We just got a bad storm up here. I noticed my battery light came on when the engine was pretty cold. (Barely turned over cold is -20+) so I switched the engine off and restarted it and the light is off is this possibly a delay in the instrument panel or just the engine being too cold? Battery is new and tested good, hoping my alternator isn't going out the door.
It seems to be when the engine is warm it shuts off, but during the time the car was idling warming up all my lights were dimmer and the fan motor was lower. If I gave it gas it seemed to power itself back up until then. I have a voltage problem with my engine coolant temperature sensor according to my check engine codes could this be the reason?
Last edited by HallowedBThyName; 12-16-2008 at 03:09 AM..
How old is your battery? -20 is pretty darn cold, and anything but the strongest battery is going to have some problems. It honestly sounds reasonable that till it warmed up a touch, the battery/charging light might flicker. Could indicate a weak alternator, but I'd guess a weak battery because it goes away as it warms up. As for the engine coolant sensor, I'd be willing to bet it is temperature/battery related... but that's a personal assumption.
Battery is only 4 months old. It's new and tested fine. I just thought if my engine coolant temperature sensor voltage is above it's limit it would be draining more juice from the battery to warm the engine up, though I never saw this happen before until yesterday. Any other thoughts?
Well, if you can leave the car overnight in a parking lot of an Autozone (or what have you), then drive there in the other car and have them test it when you first fire it up... and then once it is warm too.
It might be that the alternator is weak, but I'm not surprised at the actions you are getting from the car. I doubt that the sensor is 'doing' anything for your cause... but rather it is probably something that is being caused by the temperature...
but i don't know for sure. Clear the codes and see if the problem repeats.
Well I drove it today, started fine, no light came on or any thing like last night. It is a bit warmer today, and it cranked over easily so maybe the car just hated sitting out in the cold. I'll keep an eye on it though if it does it again. Any other input feel free to share.
This might be unrelated, but, last winter I was in Edmonton, Alberta with my Freightliner. The alternator belt got so cold it started to slip on the alternator pulley. Don't know if it's a good idea for a car, but I got a big sheet of cardboard from the warehouse I was delivering to, and blocked all but a bit of the radiator. This kept the engine compartment warn enough that the problem was solved.
Made the heater work better to. That was -35, way colder than I care for, you don't even dare to shut a Diesel off in those conditions.
Also, it's possible that you had a little ice on the alternator brushes, and as soon as they warmed up, it worked fine.