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Old 10-01-2010, 08:31 AM   #1
Rachel9
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Question '94 Chevy Caprice Classic (need help)

Hello everyone and thanks for any help. This is my first post on this site so I hope I get everything right.

I have a '94 Chevy Caprice Classic. It has somewhere around 200,000 miles on it. The problem I'm having is that my battery gauge fluctuates when idling in drive. It takes a minute sitting there and then it drops frantically. If I put it in park as soon as I see it, it picks itself back up no problems. It also has a tendency to do this more if it is raining bad. I don't know if the car is struggling or if me running the lights and defrost are affecting it. It always almost shuts off in a storm.

Now forgive my ignorance but this is what has been replaced and/or checked in the past year. All these were to fix this problem.

The Distributor, Cap, Rotor, Module, and water pump gasket.
The Temp. coolant sensor. A new serpentine belt was put on. Both battery cables and a battery cable terminal?. The ignition control module was replaced. The battery and alternator were also tested. The scanner also cleared as this point, saying no problems were found. This endeavor cost me about $1000.

Of course the problem returned and I have since had 3 more distributors put on and a new water pump. Also a radiator hose replaced. The oil has been changed, new tires put on, all fluids have been checked, and cleared again as if it was fixed. These endeavors are pushing my total close to $1500.

My car is still not working properly and I really don't have the money to keep throwing into guesses. It's also a little nerve racking to keep breaking down at night, alone. If anyone could suggest an area that may be the problem I would greatly appreciate it. I don't have much mechanical knowledge but I'm sure I can figure out what y'all are saying. Thank you to anyone who can help. Also, if I did anything wrong or left anything out in my post, please let me know so I can correct it.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:12 AM   #2
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Re: '94 Chevy Caprice Classic (need help)

Sounds like you need a new alternator. Possibly the voltage regulator is going bad. This happened to me a few weeks ago. The reason it almost always shuts off in a storm is probably because you have a lot of things running (lights, wipers, defrost, etc) and the alternator (which is most likely failing) can't handle it. You should try having your alternator tested for free at autozone or some place like that
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:57 AM   #3
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Re: '94 Chevy Caprice Classic (need help)

It has happened to many that the battery connection to the fuse box under the hood on the passengerside gets loose.

next to this fuse box is a large diameter wire. remove the plastic clip cover and inspect for security and condition.

this supplies power to engine control componet fuses....
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:27 PM   #4
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Re: '94 Chevy Caprice Classic (need help)

after thinking about this , with 200,ooomi on the vehicle the alternator should be replaced. this is about the max life you can expect. the brushes in the alternator are now worn too much.

most auto mechanics lack the knowledge to properly use the test equipment and proceedures for this to be correctly determined.

in todays world alternators are replaced and not rebuilt. this is just another reason why these systems are not tested thoughly.
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:08 AM   #5
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Re: '94 Chevy Caprice Classic (need help)

HELLO. From personal experience I would would change out the ALUMINIUM STUD that J-CAT refered to with a BRASS version. The aluminium stud heats up so much with all of the amps going thru it that the plastic holder melts then the nut loosens up causing even higher resistance, more heat until finally a very bad connection. The brass version will take the AMPS in stride. My mothers CAPRICE had this problem & the BRASS replacement did the trick. I would try this simple fix first then the new alternator etc. I bet the alt. has probably been replaced during the last 16+ years any way.

HOPE THIS HELPS
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:22 PM   #6
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Re: '94 Chevy Caprice Classic (need help)

I would agree that this is most definitely an electrical condition, with one possible exception. NOVAZ27 has good information. Alternator issues can cause this, but there's also one possibility that nobody here has brought up, and that could be a loose belt caused by a worn out belt tensioner.

Make sure your battery cables are clean at the terminals on either end.

You're wasting your money on distributors and water pumps.
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:31 PM   #7
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Re: '94 Chevy Caprice Classic (need help)

Is anyone still there?
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Old 10-04-2010, 04:13 PM   #8
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Re: '94 Chevy Caprice Classic (need help)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozgirl07 View Post
Is anyone still there?
ya where here . whats your problem mate !
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