Is it my alternator??
I have an 02 cavalier, talked to a few people
who seem to think it's the alternator. The
car starts fine, no lights are on but once I
take it out of park there is a clicking noise
and the service light comes on. For now it
seems to run alright but I really can't afford
a breakdown. With almost 200,000 miles
she runs like a champ and I would like to
figure out whats wrong and fix it asap. I'm a
little overdue on an oil change but I've
checked the oil and it's not low. Just want
some idea so I know what I'm looking at
What you must do is test the voltage at the battery. It should be 13.5~ if it's less than that, we've got charging problems. You could buy a used alternator from car-part.com (this is the main connector to auto salvage yards that actually have a handle on what's for sale) I'll shop for you if you'd like! rebuilt ones are cheap too, would save on shipping and you could take it back after it doesn't work (bout half don't do their job!...trouble with rebuilt alternators) the junkyard apes will give it a whirl to make sure it has output and wouldn't waste your time like that. Quite certain that if you went local, the local Salvagery would put you right....on the cheap~
on ebay, there are skads of them...this one is 28 with FREE SHIPPING...just need confirmation from the seller that it works and shazaaaa~
Don't go changing the alternator because people tell you to. Test it first. Find out what is lighting the service light. -- On the Grand Am, a blown headlight will turn the light on, check your low and high beams and do a lamp check while you are at it..
apparently you can get your service report for FREE! at a local parts supplier. you might have to research this-
I'm not telling anything. The battery voltage is speaking for me.
Tenspeed is 100% correct, my fiances high beam bulb loved to burn out on her 01 Sunfire. The daytime running lights come on as soon as you put it into gear. The high beam bulb is the daytime running light with 6Volts, instead of 12. Turn on your headlights manually before you put the car in drive, that will stop that relay from going crazy because it will skip turning on the DRLs.
You should also notice the dashboard lights flash on and off with the relay clicking