Thanks!
    clove
     
  6. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    Power steering did seem fine, BTW.
    clove
     
  7. fixer1958

    fixer1958 None of the Above

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    I'd have the alternator/battery checked. Your maxing out the electrical on a hot day with the ac on. The belt and tensioner are a factor also.
     
  8. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    Well, I have checked a few things:

    The tensioner does seem to be very tight. No squeaking or noises of any kind.
    The belt is in very nice shape, which I replaced 1 1/2 years ago. I replaced it with a quality Gates belt, not a cheapie from a discounter.

    Seems to be about a 1/2 inch of play in the belt. This is normal, right?

    I hadn't been able to restart the car since my earlier post.

    Upon restarting, the engine did rev up past 2k RMP before settling back down to 1k. This is very unusual for this car!

    The lights are dim....both the interior lights and the headlights.

    The VOLTS dummy light comes on when the car is started, and stays on.

    I have a pretty good hunch I know what this is.....anyone want to confirm?

    Thank you so much in advance!!!!!!!!!!
    clove
     
  9. Esteban29304

    Esteban29304 Well-Known Member

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    I would have the alternator checked. Sounds like it is slowly dragging your battery down, & when some other accesory, like a/c, is turned on, it cannot generate enough voltage/amps. TOO long & you will have to buy a battery as well. If this is the car I think it is, replacing the alternator is a tough job!
     
  10. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    I too think it is the alternator.

    Could it be the internal voltage regulator in the alternator, and can I replace this myself? Would it be easy to do so?

    The alternator sits on top of the motor, but back towards the firewall. I have never changed one on this model, but it doesn't look too hard. Could prove to be pretty difficult.

    Thanks so much....keep the input coming!!!
    clove
     
  11. Dubai Vol

    Dubai Vol Well-Known Member

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    Before you go changing parts, do yourself a favor and check the voltage at the battery with the engine off and then again while it's running. A well-charged battery will read ~12.8 volts with the engine off, and the alternator will cause the voltage to be higher with the engine running. Typically on a Chevy that will be around 14V.

    The thing that i find suspicious is that the A/C is also not working. That sounds to me like a slipping belt, unless you have more than one problem, a bad alternator AND a leak in the A/C system....
     
  12. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    It is the alternator.
     
  13. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    I haven't had a chance to work on the car yet.

    It is pouring rain here, and I have no garage. When it isn't raining, it has been 90 and so humid you can't hardly breathe.

    I apologize for posting and not being able to get to the car....I hate it when someone posts a problem with something, and then takes their sweet time getting back to repost.

    Again, the belt and the tensioner seems fine. Belt is in very nice shape. No oil leaks that I can see that would cause a belt to slip.

    The internal voltage regulator in the alternator....can I change this myself easily?
    Thanks again!!!!
    clove
     
  14. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    It is still raining, and getting too dark to start on the car! What a bummer!!!
    clove
     
  15. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Changing the internal regulator on that alt. would not be an easy job for a do it yourselfer. Besides it might not be what is wrong with the alt.
    Your problem does sound like a voltage problem or at least going from your symptoms. The A/C might not work because the car is smart enough to sense low voltage and shutoff unnecessary accersories that it can control. The engine also races up and idles differently because the PCM senses low voltage.
     
  16. Esteban29304

    Esteban29304 Well-Known Member

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    I would take it to a shop that specializes in rebuilding alternators. Quite hard to get these apart, sometimes. They can check it, first, too. I had rather have one completely rebuilt, than buying a " patched" one at the discount parts stores. You can replace it yourself to save labor $$$.
     
  17. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your continued help!

    It is still raining here, and I still don't have a garage.

    Keep the thoughts coming.

    clove