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blake918
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I had to run out to the library, and on the way there, the ES was acting strangely. The first indication of a problem was my CD changer stopped working. Then when I got to the library, the car idled down to about 300rpms. I went in and found my books, and then I proceeded out to the car. I went to start it, but I just got the "clicking" sound. My brother came and jumped me off so that I was able to get home. I'm guessing that my alternator is bad; do you guys agree?

If it is the alternator, are all of the brands about the same? I found an oem Lexus alternator at Plano Lexus's online catalog for $288. Then, I found one on AutoZone's site for $90. Is it worth the extra $200 for the Lexus alternator? Lastly, how hard is it to change the alternator? Thanks

:cheers:

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You need to have someone check out your charging system. You may just have corroded battery terminals or a bad ground. A cell in your battery may be bad, or as you say, your alternator may be bad. If it is, consider having an automotive electrical shop (you should have several local ones) who specialize in rebuilding alternators, starters, and small electrical motors for car heaters, etc. It may prove MUCH cheaper than getting a new or rebuilt one. Call and ask. They can even do the system check, and in most cases remove the old alternator, and rebuild it and reinstall it the same day. Good luck!

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at any time did the discharge warning light come on (little red light, looks like a battery)?

I agree with what was said, take it to autozone (or sears or NTB or PepBoys) and have the battery load tested in the car. They can tell if it is the battery or the alternator.

All brands are not the same and you get what you pay for. Autozone's alternators are usually rebuilds or remans with a one year warranty. Find out if the one from Plano Lexus is new or reman. Either way, it is a very easy DIY install.

If your alt. is going bad and it is the orginial, then you got almost 10 years out of it. You are ahead of the game.

steviej

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If the system starts to make funny blipping noises and queitly disapears tehn you have a major drop in volatage while driving. The battery is highly unlikely.

The alternaot is key suspect as it provides all the power during driving.

Did you turn all the acessories off when the power started to fade? including the lights?

And no the changing of light bulbs will not cause the power to die unless you knocked a wire off the battery terminal.

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I been having the same problem. Everything goes dim and the battery light comes on. It seems as though it should stall, but it don't and then when i shut it off it won't start. I thought that it was the alternator so i had it checked and i was told that the alternator was fine i just needed a new battery.

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My battery is less than a year old, and my dad checked out the voltage on it which seemed to be ok. I don't think I've ever gotten the battery light before, but my steering wheel is always in the highest possible position to the point where I can't see the bottom part of the cluster, so I don't really know <_< .

Whenever my car started to idle down, I gave it some gas, and it stayed at the usual 700 or 800 rpms.

Also, this past week(before this incident) I've noticed a squeek or rattle type sound comming from under the hood. I'm guessing maybe a bearing on the alternator???

I'm pretty sure the alternator at Plano Lex is brand new. They say it lists for $350 and sell it for $290. http://www.trademotion.com/partlocator/ind...994&catalogid=1

BTW, the alternator that is in the car now is a Bosch; do yall know if that's what Lexus uses?

thanks for all of the suggestions

Blake

:cheers:

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The alternaot is key suspect as it provides all the power during driving.

The alternators main purpose is to keep the battery charged! The battery is the storage device that feeds the electricity to all the various components. I realize that you can run a car without a battery, using the alternator to supply the needed electricity, but that's not the original intent of how a charging circuit works.

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sorry i soooo disagree .

as would most technicians,not mechanics

professors or anyone else who is well versed in electrical wiring schematics or other automotive system designers.

the battery is used for running the cars system when the engine is off

starting the engine and keep power supplied to various systems for memory and sub power situations.

It is also used as a buffer in the overall system for power spikes of high and low voltage to lessen to immediate drain and load on the alternator as it is used as a distribution device,

the battery is a link in the overall power chain but definatly not the Achilles heel of the system. As a dead alternator will kill a car but a dead battery will hamper its overall performance.

It would only be detrimental if the battery was wired in series but not parallel

But since the battery is can be taken out of the link and the car will continue running just as strong as without it ,it wouldn;t make sense to place so much emphasis and reliance on the battery for running the car.

i am not sure why you would believe the battery runs a car since it is only a storage device and not an electrical producer ?

it just wouldn't make any sense?

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the battery is only used for starting the car and other things like sk mentioned!

the alternator is the main power for when the car is running.

sorry amf1932 but maybe you got confused in your post and had it backwards.or maybe some mechanic gave you false info about the alternator.im 100 percent sure the alternator is the power source for when the car is on so i must agree with sk. :D

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I guess I didn't explain it very well in my previous post.....let me try again:

The automotive storage battery is not capable of supplying the demands of the electrical system for an extended period of time. Every vehicle must be equipped with a means of replacing the current being drawn from the battery. A charging system is used to restore the electrical power to the battery that was used during engine starting. In addition, the charging system must be able to react quickly to high load demands required of the electrical system. It is the vehicle's charging system that generates the current to operate all of the electrical accessories while the engine is running.

The purpose of the charging system is to provide the electrical energy needed to charge the battery and to power all the electrical components and systems on the automobile. When the engine is not running, the battery provides this electrical energy. When the engine is running, the charging system takes over.

Is that better? ;)

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Well, I eliminated the problem :D . I took the car to AutoZone, and they did a free electrical test on the battery and alternator. The battery was a-ok, but at 2000rpms the alternator was only pumping 50(watts or amps...I can't remember). It was supposed to be at 60 or 65 I believe. All has been well since the replacement last Sunday, and now my needles even flicker less B) , so it all worked out well. Replaceing the alternator was a breeze, and I replaced the belt while I was at it, so I'm good to go! Thank you soo much guys :D .

:cheers:

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Errr, I think the problem is back. My mom was driving my car this evining(her car is at the body shop), and she said that the battery light came on and off and the car was acting very strangely. I looked in the owner's manual, and it says that the battery light indicates that the battery is discharging. What the hell does that mean <_< ? Faulty alternator...again?? My battery checked out fine when the alternator was tested. What gives???

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did you replace your last alternator with the Autozone one or did you get a new one from Lexus?

On my old SSEi, I would go through a remanned alt. every 11 months until I got the parts store to just give me the AC/Delco OEM for the same price. Never had the alt problem again. Sometimes off brand remans are not far from crapping out too.

Did you put in the alt, or did a shop do it? I'm thinking there is something in your system that is unduely stressing the alt. Whether it be belt tension or some electrical component?

If the car is running, keep and eye on it and make note of what is in use, when the battery light comes on and when the car acts "strangely".

good luck.

steviej

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Yeah, I replaced the previous alternator with a remanufactured one from AutoZone. My dad and I put the alternator in ourselves. When we put the new belt in, we left a nice ammout of slack because my dad said that the belt will soon tighten up....it wasn't going to fall off or anything like that!

I would have thought that the alternator would have lasted a little more than a week eventhough it is remanufactured :( . I still wonder if the Silverstars are stressing the elec. system <_< .

Does the battery light mean the alternator is going out??

thanks

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the battery light comes on when the battery is being discharged.

If the car is running and the light comes on, it usually means the alt. is NOT supplying ample current to the battery so any electrical component currently in use is drawing power from the battery.

Take the car to a different Autozone. Have them test your system again. If they tell you it is you alternator, then produce the receipt from the other Autozone. The alt. should have a year warranty on it and you can switch it out any any Autozone.

There are several parts in the alt. that can crap out (bearing, voltage regulator).

If the silverstars are the same wattage as the replaced buld, then they are not stressing the system.

I was thinking more of a short or a bad electical motor that is causing a drain on the electrical system.

keep us posted, this is interesting.

steviej

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We just just checked the voltage at the battery, and it showed 12.9 while the car was off. When the lights were off, the battery was registering 13.88 volts, and when the lights and a/c were on it went down to 12.8 volts. Both of these numbers were at idle which I think is around 800rpms. After talking to my mom some more she said that the car acted funny only at red lights which is what it was doing to me a week and a half ago...which kind of makes us think the alternator is bad because when you get moving the car runs much more than 800 rpms. I'm going to go and have the battery and alternator tested tomorrow at a different auto store. The quest continues <_< ......

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The voltage seems lower than normal.

I recently checked the voltage on my '03ES at idle, with the lights on and also the air conditioner running. the average voltage output was about 15 volts. I than checked an '01 Corolla and I got about the same readings.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I have no new updates. However, the car has been fine since the last problem with the battery light(knock on wood!). The only thing I'm doing differently now is I don't leave my headlights on all the time like I used to(with the always glowing gauges, I forget to turn on my lights at night, so that's why I like to leave them on).

The only modifications I have made to the ES are(if this makes any difference?)

1) In November, I added a factory car phone just for fun!

2) And in early Jan, I added silverstar low beams

thanks again

:cheers:

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I guess my knock on wood didn't work :angry: . Tonight I ran to Subway, and while I was sitting in the parking lot the battery light came on again. I've figured out that the only time the battery light comes on is when I have the lights, heater, wipers, radio, and a/c or heater on....which I did. Soo, when I came back to the car of course it wouldn't start, but the weird part is that I didn't even have the jumper cables on for 15 sec and she fired up without the slightest hesitation...that's good to because it's like 50 degrees and raining over here. All of you guys are probably laughing at me saying that 50deg. is cold! What do yall think battery or alternator because this car is driving me insane :wacko: . Shouldn't I be able to have the wipers, stock stereo, heater, and lights on at the same time?? I had the alternator and battery checked again, and of course they say that all is well.

BTW, I only have this problem at idle. Does the computer control idle speed, or can I speed it up myself? I idle from 700-800.

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actually, I read the 50° and said blake's got himself a heat wave. It hasn't been above 25° here in over three weeks.

I think you should take the care to someone that knows (really knows) electical systems. They should be able to hook up some sort of meter and record the drain on the system when each item is on singly and simultaneously with other electical items.

In regards to the last incident, did you get a second replacement alternator from Autozone? If so, return it and get your money back. Bite the bullet and get one from the Toyota dealer or try a Lexus wholesaler (irontoad.com, newlexusparts.com, etc). Go with OEM. It may be the remans from Autozone just ain't measuring up. This happens.

steviej

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