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10:39 AM on 01/05/13 
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RyanPm40
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Male - 21 Years Old
So, last night, I was driving home in my 1993.5 G20 (automatic). For the first maybe five minutes, I noticed my dash lights and head lights seemed a bit dim, but whatever. However, gradually, my dash lights, head lights, and RPMs ended up just flashing/revving up and down. By the time I got to the intersection before my house, my engine sounded like it was just jerking, and it looked like I was flashing my lights. All lights in my car were doing the same, but dim. My ABS light came up at this point, too.

I think by the time I got to my drive way, my power steering seemed to be gone, too. I luckily was just able to park at home, and when I took the key out of the ignition, my lights in the car went back to their normal brightness running on the battery, but the car wouldn't start back up again, just stalled a few times.

My father noticed my car was dead this morning (I accidentally left a dome light on when I got home, trying to see how much brighter my lights were with the car just on battery) and jumped it (he said it took him a really long time) but he got it working and drove around with it a bit this morning and noticed nothing wrong.

Anyone hear of something like this happening? Even though my dad said it was working fine for him, it has me a bit nervous haha. He was able to take it to an oil change and a few stores, though.
10:54 AM on 01/05/13 
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RyanPm40
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Male - 21 Years Old
Sounds like you need a new battery, but if I were you, I would get a professional opinion and/or a new car.

I think the battery is relatively new (maybe a year old), I'm wondering if it's the alternator.. yeah, I'm probably gonna get autozone to check the alt, and maybe bring it to my mechanic after the weekend. Weird that my dad was able to get it running fine today, though. It does randomly have some electrical issues, but it's always ran great. Bought it for $2k 2 years ago with 89k miles, now only have 110k, and this is my first major issue with it.
11:19 AM on 01/05/13 
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RyanPm40
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Male - 21 Years Old
Why in the hell would you buy a 20 year old car?

It was only $2,000 dollars with only 89,000 miles with literally nothing wrong with it I've had zero issues in the 2-3 years I've owned it until this point. I only work at a supermarket, so, I mean, it's a pretty common purchase among most high schoolers haha

(and I totaled my '95 integra, and then my '01 civic, didn't have a ton of cash)

G20's have a Nissan engine that is considered to be one of the most reliable engines ever built, too, with many going into the 300k+ range in terms of mileage, so it was a very good deal at the time . The car was 17 when I bought it.
12:21 PM on 01/05/13 
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RyanPm40
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^ bahahaha

Going to autozone in the next hour or so to see if they can see any codes come up, but I'm not expecting anything. Usually older cars only have codes show up if they currently have a light on the dash from my experiences, and I think my ABS light went away.
02:22 PM on 01/05/13 
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RyanPm40
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I wouldn't go to a huge retailer if I were you... Go to an actual family owned type mechanic.

Oh, I know, it's only 'cause it's the weekend and most mechanics are closed. I just wanted them to run a code check on my alternator- I have a mechanic in Methuen, MA at a junkyard that can pull used parts mad cheap for me.

I just got back from AutoZone, and it turns out that I will need a new alternator. I guess my voltage regulator failed. The guy said my battery is completely fine but was at an 82% charge. Oh well, I'm just pleasantly surprised that the issue was able to be found so easily, I've had issues with my older cars where I'll bring it into a mechanic and they'll have no idea what is causing a problem haha. Good thing it's a relatively cheap fix in terms of labor, should only run me about $150 to replace.

EDIT

Huh, just read online that older cars have voltage regulators separate from the alternator, usually somewhere in the engine compartment, so if that's the case with my car, it could be swapped out literally in a matter of minutes. That'd definitely be sweet.

http://www.ehow.com/list_6063073_sym...regulator.html <-- literally every single symptom my car had, so this makes a lot of sense haha

Probably need an alternator, or have a loose wire somewhere. My 2003 Cavalier had an issue with the AC compressor not coming on whenever I would press the snowflake button to engage the cold air. Turned out to be a loose ground wire which was causing a short, I feared the worst!

Oh man, that's really lucky! I'm sure that saved you a bundle of money just being a loose wire xD
09:16 PM on 01/05/13 
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RyanPm40
Ryan
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I drive an 03 Infiniti g35, Nissan knows what they're doing. I was going to say you probably needed a new voltage regulator, but looks like you've already figured that out.

I've absolutely loved this car since I've bought it haha it is the oldest, cheapest one so far and has lasted me longer and has given me far less problems than my last two. Someone broke into it and knifed the seats at the dealer ship (knocked a few hundred off the price) so I put some uuugly ass seat covers in it, but as long as it drives reliably and comfortably, I'm happy!
11:25 AM on 01/06/13 
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RyanPm40
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Male - 21 Years Old
Always buy a used, reliable car that's at least decent on gas! That's my motto :P. I also make sure to have a sun roof and my ipod deck, but those are just my personal must-haves
12:02 PM on 01/06/13 
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RyanPm40
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Id buy used if it still had a manufacturer warranty. Glad to hear you found out what's wrong. I don't know about voltage regulators but I replaced a few alternators in my time. It's not impossible to do. I think american cars are a lot easier to repair because they were made to need repairing

Probably, especially the older ones. My Dad and his friends would spend all day parked outside of a parts shop like Autozone just fucking with their cars when they were kids, and now with all the electronics and stuff it's gotten a lot more complicated for the every-day person to do things like that haha

I'm not the biggest fan of American cars, just from personal experience. I really only like muscle cars and pick-up trucks when I think American, otherwise they seem to just crap out early. The newer cars seem to be really good, though.
08:35 PM on 01/07/13 
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RyanPm40
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Male - 21 Years Old
RyanPm40 I think Jesus just possessed your engine...you of all people should know that

Hahaha it did freak me out a bit at first, It definitely reminded me of something out of a corny haunting movie

I don't know why people are hating on this guy for buying a 20 year old car. I'll gladly drive a car for $83 a month ($2000/24 months he's had the car) without having to put any money in it... plus it might keep running beyond this... and he could probably sell the car as is for at least $1000

Haha seriously, I know a ton of people my age who have much shittier cars than mine. If I left it up on Craigslist for a bit, I could probably sell it for what I bought it for, honestly xD. Every mechanic I take it to tells me how great these cars are and how long they've seen them last.

And I just did the math, I've actually owned the car for a bit over 2 years and 4 months now, so.. not bad! I was lying in saying it hasn't had ANY issues, but most of it has been cheap, routine maintenance from an inspection. Haven't really had to take it in for acting weird or fucking up on me. Sometimes it likes to start in Neutral instead of Park, but my mechanic said it's nothing that will get worse or be a big deal, so I could care less haha.

As long as it gets me from point A to point B reasonably on gas, I'm happy. Wish it did a bit better than 22 mpg city, after owning a Civic, but hey, it's an ooold 4-cylinder haha.
06:21 AM on 01/08/13 
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RyanPm40
Ryan
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Male - 21 Years Old
That's not bad at all. I'm lucky to get 17 in my Jeep

Haha yeah, that's why I don't complain too much. I know it isn't bad, but after owning an acura and a honda, you get used to spectacular mileage xD. I think I got like 35 city and 40-something highway in my '01 civic. Was unbelievable haha



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