Author Topic: Dash ablaze with red lights.  (Read 221 times)

PeterC

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Dash ablaze with red lights.
« on: April 13, 2017, 05:54:08 PM »
Took Rosie out this morning and within a few hundred yards two red lights appeared on the dash  :(. The brake light (the red one, not the yellow ABS light and not the red handbrake light). The other red light was the battery light (not charging ?). They both seemed slightly dim so my guess is something is wrong to do with the brake wiring and leading to the battery not getting charged.

The car runs OK apart from my pesky engine rattle when cold which I worry is not a sticky tappet. But I decided not to use the car as inevitably it would end up stopping when I did not want it to  :(. OR maybe it would not stop when I did want it to  :o. I have not had a chance to check much under the bonnet and I am off to Cardiff (by coach luckily). So any replies will get digested when I get back to the throbbing metropolis.

Background. Yesterday I had been to a friends place out in the sticks along an unmade road. I went gently and suspect the potholes in Croydon are more of a problem.

So what to check ?. I will have a look behind the boots (wheels) and see what wires might look loose(er) or corroded(er). Remind me where the relays are as I suppose that if I can easily disconnect the brake warning/error wiring I can see if the battery light goes out and thus ignore that. Two litre auto estate btw.
1993 2.0 CD(X)i Auto Estate (Rioja Red very little tin worm & reasonable paint).
RIP - 1992 2.0 CDXi Manual Estate (Spectral Blue with far too much tin worm, now only parts).

Old age means wondering: Do I really have to struggle to become an expert in something I might never need to do again.

Dave the Builder

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Re: Dash ablaze with red lights.
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2017, 08:47:57 AM »
Park brake light ,brake fluid level light ,brake pad wear sensor warning light ,brake lamp bulb out light ??
best check the alternator is charging 13.4 to 13.8 v
warn alternator brushes can bring battery light on,as can the little signal wire coming off.
multiple warning lights sometimes point to a bad earth  :-\
If the above post contains spelling mistakes / grammatical errors / poor use of the quote function / a very weak retort, or is generally shyte; it's because I'm feked on a cocktail of drugs,homebrew and carb cleaner.sorry

djbthatsme

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Re: Dash ablaze with red lights.
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2017, 02:34:26 PM »
Daves probably got it covered but will follow your journey into the unknown to see whether I can offer any advice.

Good to know you've got a Rosie, I've got a Jack.  My previous Carlton was Vera and both being named after the Coronation street characters. ;)


PeterC

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Re: Dash ablaze with red lights.
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2017, 04:53:36 PM »
Park brake light ,brake fluid level light ,brake pad wear sensor warning light ,brake lamp bulb out light ??
best check the alternator is charging 13.4 to 13.8 v
warn alternator brushes can bring battery light on,as can the little signal wire coming off.
multiple warning lights sometimes point to a bad earth  :-\

Thanks for the reply, back in Croydon now.

Ah well it will be the Brake fluid light or the Brake pad wear sensor light I suppose. It is red and iirc is a circle with two pads either side and an exclamation mark in the circle. I tried the handbrake - that light is adjacent to the offending light and also red. I noted the orange (iirc) brake light warning light goes out dutifully when I press the brake pedal after starting her up.

Before looking at the forum. I have just had time to try the car again to see if the problem had gone away. Unfortunately the orange ABS light is also now on !. That seemed to be normal brightness whereas the battery and brake error light were dimmer - almost invisible. I had a problem with the ABS light a while ago. I followed CarltonMad's instructions and removed and refitted the relay - that worked.

I am going to have to find my instruction book, which seems to be packed away somewhere, to check what the car is trying to tell me.
1993 2.0 CD(X)i Auto Estate (Rioja Red very little tin worm & reasonable paint).
RIP - 1992 2.0 CDXi Manual Estate (Spectral Blue with far too much tin worm, now only parts).

Old age means wondering: Do I really have to struggle to become an expert in something I might never need to do again.

PeterC

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Re: Dash ablaze with red lights.
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2017, 05:29:02 PM »
Just found the user manual. Um brake fluid level  :-[. Now to open bonnet - fingers crossed that is all it is although I seem to recall checking that recently...

UPDATE.
Bah !. Brake fluid reservoir a little below full. Level is on the seam well above min. I tried starting her again. Runs of course but blimay that tapping is horrible with the bonnet up. Any way both lights almost go out when I rev her and I would say the Brake error/level light goes dimmer more than the alternator light. No sign of ABS sulking this time. So its time to find my voltmeter and a spare pair of hands.

UPDATE.
Voltmeter he say 11.8 Volts !. I tried that on the battery terminals and also with the -Ve on the Alternator body (I have a nice fat extra earth lead anyway). I revved the engine to achieve 12.2 Volts. ABS light still silent so I suppose its all voltage related. So tomorrow I will find my alternator off the Blue Carlton. Hopefully I can try just the brush/regulator pack - if I am not talking baloney ?. Mind you I would like to try and see what the voltage is at the Alternator +Ve. All that disassembling can be practiced on my spare alternator on the table in the warm where my back is happier.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 06:02:28 PM by PeterC »
1993 2.0 CD(X)i Auto Estate (Rioja Red very little tin worm & reasonable paint).
RIP - 1992 2.0 CDXi Manual Estate (Spectral Blue with far too much tin worm, now only parts).

Old age means wondering: Do I really have to struggle to become an expert in something I might never need to do again.

Dave the Builder

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Re: Dash ablaze with red lights.
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2017, 11:50:05 AM »
Just found the user manual. Um brake fluid level  :-[. Now to open bonnet - fingers crossed that is all it is although I seem to recall checking that recently...
I advise you check all lines etc for signs of a brake fluid leak
(you may have damaged something on your off roading trip)
if nothing is evident, keep a close eye on fluid level for the foreseeable future to rule out minor leak
just to be on the safe side  ;)
UPDATE.
 Runs of course but blimay that tapping is horrible with the bonnet up.
have you done a recent oil and filter change?
sticking hydraulic lifters are very common
some nice fresh 20/50 mineral oil every 3k is cheap as chips
low voltage will effect the cars ECU and engine running anyway

UPDATE.
Voltmeter he say 11.8 Volts !. I tried that on the battery terminals and also with the -Ve on the Alternator body (I have a nice fat extra earth lead anyway). I revved the engine to achieve 12.2 Volts. ABS light still silent so I suppose its all voltage related. So tomorrow I will find my alternator off the Blue Carlton. Hopefully I can try just the brush/regulator pack - if I am not talking baloney ?. Mind you I would like to try and see what the voltage is at the Alternator +Ve. All that disassembling can be practiced on my spare alternator on the table in the warm where my back is happier.

why not just slap in the complete replacement alternator
it's easy to get at, very easy job to do.
only requires 8mm,10mm, 13mm spanners/sockets
just disconnect the battery while you do it
(probably a good idea to stick the battery on charge anyway )  ;)

with the engine running 11.8v is way too low
surprised it even runs 
If the above post contains spelling mistakes / grammatical errors / poor use of the quote function / a very weak retort, or is generally shyte; it's because I'm feked on a cocktail of drugs,homebrew and carb cleaner.sorry

PeterC

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Re: Dash ablaze with red lights.
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2017, 04:37:46 PM »
Thanks Dave.

Recently changed oil. It was getting a slight tappet rattle and so I checked the oil. It was still not black but probably old even if not many miles. I think I had got the engine quite hot a little while before so I assumed I had cooked the oil. I have a temp sender to replace because I feel that 90 degrees on the gauge might actually be hotter. I chickened out of changing the sensor as I got warned it might break off - thus leaving me with no indication at all !. I went to National and had Fuchers put in - the recommended 10W40. That did not completely shut the rattle/tap up but it was quieter. It really only does rattle/tap when cold but I think it is getting worse and I have been doing lots of short journeys. It may have had 15W40 before that (vague memory) so maybe that was better when the engine was cold ?.

Nothing hit the bottom of the car but I will keep an eye on the levels (usually do I think).

I put the battery on charge last night anyway. Just in case it needed it and perhaps a fully charged battery might let it behave long enough to convince me. I planned to check the voltage to see if the battery was not offering up enough back EMF previously. The battery is really old but just to keeps going - It is a Banner and I got it at quite a good price. I had left a light on over a week ago and it barely turned the engine but it fired up OK amazingly. I doubt the battery capacity is anywhere near the original 100% but it has not failed like other batteries do - still cranks. Perhaps a lot of charging of the battery after it was almost flattened has finished off a tired alternator ?.

Well as usual I am thinking rather more than spanner-ing. I am turning into a coward me thinks.

UPDATE.
Just restarted with fully charged battery. 12.1 Volts across the battery. I eventually found the Alternator positive and across that and the body I got 12.1 Volts. The ABS light sometimes coming on so I hope that is due to weak voltage though it is brighter than the Brake and Alternator error/red lights. Gawd it rattles !. My spare alternator is different but perhaps I will swap it over at the weekend when there is better light and time - Que rain/snow !.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 05:44:49 PM by PeterC »
1993 2.0 CD(X)i Auto Estate (Rioja Red very little tin worm & reasonable paint).
RIP - 1992 2.0 CDXi Manual Estate (Spectral Blue with far too much tin worm, now only parts).

Old age means wondering: Do I really have to struggle to become an expert in something I might never need to do again.

Dave the Builder

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Re: Dash ablaze with red lights.
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2017, 02:20:39 PM »
I advise you swap to 20/50 mineral oil which can be had for sub 15 per 5 ltr
you may not find it in a supermarket but any good car shop will sell it
or cheap on ebay even with delivery
here is a good offer
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Comma-X-Flow-Type-Mot-20w50-Engine-Oil-4-5L-Holts-EGR-Carb-Cleaner-/151866733162?hash=item235bf6726a:g:DCcAAOSw5ZBWMfBh

thin oil is good on new low mile engines,
100k miles + 20 year plus engines have wear and will rattle and smoke on p155y 5w30 or 10w40
i've run vauxhall 8 valve ohc engines from my first cavalier in 1988 to my current 20se carlton so nearly 30 years

as for the electrical problem
get that new alternator fitted asap  ;) your old unit is a paperweight

2 bolts,2 bolt on terminals ,all done standing up (unless you drop the tools or bolts/nuts  :D)
If the above post contains spelling mistakes / grammatical errors / poor use of the quote function / a very weak retort, or is generally shyte; it's because I'm feked on a cocktail of drugs,homebrew and carb cleaner.sorry

PeterC

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Re: Dash ablaze with red lights.
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2017, 06:53:12 PM »
........
2 bolts,2 bolt on terminals ,all done standing up (unless you drop the tools or bolts/nuts  :D)

How did you know !. That's typical for me. Never found the clip that holds the Coolant Temperature Sender's plug on - the third time it fell.
1993 2.0 CD(X)i Auto Estate (Rioja Red very little tin worm & reasonable paint).
RIP - 1992 2.0 CDXi Manual Estate (Spectral Blue with far too much tin worm, now only parts).

Old age means wondering: Do I really have to struggle to become an expert in something I might never need to do again.

PeterC

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Re: Dash ablaze with red lights.
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2017, 08:58:03 PM »
On Saturday I got the Bosch alternator swapped for the non-Bosch (I fink) alternator from my old blue barge. First start and the battery/alternator light was slightly glowing. Revved her and it went out never to return (happy). Several re-starts and no fault showing. Subsequent test shows a healthy 14.5V approximately at the battery. I noticed that the replacement (but old) alternator spins very freely but the removed alternator is rather sluggish by comparison.

Going to re-check the belt tension as I don't want it to be to too tight (do I ?). I think its a bit slack on the second time I adjusted it but my back was telling me to be lazy by then. I suppose its OK if too slack - as long as the red light stays off ? - and the belt stays on !.

MOT looms.

Entertainment section :-

Only problems I had were

1) Breaking a screwdriver whilst undoing the jubilee clip on the air duct from the filter box to the injection/control/etc thing. Although the screw was stiff there is no way I used enough force to break a screwdriver !. I have had the screwdriver a while but part of the tip has now snapped off and the rest will be ideal for scratching my back.

2) Dropped something. I had removed the plug connected to the CTS (Coolant Temperature Sender). I did my tests with the CTS connected but without the spring clip on. But when I put the spring clip back on it did not go on straight and as I eased the spring back off PING it disappeared into the shadows bouncing a few times. I searched for ages on the ground under the car to no avail and then decided that moving the alternator might uncover it. I undid the top adjuster and swung the alternator away. After a sort while with a torch I saw something shiny. Twas on a ledge further back on the engine wedged between the block and some component. I cannot help thinking that is where the last spring clip ended up but no sign if it now in all the grime it must have merged in to. At last, I thought, I have I got an excuse to use my telescopic magnetic pick up tool. So where is it ?. Found it eventually and on the way into the area of operation the powerful magnet made sure it deviated off towards any large metal component - like the engine block !. Got it in the end.
1993 2.0 CD(X)i Auto Estate (Rioja Red very little tin worm & reasonable paint).
RIP - 1992 2.0 CDXi Manual Estate (Spectral Blue with far too much tin worm, now only parts).

Old age means wondering: Do I really have to struggle to become an expert in something I might never need to do again.

Dave the Builder

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Re: Dash ablaze with red lights.
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2017, 11:54:55 AM »
Glad you managed to sort out the problem. :)

hope the itch has gone from your back

replacement screwdrivers are cheap

breaking down ,mid journey , with a non charging alternator would not be cheap  ::)

and dash warning lights would be an mot fail  ::)

so all in all, a result ,i'd say  :D
If the above post contains spelling mistakes / grammatical errors / poor use of the quote function / a very weak retort, or is generally shyte; it's because I'm feked on a cocktail of drugs,homebrew and carb cleaner.sorry

PeterC

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Re: Dash ablaze with red lights.
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2017, 05:07:21 PM »
Yep. I was thinking the warning lights might mean something to an MOT tester so that is a relief.

1993 2.0 CD(X)i Auto Estate (Rioja Red very little tin worm & reasonable paint).
RIP - 1992 2.0 CDXi Manual Estate (Spectral Blue with far too much tin worm, now only parts).

Old age means wondering: Do I really have to struggle to become an expert in something I might never need to do again.