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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Alternator going out???

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7 replies to this topic

#1 spideyz


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Posted 27 April 2008 - 09:23 PM

I've got a 1994 Legacy wagon, manual. Today, while driving around, the ABS, Battery idiot light and Brake light started coming on together. These lights came on together and would come on steady under hard accelleration or at freeway speeds. If I coasted down a hill in neutral, the lights would go out and sometimes stay off until I really hit the gas.

I tried tightening the alternator belt (which seemed nice and tight before I tightened it) and no change.

The car ran great all day, with no hesitation or roughness. Just the lights.

Two days ago, the battery was dead (I figured the dome light got left on or something, but now these lights come on) I jump started it then (from my 87 brat of course).

So, Alternator going out? Or maybe a gunked up elec. connection somewhere? What should I be looking at? Its my wife's car, so I'd hate to have it break down with the kids in it.

Thanks for any suggestions.


#2 nipper


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Posted 27 April 2008 - 10:19 PM

Yes, its the altenator.


#3 daehttub2000


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Posted 27 April 2008 - 10:31 PM

Nipper's correct as usual. It's the alternator.

If the battery's 4 to 5 years old, you'd might as well replace that as well. It might have given your old alternator the coup de grace. I killed my 95's original alternator with a tapped out old battery:dead: .

#4 gbrand


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Posted 27 April 2008 - 10:35 PM

yes, itsd the alt...and on mine(91 legacy) the alt will go out and kill the battery B4 the warning lights come on AT THE LAST MINUTE-replace it now...an easy swap

#5 Durania


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Posted 28 April 2008 - 12:28 AM

Its my wife's car, so I'd hate to have it break down with the kids in it.

Thanks for any suggestions.


This is your perfect reason for running down to the auto parts store and getting another one. They are usually cheaper than paying for the flat bed tow home. I can't stress replacing alternators to people enough.

#6 edrach


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Posted 28 April 2008 - 12:31 AM

Alternator is definitely bad. Also a good reason to invest in a AAA account to defray the cost of a tow home. I've had one for all of our cars and it's well worth it.

#7 sregor13


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Posted 28 April 2008 - 01:04 AM

In addition to checking the alternator and battery. Check all the wires that are on the Harness that plugs into the Alternator. When my wife was 6 Months pregnant our Legacy broke down. Corrosion on those wires had caused the car to outright die. It was about 10 Degrees outside and I had no tools. Thanks to her Makeup bag and a roll of black tape we got down the road.

Check all the ground connections for corrosion. Make sure the battery terminals are not corroded. Might be a good time to replace them. Seems like every Subaru I have has had a problem keeping a good connection resulting in the battery going dead.

Most Auto shops can test the alternator. I am not sure the test is all inclusive though. I have had alternators test good but once I put them back on the car the Voltage Regulator in them goes wacky. So if there is an intermittent problem with the internal Votage regulator, the test may not show it. Either that or the guys at my Auto Parts store don't know how to run the machine.

I bought a Black and Decker battery charger at Wal-Mart that does battery desulfation and Alternator test. B&D bought Vector which were the only cheap battery desulfators I could find. Between that feature and all of its diagnostic features it paid for itself in a matter of days. Good luck.

#8 Suzam


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Posted 28 April 2008 - 07:46 AM

... It was about 10 Degrees outside and I had no tools. Thanks to her Makeup bag and a roll of black tape we got down the road.

So...your wife's related to MacGyver?

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