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Ask Ted Ritter Your Own Question
Ted Ritter
Ted Ritter, Toyota Master Tech
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4335
Experience:  Toyota Master Tech, ASE Certified
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I recently had the timing belt replaced on my 1998 camry 4

Customer Question

I recently had the timing belt replaced on my 1998 camry 4 cylinder. Since then, the electrical voltage seems to have become unstable. I get random blinks from the alternator indicator light. The blower fan changes speed at random and the ABS light comes on when the blower speeds up. At night you can see the lighting fluctuation in the dash and headlights. Has the alternator tested and it checked ok
JA: Have you checked the battery's voltage?
Customer: I haven't personally since the battery was new this spring. I brought it back to the shop that did the timing belt and they said it all checked out.
JA: Are you fixing your Camry yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: I have only verified that there was no damage to the wiring at the battery connections or up to the distribution fuse block.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 7 months ago.

hello, thanks for posting ,

Was this the reason for replacing the alternator, was it doing this before? If not what was the reason for the alternator replacement?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The battery was replaced but not the alternator because it was 5 years old. The alternator was tested on a machine at the local parts shop and passed
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 7 months ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** after the timing belt was replaced?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
all of the electrical issues started after the timing belt was replaced
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 7 months ago.

Ok, it sounds like there may be a loose or bad connection in the charging system or battery ground,check to make sure the ground cable on the battery is tight, check the electrical plug on the back of the alternator for a bad connection or damaged wires, check the large wire on top of the alternator make sure the bolt is tight, check for loose fuses in the box under the hood especially the alternator fuse,

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I can check all of that. I don't see how changing a timing belt will loosen a relay on the other fire wall of the vehicle. Anything in the vicinity of the timing belt cover that could have gotten damaged to cause this?
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 7 months ago.

No but they usually disconnect the battery because the alternator has to be disconnected and removed

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
OK, I will trace through and see if I can find any issues from the items you indicated
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 7 months ago.

Ok souds good, let me know how it goes.