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Battery Indicator Light


93ls400walt
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This just started. Battery indicator light stayes on for 5-6 seconds after start up the goes out. Now one day later the light stays on at idle and goes off once accelerating.

This is a 93ls400 with 122k miles. Yes the PS pump leaks.

Any thoughts? thanks, Walt

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This just started. Battery indicator light stayes on for 5-6 seconds after start up the goes out. Now one day later the light stays on at idle and goes off once accelerating.

This is a 93ls400 with 122k miles. Yes the PS pump leaks.

Any thoughts? thanks, Walt

Check the tension on your serpentine belt. Next, I would clean your battery terminals and make sure the connection is tight. If that's not the problem, check the voltage on your battery at rest/under load. Next I would check what your alt is putting out. If both of them are ok, I would test your cables. As to your p/s leak, check where it's leaking from. Could be that the leak misses your alt altogether. Nevertheless, I would get it fixed.

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You got the same as I had. The problem is a cheap fix. I'm 99% sure your problem is the PAS reservoir O ring, about $2 and an easy fix if you are quick. Next step is the alternator will pack up altogether. Remove the alt and take off the back cover etc and clean it up. Whilst it's off do the O ring on PAS and clean off all the mess. There's plenty of posts of how to do it but here's my version.

1. Disconnect the battery negative.

2. Remove serpentine belt by using a socket and rachet on the spring loaded tensioner pulley. Think it's 14mm and turning anti clockwise will slacken the belt enough to get it off. The tensioner pulley is the one on the opposite side to the battery and it has no grooves on it as it runs on the back of the belt. Whilst the belt is off check the idler pulley for worn bearings.

3. Remove the cover from under the engine. 10mm I think.

4. There is only one bolt and one nut to get the alternator off (14mm I think). One is undone from above and one from below. Once the nut and the bolt is out you can manouvre the alternator in order to pull out the wiring plug at the rear and then remove the main power wire from the side.

5. In order to get the pump out from below you will probably need to take out 2 small bolts from the corner of the sump that are holding a bracket containg two pipes. You'll also need to remove the bracket from the pipes by taking out 2 small screws. With these pipes out of the way you can just about lower the Alternator down through the gap.

The whole job will be about 45 minutes to an hour for a first attempt. If your alternator is very oily suspect your power steering pump leaking which is above the alternator. If you've needed top ups you are advised to sort out the leak at the same time as you do the alternator or your time and money will be in vain.

If you find the alternator is full of oil check there is no play in the PAS pump pulley. If if seems ok your problem is likely to be an easy fix to stop the leak. The reservoir which hols the PAS fluid is detachable from the pump and when it's detached their is a small 'O' ring that needs replacing. Here in Spain it costs 1.85€ or £1.50 to you in uk. To change it you must syphon out the fluid first then cover the alt with plenty of rags. There are 3 bolts to be removed plus the low pressure pipe. There is no need to remove the pump. You can find more details if you look round this forum or ask here and I'll give you more details. The part number from lexus or toyota is 90080-30040.

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Thank you all for your replies. The P/S leak does not drip on to the alternator. I do think that the res. is leaking a bit but mainly leaks at the high pressure banjo washer connection. So the main leak is below the alternator. I plan on removing the P/S solenoid and cleaning the screen as I have read that this being clogged may increase pressure and cause leaks the fittings. I have been a bit afraid to do the as their have been a few members with problems getting the solenoid off. And I only have the one car. And replacing the banjo washer. I ordered the brush and holder assembly for the alternator. I read the the alternator prob. is the that brush gets an oily film on it and looses contact for proper charging.

So I figure since I have to take the alter. out I'll go for the solenoid cleaning, banjo washer and now the resv. O ring at the same time.

Thanks for the advise.

Walt

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No problem Walt. It looks like you may have a cheap fix for a potentially expensive job. The point about the oil on the brushes is certainly valid as that was my problem. Also on mine it seemed like oil was coming from everywhere but it was only the O ring. Good luck!

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Let us know if the new brushes repair your alternator. My alternator recently went out and it was suggested that new brushes probably wouldn't help. The armature itself wears out. I was lucky enough to have a local source that had a rebuild for only $50 or so.

glenmore

1990 LS400

1991 300CE

2000 C280

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This just started. Battery indicator light stayes on for 5-6 seconds after start up the goes out. Now one day later the light stays on at idle and goes off once accelerating.

This is a 93ls400 with 122k miles. Yes the PS pump leaks.

Any thoughts? thanks, Walt

Check the tension on your serpentine belt. Next, I would clean your battery terminals and make sure the connection is tight. If that's not the problem, check the voltage on your battery at rest/under load. Next I would check what your alt is putting out. If both of them are ok, I would test your cables. As to your p/s leak, check where it's leaking from. Could be that the leak misses your alt altogether. Nevertheless, I would get it fixed.

PS: Forgot to mention to check all your grounds.

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Well all of my parts arrived today. Seal kit to rebuild the P/S pump. Brush and holder assembly for the alternater. And two large cans of electrical contact cleaner to spray the P/S fluid off the inside of the alternater , New battery. And on a side note new thermastat, radiator hoses, cabin air filters, radiator flush and new fluid, and serpentine belt.

I did clean the solenoid screen. And it was very, very clogged. After the car is up and running I'll complete the P/S flush.

Only issue is changing all of these things at once wont tell me exactly what the problem was. But these are things I have been wanting to do for a long time. I'll be glad to get them finished.

Thank you for all of your posts. I hope to finish this by Sunday night.

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Parts are in and car started. Cleaned alternator with elect. spray cleaner and replaced brush holder. Replaced o-rings in the p/s pump. Start up fine no more battery indicator light. No more p/s leak. Just having a prob de-airing the p/s fluid. Lots of air and foaming in res. of p/s. And whinning with turning the wheel.

Will do a flush in it persists. Hope that fixes this.

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Update!!!!!!!

I think I found the de-airing problem.

I was letting the car sit as described above. Each A.M. I found that the res. was low. I thought that it was just the air coming out of the fluid. But after two days I thought this can't be right. Got back under the car. I had left the oil drain pan under the P/S pump with some fluid left in it. So I did not notice any oil leaking to the floor. I looked up and saw a steady drip for, the top of the pump. I put a paper towel around and under the res. Found no leaks below it only an oil soaked towel under the res.

So I bit the bullet and removed all of the air intake covers and the res. The NEW O-ring I had put on was broken. The leak source for sure. And I am assuming that it may have been drawing in some air also with the engine running and turning the wheels. The fluid moves through the res. pretty fast and furious.

Anyway a new O-ring is on and I am sitting here posting while I repeat the paper towel investigation act. To see if any leaks before I do a flush and put the car back together.

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Update!!!!!!!

I think I found the de-airing problem.

I was letting the car sit as described above. Each A.M. I found that the res. was low. I thought that it was just the air coming out of the fluid. But after two days I thought this can't be right. Got back under the car. I had left the oil drain pan under the P/S pump with some fluid left in it. So I did not notice any oil leaking to the floor. I looked up and saw a steady drip for, the top of the pump. I put a paper towel around and under the res. Found no leaks below it only an oil soaked towel under the res.

So I bit the bullet and removed all of the air intake covers and the res. The NEW O-ring I had put on was broken. The leak source for sure. And I am assuming that it may have been drawing in some air also with the engine running and turning the wheels. The fluid moves through the res. pretty fast and furious.

Anyway a new O-ring is on and I am sitting here posting while I repeat the paper towel investigation act. To see if any leaks before I do a flush and put the car back together.

Hey Walt, sounds like you're making progress!

You may remember some of my diatribes about the P/S pumps & solenoid valve on the rack, etc.

What happens is that the solenoid screen gets clogged (you've addressed and corrected........good), The discharge pressure of the P/S pump goes way up because of the clog, and P/S fluid starts leaking from anywhere it can. It leaks onto (and into) the alternator. What most people don't fully appreciate is that the P/S fluid breaks down the binding agent (glue) that holds all of the carbon dust together that makes up the carbon brush. Simply put, it just falls apart. It does the same thing to the exterior paint.....that's why you have to be extremely careful not to get any P/S fluid on your paint either.

In addition, the P/S fluid gets onto/into/between the armature commutator bars and does the same thing to the varnish used to insulate the commutator bars and the wire. The varnish softens, breaks down and ceases to be an insulator, resulting in a short to ground, killing the alternator and/or the voltage regulator. Then, the alternator ceases to provide a (re)charge to the battery, the owner runs the battery dead (doesn't take long.......maybe an hour tops at freeway speeds) the battery dies, and the vehicle stops.

Answer?...........of course, it's a bad battery!..........just replace the battery!

Uhhh...........no.

That's why the root cause of the problem (clogged solenoid screen or reservoir O-ring) must be fixed BEFORE anyone starts throwing money (away?) at things like batteries.

When I had my problem (seems like everyone does), I was lucky enough to piece together the guidance from various posts here to address the clogged solenoid screen first. I cleaned that, put in a new P/S pump, replaced the alternator and have had no problems over the last 70K miles.

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YES, It was the new o-ring. No more leaks after changing it out. Raised the front end and did the flush by turning the wheels back and forth by hand. Small learning curve. Have to do this very slowly as you will just keep getting air bubbles coming out otherwise. ( thank you bigste for that advice ) After going slow and no more air of any kind out. I put the hose back on. Started her up and quite as could be. Went out for a drive. What a difference in the feel of the steering. It is wonderful.

Side note though, after the res. o-ring leak which let fluid run onto my alternator, prob. half a quart, the battery indicator light is back on. Since the brush contacts have half of the copper worn off I think I am going to replace the alt. with a new one and not pull it out to spray clean it again. I think the spray would work. But I plan to keep this car forever and am sure the alt. will go out in the near future because of the loss of copper contact. It appears not to have worn off, but to have flaked off. as the edges are not smooth they are like a big " paint chip " if you will.

Thanks you all for your advice. It really did help.

Walt

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