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Thread: Car chugging

  1. #1
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    Car chugging

    Hey guys, first off I'm not a mechanic or very inclined...
    My car fires up, runs and drives fine...for about 40 minutes, then it starts chugging/hesitating on acceleration.
    I took it a little far from home and it started doing it and then died...jumped it and drove it home...chugging on acceleration every time.
    Like I said it drives fine for a half hour or so.
    Engine has been rebuilt...a few years ago with probably under 300 miles on it.
    Every time I turn the key it registers enough volts, the when turning it forward to crank it, the volts drop off to 8...and I have to jump it..bad alternator?
    Mike

  2. #2
    Motors about after dark Michael's Avatar
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    Charge and check the battery voltage via load test. Sounds like you might have a bad battery. Other possible problems are a bad alternator or poor/dirty connections on the battery terminals or poor ground connection on batt ground cable.

    If the battery charge is low check the alternator to make sure it's properly charging the battery. You should have 14+v with the engine running but you have have the alternator bench tested to be sure. If the battery charge is around 12v stationary, I would start looking at terminal connections.
    Last edited by Michael; 09-12-2021 at 11:59 AM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    Your battery is bad or not charged if it drops to 8 volts when cranking. First thing is to charge or replace the battery.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  4. #4
    Administrator Ron's Avatar
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    Sounds like it could be the alternator (or battery). But 40 minutes seems to be a little long unless you didn't use the lights, AC etc. Most auto parts stores will check them on the car for free. But pulling it off for a check is better.
    If it still dies after getting the electrical sorted out, a bad fuel filter or pump getting hot could cause it to die, then run again after waiting a short while.

    EDIT: Michael and Dave type faster than I do ;-)

  5. #5
    Motors about after dark Michael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    Sounds like it could be the alternator (or battery). But 40 minutes seems to be a little long unless you didn't use the lights, AC etc. Most auto parts stores will check them on the car for free. But pulling it off for a check is better.
    If it still dies after getting the electrical sorted out, a bad fuel filter or pump getting hot could cause it to die, then run again after waiting a short while.

    EDIT: Michael and Dave type faster than I do ;-)
    The first thing that came to my mind was a fuel starvation issue like a dirty fuel filter or bad pump. The OP mentioned voltage so I assumed he was using a multimeter or something. If it was the dash gauge however he may be chasing a ghost. I would still check and test the battery but don't discount a fuel issue just because the gauge reads 8v with the ignition on and engine not running. The gauge lies as much as my ex GF when she went on spring break with the "girls".
    Last edited by Michael; 09-12-2021 at 01:53 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Charge and check the battery voltage via load test. Sounds like you might have a bad battery. Other possible problems are a bad alternator or poor/dirty connections on the battery terminals or poor ground connection on batt ground cable.

    If the battery charge is low check the alternator to make sure it's properly charging the battery. You should have 14+v with the engine running but you have have the alternator bench tested to be sure. If the battery charge is around 12v stationary, I would start looking at terminal connections.
    I agree with everything but the 14+ volts. Some alternators do not push that much. Technically anything over 12.5 volts is charging, but a running car should be over 13.

  7. #7
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    Does the battery warning light in the instrument cluster come on when you stick the key in and turn it to accessories? You need to see that light up as the car will not charge without a good light bulb in there. Also needs to be a regular, old fashioned incandescent bulb. LED's don't satisfy this alternator charging requirement for whatever reason.


    Sept. 81, auto, black interior

  8. #8
    Administrator Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helirich View Post
    I agree with everything but the 14+ volts. Some alternators do not push that much. Technically anything over 12.5 volts is charging, but a running car should be over 13.
    Specs on a stock alternators call for >13.5V. The regulators in most replacement alternators (modern) will settle at ~14.2V no matter how much the alternator "pushes"....just a matter of time.

  9. #9
    Motors about after dark Michael's Avatar
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    I probably should have stated 14v+/-. I forgot what forum I was on.

    5mtatx.jpg

    I need to just start posting pages of the tech manual and sign my name to the bottom of my posts like a boss(guru).
    Last edited by Michael; 09-13-2021 at 10:08 AM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    Specs on a stock alternators call for >13.5V. The regulators in most replacement alternators (modern) will settle at ~14.2V no matter how much the alternator "pushes"....just a matter of time.
    I think because of the constant loads in new cars, all manufactures have increased the typical alternator voltage to 14.5 volts to get the batteries charged faster.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

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