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What Could This Problem Be? Help!


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I have a 1995 lexus sc400 with the infamous power steering pump leak. I was told that it leaks into the alternator and eventually burns it out. If this is true would the fluid leaking into the alternator cause the car to lose power at times, and make the lights dim and flicker as if the alternator is dying? i have brought my car to the dealer and they could not duplicate this problem. but when my radio is on the lights flicker and jump with the bass from the radio, and i also experience total losses of power when i am driving , but then the car wakes itself back up in 1-2 seconds. and there are times i am driving and hit the break and total power cuts of but restores when i take my foot off the brake. i am thinking this is a result of fluid leaking into the alternator. if anyone has any insight or knowledge about what i am explaining please post a reply or email me at bezee77@aol.com thanks in advance for the help cuz i have no idea whats going on and the dealer is no help!

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sounds like the alternator in its last stages of its life. when you step on the brake, you give less gas to your car, less gas means less energy for the alternator. you can hook up an alternator tester/battery tester to your battery, wire it to your dash and see what happens when your car begins to die. but i doubt you have to do that, i'm pretty sure it's the alternator.

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Well if this only happened witht the radio on then it would be diffrenet.

Is there an aftermarket radio installed?

or an aftermarket alarm system?

Maybe a wire is lose somewere or a bad connection.

Lexus should be able to know maybe try another dealer.

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i have the factory radio still in the car but i also hav two 5" tv screens, 1 10" subwoofer and amp. Also the factory amp has been replaced by an 800 watt 4ch. amp. I also have an aftermarket alarm system as well. also sometimes when i put the car in reverse the lights dim and the battery light will come on but when i put it back in park it stops. im stumped. maybe the radio equipment is drawing too much currant?

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With all the electronics you may have a short that is causing temporary blackouts. You may want to check the wiring and fix it soon before it damages the electronic sensors. I had a similar symptom long time ago in a ZX and I took it to different dealers in VA and NC, but a guy who owns a Z shop in Charlotte found the problem. Amazing how he found the problem in one hour when for months and many $$ no one came close to the fixing the problem. Electronics problems can be very simple or very difficult to troubleshoot.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sound like a problem I had. Thought it was the alternator but took to my mechanic and checked alt. to be ok. He did find that the cd changer was draining power from the battery when car was parked. My SC did weird things untill I unplugged the changer. Very similar to problems you are having. Ask your mechanic to see if anything is drawing power from battery when parked. Good Luck.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had that problem a few times, when I was driving my LS and all of a sudden the car shut down and the turned back on within a few seconds. I also remember I was reading the codes and I used the engine fuse to reset the ECU.

First look out for any wires or paper-clips sticking out of the diagnostic ports--engine and the drivers-side kicker panel. Then open up the engine fuse-box and look for the fuse marked "TEL"; Remove and check the line inside just to make sure it isn't broken or thin. Replacing it won't hurt either. Return it to the same port, and seat it firmly. Hopefully that should take care of the problem.

It is possible that the alternator has some PSF-residue on it, and it needs to burn-off. Let some time pass, and see if the problem takes care of itself.

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dmurphy Writes:

"I am having the same power loss problem with a 94 SC 400 and have also

been I have a leaky power steering pump. My dealer can't find the

problem either. You previous responses don't to address the problem. Have

you been able to find a solution? I'll let you know if I do. Email me

at dmurphy.cox.net."

DMurphy:

Please read "How To Use The Lexus Owners Club Forums, How do I post a message?" for instructions on how to use this forum. It is in the "For Visitors and New Users" Forum.

Thanks

UCF3

Moderator SC and LS Forums

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I had this problem... it's a grounding problem. If you hit the brakes, the brake lights go on and grounding problems happen. If you hit the turn signals, same thing, except it's pretty cool how the headlights dim as the turn signal lights up. My fix was to take off the negative battery terminal clamp and sand the inside of that along with the terminal itself. Then do it to the postive side and put the postive side back on then the negative.

It'll fix most of your problem (i.e. your car won't die out)

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Still runnin the stock battery? Change it. Now matter how good someone said it was.

- Re-check wire connections...clean them, as mentioned above.

- Brand names are no better than one another when it comes to battery drain. There are regulated and un-regulated power supplies, Mosfett, Digital and a few Hybrids. IE: Digital is best for subs, takes less to create more power. Unregulated is competition ONLY and should never be used in a daily driver type car: They suck your battery dry.

Regulated amps will clip or go into protection mode when they dont have enough power.

- Test Alt under idle and under a FULL load. Most shops / dealers will check the battery with the car off and then check it at idle to see if the Alt is bad. be sure to check it with EVERYTHING on.

Sounds to me like your battery will do what its made to do...at best

....And you want it to do a bit more.

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