Question about 1993 Saturn SW1

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Power loss while driving...

I first noticed the problem when I saw that my dashboard lights were sporadically going dim. Then I saw that the clock on the radio was dim as well. Next, I noticed the air bag light came on (as well as all the other dashboard lights, as if I had just started it).Last night, I completely lost power and coasted off the highway. I tested the battery and noticed that it would quite recharge all the time. After I got a jump start and the charge would hold, I went home and cleaned off the battery post and cables. They weren't too dirty, but I figured it was worth a shot. From what I can tell, the alternator is recharging the battery but every once in a while the battery won't take it. This morning, it cut out again and I coasted onto the shoulder, engaged the clutch and the car came back to life as if it just started. I'm thinking there may be a short somewhere in the electrical system. The battery light will start coming on after about five minutes of driving, but all the other symptoms don't start until after about 20-30 minutes of driving. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Not sure why yours lasted so long because I replaced the alternator in my '95 SL2 SIX (6) times before the engine self-destructed at 56,700 miles. They run hot because they receive little airflow where they are mounted and are physically too small to deliver the kind of power required of them.
Most chain auto parts stores will test your alternator free and I suggest you do that before growing more frustrated with it and possibly land in a dangerous situation caused by the failure of it.

Posted on May 27, 2009


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