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Author Topic: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?  (Read 922 times)

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Offline ChrisPrice

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Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« on: August 06, 2017, 11:23:51 PM »
I'm probably going to push for a software update that will add voltage back to the DIC. I seriously do not understand why our DIC lacks it. I've also reached out to WAMS to see if it can be re-added. If he does confirm it can be added with a software update, I'll probably be going the defect petition route with NHTSA.

If you are unclear why, here's the preliminiaries on my crash results: http://www.kappaperformance.com/forum/index.php/topic,11553.msg191314.html#msg191314

I'm now at the point of saying that no Kappa should be without a voltage meter. These cars do not detect alternator failures and you can spinout if the conditions are right.

Obviously the safest voltage meter is one run straight from the battery to the dash - that provides the most instant information.

Who has one? Anyone have a recommended gauge that works with the Sky's (or Solstice's) design well?

Offline 2kwk4u

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 05:45:27 AM »
Not to rain on your parade, but I don't think you'll get very far trying to get the NHTSA to take action.  We do have a "dummy light" for voltage, after all (it's the winking robot head in the cluster).  Most cars DON'T have anything more than that - especially cars in the early-mid 2000's.  [ Guests cannot view attachments ]

That said, I still love my DashDAQ.  Might not be easy to find one, though.


Offline ChrisPrice

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 07:19:23 AM »
Most cars do not have voltage meters. But RWD cars need them. I learned why, the hard way.

Also relevant: No GM RWD car since has not had a voltage meter. I think GM learned why too.

Frankly if the DIC can display the voltage, and a compelling case can be made (for a free software update), there's a good shot. Word I've heard so far is adding voltage to DIC of Delta/Kappa is pretty doable/trivial.

Frankly, I think the only reason that it didn't have the volt meter was that they copy-pasted the DIC programming from the HHR, which didn't need one. Get a voltage spike on the front wheels, and nothing bad happens.

Are my hopes up? No. But that could change. I'll tell you when the alternator hits the forensic lab.

Edit: And I got no heads up from the robot head, until the car was 180 degrees... Despite the car logging the spikes long before. I clearly remember because as I was slamming the brakes, and trying to get some control, I was asking the car to tell me something I don't know - it responded with door chimes.

Not the first car I've seen that logs terrible stuff before sounding the alarm way too late. My Chrysler 200 allowed insane numbers of cylinder misfires, all logged in to OBD2 - not a single light on the dash.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 07:32:02 AM by ChrisPrice »

Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 09:38:06 AM »
The voltage info *is* available in the data stream - my OBD gauge (UltraGauge) shows it - so, yes, should be easy to add in the DIC.  But I also have a cig-lighter plug-in voltage meter and it can often diverge quite a bit from the one on my UltraGauge :huh:

HOWEVER, I doubt that any voltage meter at all would save you from an instantaneous catastrophic failure of the alternator like you seemed to have.  Usually Alt's go out and stop charging at all - that you could see on the meter as low battery volts.  But it would just save you (maybe) from being stranded, not from a spike condition as you described.
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Offline Critterman

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2017, 11:25:28 AM »
My ancient dashhawk does the job well.
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Offline elff

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2017, 03:04:36 PM »
Just one more way GM is trying to kill all of it's customers.
 :lol:

I doubt you will be able to get GM to do anything, but like people pointed out, there are aftermarket solutions.

I do agree with you and had this very thing added to the Dash of my Buell Motorcycle.   They are notorious for the Stator going bad which can strand you somewhere not close to home if you stop.

Fortunately for me, I have a friend who is the equivalent of T.S.in the 2 world world.   

Offline 2kwk4u

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2017, 04:28:25 PM »
Just one more way GM is trying to kill all of it's customers.
 :lol:

   

Says he... from his Alfa Romeo glass house  :lol:

All the Giulia press cars lately seem to be plagued by gremlins  :banghead:

And yet I STILL can't help wanting one  :roll:

Offline elff

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2017, 05:27:45 PM »
Says he... from his Alfa Romeo glass house  :lol:

All the Giulia press cars lately seem to be plagued by gremlins  :banghead:

And yet I STILL can't help wanting one  :roll:

Yup, they are working out some software bugs. 
but....
None of the Alfa Gremlins have resulted in the creation of a Death Payout Shush fund.
:lol:

Offline Critterman

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2017, 06:17:58 PM »

, I have a friend


You have a friend?  How in the hell did everyone miss that bold face lie?
2006 Cool named BIXABEL (BISH-AH-BEL) Mayan for "Good Roads"

DDM
StageIII intercooled Supercharger, Wisco ceramic coated pistons, Carrillo rods, superTech valves and Springs
Ported and polished head
Exedy Stage II Clutch
big brake kit, slotted/drilled Rotors w/Porterfield pads & blue juice
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Underhood, trunk, & door Lights
ZOK suspension
Lambo Doors

JPM
Center console, door inserts, & dash
Seat bolster & lumbar support

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Norm's Rear facia
Heated Seats
Black Cat inserts

Offline ChrisPrice

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2017, 03:09:15 AM »
HOWEVER, I doubt that any voltage meter at all would save you from an instantaneous catastrophic failure of the alternator like you seemed to have.  Usually Alt's go out and stop charging at all - that you could see on the meter as low battery volts.  But it would just save you (maybe) from being stranded, not from a spike condition as you described.

One theory we have is that the alternator failed a lot earlier, like five minutes before the crash. The car cranked, and possibly the alternator then started to undervolt - basically leaving my battery to supply the difference. The spike is still likely since the ECU is confirmed dead - but it could be both. I certainly would have noticed only having 12V if there was a battery meter on the DIC, if that is what happened. The battery would have been drained either way due to the towing delays.

The car hadn't been driven in a couple of days, and if you add in all the overhead of an entire car's components... a voltage regulator not giving enough energy could have caused the same problem. Particularly since it was during a pedal down acceleration.

It's hard to say, to be honest, if it would have mattered - but not having it eliminated the ability to know.

Either way, I think it's ridiculous GM didn't put it on the DIC. That would have taken no real effort, and I am fairly certain other DIC's of this era had the voltage on them. Which means GM did it simply to reduce either minor amounts of effort, or pages of info to tab through... on a performance car.

One next step will be for me to dig through NHTSA records on this alternator - including on FWD cars that shared it - and see if there are other reported voltage regulator failures. That would give a better picture if this alternator is at risk for sudden failures more systematically (as we do own aging/decade-old cars at this point).
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 03:15:50 AM by ChrisPrice »

Offline Sol Asylum

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2017, 01:29:43 PM »
I'm not sure I understand, you say you have voltage spikes logged but the ECU is dead.  Is the BCU dead too?  I would have thought that if you had a bad supply voltage that took one component out that it would also take out the others.

With regard to TS's comment, you would have to be looking at the volt meter when the spike occurred assuming the spike was within the range the meter could display and even then the components would have already been damaged before you even realized what was going on.
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Offline ChrisPrice

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2017, 02:28:42 PM »
I'm not sure I understand, you say you have voltage spikes logged but the ECU is dead.  Is the BCU dead too?  I would have thought that if you had a bad supply voltage that took one component out that it would also take out the others.

With regard to TS's comment, you would have to be looking at the volt meter when the spike occurred assuming the spike was within the range the meter could display and even then the components would have already been damaged before you even realized what was going on.

BCM is fine, and Tech 2 is reporting all other components are fine. Only the ECU is not powering up or responding to status from a Tech 2. We've checked all wiring harnesses leading to the ECU. So a new ECU should be on its way this week.

(I'd have to go back but I presume the voltage logs are from the BCM - though it is working fine).

We have bypassed the alternator since confirmation of voltage irregularities - power is fine when the car is running on battery, and we've tested both the battery in the car and using an external battery.

As to the risk of further damage, I'm not going to allow that alternator to be used to boot the car with the new ECU. It is being pulled and tested separately. We'll know more after the new alternator and ECU finally (finally) get here.

Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2017, 02:37:00 PM »
With regard to TS's comment, you would have to be looking at the volt meter when the spike occurred assuming the spike was within the range the meter could display and even then the components would have already been damaged before you even realized what was going on.

Eggzacktly ^^
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Offline Sol Asylum

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2017, 03:39:46 PM »
My theory and it's just a theory.

The ECU draws a lot of current and it went south in a dramatic way.  As it was on its way out the power it was drawing was fluctuating.  The voltage regulator was doing it's job and increasing the power output of the alternator as the ECU would pulse on but when it would suddenly shut off the voltage regulator was trying to keep up but couldn't and that's why you were seeing spikes in the log.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 08:02:18 PM by Sol Asylum »
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Offline ChrisPrice

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2017, 04:40:46 PM »
My theory and it's just a theory.

The ECU draws a lot of current and it went south in a dramatic way.  As it was on its way out the power is was drawing was fluctuating.  The voltage regulator was doing it's job and increasing the power output of the alternator as the ECU would pulse on but when it would suddenly shut off the voltage regulator was trying to keep up but couldn't and that's why you were seeing spikes in the log.

Interesting. I didn't think the ECU could request/draw that much power.

Okay, that's now a third theory that I can't dismiss logically. I'm now taking a (metaphorical) chill pill until that alternator hits the test bed. New parts should be in by the end of the week, so next week hopefully I'll have some conclusions.

Thanks all.

Offline Kelu

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2017, 05:03:43 AM »

You have a friend?  How in the hell did everyone miss that bold face lie?
Good catch  :thumbs:
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Offline Sol Asylum

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2017, 11:02:18 AM »

You have a friend?  How in the hell did everyone miss that bold face lie?

He's so short we all over looked it.
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Offline ChrisPrice

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2017, 03:28:34 PM »
Interesting. Dealer worked over the ECU big time.

It turns out there's a major voltage regulator inside the ECU. That is what the dealer believes failed.

Now the bad news - part is going to take a week to get here, minimum. Only then can we boot the car and test the powertrain/alternator/etc.

Edit: And no, I didn't tell the dealer Sol Asylum's hypothesis.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 08:33:28 PM by ChrisPrice »

Offline Gentleman Jack

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2017, 06:37:28 PM »
A new ECM takes a week?
May the Schwartz be wit you

Offline ChrisPrice

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2017, 08:32:50 PM »
A new ECM takes a week?

I know. But I was quoted three weeks for a thermostat last month on my Chrysler 200 - even more shocking, it's shared with the Pacifica, Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Dart. Over a million cars share that part and it was on a three week backorder.

My guess is that it's in a Detroit warehouse and they have to climb multiple ladders to dust one off. :banghead:

I'm sure a couple days of it is shipping to California.

Offline Gentleman Jack

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2017, 02:29:05 AM »
I bought a shed that weights 2496 pounds and came on two pallets and it got here from somewhere in the middle of the country in 3 days... on a truck... with free shipping. 
You need a new dealership or better friends.  I'm guessing you could have asked on here and had both the thermostat for your Chrysler and the ECM for your Kappa within 3 days ;)

Anyway, guess at this point with all you've been dealing with since crashing, let the dealer do it right and get a running car back in your hands. 
May the Schwartz be wit you

Offline ChrisPrice

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2017, 02:33:09 AM »
I bought a shed that weights 2496 pounds and came on two pallets and it got here from somewhere in the middle of the country in 3 days... on a truck... with free shipping. 
You need a new dealership or better friends.  I'm guessing you could have asked on here and had both the thermostat for your Chrysler and the ECM for your Kappa within 3 days ;)

Anyway, guess at this point with all you've been dealing with since crashing, let the dealer do it right and get a running car back in your hands.

Factory OEM Parts still has a few from the Wilmington plant lines, destined for 2010 Kappas. I could have had one here today.

But your latter point was the one that rang through my head - let my genuine GM dealership order my genuine GM parts for my genuine GM car... so CNA will pay the repair bill (as they should).

Offline Sol Asylum

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2017, 03:33:58 PM »
You get the parts yet?
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Offline ChrisPrice

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2017, 01:41:28 AM »
You get the parts yet?

Got put in Friday. Didn't get clear status until today. Getting status on a GM car service in my town on Friday's is very difficult, particularly in our 108+ degree summers, since the dealers just get hammered with heat related breakdowns.

The dealer went out to do a road test (started just fine with the new ECU, apparently) - and the power steering lines had micro tears in it. Not clear if this was previous breakdown, and they just bled while sitting for eight months to where it became noticeable, or if the road debris ripped them in the spinout.

CNA, mercifully, decided to cover it, so I don't have to do the is-this-extended-warranty-or-insurance-claim headache. CNA has a one-deductible per servicing policy... so if you roll two (totally separate) mechanical breakdowns into one claim, you only pay one deductible.

But, maddeningly, now I have to wait a week for the power steering parts to come... yes, once again, from a mothballed corner of a Detroit warehouse. Picked out some new Goodyear Eagle Sports though for when it comes back.

Not calling it fixed though until it makes it through a road test and I see the logs from an alternator check. But the ECU voltage regulator is now the primary suspect.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 01:46:29 AM by ChrisPrice »

Offline ChrisPrice

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Re: Voltage Meters - You Need One, Who Has One?
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2017, 03:31:06 AM »
Fingers crossed, I'll have my car back next week.

Here's the voltage meter I chose. It's the only DC-in splitter that runs a cable, and includes a voltage meter that I could find: https://www.amazon.com/YAKER-3-Socket-Cigarette-Lighter-Splitter/dp/B01LMWN1KU/

This one is $10 more, same chipset/design but matches the Sky design language better: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XP5C3XY

So I can mount it to my dash, get always-on voltage status, and not lose my cigarette port. Plus I don't have to run any wires to the battery in my car.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 03:51:10 AM by ChrisPrice »

 

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