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92 Tercel Original Owner
92 Totoyal Tercel
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Greetings, Toyota people. Please forgive me if I don't use the right phrases in this forum, not being a mechanical type myself, but I'm asking this question on behalf of my husband, who is not a computer type! :lol:

My old reliable 1992 Toyota Tercel has been exhibiting erratic behavior the last couple of days. It began when my husband, who drives the car to work, started it a few days ago, and the battery and brake lights came on. When he gets the car up to speed, they go off, but when he slows down, they come back on again. Still, the car ran all right until today. On the way home from work, the car started missing out. The turn signal and radio stopped working. It began to lose power until it finally died on the side of the road. It backfired once after it died.

We towed it home, where he tested the battery which showed that it had a full charge. He then pulled the battery out of the Tercel and hooked the jumper cables between the Tercel battery cables and the battery of my perfectly running van. The Tercel started right up and ran like a top, EXCEPT the battery lights and brake lights came on and stayed on.

Any ideas, suggestions, comments? Please let me know if I've left out some vital detail...as I said, I'm no mechanic, but I can ask my husband!

Thanks in advance to you all.
 

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... It still runs...
Tercel
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246 Posts
Battery light comming on and off i think means you have a problem with ur alternator, battery may be fine, but engine requres some power to be generated from engine to recharge battery, it could be that there is a problem with the battery itself, is more likely, you need to test how it outputs a charge, not the voltage.

Id check battery further, it seems to be either that or ALTERNATOR which is a pain to change and is also more money i think.

Brake lights you mean actual brake lights? or the In-the-dash light that says "BRAKE" thats handbrake ....

You might wanna release the handbrake :p (Even if the handbrake is slightly pulled up, the "BRAKE" light will stay on. It comes on automaticly when the car is off, and dissapears when its running and is realeased.) If you have been driving like that with handbrake on, you might want to change the REAR brake pads, they are likely worn so much they dont actualy stop at all, bad thing if you turn and brake. if its disabled you might have a problem with the wire that comes out of the handbrake that shows that.

Im not a mechanic either but id check that, my repair manual for tercel has absolutely nothing about that. Hope that helps and some one posts whos more expereinced
 

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Tinkering Addict
89 Tercel EZ
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332 Posts
I'd have the alternator tested first. Most parts stores will do it for free if you can get the car there. A bad alternator (especially if the voltage regulator part is malfunctioning) can cause the electronics in a car to behave very erratically, much like you describe with warning lights coming on and some things not working.
 

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92 Tercel Original Owner
92 Totoyal Tercel
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks!

Turns out it was the alternator. My husband didn't think so at first, because we just replaced the alternator and the battery last September, but tests showed the alternator was toast. Thank goodness for warranties!

Thanks to all who answered.
 
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