Question about 2002 Pontiac Sunfire

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  • 98ws6transam Jan 16, 2009

    Thanks for responding. The part that kills me is I replaced the alternator aprox. 2 years ago

  • 98ws6transam Jan 16, 2009

    There is no rhyme or reason for when it happens. The car has 182,000 miles. There is no chance for a warranty. I personally think that it is the regulator in the alternator. Also it isn't the original. I just replaced it about 2 years ago. The battery light never came on when this happens and I don't have a voltage gauge. The problem always happens when I drive. So I can't put a voltmeter on the alternator. I could even rev the enging to 4k and the problem doesn't show itself. I don't think it is the belt because then my brakes, clutch and power stering would also be affected.

  • 98ws6transam Jan 16, 2009

    I actually shut off the HVAC when this happens to try to save on battery power. The battery has plenty of power since the engine turns over immediately. If I didn't replace the alternator just 2 years ago, I wouldn't hesitate to determine that it is the alternator. Then again it is almost impossible to get a new alternator. They are all rebuilt so who's to say how long they last. Everything is pointing to the alternator. I think I am just second guessing myself.

  • 98ws6transam Jan 22, 2009

    Turns out it was the alternator/regulator. Car is back to normal.

    Thanks for your help



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Almost sounds like an intermittent problem with alternator not charging ocassionally. Double check all belts are in good shape & tight, as well as have battery tested, along with alternator.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009

  • 1 more comment 
  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler Jan 16, 2009

    depending on where you got it, they may honor some type of warranty, even maybe a pro-rated. Doesn't hurt to ask. Make sure you double check belts etc too. If they check alternator for you, make sure all accessories are on, that you can get on, but they should know that. Don't suppose you only noticed dimming after going through a puddle, or snow drift, just in case just a wet belt, or pulley.

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler Jan 16, 2009

    Only other thing that comes to mind is if you can catch it, and you happen to have your defrost or AC on, shut it off, quick & see if lights etc, brighten back up, just in case AC compressor causing extreme draw for one reason or another, otherwise I have to agree with you, as far as the internal regulator goes.

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler Jan 16, 2009

    Wouldn't be the first or the last time it's happened. Hate to say it but, Looks like you have to bite the bullet.



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