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Pulsing Lights/Headlights

This is a discussion on Pulsing Lights/Headlights within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I have an 02 Z28 Stock/automatic, 94,000 miles. Dont worry though... I got about 3500.00 worth the mods sittin in ...

  1. #1
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    Pulsing Lights/Headlights

    I have an 02 Z28 Stock/automatic, 94,000 miles. Dont worry though... I got about 3500.00 worth the mods sittin in my garage ready to throw on.
    Anyways... I bought the car a month ago with a pulsing light problem, After the engine warms momentarily all of the lights in the car and outside the car start to pulse rapidly, and my voltmeter starts going crazy from 12-15 volts.
    I contributed it to be a cheap fix... (Alternator going bad) The alternator was the orignal so I had a brand new 240 amp Powermaster from my Silverado layin around so I decided to try to squeeze that in there.... It was a tight fit but I managed to get it in there with the removal of the rear alternator support bracket. I started the vehicle and 5 min. later the pulsing was back in full swing. With the new Alt. though it seems to be isolated at ideling but sometimes it still happens at highway speeds. I checked my pully ratio and that fine. So does anyone have any ideas on what gives???? Its like the electrical system go's into a serious amperage draw or something.
    Anyways... Sorry for the long post but I didnt want to waste anyones time with stuff I already thought of.
    Thanks again

  2. #2
    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    Sounds like a direct short to ground.....on this model....is the voltage regulator built into the alternator or is it seperate?....I'd vote on the direct short to ground first though....

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    The regulator is built into the alternator, If it is a short.... Why would it only do it after warm-up and why is the pulsing so precice? Thank you for your help though.

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    I am having the same problem... I am on my second alternator... anyone figured out a way to fix this??? Thanks in advance!

  5. #5
    check the connection to the PCM carefully...be sure its hooked up and clean.

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    Junior Member killerbeez's Avatar
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    I'll join this club!!! I just bought a car and it's doin the same thing. 98z m6. Where is the pcm on these cars anyways? On my car, I noticed, if I'm running the stereo and almost drain the battery, it will stop pulsating.... for a little while. It's almost as if if the alternator is charging the battery it won't pulsate, but once it reaches full charge it has nothing to do so it like overcharges and pulsates. what's the deal?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by killerbeez
    I'll join this club!!! I just bought a car and it's doin the same thing. 98z m6. Where is the pcm on these cars anyways? On my car, I noticed, if I'm running the stereo and almost drain the battery, it will stop pulsating.... for a little while. It's almost as if if the alternator is charging the battery it won't pulsate, but once it reaches full charge it has nothing to do so it like overcharges and pulsates. what's the deal?
    voltage regulator

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    same problem, any solutions?

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    I ran a ground wire from the alternator bracket to the driver fender (already a ground there), and I have now had the same alternator, with no pulse, ever since... it's been about 6-7 months... a new record for my car. Only time will tell...

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    Senior Member Redphoenix1998's Avatar
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    check ALL your grounding straps. There is one that goes into the back of the alternator as well and commonly in an alternator install, that wire is not hooked up at all. Check it to make sure it's on and check all your grounds from the batter and grounding straps. Clean the straps as well. I had the same problem and thought it was my alternators but in reality, it was that one stupid strap

  11. #11
    Member desliger's Avatar
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    Sweet! I was going to post a thread asking this same question, now I know!

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    I checked the grounding locations on radiator support, both fenders, and the strap from the alternator. I cant see where the other end of the strap on the alternator goes, it seems to tuck in behind it. do you have to remove the alternator to get to it?

    any other ground locations to look for?

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    Member desliger's Avatar
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    I too have checked/cleaned every ground strap I could see, are we missing something? I'm still pulsing over here, with around 117k miles I'm thinking it's the alternator... lol I do know that the map light does not pulse with the engine off, but when I start the engine, you can see it pulse with the rpms...

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    I wonder if it could be something with the A.I.R. system opening to a ground when it is not running. You can try to pull power from it and see if it helps. Just an idea.

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    My brother had a similar problem, he took it to GM and they said he needed a new pcm,it wasnt cheap b/c they charge for parts then upload it then labor. But that is worst case scenario. He had an 01 SS M6 with +90,xxx.
    Last edited by ohsofast; 10-12-2006 at 01:50 PM.

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    talked to another guy with an 01 that had same problem said dealer replace alternator and something under dash before it stopped? He couldnt tell me what under the dash... I am going to call dealer he went to and see what it was. Will post if I find out anything

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    Did anyone ever figure this out because mine does it too with 60K on a 99 Z28.

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    my car is at chevy dealer today diagnosing problem. dealer seemed to know about it when i dropped it off. will post when I find out.

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    As some have noted this is often a ground problem. Most cars have a decent size ground cable running from the engine block to the frame, however they've been known to break or get lost when an engine has been removed for some reason.

    A good contiuous ground is important - not only to your lighting, starting etc but also to all your sensor electronics. Ideally you'll have a sort of "triangle" in which theere a cable going from the battery (-) to both the frame of the car and to the engine block near the starter, then another from the engine block to the frame.

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    I just noticed mine will pulsate when it is cold and warming up, but they are fine once the car is warm.

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