96 Sephia Electrical problems

I hope someone can help me diagnose this:
Yesterday afternoon while driving my 96 Sephia 1.8L, the radio started cutting out, actually going on and off (intermittent power out). When
I turned off the a/c, the radio would come back on and stay on, when Id turn the a/c back on, the radio would go off. Otherwise, it seemed to be running fine. But it just seemed like there wasnt really enough electricity to run everything properly...lights seemed a little dim, wipers seemed extra slow. When I got it home I turned it off, and it started right back up and the radio and the a/c seemed to work fine together.
This afternoon it started just fine, ran fine for about 10 minutes, then the radio started cutting out again. I parked it for about an hour and at that time it wouldnt start...not enough juice to turn the engine over. I got it jumped, and drove it about 15 minutes to home, and it ran well, though I didnt try the radio or the a/c. But it wont start again (not enough juice to turn the engine over). The battery is less than one year old and I think it is ok.
Any ideas of what the problem is?
Thanks!
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I had the exact symptoms you describe on my 99 Sephia and it turned out to be the alternator was bad. FYI, it is difficult to get the alternator out, but can be done DIY. Once you get the alternator loose there are some power steering and A/C hardlines that get in the way of lifting it out of the engine bay. Solution is to loosen the mounts for the lines and CAREFULLY flex them aside while you pull out the alternator. Good luck, hope this helps.
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Brett W. Rohlfing




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"Yesterday afternoon while driving my 96 Sephia 1.8L, the radio started cutting out, actually going on and off (intermittent power out). When I turned off the a/c, the radio would come back on and stay on, when I'd turn the a/c back on, the radio would go off. Otherwise, it seemed to be running fine. But it just seemed like there wasn't really enough electricity to run everything properly...lights seemed a little dim, wipers seemed extra slow. "
It's either a bad battery with a shorted cell or a problem with the charging system(i.e. bad alternator, regulator, wiring problem, massive short draining the system, etc). You need to read the voltage at the battery and see if it is charged(12.6-13.0 volts with the key OFF), monitor during cranking(if it drops to something rediculous like 8 volts, you have a bad/dead battery), and then monitor with the engine running. You should see 13.6-14.0 volts at idle with the engine running and all accessories OFF if the alternator is doing its job. If it stays down around 12.5 it means the alternator is not charging. You could conduct all of the above test with a cheapie voltmeter from radio shack.
On the 96 sephia the alternator is held in by two bolts, both are accessable from the top but getting the alternator out would probably be best done from underneath. I have a 97, and I've never replaced mine but had it loosened/out of the way for a timing belt job and it looks like it would hit the intake manifold/AC hoses if you try to pull it out from the top. If you have to replace it I'd suggest disconnecting the battery, loosening the bottom bolt, removing the top bolt, removing the two electrical connections from the alternator(2 wire plug and the large 12v main connection) and then crawl underneath, remove the lower bolt and remove the alt. It's definately a DIY job.
Good luck with it.
Chris
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"" wrote: > "Yesterday afternoon while driving my 96 Sephia 1.8L, the > radio started > cutting out, actually going on and off (intermittent power > out). When > I turned off the a/c, the radio would come back on and stay > on, when > I'd turn the a/c back on, the radio would go off. Otherwise, > it > seemed > to be running fine. But it just seemed like there wasn't > really > enough > electricity to run everything properly...lights seemed a > little dim, > wipers seemed extra slow. " > > It's either a bad battery with a shorted cell or a problem > with the > charging system(i.e. bad alternator, regulator, wiring > problem, massive > short draining the system, etc). You need to read the voltage > at the > battery and see if it is charged(12.6-13.0 volts with the key > OFF), > monitor during cranking(if it drops to something rediculous > like 8 > volts, you have a bad/dead battery), and then monitor with the > engine > running. You should see 13.6-14.0 volts at idle with the > engine running > and all accessories OFF if the alternator is doing its job. If > it stays > down around 12.5 it means the alternator is not charging. You > could > conduct all of the above test with a cheapie voltmeter from > radio > shack. > > On the 96 sephia the alternator is held in by two bolts, both > are > accessable from the top but getting the alternator out would > probably > be best done from underneath. I have a 97, and I've never > replaced mine > but had it loosened/out of the way for a timing belt job and > it looks > like it would hit the intake manifold/AC hoses if you try to > pull it > out from the top. If you have to replace it I'd suggest > disconnecting > the battery, loosening the bottom bolt, removing the top bolt, > removing > the two electrical connections from the alternator(2 wire plug > and the > large 12v main connection) and then crawl underneath, remove > the lower > bolt and remove the alt. It's definately a DIY job. > > Good luck with it. > > Chris
autozone will check for alternator, battery and some electrical problems for free. I had the same problem and it was my battery. My alternator is still good. the air was causing me to lose power etc as well as defroster. Check for corrosion on your battery terminals as well! Good luck!
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