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Old 10-27-2010, 6:27 PM   #1
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Question Losing power while driving?

To start off, I have an 02 TL-S and I'm having a strange problem. While driving I seem to be losing power to the cars electronics. All of a sudden the lights go out, my navi restarts, the needles on the dash all drop and the maintenance light comes on and off for a quick second. The car itself doesn't shut off and keeps driving, just all the electronics go off for a quick second.

Also, I should mention that my car has been having a hard time starting lately, when I turn the key, it tries to start, and finally fires up from first try but like after 3-4 seconds, almost feels like the battery is weak or dead. I use an Optima red top that I got about 2 years ago.

Anybody know what could be the problem?
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Old 10-27-2010, 6:30 PM   #2
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Alternator.

Get it checked before your car randomly stalls on you one day.
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Old 10-27-2010, 6:35 PM   #3
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could it have anything to do with any of the pulleys?

Because I have a strange noise coming from one of the pulleys when the AC is on, and also when the car is put into Reverse.
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Old 10-27-2010, 7:20 PM   #4
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if the pulley is the one you can see at top of engine its the ac belt tensioner- replace it--common failure, part 80-100$ for complete assembly

main issue is likely a battery/alternator problem
parts stores will test system for free
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Old 10-27-2010, 7:21 PM   #5
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may have a bad ground wire
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Old 10-27-2010, 8:28 PM   #6
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my guess is alternator or battery with those symptoms.
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Old 10-27-2010, 9:14 PM   #7
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Sounds like the alternator pulley bearing is going. You can replace the pulley bearing or get a rebuilt alternator. That's the most likely issue.
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Old 10-27-2010, 9:19 PM   #8
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Sounds like a battery issue.
01tl4tl said it best; head to your local auto parts store to get both the alternator and battery checked.
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Old 10-28-2010, 1:04 AM   #9
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here is where the mechanics stethascope really comes in handy--
track down bearing noises,,is the the alt or ps pump or ac belt tensioner?
know as soon as you listen to each place

if its an alternator bearing siezing--stopping and starting on its own..thats a possible

I had similar symptoms to OP when the old chevy truck air pump siezed,,which shared the alt belt
guages would flick, engine funky,,as alt was able to spin sometimes and then it was sitting there because other part wasnt allowing belt to turn..
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Old 10-28-2010, 7:09 AM   #10
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Is any of this related to the car starting up so slowly?
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Old 10-28-2010, 8:26 AM   #11
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Yes.
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Old 10-28-2010, 9:32 AM   #12
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So I got soo many mixed opinions, I'm gonna go to my local Autozone tomorrow morning to get both the battery and the alternator checked. Is there anything else I should have checked while I'm at it?
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Old 10-28-2010, 9:38 AM   #13
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a weak battery will cause slow starting too
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:44 AM   #14
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If Alt, battery and ground wires check out it might also be the start of a failed ignition switch. They seem to be more of a problem on the 99s but other years have had problems too.
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:14 PM   #15
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its funny because my car has done that about 5 0r 6 times in total since i gotten rear ended. it happened twice today.i been wondering if its my ignition switch because my car starts up rather fine.

thing thats been bothering me tho is that most of the time when i put my key on accessories, my radio is all ways on but nothing else comes on half the time. Sometimes the instrument cluster will come on like its suppose to but 6 out 10 times its M.I.A until i start the car.
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Old 10-29-2010, 2:44 AM   #16
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throw a new ign switch on it-- I had a feeling about that early in the discussion but thought naw,, its not a 99,,,like they used better parts later lol

rear end accident= remove spare tire and inspect ground wire hidden under there
Strange things hapen when thats disturbed--usually when someone yanks out their subs when selling car,,or someone else removed them without asking~ and wires were not treated with care

In an accident repair, they may have gotten paint on the ground surface and not cleaned off before wire went on.. or wire is off...?? I have seen stranger things happen
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Old 10-29-2010, 2:46 AM   #17
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funky dash operation points to ignition switch, may need the entire unit--
or possibly just the back part will fix it,,as it does most cars-
depends on wear
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Old 10-29-2010, 7:40 AM   #18
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So back to my problem, I'm still unsure on what exactly is causing this problem. I have an Optime Red Top battery, and just found the receipt, the battery is only a couple years old and has a 3 year warranty so I'm gonna try to get it replaced.

Also, about my ignition switch, I did some research, and found this: http://www.autozone.com/autozone/par...er=223242_0_0_

Is this something I could easily replace myself or I gotta take it to a shop?

I'm still gonna have my alternator checked later today, but I really wanna pinpoint this problem to get it fixed without spending lots of money changing out good parts
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Old 10-29-2010, 9:22 AM   #19
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now my suspicions weren't too far off. Its funny because the owner before me said he had to have it replaced because the car shut off on him on the highway. Everytime it loses power momentarily i can't help but hope that doesn't happen. Hopefully i can do some preventative maintenance sometime next year.
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:21 AM   #20
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the 99s with ignition switch problem have it fail 2-4 times during cars life
not so much a stretch to think later years have the same problem
see diy list for help on replacement
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:26 AM   #21
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01tl4tl, I enjoy your all of your post. Thanks for helping out the community.
Are you a mechanic?
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:59 AM   #22
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01tl4tl, I enjoy your all of your post. Thanks for helping out the community.
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No, he just stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.
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Old 10-29-2010, 1:45 PM   #23
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Since the problem is intermittent, I would lean more towards ground/connection issue, I wouldn't start replacing parts before a load test on your battery and check connections and grounds in alternator-starter-battery circuit.
Just my 2 cents.
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Old 10-29-2010, 6:00 PM   #24
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I had 2 places check my car today, they both tested the battery and both said that the battery failed.

I'm trying to contact Optima for a warranty replacement, but I think its pretty much gonna be a hassle, cause I bought it from a mechanic in Jersey when fixing the car, and he didn't really give me a receipt for it, just a repair invoice which included the price I paid for the battery.

Anybody got feedback on Optima and how they treat warranty's?
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:09 PM   #25
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if your receipt says optima battery- thats good--having any sort of receipt helps
-from a shop- great!

On the side/edge of battery is stamped a code for when it was made, and it may have a sticker on it saying when installed- for warranty purposes
Call them and see where to take it for official testing and replacement--somewhere local that sells their product should be able to verify and hand you a replacement
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:10 PM   #26
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look their website up- may have that info!
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:22 PM   #27
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or you could buy a battery for about 70 dollars.
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Old 10-30-2010, 3:17 AM   #28
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depends on optimas warranty- if prorated,, not so good-
full replacement = awesome deal
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:42 AM   #29
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my 2000 is having the same problem. I pulled onto the road and the car stpped accelerating. I thought it was the caliper seizing again but it wasn't. After a few seconds it was fine, so I let it sit all night thinking it would be fine in the morning. When i got up to go to work this morning i let the car warm up before i drove off and after a few seconds the car started jerking like it was going to stall out. I have no idea what's going on with it but my check engine light is on now. It is my main vehicle and it has been having numerous problems and i NEED it. someone please help.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:51 AM   #30
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Go get the codes read.
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Old 11-17-2010, 6:08 PM   #31
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diehard

list the recent problems, what you did you fix them,
and what codes are stored--parts stores will ck them for free
with those we can point you in the right direction
could be anything from battery,,-parts store will also ck the whole electrical system for free when codes are scanned
can be trans prob or spark plugs or egr ports are plugged....
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:09 AM   #32
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Quote:
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I had 2 places check my car today, they both tested the battery and both said that the battery failed.
Did they check your alternator as well? If your alternator isn't charging the battery, the battery will die like yours did. Replacing the battery and still having a bad alternator will just ruin a second battery. You said you were hearing belt noises, so don't ignore those as they might be part of the problem.
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:27 AM   #33
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depends on optimas warranty- if prorated,, not so good-
full replacement = awesome deal
Optima red tops are 3 year free replacement.
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:30 AM   #34
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I had 2 places check my car today, they both tested the battery and both said that the battery failed.

I'm trying to contact Optima for a warranty replacement, but I think its pretty much gonna be a hassle, cause I bought it from a mechanic in Jersey when fixing the car, and he didn't really give me a receipt for it, just a repair invoice which included the price I paid for the battery.

Anybody got feedback on Optima and how they treat warranty's?
Did they test the alternator too? A bad alternator can damage a battery so make sure it's working properly.
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Old 11-18-2010, 8:51 AM   #35
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I got the codes read yesterday and the only thing that popped up was my o2 censor. The transmission was rebuilt before i bought the car about 2 1/2 years ago. i have replaced the battery, spark plugs (twice), radiator fan, front rotors, all brakes, thermostat, and thats all i can think of right now. The next things on my list are the hose for the power steering pump, a/c fan, and obviously the o2 censor as soon as i have a little extra money.
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Old 11-18-2010, 9:32 AM   #36
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I could see an O2 sensor--the front one of 2, going bad
sounds like you have a lot of miles to replace the plugs twice--
or you are using the wrong spark plugs and thats your real problem
NGK Iridium (upgrade)or NGK Platinum(stock) are the right choice

bosch-acdelco etc are totally wrong for the TL and will cause running problems
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Old 11-18-2010, 9:33 AM   #37
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ps hoses are only replace if leaking
and rad fan if it fails
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Old 11-18-2010, 9:34 AM   #38
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of those choices, the O2 is the cheapest--use Denso brand
it plugs right in as its the original maker/supplier of the part
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Old 11-18-2010, 9:58 AM   #39
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yes, my car has about 230k miles on it but for the most part still runs like a champ. the rad fan went out on me about a year and a half ago and i had it replaced for about $500 along with a tune up. Thanks for the heads up on the spark plugs, i think we put in bosch. The hose is dry rotted and cracked and was leaking so fast i had to fill the power steering everyday so for the time being i wrapped some tape around it and it seems to have slowed the leak tremendously. The car seems to act up like i stated in my first post when you first drive the car off after starting it for just a few seconds and then it's fine for the rest of the time until you turn it off and start it back up again. It almost makes me think my fuel pump may be going out. I dont know if something like that would pop up on the code reader but the only thing that did was the o2 censor. that makes me think it is reading things wrong and a lot of the problems i thought i was having are really just that censor.
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:50 PM   #40
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get rid of those bosch plugs before you do anything else
they are well proven to go bad after several months and give poor running
and cause false codes when the ECU cant figure out why its getting such bogus readings

may still need a FRONT O2, with those miles its totally reasonable to replace

Very rare for fuel pump problems --start with correct spark plugs and go from there
they are ~8 bucks each but pay for themself by making the car run right
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