I have a 95 Saturn SL2 that has something wrong. When I start the car it runs fine but when it is idling and I step on the brakes or if I turn the lights on it sometimes stalls. It only happens when it is idling. I have noticed that when I step on the brakes the lights get dimmer, and if I turn the car off the lights get very dim. The car has a new alternator and the battery holds a charge at around 12 - 13 volts. If any one has some advice please help. Thanks.
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Re: 1995 Saturn SL2 stalls
Very likely (again) a failed alternator.
I owned this exact same year and model (bought new) and during its 57,600 mile 'lifetime,' the alternator was replaced SIX (6) times, the auto tranny repaired at 29,000 (on my wallet), front discs ground once (warranty), replaced once (my wallet) and it finally died on starting by dropping a rod cap and dumping oil all over a parking lot.
Each time the alternator died, I had similar symptoms to yours and once the ABS locked up because of low voltage and I had to floor the gas to get the piece of junk out of a busy intersection and into a parking lot.
The alternator is too small for its rating (1200 watts and a theoretical efficiency of max 50%) so consequently runs very hot and does not get any cooling because of its mounting area.
It was my first American car in 37 years and the last one I will ever buy.
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TYry doing a static power brake test on the vehicle, with the car in gear, wheels are chocked up so not to allow vehicle to move forward, stand firm on the brake pedal and slowly add gas to the engine, does it dance around and miss fire?
If so you may have a bad coil/plugs/wires under load they may be breaking down they should have been replaced by at least 65,000 miles if not do a featured maintenance on the engine and replace them.
I would look at the egr system. First pull the valve and clean it. If you have a vacuum tester this would be a good time to test the valve itself as well. When under load you should be able to see the diaphragm engage and hold and then release as you release the vacuum. If that doesn't work check and/or replace the egr solenoid. It's located on the driver's side of the valve cover and usually runs about 60$.
Yours is a common complaint and the above is the most common remedy. Outside of that you might want to check and clean the idle air control valve and the port where it's housed. If it is extremely dirty or something managed to get stuck in there that could affect you vehicle running at idle as well.
Another thing, even though you just changed the plugs, pull one back out and look at it. If is fouled with oil you might need a new valve cover gasket which if it's leaking badly enough will impede spark.
my only guess is a vacuum hose leak. possibly a loose air filter housing, or the mass air flow sensor. look for any hoses unplugged. if nothing is noticed, try cleaning out your fuel system. if that doesnt solve it, then it would be something an experienced mechanic would have to come and examine it personally.