CorollaMan1

Abs and brake light on after battery change

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Hi,
I drive a 1999 Toyota Corolla. 
I bought a new Battery 2 weeks ago which was flat this morning. The battery warning light came on on my way home from work last night. 
I jump started it and took it to the place I bought the Battery
They changed the Battery I had bought for a new one that fitted the Battery bay better and the guy said he would make sure it was secure as it could have worked its way loose and thats why it ran flat.

Anyway I was there for over an hour because the ABS light and brake light both came on when he put the new Battery in. 
He said if I drove it for a few miles they would disappear. 
I drove it the long way home, about 10 miles on the Motorway but I still have an issue. 
When I first start the engine both lights disappear as normal but come back on if I rev the car above 1200 rpm.

As a layman Im thinking if a lose Battery terminal has come off then the alternator was powering my car last night it could have fried my ABS or blown the fuse or something. But before they changed the Battery today there were no warning lights. 
He said it was fine to drive but if it carries on it would be an MOT failure. 
I have since been reading online that if brake and ABS light is on its an emergency and the car should not be driven!! 
Can anyone offer some suggestions as to what the problem might be and advise whether I am still ok to drive?

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Hi Mike, i haven't at the moment but there is an argos round the corner so could get one.

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Hi Mike.

Multimeters are not expensive, say £12 or so. Perhaps if you buy one, switch the multimeter on, turn the switch to DC current and it will probably have 20 volts on it, you turn it to the maximum of the circuit you are testing, so on a car it won't reach say 15 volts, put the 'sticks/probes' on the Battery terminals and see what the voltage reads, then start the car, rev it up from under the bonnet and your Battery voltage should go up to something like 14.6 volts, this check is to check if your alternator is working or not. You are welcome to come back to me.

Mike.

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Does the car break function correctly? I guess you just lost the ABS option, so in case of hard breaking, the wheels will lock.

According to what you say, the car can be driven just fine, you just dont have the ABS to prevent wheels from locking in case of some hard braking.

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Hi Michael, do you know what a fault code is and how to obtain it? Mike.

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Hi Both, the car seems to brake fine. The garage confirmed alternator showing 14v when engine is on. 

He said my car was too old for their diagnostic computer but the fault is showing both the red exclamation mark and the yellow abs light. 

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Hi Michael. With a multi meter you can disconnect the earth lead and put one wire/probe on the earth lead and the other on the earth terminal of the Battery to see if you have any drainage. If you are a member of the RAC/AA they can do the same as this with a 'loop induction meter' that they carry. Mike.

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Hi Mike, 

I'm thinking that the problem with the Battery might be related to a loose connection due to incorrectly fitting the Battery when they first changed it. The garage today did a lot of tests with radio and heater on etc and said that everything was fine. They have given me a new Battery so time will tell.

Incidentally I am a member of greenflag and requested their assistance today only to be told that my car was too old for them. Been paying for it for two years! Haha. 

Does anyone know how you check the big 50 amp ABS fuse it seems to be incased in a big plastic housing? If the Battery was disconnected and the alternator was throwing erratic currents through my electrics could this blow the fuse?

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Hi Mike. You just need a connectivity  test, not as bad as it sounds. Obviously I don't know how mechanically minded you are? If you get a bit of wire say 2 foot long, bare the ends, take the fuse and one rear flasher light bulb out, earth out the bulb to the negative terminal on the car using it's side casing, (The bulb), then put the fuse, this is a bit fiddly, between the bulb and the positive terminal with the small soldered part of the bottom of the bulb, Battery so now it's earth wire connected, the black side. (Between the larger part of the metal part of the bulb) and the Battery positive terminal at the bottom of the bulb and see if the bulb lights up. If it does then the fuse is ok and incidentally I have never in many years in the car world ever changed one of these fuses.

Hope this makes sense, Mike.

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Your car being 1999 should have an obd2 port, but since they said their diagnostic cant work on it, maybe it has this older type of connector in the engine bay? 

If that is the case, maybe you can try this video to read the code, or you can confirm you have OBD2 diagnostic port?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ogsv2urm9w0



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Have you tried disconnecting the new Battery for a while? Doing this will initialise the electronics (a reset) and may correct any odd behaviour. Its certainly worth doing imo.

If you do this then just disconnect the negative terminal and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. When you reconnect, push the terminal cleanly and firmly all the way down the Battery post and don't over-tighten the clamp.

 

 

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Hi Furtula,

I have had a look around the area on the video on both the left and right side and can't see any box like you describe. How annoying. Unless I am being blind. I've photographed under the bonnet if you could take a look and tell me if I'm anywhere close. 

Thanks for your comment mike seems unlikely to be the fuse then!

 

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It seems my car is a year 2000 it is a W reg sorry for the incorrect info. 

Is this the diagnostic port?

 

20190516_204445.jpg

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43 minutes ago, CorollaMan1 said:

It seems my car is a year 2000 it is a W reg sorry for the incorrect info. 

Is this the diagnostic port?

 

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Yep, that's it. And it seems to be standard OBD2 port, so normal diagnostic should work on it just fine.

I would go to some local garage and ask them to check the error codes. 
 

Dont know why they told you their diagnostic wont work on your car, as this is standard since 1995.

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OK thanks. I will go to a local one and ask the question. This was kwik fit that told me this. Supposed to be a kwik fit plus as well with a "master technician". 

Don't know how buying a Battery has resulted in a brake fault, and why they couldn't diagnose it once it did. But hopefully it is something of nothing. 

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We have the same car, The OBD2 port looks the same as any, but the OBD2 connection at this age uses a different protocol.  This works along two different pins of the connector using the K-line protocol, if I remember correctly.  I have 4 completely different OBD2 readers; the oldest and the newest (an ELM327 dongle + smartphone) will read codes on this car, the other two (pc-based) will not connect to the car at all, although they claim to be backward-compatible with the earlier protocol.  I think the Kwik-Fit man probably just knows the limitations of his equipment.

As to the fault, you didn't mention why the Battery was changed in the very first instance.  What was the original problem and circumstances?

Just as a theory, I wonder the alternator is defective?  It is providing some charge, but maybe also putting through some AC current to the Battery due to a defective regulator/rectifier.  This 'noisy' power with 'voltage ripple' could cause the ABS ECU to falsely report an error condition above 1200rpm (when the alternator starts to really generate some output?) - the ECU is designed to work off a smooth, steady supply. I don't know what the ABS ECU would do if there was a noisy power feed - I've not heard of a problem like this one before.

When checking an alternator, I don't think many people check for AC ripple voltage.  The Green Flag man might have checked for this, if he'd come out.

To that end, I think you have been running on the new Battery's charge for the last two weeks with little proper charge coming from the alternator, and the battery has finally run out.  Also AC charging is a disaster for car batteries and will knacker them.

Just to confuse things, if the engine has been run without the Battery connected at some point, then that was always said (from the early days of alternator fitment - 1970s)  to be a sure-fire way of rogering the regulator and/or rectifier in the alternator, a real no-no!  So was the alternator failing from before this, or was it killed by the Battery terminal coming off in use, afterwards?

As I mentioned above, this is just a theory!  And I don't know why the red warning light is coming on.  Also, why no 'charge' warning light showing, or is that the red light described above?  I would expect the brake warning light to come on for a low-brake-fluid error, or the handbrake left on, not so?

And with a car of this age there is plenty of potential for corrosion-related bad earthing points to factor in as well.

A day in the life of owning a classic car.....         :-)

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Hi Gerg, 

So the original circumstances where a flat Battery one morning without warning. I jump started the car and drove 20 miles on the motorway to attempt to recharge but the Battery was still fully flat after the drive. The original was in there was at least 2 years and was tested and found to be dead. 

After calling a couple of local garages this morning they want to charge me between £30 and £40 to do a diagnostic reading. Can I ask where you bought the ELM327 dongle? I see them online for about £8 but would prefer to pick one up from a local retailer so I can get it today.

The red light that is on at the moment along with the yellow abs is the brake exclamation mark (definitely not handbrake) so I will check the brake fluid.

The day before yesterday the Battery fault light came on which preceded the flat new battery yesterday morning. 

The alternator could well be behaving as you describe. Once I get this issue sorted with the ABS/brakes I will certainly investigate further. 

 

 

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Hi, unfortunately my dongle  came from Amazon. I've never seen them for sale in any motor factors or car shops, but then I wasn't looking out for one. 

Does the ABS error ever clear by itself? For non-critical errors (so probably not ABS-related ones) the errors can clear after a certain amount of time and/or ignition key cycles. But ABS and airbag errors generally won't do this. Just because the light stays on doesn't necessarily mean the fault is still happening, but it can be. 

If the ABS light did go out (as with your Battery disconnect earlier?), you could very briefly run the car with the alternator belt off to see if this stopped it coming back on, as there would be no 'dirty' supply. 

But, this leaves the water pump not driven as well!!!  So only try this very briefly, and in any event, say, 15 seconds absolute max. , before letting the engine cool off again. Also note, the power steering won't work.

The alternator belt is tensioned by a sprung-loaded pulley, so apart from a spanner to quickly unload the spring there are no tools required, apart from a camera to note how the belt was routed. Let me know if you need more information on that job. 

I would only do the above as an extreme money-saving effort. Getting the belt off is easy, but getting it back on can take a while, and your hands and arms will probably get pretty dusty/dirty. Also, if the belt is old (original?!?!) it may split!  I replaced our belt a year back. 

I've just checked EuroCarParts, they list a conventional 'Streetwize' (so a bit cheap and crude) code reader for £17.50 (+discount code?),  it's in branches. I don't know if this works for your Corolla. It's similar to one I used successfully, but that was on engine ECU codes. I have no idea if that one, or this one, works on brake ECU codes - I've never had any! 

Edited by Gerg
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Well to add to my woes the brand new Battery they put in yesterday is flat as a pancake this morning. No odometer or any of the dash lights. I have bought a Battery charger to charge the Battery but it seems I have a parasitic drain on the Battery

I am just hoping that it is not the alternator causing the drain I just read of a problem where the Battery was discharging through the windings of the alternator. To go from brand new Battery to fully dead in less than 12 hours must be a significant drain. 

Plan is to buy a multi meter and pull the fuses out one by one to see if i can see which one causes the drain, is this the best way to go about it?

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Yes.  When you get your Battery charged and your meter to hand, set in on the 20v dc range as above. Check the exact voltage with the Battery disconnected from the car.  As soon as a load is attached,  the reading after the decimal point will lower a small amount. It would also be useful to know what voltage reading you get across the Battery on the 20volt ac range with the engine running, and also with the engine at 1200 rpm. A second person needed here to open the throttle.

If it's not the alternator draining the Battery, then there isn't much that could flatten a Battery that quickly. A faulty boot light, for example, should stay on for a day with no problems at all. 

As background, when disconnecting the Battery, it is best to disconnect the earth wire first, that way, if your spanner touches the body accidentally, nothing happens.  And if you then disconnect the positive terminal, an accidental short to the body etc.with the spanner does nothing

I don't think that disconnecting the fuses will highlight anything, so it might be worth starting with disconnecting the alternator, which has bolt-on wires, if I remember. If you want to disconnect these then you must disconnect the Battery first, if not done already, to avoid the (very real!) chance of an accidental short.  And the disconnected wires should be insulated to prevent them touching any part of the car if the Battery is to be reconnected afterwards.  Perhaps an old glove or very thick bag cable-tied over the top of them??? 

If you intend pulling fuses then don't forget to photo the fuse layout before you start. 

It is easy to put your meter onto the dc current range and fit it in series with the connection to the Battery to help fault find. But this carries a greater chance of damaging the car or meter if you then try to measure a voltage with the meter still set to the current setting. It's easily done. So I'd avoid doing that until you become familiar with the meter. On the 'current' setting the meter probes are effectively a shorting wire! If you do use the current reading on the meter, then an acceptable drain with everything off should be less than 40mA.

If you post back here what the voltage drop/difference is with or without the alternator connected, that might be meaningful as well. 

HTH

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On the topic of code readers, I just noticed this bluetooth dongle for sale with an unusual disclaimer: "Please Note This Device Will Not Clear ABS or Airbag Faults For Safety Reasons "

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=obd2+elm327+bluetooth&source=lnms&tbm=shop&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjf4tO_vKLiAhVysHEKHa5HBpYQ_AUIDigB&biw=1422&bih=684#spd=5788649475269285390

I've never tried doing that with my (very similar) tool, but I guess mine will only display, not clear, ABS error codes too?

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The code you have is actually a copy of the original, which had the source code for V1 leaked. The original one costs couple of times more.

Anyway the copy can still do basic code reading and it's what most people want. 

I think most of basic diagnostics dont work on ABS codes on newer cars, as in cant even read them, let alone try to erase, maybe some safety issues.

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Hi There, 

I have ordered a diagnostic reader off Amazon so should be here tomorrow it was only a cheapo 8 quid one I am hoping that it will show me the fault so I have an idea what could be wrong. The fault lights were actually clear today since the Battery had been fully flat for several hours. I drove about 8 miles after the car started and they came back on. Have checked brake fluid and all is ok. 

On the subject of the parasitic drain. I have a drain of around 4 amps when testing the current! (Watched a couple of YouTube vids first). 

The thing is I have puled out most of the fuses and the draw is still there. 

There are 3 fuses I am really struggling to get out. The 100 amp alternator fuse, the 50 amp abs fuse and the starter fuse.

These are the big blue square one at the top and the two rectangular ones (top left in pic). 

Any advice on how to get these out. The rectangular ones the plastic case on top of the fuses comes off but even with pliers on the plastic casing they wont come out. Do I need to remove the white assembly that they are sat in first? 

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If you have a copy of the owners manual, it should be shown in there, but i have similar fuses, even more encased in such plastic and in my case it says go to Toyota.

If you are down to those 3, and it still looks to be the alternator, check if you can disconnect the wires from it, so you don't have to take the fuse out.

If after that the drain is gone, i guess a used or reconditioned one should not be that expensive, and should be easy to replace by yourself.

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