S-10 Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
My G/F has a sonoma...
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've posted this on a couple of other forums and have yet to figure out the problem.

My girlfriend has a 2003 Sonoma v-6 extended cab. About a month after she got it we drove 2000 miles to florida and back without issue. About a month later we drove it 1000 miles to Camp & Drag and back.

All we've done to the truck was put in a head-unit, dash speakers, and an LED license plate light. I was told the dimmer wire on the head-unit may be the cause, but yesterday I noticed that it's only holding at about 13.9 volts while driving. The alternator and battery tested good, but their the only thing I can think of that would cause the problems.

On the way to Camp & Drag, I noticed when I'd hit the brake pedal, the lights would dim for a second. The dash lights, headlights, everything. I didn't think much of it, but it started getting worse. Then, the gauges started randomly shutting off with any sort of power surge. Then the entire dash started shutting off. For instance, if I was driving with the headlights, cruise, and AC on, and I hit the brakes, all electrics would die for a second. At one point, I pulled over, and shut the truck off, and it would start, but as soon as I put it in reverse, it would sputter and die.

I've noticed that when it's acting up, the voltage drops below 14, but when it's acting normal, it stays at 14.4.

Buddy of mine told me to check the relay terminal thing too, so I checked it and it looked fine. went ahead and wire brushed it and put it back. I've also found a few other problems I'll try to explain.

It's false starting. You'll crank the key and it won't start. It'll crank but then immediately die. I've also found that sometimes when I start it, it will sit at about 250 RPM's for a minute then die, but only if I shift in to reverse.

If it false starts, the dash will go on and off a bunch of times and continue to do so until the truck is turned off. If this problem is occurring, the passenger window won't work.

If i've been driving for a while, and I hit the brakes, the lights dim for a second.

If i've been driving for a while with the lights on and I turn on the brights, the head unit dies. But if i tap the brakes first, it's fine.

If I'm driving and I turn the AC from off to on, the entire electrical system momentarily dies.

I can hear the alternator whining through the speakers some times.

That's all I can think of. At this point, I've started looking for a new truck for her. She really likes nissan frontiers, so I'm trying to find one to trade for.http://okcminis.com/editpost.php?do=editpost&p=145242
 

·
Electrical Mod
Joined
·
56,116 Posts
Have you checked the grounds? Especially the one at the battery, to the frame and to the engine. Also check the positive side of the cable on the battery, but sounds more like a grounding issue. I have wiring diagrams in my sig if you need them.
 

·
My G/F has a sonoma...
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I haven't checked all the grounds for two reasons. 1, I hate electrical work. 2, I don't know anything about s-10's...lol...thanks for the info though.
 

·
My G/F has a sonoma...
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
New problem...today when my g/f was leaving work, it wouldn't start. She said it would crank over but wouldn't start. After a while, it did turn over and she drove home. I asked her to turn the key on and listen for the fuel pump, and she said she could hear it and it was just as loud as before. She then cranked it about 4 times and nothing. Then about 3 more times and nothing. Then it started. Think the fuel pump is going bad?
 

·
Compliance!
Joined
·
5,151 Posts
only way to really tell is check your fuel pressure as the check valve under the hood and listen for it when you turn the key, i agree with pheonix it sounds more like a grounding issue, just check your grounds and check your battery cables for corrosion, even underneath the sleeves where you cant see it, cuz it can make its way deep and do some weird shizz....
 

·
My G/F has a sonoma...
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
only way to really tell is check your fuel pressure as the check valve under the hood and listen for it when you turn the key, i agree with pheonix it sounds more like a grounding issue, just check your grounds and check your battery cables for corrosion, even underneath the sleeves where you cant see it, cuz it can make its way deep and do some weird shizz....
I'm gonna look at the battery tomorrow. Where are the other grounds?
 

·
Electrical Mod
Joined
·
56,116 Posts
When you say she cranked it...was the engine actually turning over? Was the starter engaging and turnign the flywheel or no? Sorry, I just want a little more specifics to help narrow down the problem.
 

·
My G/F has a sonoma...
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, it has started fine the last three times we've started it. I took a look under the hood and noticed that the negative terminal on the battery is a bit corroded. I didn't have any tools with me to fix it, but I will be tuesday. I also noticed that from the negative terminal, there is a thick wire wrapped in insulation that goes down under the motor. Don't know what it is, but it looks like it's been to hell and back a time or two.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
sometimes too you may need to replace the BOLTS on the battery leads as they do have a tendency to corrode away over time and not make so good of a contact as well
 

·
My G/F has a sonoma...
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Drove it about 600 miles this past weekend without a single problem. Making me even more confused. I've got a buddy who is a bit of an S-10 guru, so I'm gonna let him look at it and see if he can figure out what's up.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top