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Flickering headlights

This is a discussion on Flickering headlights within the Corvette forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; So lately my headlights have started to flicker, I'm guessing its the alternator, battery is new and connections seem tight. ...

  1. #1
    Member 1986camarojoe's Avatar
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    99 Z28 04 Corvette

    Flickering headlights

    So lately my headlights have started to flicker, I'm guessing its the alternator, battery is new and connections seem tight. The battery gauge jumps around from pretty low to around 14, There's no aftermarket stereo or anything on this car so not sure what else could cause this. After doing a search it seemed real common on trans ams.. They talked about replacing the alternator with one off a truck, would that be possible on a corvette also? or should I go with a stock replacement? Oh and it has the HID headlights if that matters.

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    Member 1986camarojoe's Avatar
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    99 Z28 04 Corvette

    I was just messing with it some more, when I turn the key on accesory without starting the car the headlights flicker like strobe lights, but when I start the car and let it idle in the garage they work just fine. I'm thinking once the fan turns on after driving a bit is when the headlights start to flicker because the alternator doesnt produces enough amps?

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    it'll be hard to tell with the HID's installed man, it could even be the ballasts. Try swapping in some stock bulbs and see if it still does it.

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    Member 1986camarojoe's Avatar
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    99 Z28 04 Corvette

    Im pretty sure these HIDs are the whole headlight assembly, not just bulbs, so would I be able to swap in stock bulbs to try that?

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    IMHO prolly the Alt takin' a vacation soon...
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    Member 1986camarojoe's Avatar
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    99 Z28 04 Corvette

    Yea I was just thinking the headlight bulbs going out shouldn't affect the battery gauge, gotta be the alternator.

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    Member 1986camarojoe's Avatar
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    99 Z28 04 Corvette

    Should I got with OEM replacement or is there something better I can upgrade to?

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    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1986camarojoe View Post
    Should I got with OEM replacement or is there something better I can upgrade to?
    Imho, stay stock. But just be carefull of rebuilds. Some companies use crap parts and people building them whom don't know anything about exaclty how an Alt works.
    I was still able to buy a stock "new" not rebuilt Alt for my 92 z34. So I'd imagine a brand new Alt for your ride is attainable too. I just don't trust rebuilds unless I rebuilt it lol.. Shop around, I found that over the years the better the warranty in most cases the better the build quality..

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    I agree on buying OEM although yours did not last as long as its should IMHO...

    I use a local repair shop when I need to get a new one. Nothing beats taking your parts to a guy who will rebuild it on the bench in front of you!


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    Member 1986camarojoe's Avatar
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    99 Z28 04 Corvette

    Quote Originally Posted by gnomee View Post
    I agree on buying OEM although yours did not last as long as its should IMHO...

    I use a local repair shop when I need to get a new one. Nothing beats taking your parts to a guy who will rebuild it on the bench in front of you!
    My dad mentioned that to me and said he thinks he knows a place that rebuilds them. probably check into it

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    Member Since 1998 Mecinoid's Avatar
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    Check your grounds on the lights and chassis ground. I notice that when my battery gets old it does the same thing on my Bird.
    You rev up the motor and it gets brighter. After the battery gets a good deep charge that goes away. Also, when my battery is low or old the radio starts to act up.

    When this starts happening I check the grounds, clean terminals and buy a new battery if it's been three years.
    The last time I upgraded to a higher CCA battery than stock. That seems to help as well.

    Good luck ...
    Last edited by Mecinoid; 12-12-2009 at 02:52 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mecinoid View Post
    Check your grounds on the lights and chassis ground. I notice that when my battery gets old it does the same thing on my Bird.
    You rev up the motor and it gets brighter. After the battery gets a good deep charge that goes away. Also, when my battery is low or old the radio starts to act up.

    When this starts happening I check the grounds, clean terminals and buy a new battery if it's been three years.
    The last time I upgraded to a higher CCA battery than stock. That seems to help as well.

    Good luck ...
    Good advise imho. To add, I'd stay away from generic batteries too. I've had generics die just sitting on my work bench with nothing hooked to them. Imho get a good well known brand, they tend to be worth the extra money they cost. It will pay for it self the first time you go out to fire up on a new generic batt and nothing happens..

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