Foul Weather Mystery

Kneale Brownson knotnook at
Mon Nov 18 19:54:41 EST 2002

Alternator.  When it gets soaked it doesn't put out all the power it
should.  Especially if it's already compromised by old age.

At 04:53 PM 11/18/2002 -0700, Peter Sebestyen wrote:
>I posed a "baffling problem" to the list on 10/16/02 regarding a "loss of
>power in foul weather".  The general consensus was to replace my plug wires
>and the problem should be resolved.  I replaced the wires as suggested
>however the problem is still there.  More than likely, I mis-stated the
>symptoms since it had been a while since the car exhibited the problem.
>I'll try to give a better description now.
>I'm driving a '91 200q20V Wagon, Hoppen Chip, K&N Filter, Bilstein's,
>otherwise stock.  The car is solid and strong until I hit heavy rain,
>standing water or sloppy, slushy conditions at which time the car develops a
>throaty, grumbly sound with accompanying vibration.  Sometimes it will start
>to screech and scream - LOUDLY.  When it happened this weekend, I put it in
>neutral and revved the motor - the screaming continued regardless of RPM's,
>however the throaty noise did follow the RPM's.  It's difficult to say if
>there is an associated power loss because the noise is so disturbing that I
>slow down and try get off the road.  On Friday, the screaming was VERY LOUD!
>But by the time I got off the road, it had stopped.  Within a few miles, the
>road turned from wet slop to dry pavement and the symptoms vanished.  In
>Colorado, sloppy and/or heavy rain conditions are usually short lived so I
>have just dealt with it over the past couple of years.  Now I want it fixed!
>One more thing, it does NOT happen when the roads are snow covered - there
>has to be water.
>Background:  New belts last month, new plug wires last week.
>Ideas:  Exhaust?  Breaks (UFO's)?  Some sort of thermal condition inducing
>warping somewhere?
>Any help will be greatly appreciated!
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