Mechanics

MULTIPLE WARNING LIGHTS AND DEAD BATTERY

Toyota Camry

1991 Toyota Camry, 2.0 4 cyl, 214K miles.
The last few weeks, the following lights have been coming on and going off at random intervals when driving. BRAKE, CHARGE, LIGHTS. Car performing normally the entire time.

Today, they were on when making a 1 hour trip the entire time. Car was performing fine on way there but on way back (in middle of blizzard) the cars electrical system was dead. I had to pull over on highway as I could not maintain speed. Everything electrical was dead. Friend brought me out a new battery and car fired right up. Lights were off, but soon came back on. By the time I got home, electrical system was low (lights dim, wipers slow, dash clock out).

Any ideas what could cause this?
Avatar
Rpryor
February 24, 2007.



Check the alternator output and make sure the battery cables arent corroded, start there and get back to us

thanks
jim

Tiny
CHEVYII
Feb 24, 2007.
Bettery cables are clean. Alternator removed and taken in to auto store and tested fine (voltage regulator too)
Bettery voltage car off: 12.4
Battery voltage car on: 14.4

Disconnected negative terminal and jumped with light to see if short and light stayed off.

I looked for a short today but found none.
Thought everything fine and then lights came on again on last test drive. Brought home and when restarted, lights off.

I really have no idea what is going on.

Ideas?

Tiny
Rpryor
Feb 25, 2007.
What light is on still and were the codes checked at the stiore?

Tiny
CHEVYII
Feb 25, 2007.
Thanks for the help.

No codes checked, just brought in alternator.

Lights have not come back on since putting alternator back in. I cleaned the terminals real good prior to reinstalling.

The dash lights that come on were the same three: CHARGE, BRAKE, LIGHTS

I am thinking that there is an intermitant short somewhere, but don't have a clue as to where to start looking. I disconnected the emergency brake switch and checked that. No short there. As for the lights, I am thinking that I may have to wait until the dash lights come on again to find the short.

Any other ideas?

Tiny
Rpryor
Feb 25, 2007.
You may have to drive it for a while for the computer to relearn and see, let me know what the outcome is and if you need more help call on me or any of us, I usually jump on the posts first

thanks jim

oh and leave some feedback if you were happy with your help, we all donate our time here helping others free of charge

Tiny
CHEVYII
Feb 25, 2007.
Yesterday the same three warning lights kept coming on and going off on their own. When they come on, I notice a decrease in electrical power. For example, with lights, wipers, & radio on when I hit the turn signal, the wipers slow and the radio shuts off for a second and then turns back on.

I am thinking that this is an alternator problem that is intermitant and that when I took the alternator in to be tested it was in a " good" phase. I am going to replace it this weekend and hope that is the problem as I am out of other ideas.

Through my exploring I also found two small leaks in my radiator so good thing I found those before they turned to big ones!

Any other ideas/suggestions?

Tiny
Rpryor
Feb 28, 2007.
Only one, get a decent volt meter, if you dont have one they are very handy in checking electrical problems, if you have the money and you like worrking on cars get the dvom, it has an ohmmeter built in, they work on house current as well, I use mine eveywhere

thanks, jim

oh and if you are happy with the info please leave some feedback we all donate out time here helping people for free

Tiny
CHEVYII
Feb 28, 2007.
I own three of them! Got a high end one with a needle gauge, a high end digital and then a low end quick-check one. Also have a good test light. Car electronics are not the only thing I work on!

Feedback left last time. Thanks

Tiny
Rpryor
Feb 28, 2007.
You are a good man , tools like that make all of the differnce in the world, they are my best friend, take car and good luck, if you ever need anything give us a hollar

thanks jim

Tiny
CHEVYII
Feb 28, 2007.
I replaced the alternator yesterday and the car has thus far performed perfectly. No warning lights, battery at full charge, 15 volts when running.

Strange that a bad alternator brought on all 3 warning lights though. If it was just the " CHARGE" light, no problem.

Oh well, thanks for all the help!

Tiny
Rpryor
Mar 3, 2007.