What would cause a whirring noise and slow signal

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  #1  
Old 07-09-06, 01:47 AM
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What would cause a whirring noise and slow signal

Hi. I posted last week re my '90 Corsica. It was making a whirring noise, and was stalling, I'd restart and it'd go 30 feet or so, and stall, etc.

Anyhow - I was thinking it was the alternator. However - the shop tested the alternator and said it was fine. They said the problem was the fuel pump, so they replaced that. I specifically mentioned to them that sometimes the turn signals seemed to get a tiny bit slower the longer they were on, and that I was wondering about the alternator, but they said no.... The alternator is fine.

The car didn't make the whirring noise at all for them.

The car no longer stalls. However, it still makes the whirring sound (but not constantly), and the signals still seem to get a bit slow. I got my brother to come listen to the car, and he lifted the hood and immediately said it sounded like the alternator to him. So he phoned down to the shop and said that he thought it was the alternator making the noise, but they said they had checked the alternator, and it was fine.

So now I don't know what to do. I am afraid to go out of town for fear the car will quit again.

What are your thoughts? How could the turn signals seem a little bit slower (not alot, but a bit) if the electrical system is fine? It just doesn't make sense to me.

If the problem is not the alternator, what else could cause the whirring noise and the slow signals?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks again.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-09-06, 07:19 AM
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For starters, if it makes the noise consistently I would get a second opinion from a different garage. Just have them listen to the noise. Do NOT tell them up front that you think it's the alternator. That will avoid them jumping that direction and provide for a more unbiased opinion. If you have the tools and ability you could try a little basic troubleshooting, too, by removing the belt so that the alternator is not turning. If it's a serpentine belt, it would also stop the other accessories from turning as well and tell you if it is an accessory noise or something else.
 
  #3  
Old 07-10-06, 09:45 PM
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Thanks for the reply. No, the noise isn't constant. More often than not.....but not constant.

Since the turn signals do get slower, is it possible that a belt could somehow be the cause of the whirring noise and the signals being slower?

Thanks again.
 
  #4  
Old 07-10-06, 10:01 PM
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heres another thought...

Could the whirring be your cooling fans and the turn signal is slow because the alternator cant quite handle the current draw.
 
  #5  
Old 07-11-06, 05:08 AM
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Good thought zzzz1486. Didn't think of that one!
 
  #6  
Old 07-11-06, 06:00 AM
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here is an unbiased opinion on the turn signals you need either a flasher or replace the bulbs. Some turn signals use the bulbs internal resistance for the time constant. Others have it set in the flasher. Turn signals don't even put a 1% load on the alternator, so even if the alternator was bad you turn signals wouldn't go slow.

So unless this thread is gets locked (to keep trouble from occuring) people will keep geussing at what would take a mechanic 10sec to figure out. The will know what it is right when you pull up.
 
  #7  
Old 07-11-06, 06:50 PM
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Exclamation

I think her main problem is that the vehicle was stalling and is now making strange sounds...slow flashing turn signals was just one of the things she was listing in an attempt to accurately and completely convey all of the possible symptoms to us. It may be a completely unrelated problem...or in fact could be a clue to what is wrong.

Unfortunately, we are trying to give advice on repairs/diagnostics over the internet...which obviously has its limitations and inherent problems. Another difficulty with this particular problem is that it is intermittent...which any mechanic knows is a tough nut to crack.

Speaking for myself, I'll never lock a thread just because 100 different opinions have been posted. That is the way this forum works. For whatever reason, people have decided to come to this forum for advice instead of taking their car to a mechanic. Some do this for financial reasons. Others do it as a second opinion (as in this particular poster). And finally, others do it because they want to DIY instead of having someone else do it.

Never rule out someone's opinion because in fact we are all "guessing" here since we are not able to personally and physically diagnose the problem ourselves. We all have been wrong before. We've all been around the block and have seen lots of strange things happen with vehicles. I'm sure we have all seen some strange electrical malfunctions due to a bad alternator.

By the way snuckers99, I want to make it clear that I am in no way attacking any part of your last comment. The other problem/limitation with this type of medium is that posts are often read "the wrong way" and I assure you there is no animosity here. I value your opinion as much as anyone else's, as I am sure we all do. I can tell from your posts that you know what you're talking about...and have probably worn a path in the concrete around the block.

In fact, I agree with you about being able to diagnose the problem more quickly in person. I was just pointing out why someone might choose to come here instead and how any guess (no matter how far out in left field) is a valid guess due to the fact we are not diagnosing the car in person.
 
  #8  
Old 07-12-06, 01:37 AM
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Just on my way to bed, but thought I should check the board first. Wow.....Thank you all so much for the replies. I really appreciate it.

I promise I will get back to you once it's figured out and let you know what the problem ended up being.

Thanks again!
 
  #9  
Old 07-24-06, 11:02 PM
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wirirng noise and turn signal

the turn signal is most like a flasher or the switch. as far as the whirirng noise..you aske dif its an alternator...have you been able to pinpoint the side of car its coming from.. by opening the hood and listening. when an alternator goe sor is starting to it normally doesnt make a sound.. but when it does... it would be more of a hum... the water pump will make a squelling noise... try to pin point theclosest you can to where the nois eis coming from ..mor ethen just under the hood. as in which side...
 
  #10  
Old 04-03-07, 07:56 AM
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Not that I am an admin or known on here but the slow turning turn signals that last longer and longer are a true sign of a flasher relay get one at autozone put it in if it is bad then that problem is fixed if not take it back and just say you didn't need it. From what you say though it sounds almost for sure like it is the flasher relay. If you know some one with a mechanic stethoscope I would carefully apply it to the body of the alternator and if it is coming from there you should know right away just be careful to keep clothes, jewlery etc away from the moving belt. The other option would be to take off the belts and feel each one of the pulleys seeing if you can feel them hang up generally if they are whinning you can feel it or take it to autozone when it is acting up they will test it for free and someone that knows what they are doing will be able to tell where that is coming from if they can actually see and hear it themselves.
 
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