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Old 03-15-2013, 10:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Alternator and Clutch Problem?

First my radio went out, my lights were getting dimmer and dimmer until they went out completely, everything on my cluster went out, but I was still able to drive my car for a short period of time until I was hitting the gas and it was hesitating BAD. I pulled up into a gas station, turned off the car, and the radio came back on, and all lights were shining bright. I tried to crank the car, would not start. Alternator problem or something worse?

I have been smelling a electric burning smell for at least 6 months now from outside of the car, couldn't smell it everyday, but when it rained I could easily smell it. Would a bad alternator give of a electric burning smell?

I know how to test for a bad alt, but it was dark and I am going to do that tomorrow, just wanted some input on this.

My clutch is also acting up. Around town it works fine (for now) but if i go on a trip lasting 20+minuets and i stay in 5th gear the whole time, when I press the clutch in, it goes to the floor. After driving around town it will start to stiffin up some more, I can barley change the gears. If i turn it off and leave it like that, it will still go to the floor in the morning. But after driving around town a little, it will be normal again. Any ideas?? Thanks!!
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Oh, I am also having a brake issue! I just replaced my back brakes and they are grinding metal already!?? I put new pads on a bad rotor and they went away quick, I then got those bad rotors turned (but it was under min specs) but still used them anyway and put new pads on, a month later and I have the same problem again!?? WTF!! Is there something wrong with my brake booster or caliper?? Would the rotor being under spec size effect it like that?? Thanks again
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default I'm not sure what you want from us....

other than to vent, as you've answered your own questions.

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Alternator and Clutch Problem?
(and add brakes to the heading too I guess) Yes!

You understand the warning signs (burning electrical's for six months, increasingly dimming lights, turning rotors below spec, brake grinding, and clutch issues) etc.

It's called maintenance (and a bit of neglect it appears). It's time for a reality check and to simply find a competent mechanic and fix the problems, no?

If you want specific guidance, at least break down any questions and provide the make, year and model, mileage, efforts / maintenance to date of what it is we are discussing so that we have something better to go on.
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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05 Reno 161k. I replaced the battery two years ago. Never the Alt.

My main question is would a bad alt give off a electric burning smell? If not, then I have another serious problem and I was seeing if anyone had some electric issues under their car before.

The clutch I have no idea. I don't know anything about a cluch, so I though If i described the symptoms of the clutch problem, someone might instantly know because they have had the same problem.

The last problem I just forgot about, how can a under spec rotor grind the disk brakes down so fast? It makes no sense. Wondering if anyone else has had similar issues, and it could end up being something more serious.
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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On your brake issue, I'd suspect the caliper having the piston frozen (or at least sticking) in it's bore causing the pad / rotor probs. Have you ever flushed and bled the brakes?

Your clutch...hydraulic or cable operated? If hydraulic (and I assume it is), what is the master cylinder level? Have you ever flushed and bled the clutch hydraulics?

Electrical issue...start with a free on-board test of the alt and it's regulator at the local Auto Parts place. And yes, if the alternator is "bad", you could be overloading/burning the existing wiring. You could simply have poor (corroded) electrical connections too!

Do you have a trusted shop that can evaluate your vehicle and provide you with estimates prior to work execution?
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max View Post
On your brake issue, I'd suspect the caliper having the piston frozen (or at least sticking) in it's bore causing the pad / rotor probs. Have you ever flushed and bled the brakes?

Your clutch...hydraulic or cable operated? If hydraulic (and I assume it is), what is the master cylinder level? Have you ever flushed and bled the clutch hydraulics?

Electrical issue...start with a free on-board test of the alt and it's regulator at the local Auto Parts place. And yes, if the alternator is "bad", you could be overloading/burning the existing wiring. You could simply have poor (corroded) electrical connections too!

Do you have a trusted shop that can evaluate your vehicle and provide you with estimates prior to work execution?
I have never flushed and bled my brakes, and I have never flushed and bled my clutch because I don't know how to. I do have a trusted shop, I also am going to school and they can fix it for free, but I only go there wend and thursday.

If i get the car running today, I'm going to work on those problems. Is it easy to take off the Alternator?
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Alternators are typically an easy removal. Not sure what tool assortment you have though. Belt re-tensioning is critical. Not too tight or too loose upon reassembly. New belts WILL stretch some after a short run-in period.

Disconnect the battery first and replace the accessory belts too, if old.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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So the alternator is good. At least that's what the test shows. I'm going to get that electric burning smell check out, maybe that is causing my problem.

Quick question. I am needing a valve cover for my 05 Reno but I'm not paying $400+ from the dealership. I can get one for $60 from a 06 but will it fit on my 05? No one has a valve cover for my 05. Thanks again.
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