Alternator? Short circuit?

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  #1  
Old 01-06-06, 04:03 AM
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Alternator? Short circuit?

Hi all,

Long time lurker, first time poster.

I have a 1980 liftback Toyota Corona with an electrical issue.

Problems started when car was left for 10 days while on holidays.

Battery was dead, after jump starting, the battery charged up nicely. But when the engine was stopped, key removed, the charge light remained on (it stays off when the engine runs), and the battery drained overnight.

I have been disconnecting the negative lead to be able to start the car each morning. The battery seemes to hold it's charge nicely when disconnected.

Further to this, if I disconnect the battery and reconnect it, the charge light stays off. I haven't tested whether the battery drains in this situation (I only noticed this tonight).
The alternator was replaced with a second hand unit by myself about a year ago. I accept that it could be the alternator, but why would the charge light remain on when the keys pulled from the ignition ?

Any ideas?

TM
 
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  #2  
Old 01-06-06, 05:30 AM
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not sure about 1980 model, some older cars used a seperate mechanical voltage regulator that may be bad. they worked like a pump or compressor pressure switch with contacts that could stick and close a connection from the battery to the alternator.
 
  #3  
Old 01-06-06, 01:57 PM
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Thanx for your reply,

Would this be something that I could free up myself, or would I need to replace it ?
In either case, where would I find it ?

TM
 
  #4  
Old 01-06-06, 02:11 PM
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Sounds like a worn ignition switch. Try working/wiggling the key alot as you turn the key off, to see if you can make the charge light go out.
 
  #5  
Old 01-06-06, 02:21 PM
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Thanx for the advice Lugnut, I will try that.

Can't see why the light is not on (when it was on after stopping the engine and pulling the key out) when the battery is reconnected in the morning.
It sort of sounds mechanical, whether that's a contact in the ignition or the switch/valve/device that flopshot mentioned.

TM
 
  #6  
Old 01-06-06, 03:41 PM
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The light remains on because the electrical contacts will pull closed when hot with current applied. When you disconnect the battery, the current breaks, the contacts cool off and close and remain closed until activated again. So what you describe in normal.
 
  #7  
Old 01-06-06, 07:56 PM
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good point lugnut
 
  #8  
Old 01-14-06, 02:47 PM
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Problem fixed

Thanx for all your help.
Light puff of graphite, a good working of the key and problem solved.
Appreciate it.

TM
 
  #9  
Old 01-14-06, 06:30 PM
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Good job! However the problem will reoccur. Plan on replacing the switch when convienent.
 
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