Scrapper has been giving me fits the past week or two, and, worse,
while we’re experiencing a very cold snap here in N Texas.
The first symptom I had was that her oil pressure gauge stopped
working completely (and warning light stuck on). At first I was
terrified somehow oil had leaked out, but checking the stick showed
her full and there were no odd noises going on.
After leaving her parked voer the following 3-day weekend, I went
to start Scrapper that a.m. and there was NO charge in her
battery – not even the dome light would glow. During the
preceding few nights while driving, I had noticed her voltmeter
would sometimes be on ‘‘12 volts’’ rather than the usual 13.5-14 volt
range. It would do this at random and be steady there for a few
miles of driving, despite engine RPMs (although sometimes she would
seem to hot idle at cold idle speeds). The meter would then pop up
to the noraml range. There were no warning lights or check engine
light whenever this happened, btw. This apparently would only
happen when I was driving at night, not during the day.
Thinking for sure the problem had to be the one-year-old Duralast
battery, I had it checked at Autozone and their tester showed it to
be O.K., just completely drained. The tech theorized, b/c I didn’t
leave any lighs on, that I had a ‘‘parasitic drain’’ somewhere in my
system. At this point, I wondered if maybe the bad oil pressure
sender could be draining the battery (grounded?), even with the key
off and out of the ignition. I don’t think though that is
possible, is it?
I had the battery quick-charged by Autozone, put it back in, and
everything seemed normal at first. After a few trips that day, I
noticed the oil gauge/light had started functioning properly once
again, strangely enough. However, on my drive home that night not
only did I have the 12 volt reading thing going on once again, but
could head a mild, steady squalling sound coming from under her
bonnet. This happened all the way home, where, while idling, she
was idling at cold idle speed again. This a.m. she started O.K.
and drove to work O.K. But, tonight driving home, a minute or two
after starting, she went to the 12-volt mode again, and stayed that
way til home, although I heard no squalling this time.
I checked the belts and they are tight, and the alternator shaft
seems tight (i.e. no worn bearing).
Any idea what could be going on here? I’m wondering if having
my headlights on is somehow dragging the system down (a short or
ground?), although switching them on or off and bright vs. dim
doesn’t affect the 12 volt reading. Otherwise, I don’t see why the
problem only seems to happen during night driving.
I just don’t want to go to start my car in the a.m. and have a
totally flat battery again!–
& Paul '88 XJ6 VDP 138k (black), '96 XJ6 110K (black)
Garland, Texas, United States
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–