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Hey guys...this problem started the day after the I4NE '06 meet (of course). I went to turn my car on and the battery light stayed on (it also dimly illuminated my brake dash light). I drove around for a few minutes, the car feels fine, and then i threw it in neutral and it went away. I drive around again today and make 3 stops (post office, best buy, and FedEx) and after I started my car from the last stop, it goes away again. And then I drive to work and its on again now. It doesn't feel like anything is wrong and my dashboard is pretty much illuminated at the normal light level (its a little dim but it was dusk so i couldn't completely tell). I'm thinking its my battery, as I just had my alternator changed a year ago or so. What else does everyone think?
 

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That means that your alternator is going poopie on you....its not completely gone...when that happened to me, it lasted about 3 months without it going poof!, but then it left me on the side of the road....get it replaced and it should fix the prob
 

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Couldn't it be the battery isn't charging right also? The battery is almost 3 years old now. But yeah man if its my alternator...thats f'ing blows :(
 

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tealturboser said:
maybe or you might jsut need to tighten the brakcet bolts or the belt.. check to see if its loose, if not get it tested and go from there
I think the belt is ok but im gonna check anyways...i'm gonna pull my terminals off and reseat them hopefully tonight after work.
 

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if were only your battery, then the e brake light wouldn't go on... I think. my car when it's in drive and im at a stop light, the battery light faintly glows, I think cause the alternator I put in there is crap.
 

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It's only dimly lit...not completely lit like if i pulled the e brake up. but still, arrrg this sucks.
 

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kid94_G20_92 said:
That means that your alternator is going poopie on you....its not completely gone...when that happened to me, it lasted about 3 months without it going poof!, but then it left me on the side of the road....get it replaced and it should fix the prob
You said in your original post that the alternator was changed a year ago? What is it a 'rebuilt' or just a used part swap? If it was just a used part that was swapped, then it would be just as old as your original one and it's time to go is now. As another member said, check the belt tension. Again, when you had the alternator replaced, did you get a new belt as well? Why not do a quick check. With the car off for a little while, measure the battery voltage. Should be around 12.5V. Then start the car (make sure all accessories are off) and measure it again. According to my 2001 FSM, the 'regulated voltage' of the alternator is 14.1-14.7V. I'm sure these numbers are the same for your '93. (While I'm at it, does the car start with ease?) If your not getting any voltage increase once the car is running, then sounds like the alternator is going again. OR, the belt is loose. Also, at night, when you come to a stop, do the lights go dim, and when you accelerate, the brighten up? This may be a crude way to diagnose the problem, but it works.
Then again, you say the battery is at least 3 yrs old. If it was the battery that was in the car when the last alternator went, chances are it could have been damaged back then, and you've just lucked out it lasted a until now. Lastly, have you also looked at your grounding as well? After all the car is a '93, so maybe you'd benefit by adding a grounding kit?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
slimlou said:
You said in your original post that the alternator was changed a year ago? What is it a 'rebuilt' or just a used part swap? If it was just a used part that was swapped, then it would be just as old as your original one and it's time to go is now. As another member said, check the belt tension. Again, when you had the alternator replaced, did you get a new belt as well? Why not do a quick check. With the car off for a little while, measure the battery voltage. Should be around 12.5V. Then start the car (make sure all accessories are off) and measure it again. According to my 2001 FSM, the 'regulated voltage' of the alternator is 14.1-14.7V. I'm sure these numbers are the same for your '93. (While I'm at it, does the car start with ease?) If your not getting any voltage increase once the car is running, then sounds like the alternator is going again. OR, the belt is loose. Also, at night, when you come to a stop, do the lights go dim, and when you accelerate, the brighten up? This may be a crude way to diagnose the problem, but it works.
Then again, you say the battery is at least 3 yrs old. If it was the battery that was in the car when the last alternator went, chances are it could have been damaged back then, and you've just lucked out it lasted a until now. Lastly, have you also looked at your grounding as well? After all the car is a '93, so maybe you'd benefit by adding a grounding kit?
So I just got in a little while ago and this is what i found out:

The belt tension seems fine...about the same as it is usually...it hasnt been making any noise or anything either. The one thing though is I am using a shorter belt to bypass my A/C system.
The alternator was bought from Midas about a year ago or so, and i believe it was a rebuild.
The lights are almost completely dim after having the car running for 5 minutes while i was looking at everything. When I hit the gas in park/neutral, the gauges do not get brighter. They are just consistently getting dimmer.
I dont have a voltmeter or anything to get accurate voltage readings. But, my radar detector was flipping on and off while it was running.
The battery was the same when I changed my last alternator. The old alternator actually seized, snapping the belt. Maybe it was luck. Who knows.
I bought the battery 3 years ago at Sears...I'm going to go back there tomorrow, see what they say when they test it out, maybe be lucky enough to get a replacement under their warranty since they are pretty good about that.

Edit: I have the grounding kit installed, except for the alternator ground wire...its a pain to get to and i havent taken the time to do it just yet. All the others are installed and all the battery terminals and ground points are clean.
 

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about the grounding wire, just go ahead and do it from the floor. you can reach up and grab it pretty easy if you have the car jacked up and you stick your hand between the downpipe and the ac compressor.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, I just gotta make the time to do that :)
 

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Volt meters are cheap. Without the engine running you should see 12-12.5 volts. With the engine running you should see 13.5 - 14 volts depending on the state of charge of the battery. If the voltage while running is correct, then most likely the alternator is fine. If the voltage at the battery is low with the engine off (after having charged it), then you need a new battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So i tested my battery today...battery is bad. But even after I change it, the battery light is still on. Seems like the alternator is bad too. When i pull the wire to the alternator, the light goes out, saying to me that the alternator is shot.

Could it be anything else though? Like a fuse or relay?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
hrmm ill go try that now...cause its not making any noise or anything and it seems tight enough but ill go try it now.

Did you just edit that post? I could of swore you had something about the belts in there. I had a DieHard Silver, 620 CCA. I just replaced it with a gold, 700 CCA.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The belt is fine...right amount of tension on it...
 

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Jay, I gotta multimeter from radio shack if ya wanna use it. Also, I need to head out to the junk yards in the morn if ya wanna scope out a beefier sentra alternator...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Why you using another name? Don't worry about it though, i picked up a new bosch/mitsubishi alternator, belt, and threw in the A/C compressor i had waiting to go in. Works great now.
 
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