Question about 2001 Mazda MPV

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BATTERY LIGHT STAYS ON. NEW BATTERY. ALTERNATOR CHARGING OK Ever since I replaced the battery (a couple of months ago) I have been having an intermittent problem with the battery not charging. It was more severe immediately after the battery was installed, then seemed to disappear for awhile. Here are the usual conditions when the problem occurs: -The car has not been started for awhile. -I am just pulling away from a standstill. -The battery warning light on the dash comes on, goes off if I ease off the gas, then goes on when I step on the gas, but low speeds only and eventually goes off. This past Friday I took it to a dealer and they did a diagnostic with the computer but found no problem. They did not road test it. They suggested a new alternator for over $800. When I picked up the vehicle from the dealer they had left the lights on and I had a dead battery. After a boost from one of the sales staff I got it started. No battery warning light indicator. So I drove it for awhile to get a charge on the battery. The light stayed off. Saturday morning I started it but the battery light came on and stayed on. I parked the car and road with someone else (I was working a trade show out of town). Sunday it still starts but still have battery warning light, leave it parked. Monday I was prepared to take it to a repair shop, but no battery warning light. As I started to drive it did blink on a couple of times, then stayed off and I drove the vehicle home (5 hour drive). I made stops for food and gas with no problems. I've considered bad alternator, slipping belt, bad pulley clutch, regulator, loose cable, and wiring harness as possible problems. Today I had a rebuilt alternator installed but the warning light still came on, and is staying on. The mechanic said his test equipment shows that the replacement alternator is charging. He was able to remove the ground cable from the battery while the engine was running and the engine kept running. With the battery connected and the engine running the mechanic says he only measures about 12 volts on the battery terminals. Replacing the alternator should have resolved the first four items I listed. There are no obvious loose wires or cables. Any suggestions on how to trouble shoot this? Is the charging system actually working and the battery warning light is a false alarms (ie. needs repair)?

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  • T94MPV Dec 04, 2008

    The battery not charging problem has been solved.

    The mechanic found corrosion on one of the cable connections at the alternator.

    What surprises me is that the mechanic didn't notice the corrosion when he installed the replacement alternator.

    Here's what it cost me:

    Rebuilt alternator: $160
    Labour to install alternator: $130
    Labour to trouble shoot charging problem and find corrosion on cable $50
    Total $340

    If you read the original post about the charging problem you will probably come to the same conclusion that I did. I did not really need the rebuilt alternator. Why was it installed? Well, everyone I got advice from including a dealer, a mechanic, an alternator rebuilder, on-line forums, and my own experience pointed to a bad alternator, so I said go ahead and put it in.

    I'm just glad I did not have the dealer do it because they wanted about $800.

    I cannot fault the mechanic who did the work and his prices were very fair.

    By the way this all took place in Toronto, Ontario so the prices above are in Canadian dollars.

    I would recommend the mechanic:

    Dundas Auto Repair
    1201 Dundas St. E.
    Toronto, ON M4M 1S2

    I got the rebuilt alternator from:

    MH Auto Electric
    10 Canvarco Rd., Unit 53D
    Toronto, ON M4G 1L3



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I believe your over charging ie; voltage regulator bad. should only have between 12-14.5 volts max when testing at bat with volt meter

Posted on Dec 03, 2008

  • darin brown Dec 03, 2008

    i thought you had new battery.

    1. charge bat. w/a decent prof. grade charger.

    2. load test bat. if it's ok

    3. install and start vehicle & check voltage at battery w/meter you should have 12-14.5 volts at bat. terminals.

    4. turn on lights, blower, wipers,defroster, etc. check voltage at bat. terminals(rev engine slightly while doing this test)

    5. voltage should be above 12 volts.

    6. if its not alt. is bad or voltage regulator is bad (voltage reg. is in the alt.)


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From my research it sounds like it could be 3 different things 1 being that the cars over charging the voltage regulator 2 being the alternator and 3 being the coil or a gauge something? correct me if im wrong but i do believe you can test the alterntor by first eliminating that its not the battery meaning its fully charged etc once the battery is connected start the car and while its running you pull the negative cable off resulting in the car stays running meaning alternator is good or that it dyes meaning alternator no good cant you turn your key on off repeating a ertain number of times and then when turn key on counting the number of dings inwhich the number of dings equals number that allows you to look up error code and discription the engine error code would be verification so what kind of test can be done to test the coil or voltage regulartor

Posted on Dec 30, 2013


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