1987 Camry - battery-brake-reverse lights suddenly lit up

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Old 18 Jan 2006, 10:02 pm   #1 (permalink)
techtrainer61@yahoo.com
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Default 1987 Camry - battery-brake-reverse lights suddenly lit up

1987 Camry - automatic - 4 cylinder - 199K miles

While driving back in rush hour, I noticed that suddenly brake light +
battery charge light + reverse lights were lit on the dashboard. As I
slowed down to a crawl, the lights would come up, if I gave a little
gas the lights would shut-off. This continued for about 3 minutes. I
shut off the heater, radio, etc .. anything that would consume extra
battery power.
After about 3-4 minutes of that, the problem went away as I drove 15
more minutes to reach home.

My first reaction was that battery was not charging anymore .. but that
turned out to be wrong as it was fine.

Any ideas, folks ? Should I be concerned ?
What should I ask my mechanic to check ?

Otherwise, the car runs beautifully.

Thanks a ton for your assistance

-- Bill

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Old 19 Jan 2006, 05:41 am   #2 (permalink)
tomcas
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Default Re: 1987 Camry - battery-brake-reverse lights suddenly lit up

techtrainer61@yahoo.com wrote:
> 1987 Camry - automatic - 4 cylinder - 199K miles
>
> While driving back in rush hour, I noticed that suddenly brake light +
> battery charge light + reverse lights were lit on the dashboard. As I
> slowed down to a crawl, the lights would come up, if I gave a little
> gas the lights would shut-off. This continued for about 3 minutes. I
> shut off the heater, radio, etc .. anything that would consume extra
> battery power.
> After about 3-4 minutes of that, the problem went away as I drove 15
> more minutes to reach home.
>
> My first reaction was that battery was not charging anymore .. but that
> turned out to be wrong as it was fine.
>
> Any ideas, folks ? Should I be concerned ?
> What should I ask my mechanic to check ?
>
> Otherwise, the car runs beautifully.
>
> Thanks a ton for your assistance
>
> -- Bill
>

Sounds like the car almost stalled or was running at very low rpm. Check
the idle speed and alternator belt tightness.
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Old 19 Jan 2006, 09:29 am   #3 (permalink)
Steve Henderson
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Default Re: 1987 Camry - battery-brake-reverse lights suddenly lit up

tomcas wrote:
> techtrainer61@yahoo.com wrote:
>
>> 1987 Camry - automatic - 4 cylinder - 199K miles
>>
>> While driving back in rush hour, I noticed that suddenly brake light +
>> battery charge light + reverse lights were lit on the dashboard. As I
>> slowed down to a crawl, the lights would come up, if I gave a little
>> gas the lights would shut-off. This continued for about 3 minutes. I
>> shut off the heater, radio, etc .. anything that would consume extra
>> battery power.
>> After about 3-4 minutes of that, the problem went away as I drove 15
>> more minutes to reach home.
>>
>> My first reaction was that battery was not charging anymore .. but that
>> turned out to be wrong as it was fine.
>>
>> Any ideas, folks ? Should I be concerned ?
>> What should I ask my mechanic to check ?
>>
>> Otherwise, the car runs beautifully.
>>
>> Thanks a ton for your assistance
>>
>> -- Bill
>>

> Sounds like the car almost stalled or was running at very low rpm. Check
> the idle speed and alternator belt tightness.


I've had several Toyotas. In the past, when the alternator is on it's
last legs, Toyota will light up the brake warning light AND the Charging
light (alternator). Since I didn't have a "reverse light" on these cars
(?) I don't know about that, but it sounds VERY similar to my symptoms
(which always ended up with a replaced alternator to fix.) If it keeps
happening, take it somewhere to have your charging system checked out.
Many times this is a free service.
Steve
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Old 19 Jan 2006, 11:11 am   #4 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: 1987 Camry - battery-brake-reverse lights suddenly lit up

If you haven't replaced the alternator brushes - it's time.
Kit available at the dealer for around $20

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Old 19 Jan 2006, 11:16 am   #5 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: 1987 Camry - battery-brake-reverse lights suddenly lit up

Alternator burshes are often worn out after 150,000 miles - the rest of
the alternator can be fine.
The following may be for a later model year but should get you in the
right "ball park":
================================
================================

> All this talk about brushes and brush holder. Where do you get
> them? My toyota parts just gives me a blank stare. Is there a part
> number? Sorry to be late on this question. Ed


Ed, ask for part number "27370-35060", this is brushes and holder,
easiest way to go, retail is about $16

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Old 23 Jan 2006, 03:39 pm   #6 (permalink)
techtrainer61@yahoo.com
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Default Re: 1987 Camry - battery-brake-reverse lights suddenly lit up

Hi .. everyone:

Thanks for tomcas, Steve Henderson, Daniel ... you were right on the
money .. the alternator was almost dead -- thank
God ... it had enough juice until it reached my mechanic shop.

Replaced the alternator and now things are fine
Thx

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