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811 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I bought my first 1999 Esteem 1.6 back in 3003, my current 2002 Esteem 1.8 in early 2011, and it just feels really weird to be no longer driving one, and not to quote the old TRON movie, but - - - END OF LINE - - -

My 2002 hit 366,xxx and is just suddenly frying alternators, its gone through three in the past two weeks, I've done all the troubleshooting that I can and I couldn't really find any reason why they are all loosing their voltage regulators, it currently has a brand new one that ran in the driveway for about 30 minutes but I haven't driven it anywhere.

Someone even suggested I hook my oscilloscope up to the car to see what was going on, everything basically looked normal on the scope and then I turned the car off, and there on the screen is a high frequency triangle wave, since radios have oscillators in them I pulled the fuse on the radio and its still there, the key is even out of the ignition.

Has anyone ever heard of this before?

So anyway... I've had to borrow a friend's spare car for the last three days to get to work and with no clear path to fixing this I bought another car today, so my Esteem is for sale for the next 7 days, on June 16th it goes to the junk yard, I'm asking for $500 and it comes with the following (brand new) spare parts...

2 rear struts
Both front air bags
Water pump
2 front brake rotors.
Black/chrome grill.
Belt tensioner.
Upper and lower radiator hoses.
Front brake pads.
Steering tie rod ends for both sides.
2 transmission output seals.
2 front crankshaft seals.
Bottom motor mount.
2 oil filters.
3 air filters.
2 front strut mounting kits.
Set of snow chains in original plastic box.
Bottle of what is left of Asian red anti-freeze.
2 plastic storage "footlocker" bins for the above said parts.
Driver's side inner plastic fender.
Front plastic outer bumper, has been painted the factory silver but needs to be clear coated.
Front driver's side fender, has been painted and clear coated the factory silver but needs pin-striping to match the car.

The car has the following problems...

- Frying alternators.
- Cracked front bumper.
- Damaged driver's side fender and inner fender.
- Front driver's side tow hook was hit by a previous owner and bent the metal in that area around, not a structural problem really but none of the plastic in that area lines up right.
- High pressure power steering hose is starting to weep.
- A/C condenser fan comes on but doesn't spin the fan blade.
- Backlight on the radio no longer works.

I haven't done the math but with all the spare parts you are pretty much getting the car for free.

If anyone in the greater Portland Oregon area wants it please PM me, clean title, cash only, no "middle men", no trades, or payment plans.

Premium Member
1,308 Posts
Sorry to hear your getting rid of an old family member.
I was just wondering since frying alternators is not so easy to do, normally,
but after the second one, at least, I would have had a new battery to go along with the alternator, if not sooner.
It seems as if this major reason for alternator trouble was overlooked.

Just my 2c

Best of luck with the new car & selling the old one.




447 Posts
I would have had a new battery to go along with the alternator, if not sooner.
This thread appears to agree with you Donewrken;
This is useful too;

Jim/Gym, you will be missed, you provided many good ans. in the past.

I now there is a little hate going on with your car, those alternators are no simple matter to change.

811 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)

I had the battery tested it actually tested higher than its rating amp rating, the battery cables were checked, positive to ground shorts, battery ground to engine block, alternator housing to engine block, etc. there is really no reason why the alternator should be frying the regulator, blowing the diodes from load overload I could understand.


Yeah, its easily an hour just to get it out and that is if everything goes right, if you are having a bad day and have to multitask other things that you had to do it can turn into a three hour job, and then there is whether or not anyone in town has one in stock.

My long list of spare parts was the end result of things like having to borrow my roommate's spare car to get to work because no one in town had my brake pads in stock.


But then having this mystery high frequency triangle wave showing up, the growing list of problems that I posted about, the car having 366,xxx miles on it, and my boss expecting me to be at work everyday, the final answer was "I give up."

I had also been planning on getting a truck again, I have kind of gotten back into the place in my life where I needed one again, I was trying to wait a little longer but the car forced the issue.

I plan on sticking around to answer anyone's questions, I owned two Esteems for a total of 15 years and have had just about everything go wrong with one that can, but I have seen a lot of these in the junk yards lately so it seems like everyone is giving up on them and its not like they were totaled the bodies looked perfectly fine, so I think at some point at least the "Esteem" part of this forum will eventually go dead.

811 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Sorry, I know I said it would be for sale for seven days but I need to get things in motion to get this thing towed away so consider it gone now.
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