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charge, brake fluid, and stop dash lamps turned on?


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10 replies to this topic

#1 Marck

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Posted 22 September 2003 - 05:53 PM

What does it mean when the charge, brake fluid, and stop dash lamps turn on? I was driving down the highway this morning when it was still dark and then those dash lights turned on. When I got to school, I checked the brake fluid and it was between the low and the full mark. When I left school in the afternoon, I noticed the those same lights on the dash were still on. They weren't bright, but I can tell they were lit when I was driving under a bridge or in shady areas. I stopped at a gas station and bought some dot 3 brake fluid and poured it in until I hit the full mark. Then I left for home and noticed the dash lamps were still on. A little later I noticed my voltmeter was reading higher than it normally does. When I let the rpms drop the voltage drops back down to a normal level. So do I have a brake problem, or electrical or what? It has to happen on the first day of school too. Thats my luck. I need to get this figured out before tomorrow.

#2 bushbasher

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Posted 22 September 2003 - 05:56 PM

when a voltage regulator goes bad it can make sensors read differently etc, that could be the problem. Is it really higher (like 15+volts) than normal or just a bit?

#3 MilesFox

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Posted 22 September 2003 - 06:21 PM

the float on the cap may be stuck, or the plug might be loose enough to break the circuit......its like the float in the back of the toilet how it works, but with wires.................

#4 MilesFox

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Posted 22 September 2003 - 06:43 PM

oops, i thought the thread said "Changed brake fluid"

if it is brake fluid related, maybe the ambience of the brake fluid light is lighting up the rest.

take your ride to auto zone and get a free charging test, of find a volt meter, the alt should be putting out a good 14 volts, 13 is too low, 15 is too much. that will single out voltage regulators

test your voltage at above idle

if autozone finds its a bad voltage regulator and tries to sell you one, just say "Thank You, i'll go get a junkyard alt off any 83-84 soob(excluding legacy, impreza).

cheaper that way.

#5 Marck

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Posted 22 September 2003 - 07:04 PM

I went to NAPA and I had them test it. They said it is good.

What I notice is that the voltage according to the voltmeter in the dash looks normal until I hit 4000 rpms. When I get to about 4000 rpms and higher, the voltage is close to the 18 volt mark but not on it (like .5cm away). I don't think it goes any higher than that when I increase the rpms to more than 4000. Should I be worried?

I think the charge, brake fluid, and stop light are still on. Its hard to tell if the lights are on in the day. I will check them again when it gets dark.

Is it possible that the brake fluid light comes on when the brake pads need to be replaced. I know that my front brake pads are ready to be changed. Also the brake fluid looks dirty and may need to be changed.

What does the float look like? Is it that thing that is attached to the bottom of the cap?

My car is an 1987 EA82T Coupe.

#6 Hondasucks

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Posted 22 September 2003 - 09:39 PM

It's an alternator issue, I think it is an open field winding that will make those lights come on? Somethign like that, anyway, swap your alternator out and it should be fine. I had teh same thing happen to my 84 wagon, and my 77, and it turned out that the alternator had a problem with it.

#7 Marck

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Posted 22 September 2003 - 11:15 PM

How do I convince NAPA that the alternator is bad? I have a lifetime warranty on this alternator from NAPA. They tested the charging system and it tested good, so the guy won't give me another alternator. He said that if I think there is something wrong then I should have a diagnosis done at a shop....ya right! Anyway, he wants good proof that the alternator is bad before he hands me another one.

Now that I think of it...I bet that lifetime warranty on the alterantor is good at any NAPA store. I can pull my alternator out of my car and take it to another NAPA store where they don't know me and I bet they will just hand me another one without questions. I think I will try that...;)

#8 Hondasucks

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 12:51 AM

On mine, one of the diodes was bad. Running it in-car would show nothing, unless you checked the AC voltage coming off of it or used an oscilloscope.. Quite obvious with an O'Scope, cuz teh pattern instead of being this ^^^^^^^^ will be ^^^_^^^_^^^ basically. Have them check it with a scope, or put an AC voltmeter on it, it should not read more than 1 volt AC, anything more you have diode issues.

#9 Setright

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 10:31 AM

I second the motion: For sure it is the alternator.

Even newer Subes are wired like this and produce the same sort of symptoms.

Mine died in a frenzy of burned diodes (at 170k miles) which made a distinct STINK! Funnily, when all the diodes burn the lights don't come on....

The new one I got turned out to be the wrong model and guess what? Those same three lights would be dimmer than the others with the key set to "On" but with the engine off. SO, when those three lights play up, the alternator is definitely to blame.

I see that you might have trouble convincing NAPA of this, but I think your try-another-shop idea is going to work.


(There is no light to indicate worn pads.)

#10 struculeus

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 10:42 AM

I just dealt with the exact same issue with my Sub about 3 weeks ago. Same 3 lights came on, the whole shabang.
It's the alternator. The alternator reads like it's charging, but it has a bad internal VR. When you change the alternator, your problems will disapear like Jimmy Hoffa.
If they're giving you problems about returning the alternator, talk to the manager (the customer is always right) and explain the situation. Don't talk to a counter person! I don't think most bench testers pick up the problem, because I dealt with the same issue.
Anyway, good luck!
J

#11 Marck

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Posted 26 September 2003 - 04:37 PM

Well, you guys were right. Replaced the alternator and everything is back to normal :headbang: . It took a while to get the alternator because NAPA ordered the wrong one :madder:. Thanks for all the help!




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