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Ted Ritter
Ted Ritter, Toyota Master Tech
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4310
Experience:  Toyota Master Tech, ASE Certified
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I have 2000 sienna xle. the battery light is on all the

Customer Question

I have 2000 sienna xle. the battery light is on all the time, but they say both battery and alternator are good. The radio goes off and on with the rpm's. Off when higher then 1000 rpm, and on below. the driver window went down wont come back up, the windshield wipers wont shut off sometimes, and the seatbelt light goes off and on when im messing with the window button?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: 2000 sienna xle. the battery light is on all the time, but they say both battery and alternator are good. The radio goes off and on with the rpm's. Off when higher then 1000 rpm, and on below. the driver window went down wont come back up, the windshield wipers wont shut off sometimes, and the seatbelt light goes off and on when im messing with the window button?
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Toyota Mechanics generally expect a deposit of about $20 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Toyota
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Has brand new battery. I also need to disconnect battery because it discharges over night.
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 1 year ago.

Hello, lets assume for the time being that both alternator and battery are ok, which I think is the case as well. there is another electrical problem, the battery discharging overnight means there is a large current draw on the battery with the vehicle shut off.

To your knowledge, has it been in an accident? other than replacing the battery was anything done to the electrical system that may have something to do with this?

Are there any aftermarket add on accessories installed?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, the only thing that has been weird since ive owned the car for about 6 yrs, and the person I bought from was first owner. Anyway, the rear windows would work sometimes, and not. Plus when I would start the car first time for that day...all the lights would flicker. Plus this is the third battery in as many weeks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did add a wheelchair lift, but disconnected a long time ago. Before I started having troubles like this.
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the reply, the first thing I would do is to see why the battery drains overnight, this is an obvious problem so I'd address that first, this can be done by connecting an ammeter in series with the negative battery terminal and the cable, to drain a battery overnight would take around 10 amps of current. By the way how was the alternator tested and by whom?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it was tested by autozone with the little hand held device. Said the ignition system was good, battery good, and alternator good
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I always thought the flickering interior lights were a bad ground, but since im not really a good electrical guy. didnt even know where to start to find it
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 1 year ago.

Two things I'm still concerned about, the battery going dead overnight and the actual voltage and current out put of the alternator, it may show to be ok at idle but loose voltage and current at higher rpm, did they test it at higher rpm of around 2000 rpm?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no they didnt. Could that be the belt out of adjustment?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I had to drive it the other night and noticed at a stop light the lights would dim, but when I took off the lights would brighten up. It didnt affect the battery light though
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
when at idle the radio would work too, soon as I took off the radio and its lights would go out. Did this each time I stopped
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 1 year ago.

Possibly, if it's real loose. At this time I think I would recommend that you take it to a repair shop that knows electrical systems and have the actual alternator voltage and current checked under load, this requires a tester especially made for this and at the same time have it checked for current draw with the car shut down. It's the only way to be sure and will give me a better idea how to proceed.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I saved up enough money to have the timing belt and water pump replaced, and at the same time have the vavle cover gaskets changed as they are leaking. Should I go ahead and do that first, or fix the electrical first?
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 1 year ago.

I'd check the electrical system first it may be well worth the diagnostic fee to find out what is going on. On the other hand it really doesn't matter if you go ahead and have the other work done since it needs it anyway, maybe they'll do the test at no charge since you're spending a lot of money.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
cool ok. yeah the van is just over 100k miles, and the oil is leaking on the timing belt so needs to be done. Hopefully I can sweet talk them lol
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will put the meter on it to see if I can figure how much of a draw there is on the battery just sitting. Can I come back to share that?
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 1 year ago.

Yes, set the meter to the highest amp setting, usually 10 amps depending on the type of meter you may have to change the connections on it from volts to amps.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok cool will do
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 1 year ago.

Best of luck and keep me posted.

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