?? about warning lights - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old March 8th, 2017, 22:01 Thread Starter
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Question ?? about warning lights

Ok, here's the story...I have a '92 Turbo with Gen3 motor, which I hadn't driven in about 2 months. Went out to crank it the other day - battery dead. Not a total surprise, so no big deal. Jump it off, cranks up fine, but I had these warning lights on - Check Engine (the one showing the engine, in the lower right corner), Battery (on the left), and the Oil light (shows an oil can in the lower left, with a line underneath it), along with the Coolant light (shows a radiator image). I did drive it around the block (about 4 miles) and it ran fine - seemingly no problems at all, other than the warning lights. I tried trickle-charging the battery, but my charger indicated that the battery was "bad". So, after checking the oil level (it was fine) and topping off the coolant reservoir, I put the charger on another battery I had (just to make sure it was charged), and swapped the batteries. The car cranked up fine, and the Check Engine and Coolant lights are gone, but my Battery and Oil Level light are still on. Would this indicate that my alternator and oil pump are going/have gone bad? Any insight or help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old March 8th, 2017, 22:58
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Gen3 engines never had an oil level sensor, nor did jdm gen2, only usdm gen2 engines had an oil level sensor so that explains why it is on. Read on how to disable the light here, you bridge the two terminals in the connector. But since you have a gen3 swap you won't have that connector by the oil pan so you'll have to go to the trunk to find the wires to connect. I suppose alternatively you could remove the oil level ecu, it's on the passenger side behind the rear speaker.

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As for the alternator light check your ECU-IG fuse in the engine bay fuse box, it should be a 7.5 amp fuse.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old March 9th, 2017, 06:15
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Originally Posted by tonys92t View Post
... I tried trickle-charging the battery, but my charger indicated that the battery was "bad"...

.. my Battery and Oil Level light are still on. Would this indicate that my alternator and oil pump are going/have gone bad?
If you find a battery dead for no good reason, it is most likely finished. Trying to recharge it won't help, and this may be what the charger is trying to tell you. Lead-acid batteries deteriorate while they are not fully charged, and if you didn't run the battery down on the spot, then it has been discharged for a while.

Don't know about the oil. However, this could explain why your battery is dead.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old March 9th, 2017, 07:58
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Battery light + low oil level light (assuming oil level isn't actually low) = alternator failure (or a wiring issue causing it to not charge). Something about how they are wired causes them to come on together.

Oil level has nothing to do with the oil pump.


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old March 9th, 2017, 13:33
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Battery light + low oil level light (assuming oil level isn't actually low) = alternator failure (or a wiring issue causing it to not charge). Something about how they are wired causes them to come on together.

Oil level has nothing to do with the oil pump.
On our JDM cars if the alternator stops charging we get engine bay/intercooler fan, cat converter temperature and battery lights coming on. This is due to low voltage in the system so they stop working properly.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old March 9th, 2017, 16:44
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I think that all of those lamps are intentionally wired to the charge lamp so that they will get tested every time you turn on the ignition. Other lamps that have an automatic test function are not included, such as CEL, oil pressure, doors, seatbelt, etc.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old March 10th, 2017, 17:14 Thread Starter
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Update: After talking with some folks at work and watching some Youtube videos, I went out and bought a cheap multi-meter to test my battery/alternator. With the car off, I was getting 12.63 volts - so far, so good. But with the car cranked, I was getting 11.34 volts. So based on what I've been told, along with those Youtube videos, I guess my alternator is dead/dying, right? And if so, how big a job is it to replace the alternator? Are there any additional tests I can run to make sure that I do indeed need a new alternator, and does a Gen3 use the same alternator as the USDM MR2 Turbo? Thanks for all the replies so far!
Tony

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old March 10th, 2017, 17:55
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Is this with the car just cranking, not running? If so, the alternator isn't doing anything at that point anyways and the drop in voltage can be attributed to the fact that the battery now has a huge load across it (the starter).
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old March 10th, 2017, 18:47
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Yea, 11.34 volts... that should be higher. That's assuming the car is running at that point. I'm surprised your battery still has 12.63 volts. I've found the easiest way to pull the alternator is to pull drop down the crossmember, without doing that you'll either have to pull the axle (done that before) or pull it out from the front of the engine. To do that it comes out toward the passenger side strut tower and if you have cruise control you'll have to get that out of the way. I've never done it this way.

To do the CM drop you'll undo the four large bolts holding in the CM, the three on the rear motor mount and then also the two on top of the sway bar brackets. You don't need to remove the four CM bolts, just loosen then until they're a few threads from coming out. That'll give you enough room to pull the alternator and move the sway bar out of the way. The alternator has a locking bolt and a tension bolt on the front that's covered in the BGB.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old March 10th, 2017, 19:18 Thread Starter
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Is this with the car just cranking, not running? If so, the alternator isn't doing anything at that point anyways and the drop in voltage can be attributed to the fact that the battery now has a huge load across it (the starter).
Sorry, I should have been clearer - that's 11.34 volts with the car running.
So, a 100 amp alternator (I have p/s) for a Mk2 MR2 should do the trick, right? Thanks!
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old March 11th, 2017, 16:39
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I figured so. Yeah the 100A alt is the gen 2 one, gen 3 is 90A. It's overall a pretty straight forward job, you might find you need to lower the crossmember a little bit to sneak the alt out between it and the body but it is doable.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old March 20th, 2017, 17:37 Thread Starter
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Ok, before I go to the trouble of taking the alternator out (sounds pretty complicated to me - I'm pretty mechanically challenged! :-) ), are there any other diagnostic tests I can run to make sure it actually is the alternator, and not something else (voltage regulator, fuse somewhere, etc.)? Thanks again for any input!
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old March 20th, 2017, 17:46
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The voltage regulator and rectifier are contained within the alternator. Replacement of the alternator is not straight forward so best to make sure its failed before pulling. Ground wires and connection problems with battery terminals are common fail points. Main ground wire from top of trans to chassis causes the most issues so worth pulling off and checking connection.

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