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Thread: Dimming lights at idle

  1. #1

    Unhappy Dimming lights at idle

    99 120 Lincoln by LCW. Daul batt, single alt (225 amp unit).

    At idle, head lights, passenger cabin lighting, and all blower motors dim or fan speed decreases when the car is idling. Batts. and alt. are less than a year old.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Salicete's Avatar
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    Default

    Easy fix, likely one of two things.

    1. Alternator(s) need to be replaced. (Should put out around 14 volts.)

    2. Battery is played out and won't take an adequate charge, replace it/them.

    Both relatively inexpensive fixes. Despite only being a year old, these items on limousines can wear out in no time at all.
    Last edited by Salicete; January 7th, 2010 at 05:31 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member LIMOJESS's Avatar
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    Two basic components that any person can check with a volt meter.

  4. #4

    Default

    check your batt. grounds

  5. #5

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    You can have your bat and Alt checked for free at most parts stores.

  6. #6
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    Default Humidity

    If you've had high humidity recently, there is a gray oxidation which typically occurs in those conditions. Remove the battery cables and use a post & cable brush cleaner. Reinstall and then check voltage. You should clean these connections a couple of times a year regardless.

  7. #7
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    sound like you need your battery check and alt. too it may only need to be clean or replace have it tested first.
    Jeff Ball / Fleet Manager
    Finger Lakes Limousine & Coach
    Waterloo,NY

  8. #8
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    Definately sounds like an alternator-battery issue - I am w/ the majority on this one.

  9. #9
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    I'm also with the majority in this. Bat, Alt but when is the last time you checked the belt, maybe its time for a new one also.

  10. #10
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    Sounds like a hamster fell off the wheel.
    Tim Wiegman, Jr.
    Boulevard Limousine
    Travel Confidently!
    Serving Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka
    http://www.BoulevardLimoKC.com - Kansas City Limos
    KC Airport Car Service

  11. #11
    Senior Member kslust's Avatar
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    Yeah, I am going to agree with the rest of the peeps on here, as I have had the same problem with my car.... Changing the Alternator Fixed it.

    You might want to check and replace the Flux Capacitor as well (Totally worth it).
    Very Respectfully,

    Karl S. Lust

    Regal Limousine & Transportation
    Kansas City, Missouri

    "If you've ever traveled this good,
    Welcome Back!"


    Kansas City Limo - Kansas City Airport Transportation

  12. #12

    Default

    Clean all connections at battery, back of alternator and at the continuous duty solenoids that turn on back power etc. Check battery with good load test.

    You can check alt on car with a Bear ARBTS tester for amps. Amps more important than volts when it comes to everything being on high at once.

    If it is a 225 amp alt it should be a powerline or lestek etc. Maybe a large case ford, as the factory 99 ones should only be about 160 max.

    Was it ok before?
    As these cars get some years on them, the wiring oxidizes a little and makes it harder for the current to push through the wiring.

    Most of the aftermarket high amp alts are external regulator ones. They usually use a Transpo, Stealth, or Hehr.
    Some have adjustment screw(pot) for voltage. Your voltage might be a little low. Hard to get too much in this situation. At least 13.5 is good to get with full fans , ac, and lights on.

    You can also take the alt off and take to a good alt shop with an oscilloscope. They can see the diode pattern to see if any diodes are leaking which will cause low voltage and many times slight flickering of lights at low rpms.

  13. #13

    Default

    Also forgot to mention....many times they just need slightly smaller pulley on the alt to increase rotor speed a couple hundred rps at idle. Many limos are plagued with draining the batts at idle especially in drive in traffic. Some are so bad that they will die and not restart many times the battery backup is wired into the system once the key is in on position so it is dead too.

    There is the factory 6 groove size and at at least 2 smaller sizes. The smaller size makes a world of difference in idle charging. Sometimes you have to get a slightly shorter belt, but I have always been able to find one within a couple of test fits at the local auto parts store.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by BLVD Limo View Post
    Sounds like a hamster fell off the wheel.

    LOL He's just getting tired.. He hasn't fell off yet.
    John Doggett
    Chauffeur with Perks Limos
    www.perkslimo.com
    www.facebook.com/perkslimousine <-Become a fan please

  15. #15
    Senior Member Wade Randolph's Avatar
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    The 225 Amp Powerline alternators actually put out less voltage at idle than the factory 85 Amp alternators. The best setup for extended idling is dual 85 Amps.

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