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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

91 Chevy Lumina, Alternators for Breakfast
Q: Our 91 Chevy Lumina is eating alternators; we have replaced it 4 times. This time it went out in 3 weeks. How can I find a solution for this apparently fairly common problem? ....Philip

A: Here are some items you want to keep an eye out for when dealing with a reoccurring alternator failure problem. *Inspect the auto belt tensioner. A binding tensioner assembly will cause premature bearing failure. *Check the mounting brackets. The mounts that support the alternator cannot be bent or damaged. Misalignment of the mounts will put stress on the alternator case that can result in failure. *Inspect wiring and connectors. Look closely at the wires and connectors at the alternator. It is not uncommon in older vehicles (even happens in newer) for the terminals in the connector to loosen up and lose contact. The act of unplugging and plugging the connector will be enough to allow for contact for a short time. This also goes for the wiring itself. The wires can break inside the insulator (plastic covering) and not be seen. Moving the wire around briefly causes the connection to be made, only to be lost later. * Wiring to and battery condition. An alternator needs a good path for electricity to flow. If there is corrosion in the wiring the alternator will be overworked and overheat resulting in failure. A bad battery can kill an alternator too. The battery may be good enough to start the engine but bad enough to cause the alternator to overwork (overheat) and fail * The alternator. Are you getting a really good deal on the replacement alternator? Too good of a deal is not a deal at all when it comes to what is needed to correctly rebuild an alternator. Bolting on cheap rebuilt parts can cost much more than you realize.

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