About 2 months ago, I needed to test my engine cooling fan motor. Was using two lead test wires with alligator clips and stupidly connected the battery ends first and then the wind blew the other connection ends together creating a spark. That may or may not have anything to do with what has happened since then. About 3 days after that, I started to notice that my lights were dimming and ac fan motor was slowing when the engine was under load as in 1st or 2nd gear or going uphill. After about a week, the ALT/BAT light came on and I replaced my alternator. The problem with that was that getting the belt back on the new ALT nearly killed me and I got several pretty bad injuries and ended up having to get help to get it done. The old alternator tested bad so I figured my problem was solved. But ever since then, I am still getting the same problem - a voltage drop or loss of electrical power causing the lights to dim and the fan to slow - except this time is doesn’t happen under load - it happens while driving and just after I have come to a stop at a light or stop sign. I have had the battery and alternator tested several times and they always show up as being fine. I checked all the cables and connections and changed the positive battery cable bolt. I get no codes thrown. I cant just take the alternator out and change it because of what I went through with the last one - not to mention it tests OK so I can’t use the warranty as long as that is the case anyway. So I am left with this troubling, annoying problem and don’t know what the cause or solution is. I am guessing the list of options has to have the alternator, battery, connections, belt (though I have no sounds or evidence there is a problem with the belt - I suppose if the tensioner was damaged with the belt fiasco that it might cause such a problem). Anybody have any ideas or suggestions about what to do? It is the biggest problem at night because my headlights are affected.
2001 Cavalier 5-speed manual 2.2