2001 Saturn SC2 loud pulse noise in radio only on the AM band FM band is fine plus cars voltage drops a whole point from 13.2 to 12.2 in an instant happening only once in a while when its at idle.

Paul Martin

Asked by Oct 23, 2014 at 12:34 AM about the 2001 Saturn S-Series 3 Dr SC2 Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hi I own a 2001 Saturn SC2 it has a loud pulse noise in the radio only on the AM band FM band is fine plus cars voltage drops a whole point from 13.2 to 12.2 in an instant happening only once in a while when its at idle. The car had to be jumped recently but did not need much power to get it going? After jumping it I drove it for 12 miles on freeway to work & when I got there I turned it off & tried to restart it & it would not start but jumping it again & tightening the terminals & started fine &  has been fine since then now for over a week but still have this radio noise on AM only & the voltage drop sometimes? I bought the car used in 2009 & I think it has always had the AM noise & voltage drop. I want to listen to AM but can't HELP! The car had a boom box installed before I bought it & the kid blew out the cars computer prompting his parents to sell the car. Do you think the cars PCM / BCM could still be the problem the car runs fine right now? Thanks for your answers ahead of time Paul

12 Answers


Well Paul, first thing I would do is have the battery and alter checked for proper voltage. Make sure all of your wires from the battery, starter, alternator and under hood fuse box are right and clean. I would also look for left over wires from the previous owner. Make sure no aftermarket power wires are still live coming off the battery. Make sure no power wires are near ANY speaker wires.


Alternator not alter, sorry for the typo.

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Paul Martin

Thanks TransAm77, I have a 2002 Fire bird V6 too :) I have checked all of that out, all the old stereo wiring has been removed from previous owner & I have a new battery a year old second one in 2 a half years, I removed both the battery cables the positive & negative at different times & the car kept running so I'm pretty sure its not the battery or the alternator & have ruled out the wiring but can double check this weekend. PS yes the terminals are very clean with protector spray on them no corrosion !


Very nice, last year for the old birds. Ok on all of what you did. I would still have the battery and alternator checked out. If they are good to go then they can be checked off the list of culprits.

Paul Martin

OK will do, might just be the alternator huh? with the weird power loss sometimes? THANKS TransAm 77!


Yup. The voltage regulator can be going bad. Hopefully that kills 2 birds with one stone or alternator, LOL.

Best Answer
Paul Martin

No It didn't? I replaced the alternator & still have the same noise in the AM band of the radio? Not sure but I think I fixed 1 problem by changing the alternator but I haven't driven the car very much to know if I fixed the sudden drop in the voltage power issue? I was thinking next to try putting a noise suppressor on the radio & changing to a better set of spark wires not sure what else to do? Has anyone any good information out there for me please? Paul

Paul Martin

I found out the problem with my AM pulse noise in my radio it was my cars antenna but I have yet to fix the problem. I found that if I pull the antenna lead out of where it connects to the outside fender anchored antenna from the cars radio an in between connection between the radio & the antenna that you don't hear the pulse sound any more I will check the connections of the antenna the ground etc. maybe have to replace it? Thanks everyone for your help!

Paul Martin

Problem solved! it was a wire lead from my inside/outside temp gauge "after market install" that had been crushed on to the antenna mast when it was screwed on & off for car washes. Once removed from the antenna no more noise! yay! :)


Glad you found it. Got to love aftermarket installs. LOL

Paul Martin

Yea it was no fault on Saturn/GM's part it was all me :(


Oh... sorry.LOL

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