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Old 07-07-2015, 02:20 PM   #1
vinny121
 
Drives: 2007 Yaris Sedan
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Red face Battery charge light on intemittant

battery light is on intermittantly

Hi, My Yaris with 133K miles has an intermittent issue with the battery warning light.
It seems to happen after a rainstorm and/or after a cold start. My battery keeps a steady charge but when the battery light is on, it affects engine performance slightly.
I notice the battery light mostly during idle. I have read posts of the voltage regulator and the corroded screw connections.

I searched through the car-parts.com website for used parts but did not find local results. Also I contacted Toyota and they want $620 for a new alternator and this doesn't include labor to install. My local repair shop says that it costs $384 for part and labor to install an aftermarket alternator and they won't take apart the original one.

I went through a similar behavior when the rear abs sensors had to be cleaned and never had an issue after I used electronic sensor cleaner spray on them. There is no way to fix this without taking the alternator off the yaris and taking it apart? I actually broke a ratchet socket attempting to take the top bolt off and was unsuccessful. Your help is appreciated. Thanks
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Old 07-07-2015, 02:26 PM   #2
WeeYari
 
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You are experiencing exactly what I had. Intermittent blinking when air was heavy with moisture, ie rain, high humidity. CTScott has a thread where he shows disassembling the alternator to clean the contacts.
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Old 07-07-2015, 03:33 PM   #3
valchrist90731
 
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Down in California we have a auto parts store that has a life time warranty on these alternator.

Price around 200$.

I installed it myself.
Alternator itself has two bolts.

But on my 2007 yaris sedan has an a.c. bracket it the way.
This bracket holds an a.c. pipe and need to be released from holding it down to th car with a actual hand wrench. It's a tight squeeze.
That is very easy to move once un bolted to get to the bottom bolt on the alternator.

If you don't have a long enough socket wrench.... use a straight socket extender with a extra socket to connect socket wrench with the socket extender. This extra length will help you tighten up that bottom bolt.

Be carful be easy with your hands don't be like the incredible hulk when tightening bolts. Metal will break with extra strength.

This was a very easy job to do.
Disclaimer if you mess up it not my fault.
Note disconnect the battery before working on the car.
And make sure you plug positive with positive terminal and negative with negative terminal. Never never never cross them.

Last edited by valchrist90731; 07-07-2015 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 07-07-2015, 08:20 PM   #4
2009Toyotoad
 
Drives: 2009 Yaris 3dr
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My 2 cents. before pulling the alternator for testing, lets check all the ground connections to make sure they are clean and tight.
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Old 07-07-2015, 09:27 PM   #5
CTScott
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinny121 View Post
battery light is on intermittantly

Hi, My Yaris with 133K miles has an intermittent issue with the battery warning light.
It seems to happen after a rainstorm and/or after a cold start. My battery keeps a steady charge but when the battery light is on, it affects engine performance slightly.
I notice the battery light mostly during idle. I have read posts of the voltage regulator and the corroded screw connections.

I searched through the car-parts.com website for used parts but did not find local results. Also I contacted Toyota and they want $620 for a new alternator and this doesn't include labor to install. My local repair shop says that it costs $384 for part and labor to install an aftermarket alternator and they won't take apart the original one.

I went through a similar behavior when the rear abs sensors had to be cleaned and never had an issue after I used electronic sensor cleaner spray on them. There is no way to fix this without taking the alternator off the yaris and taking it apart? I actually broke a ratchet socket attempting to take the top bolt off and was unsuccessful. Your help is appreciated. Thanks
The 07 alternator has a known issue with the voltage regulator corroding (which causes the flashing issue you are seeing). You can pick up a used one off ebay or from a junkyard for under $150. Just make sure that you get one off an 08 or newer.
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Old 07-07-2015, 10:48 PM   #6
valchrist90731
 
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I'd rather get an alternator with lifetime warranty.
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Old 07-08-2015, 06:16 AM   #7
CTScott
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valchrist90731 View Post
I'd rather get an alternator with lifetime warranty.
Except that most of the aftermarket ones do not have the circuit implemented properly for the alternator running signal to the cluster, so the battery light stays on dimly with the majority of them...
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:36 AM   #8
2009Toyotoad
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTScott View Post
Except that most of the aftermarket ones do not have the circuit implemented properly for the alternator running signal to the cluster, so the battery light stays on dimly with the majority of them...
Scott, do Remans suffer from this same problem?
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Old 07-08-2015, 02:03 PM   #9
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It depends on what the use for the voltage regulator module, as it contains the feedback circuit.
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Old 07-08-2015, 02:14 PM   #10
valchrist90731
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTScott View Post
Except that most of the aftermarket ones do not have the circuit implemented properly for the alternator running signal to the cluster, so the battery light stays on dimly with the majority of them...
That's true for you but not for the one i got at O'Reilly
But not sure if it will show the light when it breaks. Because it is not broken yet.The old one the car had never shown the battery light either and im pretty sure it was original.

Shows the light only when the car has not been turned over in the on position.
Once the car is turned on running the light goes away just like the other alternator.

Part number i think it is 15722.

They need the core or you'll pay 269$.

I know some of you think alternators with lifetime warranty aren't all that great but at least i only have to pay 200$ once. Also i put it in myself so i save money there. Come on people it only has two main bolts to install this alternator.

The alternator i got at O'Reilly is for my 2007 yaris sedan version not sure what years and what other models it fits.

Last edited by valchrist90731; 07-08-2015 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 07-08-2015, 02:23 PM   #11
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I had to install a reman'd one on my Echo after the male part corroded so bad it snapped off.

It cost just under $200 and it triggers no light. I bought it at Parts Source and I believe it make by Champion but don't quote me on that.
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Old 07-08-2015, 05:59 PM   #12
CTScott
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valchrist90731 View Post
That's true for you but not for the one i got at O'Reilly
But not sure if it will show the light when it breaks. Because it is not broken yet.The old one the car had never shown the battery light either and im pretty sure it was original.

Shows the light only when the car has not been turned over in the on position.
Once the car is turned on running the light goes away just like the other alternator.

Part number i think it is 15722.

They need the core or you'll pay 269$.

I know some of you think alternators with lifetime warranty aren't all that great but at least i only have to pay 200$ once. Also i put it in myself so i save money there. Come on people it only has two main bolts to install this alternator.

The alternator i got at O'Reilly is for my 2007 yaris sedan version not sure what years and what other models it fits.
That's good to know that the O'Reilly ones are fine. There are many threads on here where people bought ones from various other auto parts stores and they did not function correctly.
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Old 07-08-2015, 06:21 PM   #13
nortonfb
 
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I have a used one from a late model wreck. I don't remember the year.
I bought it a year ago from a salvage yard when I thought I needed it.
Contact me if interested.
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:23 PM   #14
beaker
 
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A couple of years ago, I was adjusting the tension on my fan belt, and actually broke the head off the top bolt on my alternator. I took the alternator off, and tried to drill the broken bolt out, but didn't have the proper tools, and ended up really screwing up the top bolt hole. It was a Sunday, late afternoon, had to go to work the next morning, so with much reservation, went to the only parts store open close to me (Autozone) and bought a reman alternator. It has worked fine ever since. I'm no fan of the discount parts stores, as most of their parts ARE inferior. I must have gotten lucky with mine.

As for the OP, check your battery first, before going the alternator route. Bad or weak batteries will cause all kinds of weird electrical stuff to go on. Load testing isn't always sufficient to determining a faulty battery, check the specific gravity of the acid, make sure there isn't to much variance between cells. A weak battery will also eat up alternators. Alternators are no designed to recharge dead or weak battery, just to maintain the charge they have.

An example of weird electrical stuff caused by a bad battery, my father's Dodge truck developed a slipping transmission. Took it to Chrysler, they condemned the trans, said it needed to be replaced. $4000.00. Took it to a good friend who is a Chrysler guru, he checked the battery, it was weak. Replaced it, trans problem went away.

Last edited by beaker; 07-08-2015 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 07-08-2015, 10:03 PM   #15
nookandcrannycar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2009Toyotoad View Post
Scott, do Remans suffer from this same problem?
Not Scott, but I do have a remanufactured OEM alternator (per the mechanic and the service writer who called around to find it...this was in Minnesota) in my blue Yaris and I've never had ANY issue of any type with that alternator. It went in at 159,000 something miles so 141,000 + miles have elapsed since that installation.
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:14 PM   #16
vinny121
 
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Thanks for all your replies. FWIW, I have a digital voltmeter and the battery has been consistent at 12.6 volts with the engine off. And I also have a ODB software on my droid which read the voltage through bluetooth when the engine is on, at 13.8V. So I think the alternator is currently charging fine but I guess I need to check it when the battery warning light is on. Unfortunately since my first post, the battery warning light has not been on when it shouldn't be. So I guess I'll need to wait this out.
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Old 08-12-2015, 02:12 PM   #17
vinny121
 
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Hi all, I have good news. I did not have to replace the alternator. I took my battery charging cables off, cleaned the insides of them and the battery terminals with a wire brush then reattached the cables. The battery warning light has not turned on at all since that time. I thought this may help anyone with the same issue. It appears that the charging system is sensitive and the warning light is accurate. So I am glad that all is well. Thanks, Vinny
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:31 AM   #18
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Unless you've survived some good rainy days without the light coming back on I wouldn't be quick to proclaim it fixed.

When mine was first going it would stay off for months, only to be triggered by a good rain. I went almost 3 years with sporadic behavior before the light came on constantly.


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