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hey guys im a complete nub with these things and when there's a problem ask i ask you experts for advice. Now my problem is that when i start up my 93 p10 g20 mainly old cold night and especially on wet days, my car starts up but the light will dim and brighten over and over again as well as my rpm will go up and down. also my radio will not turn on and my blower fan will operate very weakly...until everything fixes itself after driving for a while and my lights and rpm indicator stay stable. Now i suspect my alternator may be going (you knew when u got to rev up the engine a bit to get the battery light to turn off) but i been operating like that for bout a year now with no problems. I was wondering if they just be a problem with my spark plugs and if changing them would be a quick fix. Possibly the distributor cap? But hopefullt not the actual distributor. This is a very odd problem and any suggestions well be much appreciated. WOuld like to avoid changing the alternator..well.. because im cheap but just inquiring about the nature of the problem. Thanks in advance! You guys r great!
 

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couuple of "?"....
1)when was the last FULL tune up?? (dizzy cap, rotor, plugs & wires)
2)ur best bet buy/make ur own grounding kit (helped me a hell of alot with HL's dimming
3)check the voltage on the alt....make sure its in a good margin of what the FSM's says, if not have a mech look @ it.
4)check the water levels of your bat.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
haven't had a full tune up in a year
in regards to the grounding kit, how much would one of those cost and how would u install one? thanks!
 

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The problem you describe has nothing to do with tune up related parts. Not that a tune up won't improve how your car drives, it just will not fix your problem.

It might be as simple as a loose or glazed fan belt on the alternator. That would explain the cold and wet weather making it worse.

It could also be an alternator going bad.

It could be a bad battery, or dirty or loose battery terminal cables.

Check the belt and try tightening it.
With the engine running, you should see 13+ volts at the battery, using a multimeter.
With the engine off the battery should show 12 volts, and nothing lower.
 

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I'd put money on it that your battery is going out. If the battery light goes off and the problems stop when you rev the engine it proves your alternator is working, just that the battery isnt holding a charge very well...
 

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well ill check the voltage on the battery tonight after work, are the voltage figures stated above correct? Also forgive my stupidity but how would one tighten the fan and alternator belt or is that something a mechanic would do, i'm very wary of tinkering with belts especially. Thanks for all the input guys, it's much appreciated :D
 

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The fan is electric and mounted to the radiator, so it is not powered by the belt (no car built today has a belt driven fan). If you are not comfortable with doing the belt then by all means have a mechanic do it for you. If you have a mechanic do it, have him replace the belt not just tighten it. The amount of labor is almost the same.

You can take your battery to some auto parts stores and they will test it for you. If your battery is more than 5 years old, it probably needs to be replaced. There should be a sticker or brand (melted into the plastic) on the battery that has a letter and number combination. Example for Interstate batteries: G4. Letter is month and number is year, so G4 would be a battery built in July of 2004.

This is what I would do.
1) Test the battery voltage without the engine running. Should be 12-12.5 volts. If it is 10-11 volts then either the battery is bad or the alternator is not charging correctly.

2) Check the voltage at the battery with the engine running. It should be over 13 volts. If not then the alternator is not charging correctly.

3) Clean the terminals on the battery connections and posts. Re-run the above tests.

If you find the alternator voltage with the engine running is good, then you need a new battery.
If you find the alternator voltage is low, then you need a new alternator. If the alternator voltage goes up substantially when you rev the engine, then the belt most likely needs to be replaced.
 
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