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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so my battery light came on and is flashing crazy like it's on crack. Anyone have this problem before? What's it mean? It's not a solid light, but it flashes like crazy. Not even a steady, pulsating flash, but a wacky crazy flashing. The kind that causes seizures.

Is this bad, worse then a solid light?

Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
haha, that's funny, but it's to crazy to decipher. Although, It my be saying "SOS" to me.

So, far I'm guessing my alternator could be dying, loose connection to it, or maybe the tension on the belt is loose and it's slipping? Any other ideas of what I can check. Could the battery voltage level be just at the point of setting off the light but it keeps spiking up and down?

Has anyone had this before?
 

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hook up a voltmeter to the battery you want 13-14.2 @ idle. carl
Yes, and take the reading from the posts 1st, not the cables. If less than above, then check at the cables.
 

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if its flickery, check the battery, alternator and belts, the flickering is caused by low supply current .

So either the battery is on its way out and doesn't help regulate the charge from the alternator, the alternator isn't working and maintaining enough charge, or the belt is slipping and not turning the alternator enough.

as well as loose connections to the battery/altenator etc like others said
 

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data log the current (amperage) and draw and voltage, when it happens, if you only have access to a min/max meter make sure to reset the min/max after you start the car and as close to the problem as feasible. Voltage should be around 13.5v at idle, less than that its a battery or alternator issue.

If it dips down really far when the light flickers, there is a supply problem, as said earlier the light flickers not flashes if its a current supply problem.

check for voltage drops across the major interconnects (nothing more than 0.5v for a heavy duty circuit, 0.1v for a light duty), which indicate loose or under rated connections.

check that the alternator is giving at least 90% of its rated output at 2000RPM+

to find out if its a loose connector, try this.

Get A DVM/DMM that can data log or record MAX voltage, set it to DC, then connect the DMM RED + lead to the battery RED +VE terminal, then connect the DMM BLACK - VCC lead to the B+ on the starter, set the DVM to record, crank the engine, look at the MAX value, thats the total voltage drop for the + side of the system, now switch the DVM BLACK - lead to the BATTERY - terrminal, and the DVM RED + lead to the engine block, reset the MAX reading on the meter, start record and crank again, you might want to try other grounded areas that are futher away from the battery and repeat the second test to get a few readings., see how much of a voltage drop you get, that should indicate any loose connections or poor grounds.
 

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data log the current (amperage) and draw and voltage, when it happens, if you only have access to a min/max meter make sure to reset the min/max after you start the car and as close to the problem as feasible. Voltage should be around 13.5v at idle, less than that its a battery or alternator issue.

If it dips down really far when the light flickers, there is a supply problem, as said earlier the light flickers not flashes if its a current supply problem.

check for voltage drops across the major interconnects (nothing more than 0.5v for a heavy duty circuit, 0.1v for a light duty), which indicate loose or under rated connections.

check that the alternator is giving at least 90% of its rated output at 2000RPM+

to find out if its a loose connector, try this.

Get A DVM/DMM that can data log or record MAX voltage, set it to DC, then connect the DMM RED + lead to the battery RED +VE terminal, then connect the DMM BLACK - VCC lead to the B+ on the starter, set the DVM to record, crank the engine, look at the MAX value, thats the total voltage drop for the + side of the system, now switch the DVM BLACK - lead to the BATTERY - terrminal, and the DVM RED + lead to the engine block, reset the MAX reading on the meter, start record and crank again, you might want to try other grounded areas that are futher away from the battery and repeat the second test to get a few readings., see how much of a voltage drop you get, that should indicate any loose connections or poor grounds.
+1

If you can't get a datalogging DVM, maybe you can borrow a datalogging OBD-II scanner... many have min/max displays as well... you can log the system voltage and see what the range is
 

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iIf you use the OBD II to pick up voltage, only log one PID at a time since it'll slow down acquistion, if the voltage drop is really fast < 500ms, the OBD II might miss it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
cool, thanks for all the help. after pulling the alternator and having it checked, I put it back in and the blinking seems gone for now. Go figure! I guess there must have been a loose connection there or on the battery terminals. All the voltage levels seemed fine. Guess I'll see if it comes back, but for now, all good.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok, my problems are back.

After putting the car back together and having no problems for a little while, they are back. Went for a 15 mile drive and the car died, tried to re-start, and all I got was clicks, as if the battery was dead. After 40 mins, the tow truck came, and I was able to start the car right up.

The next day, I went out on wed night, didn't get 500 feet before my abs and air bag lights came on... then as I sat there idling I noticed my start button flickering. I turned around and as I pulled up to the drive way the car shut off. So.. is it just a bad battery? Or could the alt no be charging it? Or some other gremlins... do we have a voltage regulator?? what else? Battery and Alt looked fine before though.

Guess it's time to try a new battery, although the battery light was not on. That to me would indicate that the alt is working. Right?
 

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Ok, my problems are back.

After putting the car back together and having no problems for a little while, they are back. Went for a 15 mile drive and the car died, tried to re-start, and all I got was clicks, as if the battery was dead. After 40 mins, the tow truck came, and I was able to start the car right up.

The next day, I went out on wed night, didn't get 500 feet before my abs and air bag lights came on... then as I sat there idling I noticed my start button flickering. I turned around and as I pulled up to the drive way the car shut off. So.. is it just a bad battery? Or could the alt no be charging it? Or some other gremlins... do we have a voltage regulator?? what else? Battery and Alt looked fine before though.

Guess it's time to try a new battery, although the battery light was not on. That to me would indicate that the alt is working. Right?
Actually it sounds more like the alternator or voltage regulator. If the battery starts the car, but isn't being charged, it's probably not the battery. Take voltage readings at both the battery and either the fuse box or starter relay with the car both off, and running... report back...
 
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