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#4540907 - 10/12/17 07:09 AM No Alternator Belt - Battery symbol not on?
Spetz Offline


Registered: 01/23/14
Posts: 405
Loc: Australia
Hi guys,

I have a Mitsubishi 6A12 powered car.

Recently the power steering belt snapped and tool the alternator belt with it.

The weird thing though is that the battery light did not light up when this happened.
When I turn the key to IGN the battery light goes on, but once I start the engine the battery light goes off.

I thought it should remain on as there would be no charge?
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2003 Mitsubishi Diamante 6G74 3.5L. 5 Speed auto. 150,000 miles. Shell Helix Ultra 5W40 at 6k OCI

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#4540914 - 10/12/17 07:15 AM Re: No Alternator Belt - Battery symbol not on? [Re: Spetz]
Chris142 Online   content


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16817
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Sposed to anyway.
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#4540915 - 10/12/17 07:17 AM Re: No Alternator Belt - Battery symbol not on? [Re: Spetz]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 17116
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Really strange. Maybe it only goes on if the excitement field in the alternator fails? When I was in Florida with my Journey a summer ago the alternator failed and not only did the battery light come on but it also started flashing the check engine light, dinging and it stored a code "Electrical Charging System Fault" , "Electrical Charging System Low Volts"


Edited by StevieC (10/12/17 07:18 AM)
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'15 Dodge Journey - 90,000 KM's - SSO 5w20
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#4540919 - 10/12/17 07:20 AM Re: No Alternator Belt - Battery symbol not on? [Re: Spetz]
nwjones18 Offline


Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1052
Loc: Warner Robins, GA
I'm guessing if you'd driven it long enough for the battery to discharge some it would have come on.
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1988 F-150. 4.9 I6 247k. 10w-40 Castrol Syn-blend ACDelco UPF2.
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#4540962 - 10/12/17 08:05 AM Re: No Alternator Belt - Battery symbol not on? [Re: nwjones18]
Kuato Offline


Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 7094
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: nwjones18
I'm guessing if you'd driven it long enough for the battery to discharge some it would have come on.


Yes, perhaps your vehicle shows if the battery's voltage is good, not if it isn't being charged.
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Thick vs Thin test: 15k / 43k miles complete

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#4540987 - 10/12/17 08:41 AM Re: No Alternator Belt - Battery symbol not on? [Re: Spetz]
Miller88 Online   content


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 12702
Loc: Onondaga County
Is it an internally regulated alternator?
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#4541067 - 10/12/17 10:20 AM Re: No Alternator Belt - Battery symbol not on? [Re: Kuato]
zrxkawboy Offline


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 1761
Loc: SD
Originally Posted By: Kuato
Originally Posted By: nwjones18
I'm guessing if you'd driven it long enough for the battery to discharge some it would have come on.


Yes, perhaps your vehicle shows if the battery's voltage is good, not if it isn't being charged.


That would be my guess also.
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"Think of all the Ford owners who will someday want an automobile." John Dodge


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#4541077 - 10/12/17 10:36 AM Re: No Alternator Belt - Battery symbol not on? [Re: Spetz]
Ethan1 Offline


Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 1632
Loc: 'murica
The warning light does not work the way everyone seems to assume. On an older car like this, the alternator itself powers the warning light when it fails internally. No belt = no power from the alternator = no power to the light.

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#4541184 - 10/12/17 01:18 PM Re: No Alternator Belt - Battery symbol not on? [Re: Spetz]
meep Online   content


Registered: 02/20/07
Posts: 3549
Loc: Southeast
some lights are now triggered by voltage. Observed that in an early 2000's Chryco LHS. Belt kept coming off. As long as the battery was charged, the light stayed off.
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#4541299 - 10/12/17 03:34 PM Re: No Alternator Belt - Battery symbol not on? [Re: Ethan1]
George7941 Offline


Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2158
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: Ethan1
The warning light does not work the way everyone seems to assume. On an older car like this, the alternator itself powers the warning light when it fails internally. No belt = no power from the alternator = no power to the light.


Wrong! The OP stated that the lights powers up when the ignition is turned on.

On the older cars the alternator powers up one side of the bulb, the other side has ignition power.
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#4541552 - 10/12/17 08:19 PM Re: No Alternator Belt - Battery symbol not on? [Re: George7941]
Ethan1 Offline


Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 1632
Loc: 'murica
Originally Posted By: George7941
Originally Posted By: Ethan1
The warning light does not work the way everyone seems to assume. On an older car like this, the alternator itself powers the warning light when it fails internally. No belt = no power from the alternator = no power to the light.


Wrong! The OP stated that the lights powers up when the ignition is turned on.

On the older cars the alternator powers up one side of the bulb, the other side has ignition power.


How are the two mutually exclusive? Why do you think that a self test is impossible for a bulb that is powered by the alternator? Integrated circuits are weird... it's been a wild ride, these last 50 years. shrug

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#4541561 - 10/12/17 08:29 PM Re: No Alternator Belt - Battery symbol not on? [Re: Spetz]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 17116
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Speaking of a wild ride. GM had a vehicle that the battery light bulb if it was burn't out the alternator wouldn't charge the battery. It was a 1980's Buick something. Can't remember the exact model but I want to say Electra or something like that. The bulb was in the center of the dash above the radio area.


Edited by StevieC (10/12/17 08:31 PM)
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#4541585 - 10/12/17 08:46 PM Re: No Alternator Belt - Battery symbol not on? [Re: StevieC]
dishdude Offline


Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 8732
Loc: Phoenix
Originally Posted By: StevieC
Speaking of a wild ride. GM had a vehicle that the battery light bulb if it was burn't out the alternator wouldn't charge the battery. It was a 1980's Buick something. Can't remember the exact model but I want to say Electra or something like that. The bulb was in the center of the dash above the radio area.


Yes! It completed the circuit that "excited" the voltage regulator.

I had a Neon that wouldn't turn the bulb on if the belt was off, voltage had to be below a certain level.
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#4541588 - 10/12/17 08:48 PM Re: No Alternator Belt - Battery symbol not on? [Re: Spetz]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 17116
Loc: Ontario, Canada
If the bulb is burn't out and it's preventing it from charging you would never know until it's too late because it won't illuminate. Now that is stupid engineering. wink
_________________________
'15 Dodge Journey - 90,000 KM's - SSO 5w20
'06 Hyundai Santa Fe - 535,000km - SSO 0w30 (R.I.P)

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#4541589 - 10/12/17 08:49 PM Re: No Alternator Belt - Battery symbol not on? [Re: Ethan1]
George7941 Offline


Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2158
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: Ethan1
Originally Posted By: George7941
Originally Posted By: Ethan1
The warning light does not work the way everyone seems to assume. On an older car like this, the alternator itself powers the warning light when it fails internally. No belt = no power from the alternator = no power to the light.


Wrong! The OP stated that the lights powers up when the ignition is turned on.

On the older cars the alternator powers up one side of the bulb, the other side has ignition power.


How are the two mutually exclusive? Why do you think that a self test is impossible for a bulb that is powered by the alternator? Integrated circuits are weird... it's been a wild ride, these last 50 years. shrug


I will tell you why. Older cars had a very simple circuit for the warning light. One side of the bulb had ignition power, the other side was hooked up to the alternator such that it had roughly 12V when the alternator was charging. Thus when the alternator was charging, the bulb had equal voltages on both sides, hence 0V across it and therefore would go out.

I know of no car where the alternator powers the tell tale on.

Re StevieC's example, lots of older cars would not charge if the tell tale bulb burned out because the current through the bulb when the ignition was turned on and the bulb lit was the current for the initial excitation of the field windings. Some alternators retained enough residual magnetism in its field poles when the engine was not running to self-excite once the alternator started turning and would produce even with a burned out tell tale.
_________________________
2006 GMC Sierra 4.3l, NV3500,G80 , Mobil 1 5W30, Dexcool.
1987 BMW R80 - sold
2015 Honda CBR300R

Staying out of the right lane a lot.

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