Dash Battery light on - Page 2 - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dryvby View Post
Ooof! careful when doing that, that can spike the system. Not recommended with modern cars.
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Yea, the battery acts sort of like a capacitor for your vehicle's electrical system;...
I do get that but never thought of it being an issue if disconnecting the batt cable when running. Voltage was ~14.5 when we measured it several hours ago and the dash light was off. Replacement/reman alternator is here on the bench and we will see how it goes the next few days and install it if necessary. I might keep it and not return since we own three of these vehicles and they are getting older now.

Any recommendations on better or best replacement alternator choices?

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 08:50 PM
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. . . Voltage was ~14.5 when we measured it several hours ago and the dash light was off.
As it should be.

Incidentally, the Battery warning light can also be on if the alternator output voltage is high, as when the alternator is generating but isn't being controlled by the regulator. In this case, the bulb brightness will depend on the difference between the (average/pulsed) alternator output voltage and the battery voltage. It's often less bright than when the ignition is at On but the engine isn't started or when the alternator stops generating, and tends to vary noticeably with engine speed.

In either case, when the light is on, a voltmeter can be used to verify what's happening.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 09:04 PM
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. . . Any recommendations on better or best replacement alternator choices?
One of the problems with "rebuilt" or "remanufactured" alternators is just what is replaced during the process. For example, does the rebuilding factory always replace the regulator with a new one, or is it replaced only if the recycled alternator exhibits a faulty regulator symptom at the factory? Would it test all alternators sufficiently to identify an intermittent regulator? Guess who might end up doing the quality control in that case . . ..

In the past, @eagleeye has recommended newly-built alternators from DB Electrical (https://www.dbelectrical.com/). Not sure what the situation is now, but perhaps this is still an alternative.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 09:32 PM
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Just another thought:

The alternator regulator "senses" the system voltage through fuse #17 (7.5 A) in the engine compartment fuse box. I'm not certain, but if that fuse blows, or develops an intermittent connection, leading to no voltage feedback to the alternator, it's possible that too could cause the alternator to max out. In this case, the high voltage output isn't due to a fault in the alternator. It might be an idea to replace fuse #17 with a new one to be sure the connections between the fuse blades and the fuse box contacts are good.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 09:54 PM
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One of the problems with "rebuilt" or "remanufactured" alternators is just what is replaced during the process. For example, does the rebuilding factory always replace the regulator with a new one, or is it replaced only if the recycled alternator exhibits a faulty regulator symptom at the factory? Would it test all alternators sufficiently to identify an intermittent regulator? Guess who might end up doing the quality control in that case . . ..

In the past, @eagleeye has recommended newly-built alternators from DB Electrical (https://www.dbelectrical.com/). Not sure what the situation is now, but perhaps this is still an alternative.
similar to the new ones from DB: there is also Maniac in Texes,

and rounding up the real Mitsubishi USA ones. (if that was the factory original in 2009 LGT)

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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 01:12 AM
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The brushes in your alternator are probably almost worn out. When this happens sometimes they are making contact and sometimes they are not.

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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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The brushes in your alternator are probably almost worn out. When this happens sometimes they are making contact and sometimes they are not.

Seagrass
Makes sense. What is the expected life of alternator brushes?
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Started it up again today and dash battery light is on again. My son and I measured system voltage and it was 11.7. Replacement alternator is in took only ~10 mins for us and it appears the issue is solved now. We have 14.5 volts now. Are modern alternators typically short on life expectancy. In the past I am used to them going for way longer than 66k.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 01:54 PM
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Started it up again today and dash battery light is on again. My son and I measured system voltage and it was 11.7. Replacement alternator is in took only ~10 mins for us and it appears the issue is solved now. We have 14.5 volts now. Are modern alternators typically short on life expectancy. In the past I am used to them going for way longer than 66k.
Probably a random failure rather than a pattern.

Incidentally, when the Battery warning light was on, did the Brake warning light come on as well (if it wasn't already on because the parking brake was being applied)? It should have.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Probably a random failure rather than a pattern.

Incidentally, when the Battery warning light was on, did the Brake warning light come on as well (if it wasn't already on because the parking brake was being applied)? It should have.
Yes, the brake light was on as well.

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