Alternator light

Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 3.3L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 209,000 MILES
So my wife was going on a trip and half way there the battery light lights up. She gets there after four days heads back stops at auto store they test battery say its 12.1 volts okay to drive! She starts van light is out she drives five minutes light comes on she almost makes it back it stalls at stoplight battery to low to start/run. Gets a jump light is out she drives a mile to house lets it idle for twenty minutes shuts it off. I get there start it light is out I take it for drive stop a few places light never comes back on. She gets in it next day starts it and light is on. She drives a few errands with it on gets back home shuts it off. Restarts it light is off. Shuts it off restarts it light is on. I bought van eight months ago have had no problems. Alternator does not look like its been replaced in a while looks like 135 amp model. I know the regulator is in the PTCM. I noticed when I was checking it out the battery light does not come on with 'key on' like all the other warning lights. Darn warning lights are hard to see tucked under the small flap on top of dash. Did not think to do a code read? Probably will not get back to it until weekend sometime.
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Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 AT 6:49 PM

20 Replies

Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
All indication are you have a charging system problem. You need to have it tested while the light is on.
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Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 AT 7:02 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Did test while light was out and it checked out fine 14.4 volts I may just replace alternator this weekend since I have extra one. Kind of weird it works and does not work depending on what? I do not know. The regulator being external adds the possible problem of wires/connections issues.
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Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 AT 7:14 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
It really does not do any good to test it when the light is not on. Intermittent problems are not unusual. Although the alternator is regulated by the PCM, it will normally set a code if there is an issue there.
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Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 AT 7:19 AM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Yes another thing to do read codes and I am not sure the check engine light is functioning bulb may be out! That stupid dash system is hard to see!
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Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 AT 8:56 AM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
They post other similar question I am reading them I know my van is similar to 1996 -2000 I think.
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Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 AT 9:05 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi guys. I posted an answer to the other question. Worn brushes are a real common cause of intermittent operation. The assembly costs around ten bucks, and on some models can be replaced without removing the alternator from the engine. You might not find this at an auto parts store. Starter/generator re-builders will have the assembly.
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+1
Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 AT 12:14 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Yah I thought of that wife sent it to garage so hope she likes the BILL!
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Monday, May 8th, 2017 AT 6:06 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Well it was just th alternator and by the symptoms likely just worn out brushes got hit with 300+ bill! I coulda did it for 40! So that wa lat friday THIS friday the BRAKES went OUT!
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Saturday, May 13th, 2017 AT 5:55 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The brakes are buddies with the charging system and wanted to show their support for the alternator!
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Saturday, May 13th, 2017 AT 10:33 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Rear steel lines rusted out. And thanks dodge for using unstandard FINE THREAD on 1 line and for the backwards mounted valve assembly combined almost guaranteeing a STRIPPED hole!
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Tuesday, May 16th, 2017 AT 7:52 AM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Yep quality engineering. Please let us know how it goes.
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Thursday, May 18th, 2017 AT 11:01 AM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
As temp fix I just capped the rear lines didnt even have to bleed the fronts!
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Sunday, June 4th, 2017 AT 8:34 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
That's not even a temporary fix. That's a rolling accident waiting to happen.
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Monday, June 5th, 2017 AT 5:16 AM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Actually the hidden rusty lines were also a rolling accident as you say as my wife experienced loss of braking power when they leaked! Think how many millions of drivers may be driving in the same condition!
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Monday, June 5th, 2017 AT 5:42 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Yes, and think of all the innocent people they may hurt because of their irresponsibility. That's why cars have bright red warning lights.
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Monday, June 5th, 2017 AT 5:48 AM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
What I meant was there are rusting lines that have NOT leaked yet and so no indication is on the dash until suddenly they unexpectedly leak and lose braking power! Even so I think its rare that this actually causes an accident! And when the lines are hidden from view I would say many inspections dont reveal any problems! But there is NO way to prvent this unless manufacturers use stainless brake lines! Could even be GOV mandated!
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Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 AT 7:01 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
This isn't a debate about how dangerous brake failures are. This is about the conscious decision to drive a vehicle on the highway knowing there are no rear brakes. That will land you in jail if anyone is hurt.
I don't intend to discuss this any further.
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Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 AT 7:45 AM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Yes well it was an economically driven decision cant fix back brakes until money and time is available. Cant go without use of vehicle until then. Not having back brakes poses no great risk except in some once in a million set of circumstances. The added stopping power of rear drum brakes is negligible. The fronts are incapable of locking the wheels under normal conditions.
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Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 AT 7:27 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Keep in mind almost all minivans have split-diagonal brake systems that put one front brake and the opposite rear brake on the same hydraulic circuit. I wasn't following this discussion, but if you have a leak in both rear brake lines, you won't have any brakes. That gets to be real hard on shoe soles when trying to stop like Fred Flintstone had to do!
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Thursday, June 15th, 2017 AT 10:55 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
And wouldnt cha know a grinding noise happens soon after! 1 inner pad has worn unevenly even though caliper guides move smoothly! And besides that the pads aint 6 months OLD! Sheesh another case of profit over quality!
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Sunday, June 18th, 2017 AT 8:51 PM

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