Tip & How-To about Toyota MR2

MR2 first generation three dash lights

When these three lights come on, your alternator is not producing enough voltage to the vehicle. you should replace it. aftermarket parts are very inexpensive, but they don't last (i've had one last 4 months!)

start with a brand new toyota alternator. its pricey, but they last longer.

first you need to remove the coolant overflow bottle on the passenger side. you just have to lift up.

then remove the plug to the alternator, the 10mm nut holding a yellow wire on the alternator (goes to battery +) and finally remove the bolt on the slide bracket, and the long one through the bottom of the alternator.

remove the alternator straight upward. (takes a bit of maneuvering) or remove it your way, but this worked for me.

install the new alternator on the bracket with the long bolt, and then put the belt and slide bracket bolt back on.

clean all connections (battery post to battery terminal, battery terminal to the wire itself (it may be green. green is corrosion. strip back until you find copper and use that for a dependable connection) and finally the little wire you took off of the alternator itself has a little ring on it that should be cleaned.

reverse procedure for wiring. be sure to tension the belt properly, and youre good to go. no more 3 lights.


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i have a 1994 c1500 and i just had my alternator tested 3 times and passed every time the battery is new and cells are good and i dont see any ground probs but the alternator is not charging battery


Check battery voltage when vehicle is off should be about 12.5 volts start vehicle while running check voltage again should be about 14 if not check connection between battery and alternator

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This sounds like a potentially failing alternator, I've had this happen a few times. When idling in drive, the alternator is spinning slower, so it produces less power. You can be more sure of this being the issue if the lights brighten when you shift into Neutral, where much less load is slowing the alternator. With a failing alternator, it can produce enough power when the vehicle is moving and hence running at higher engine RPMs, but when it drops below a certain threshold, the alternator is just not moving fast enough to produce enough amperage to run all the vehicle's electrical systems. If you can remove the alternator yourself, you can get it tested for free at many auto parts stores (call first if you're not sure). Otherwise, getting it tested at a reputable garage should be relative inexpensive.

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It can still be the alternator, the alternator can produce enough to keep the car running, but it may not have enough to keep the battery charged 13-14 volts. It don't take long for a new battery to drain if the alternator isn't putting out the right voltage. Find a voltmeter and check the output from the alternator to see what voltage is being produced. If it's not at least 12.5 -14 then have the alternator checked out.

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