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Lights flicker...voltmeter-up and down. HELP!

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Old 10-22-2009, 10:06 AM   #1
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Lights flicker...voltmeter-up and down. HELP!

Ok guys, I need help......yes I have read every thread on the flicker/voltmeter problem, but it seems when people get it fixed...they don't post.

Problem.....driving on the highway lights (dash/or headlights-headlights do not have to be on) will flicker quickly...voltmeter ticks in unison with the flash. Sometimes.....voltmeter will slowly drop to 10, then back up to 14 (65 mph).

Truck at idle or driving (normally) is a constant 14...turning anything electrical on does NOT bring the voltmeter down...always 14.

And...it doesn't always happen...I could drive 2 or 3 days...fine.....4th day, it happens.????????

What are the symptoms of the headlight switch????, but again...the headlights do not have to be on for this to happen......Relay??????

If it's the alternator, fine I will replace.....I just don't think so.....volts are always at 14 or slightly above...no matter what I turn on.

items checked:

New Battery
new positive battery cable end
cable end at alternator new
new negative batter bolt
all terminals cleaned
new starter about 6 mos. ago
new fusible link (wire)

1997 s-10 2.2 auto, air (not hooked up) 190k

Thanks for your help!!!!!!!!

Last edited by dlmack1; 10-22-2009 at 10:08 AM.
Old 10-22-2009, 01:21 PM   #2
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Re: Lights flicker...voltmeter-up and down. HELP!

It sounds like maybe the regulator in the alt is going bad.

Does it do it at an idle if so take a volt meter and hook it to the batt and watch the volts to see if it jumps there If it does then it's def the alt regulator. When my regulator starts to go bad on my custom alt that is one of the signs that its about to go out. My volt gauge will bounce around and my lights will flicker.
Old 10-22-2009, 04:55 PM   #3
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Re: Lights flicker...voltmeter-up and down. HELP!

Unfortunately, it only seems to do it when I am going over 50mph....if it did it at idle, that would be great......I could test and see what's going on....but its rock solid at idle and slow (city) driving.
Thanks for your input...I was leaning towards just throwing an alternator in there.....just wanted someone to say "hey, mine did that when my alt was going".....exactly what you said...
Thanks!
Old 11-10-2009, 06:20 PM   #4
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Re: Lights flicker...voltmeter-up and down. HELP!

My Truck does the same thing at idle and at 50 mph.I also get a buzzing noise in the radio.Sounds like I have solid core wires on it.Could it be the regulator ?It's a 02 pickup ZR2 with 105,000 on the ticker.Any ideas?
Old 11-11-2009, 06:29 PM   #5
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Re: Lights flicker...voltmeter-up and down. HELP!

well, replaced the alternator......was fine for a week, now back to the same......I am ready to drive it off a cliff!!!!!

could a bad headlight switch do this??????? truck was fine on the way home tonight, turned the lights on, and about 10 minutes later, the gauge started dropping again.........

Anyone??????
Old 11-11-2009, 06:51 PM   #6
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Re: Lights flicker...voltmeter-up and down. HELP!

Mebbe its your grounds. Clean all grounds and recheck battery cables...cheap to do.
Good Luck........Pete
Old 11-11-2009, 09:44 PM   #7
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Re: Lights flicker...voltmeter-up and down. HELP!

There is a fix.... I even have the directions for it, but since they refer to all sorts of part #s I don't know, they may as well be in Hungarian.

All I gathered was that a wire is used to bypass a function.

Since I have had the alt replaced (it croaked) and no change, I suspect the alt/regulator is not the issue.

Grounds, battery cables etc all good.
Old 11-12-2009, 06:16 PM   #8
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Re: Lights flicker...voltmeter-up and down. HELP!

Can you give me a little more detail???does it say where this bypass wire goes and what it is actually bypassing?????or in what area its in??

Thanks in advance.....
Old 11-12-2009, 07:03 PM   #9
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Re: Lights flicker...voltmeter-up and down. HELP!

When and if I find the paper with the info, yes.

Maybe it will mean something to you.
Old 08-09-2010, 04:05 PM   #10
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Re: Lights flicker...voltmeter-up and down. HELP!

bumping this to see if anyone ever got this issue fixed.
my truck is doing this voltage flicker at and above 75mph. rpm has no effect on it and i'm sure it's speed related. below 75, it fine.
it's been doing it for a very long time but the speed at which it does it at has been slowly dropping over the years.
75mph is really starting piss me off.
any updates for this problem?
Old 11-11-2011, 07:27 PM   #11
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Re: Lights flicker...voltmeter-up and down. HELP!

I know this is an old thread but just posting cause no one else posted the solution. I to had the same problem. headlights flickered between 60-75 mph, but never did any other time. Replaced the alternator, did the sense wire trick, new battery, all the grounds where re grounded.....still the same thing. Turns out my speedo was also randomly jumping between 60-75 mph. Changed the VSS and not only did the the speedo work flawlessly, the headlight flicker is gone. So before spending tons of money, as long as your alt is putting out what it should check your vss sensor first. It will cost you 50.00 bucs. Not sure what the VSS has to do with the dash lights and headlights flickering but it fixed it. I needed all that stuff anyway so i wasn't wasting my money, but it did drive me crazy for two months. Hope this helps someone.
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