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Brake, Check Engine,and Headlights Came on on Dash

  #1  
Old 01-05-2018, 11:40 PM
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Default Brake, Check Engine,and Headlights Came on on Dash

My Camry is now parked indoors and headlights turned off (due to car theft and break ins in my neighborhood). I replaced my battery 2 months ago with a Toyota brand.

Today, it was drizzling. I began driving mid-day when I noticed the brake light, check engine light, and headlight lights on my dashboard suddenly came on. The car was otherwise driving okay. The lights disappeared when I stepped on the brake, then reappeared when I let go of the brake.

Not knowing if something was wrong, I pulled over to safety and shut off the engine. It would not restart for a couple of minutes, ie nothing happened - no clicking, when I turned the key. Finally, it started.

Everything seemed okay, and I ran an errand. After being parked (lights off), I started the car and after a few seconds, these three lights appeared, then disappeared. I decided to keep driving rather than pull over. Nothing else happened.

I drove the car for a couple more errands, and this did not recur.

I checked the battery charge: 12.44 Volts.

Thanks!
 
  #2  
Old 01-06-2018, 10:46 AM
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12.44 volts after the battery sitting for time is about a 50% charge.

Check battery voltage engine running at 2000 rpm. Should be approximately 13.7-14.7 volts.

Does the car have an alarm, remote start, anti-theft system, etc?

When trying to start the engine and nothing happened. Were the dash indicator lights on, and if so did they did they dim when you turned the key to start?

Check battery cables, connections, terminals, battery cable ground, etc.
 
  #3  
Old 01-06-2018, 11:53 AM
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Thanks.

No alarm, remote start, anti-theft.

When attempted to start, no dash lights came on. No starter sound. Turned key and it's like not doing anything when getting into the car.

Will check battery, etc, per your suggestion.

The 12.44 Voltage reading was after letting the car sit for about 5 minutes, which I presume means that the battery is not doing well. Maybe cold weather caused this newer battery to discharge?

Thanks
 
  #4  
Old 01-07-2018, 03:21 PM
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Update and correction:

No further stalling. It's actually the brake, headlights, and battery lights come on, NOT the check engine light.

At < 750 rpm, none of these lights comes on. Voltage is 11.97-12.50 Volts.

At > 750 rpm, these lights come on and the Voltage is 16.6-17.11 Volts.

Does that mean my alternator is going out?
 
  #5  
Old 01-07-2018, 07:19 PM
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Does the car have auto lights off or daytime running lights?

Why did you replace the battery with new?

All things being OK, unless a completely dead battery there should be at least dash indicator lights when turning the key to start.

If nothing is happening when turning the key. Then upon returning to the car the engine starts. Suspect an electrical cable/wire connection issue or a bad electrical ground.

Check the battery cables for corrosion, damage, etc. Plus the negative battery cable ground to chassis.

Check the wiring to the alternator. There is a electrical plug at the alternator, make sure its firmly plugged in. Plus a larger single wire that goes to the battery to charge it. If your poking around these wires disconnect the battery first as some can be powered engine off.

The battery charge light on means the alternator is not charging the battery. This could be the alternator or in this case bad wiring, connections, etc.

This wiring issue and low/high battery charging voltage might explain the headlight and brake light icons coming on. The actual headlights themselves are not coming on are they?

The battery voltage is too high above 750 rpm. Should be approx 14.1-15.1 at 2000 rpm and stay in that range even at higher RPM.

Normally would state the alternator is going bad. However given the issues with starting the car (nothing happens or engine starts) suspect a wiring issue as stated previously.

Note, bad connections, etc. can cause a good alternator to fail. Don't just install a new alternator without checking wiring, etc.

When checking voltage, wiring, etc. don't ever disconnect the battery or connections to alt when engine running or the alternator can be damaged.

If the car has a burnt out bulb sensor. A bad sensor can cause issues back feeding power into the electrical when the brake is on. However this doesn't seem to be the cause here.

If this is the original alternator. It is possible to replace the alternator brushes if this is the problem and perhaps the regulator.

The issue being if this is the original Toyota alternator its quality is far superior to most "rebuilt" replacements. Its worth rebuilding.
 
  #6  
Old 01-07-2018, 07:29 PM
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Thanks.

The problem starting was apparently a red herring. I have had no problems starting since the other day, and started the car about 10-15 times since then without any problems.

The only problem now is those three lights coming on when the rpm > 750.

All the battery cables are intact, as are the alternator cables and belt.

I changed the battery about 3 months ago, because the battery was 7 years old and would not charge properly.

The other day was the first time I had the problem with the dash lights (I never had this problem on any car I've ever owned).
 
  #7  
Old 01-07-2018, 10:16 PM
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No daytime running lights; lights are off when this happened.
 
  #8  
Old 01-08-2018, 11:55 AM
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The charge light should be off at engine idle.

A battery voltage of 16.6-17.11 is too high and will damage the new battery.

Perhaps a local auto parts store offers free testing of alternators.
 
  #9  
Old 01-08-2018, 11:59 AM
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Thanks

How can I test whether the battery is already damaged?

Also, where can I find a brush rebuild kit?

Thanks!
 

Last edited by 1989_Camry; 01-08-2018 at 02:48 PM.
  #10  
Old 01-08-2018, 07:03 PM
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http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/t...tor+brush,2424

The regulator may be the issue. Find out the make/model number of the alternator and search internet.

Check battery water level. High voltage will boil off the water. When engine running check for excess battery temperature.
 

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