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Battery light... Generator??

 
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Old 16 Nov 2011, 09:21 pm
dgb dgb is offline
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Default Battery light... Generator??

The other day when my wife was driving our 2001 PT the battery light cam on. She got the car home and I took it out the next day and everything seemed fine. Today again I drove the car and everything was fine (well just the usual problems.) Then when my wife took it this evening the light came on again.. Now it seems that the battery light comes on only when the headlights are on. Is this something that a bad generator could cause? Also I noticed that the ground cable that goes from the right support column to the block is disconnected (does that matter much, I think it has been ever since the last time I worked on it) I will take it to an auto store tomorrow to have them check it, just thought I would ask for some ideas. I replace the head gasket about 4 months ago, is replacing this any more difficult or should that have prepared me for the job?

also the battery is only about 2.5 months old

thanks in advance for any help

PS. I replaced the alternator belt about 3k miles ago after it snapped, had to replace the battery at the same time.

Last edited by dgb; 16 Nov 2011 at 09:47 pm.
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Old 16 Nov 2011, 10:10 pm
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Default Re: Battery light... Generator??

The PT has an alternator, no generator, with a built-in regulator. Sounds to me like the alternator isn't keeping up the charge on your battery especially with the headlights on. Most auto stores with do a check of your charging system.
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Old 17 Nov 2011, 12:35 pm
dgb dgb is offline
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Default Re: Battery light... Generator??

just had it checked and they said the alternator and battery seem fine... I just drove it 30 miles with the battery light on and nothing happened... hopefully I make it back... what's the next step? there are still no codes coming out

thanks
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Old 17 Nov 2011, 12:45 pm
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Default Re: Battery light... Generator??

What I would do. IF you get home, take off both battery cables, clean both posts and cable ends. Keep the cables off for about 10 minutes. Step on the brake to get rid of any residual charge. Put it all back together and see what happens.
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Old 17 Nov 2011, 01:03 pm
dgb dgb is offline
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Default Re: Battery light... Generator??

thanks for the suggestion. I'll do that first thing when (if) I get back
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Old 17 Nov 2011, 05:09 pm
dgb dgb is offline
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Default Re: Battery light... Generator??

well, when I went out to the car, it didn't start. I tried to jump it and when we attached jumper cables to the jump points they were sparking like crazy and the car wouldn't start. We tried to put them right to the battery and she started right up, and I was able to get home. Although the car was really weak and slowly everything started dimming and at about the 20 mile mark I lost all instrument power. she chugged on the last half mile. this sparking is what is confusing me, I've always used the jump posts and have never had this happen. Maybe a ground cable?? where should I look, if anyone has an idea?

I have ordered an alternator in case that is the problem.
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Old 17 Nov 2011, 05:15 pm
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Default Re: Battery light... Generator??

Sparking like that should mean something grounded that shouldn't be and when you connect the positive from the good battery it sparks. There might be some wires crossed somewhere or grounded where they shouldn't be.

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Old 17 Nov 2011, 05:16 pm
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Default Re: Battery light... Generator??

sure souinds like the altenator
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Old 18 Nov 2011, 11:28 am
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Default Re: Battery light... Generator??

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruserdad1976 View Post
sure souinds like the altenator
DOes to me, too, but they tested it okay.... I'm betting on corroded wires to/from battery to alternator and ground. Inspect them and get replacements at auto stores that sell pre-made lengths - get at least as heavy as what's there - heavier is even better.
Your cables on tight? SHouldn't be able to wiggle them at all.
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Old 18 Nov 2011, 01:02 pm
dgb dgb is offline
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Default Re: Battery light... Generator??

well the new alternator won't be here till monday, I just got her into the garage, so I will have a look at the wiring... maybe there is something wrong there... despite driving so far, the battery still has a charge, the lights, radio and everything come on, but she won't turn over... anyway, I'll let you know if I get anywhere today.. If not, I'll start trying to remove the alternator...
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