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1988 4runner

Old 03-09-2016, 04:48 PM
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1988 4runner

Hi, I have a 1988 Toyota 4 runner, 4cyl. with automatic transmission. The engine was recently rebuilt by a professional and has approximately 800 miles. Everything was going perfectly until a few days ago when my Emergency brake,charge and A.T. Temp. lights came on. When this happened the engine stalled but started back with no problem. These 3 lights went off within a mile. Today while driving down the road the same lights came on again. This time the engine temperature was a little high, not hot just above normal. I found a small leak from the radiator hose connection and tightened the clamp, fixing the overheating problem.I let the engine cool and attempted to start the engine before adding coolant. To my surprise the battery was almost dead. After connecting jumper cables the engine started fine so I added the coolant and immediately went to the auto parts store and had the battery charged. I noticed the belts were loose on the Toyota. I'm going to tighten them as soon as I finish this message but wanted to get this message written before making the repairs so maybe I can get much needed advice and get the Toyota back on the road tonight. My question is, what would cause these three lights, emergency brake, A.T. Temp. and alternator light, to come on? The E brake is completely released, the transmission had plenty of time to cool had it been overheated yet the light was still on. Not sure if alternator is bad, will be tested soon, or just the loose belt is causing the dead battery problem. All three lights comes on and goes off at the same time. Any advice as to what the problem could be would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:52 PM
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Check your Alternator, same thing happened to me last month, ended up getting a new alt rather than rebuilding it as it was pretty beat up.
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:54 PM
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Forgot to say that when all 3 lights come on it is a charging issue, stupid warning if you ask me but I didn't design it.
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:49 PM
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OK,Thanks. I'll have the alternator tested tomorrow. Maybe since my belt was loose it was causing the alternator to not put out like it should and sending the wrong message to the lights. I tightened the belts after posting the previous message and the lights did go out. Maybe problem is solved but still going to test the alternator tomorrow. Thanks again for the advice.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:17 PM
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Yes it could have just been the loose belt. never hurts to check other things. Glad the lights went out and it was an easy fix.
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Old 03-10-2016, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Naked Runner View Post
Yes it could have just been the loose belt. never hurts to check other things. Glad the lights went out and it was an easy fix.
Glad u figured it out quickly with mimimal downtime and expense. That's what we try to do for each other in the forum. It's always good to search/ask fellow members before u let some incompetent or dishonest mech blindly replace parts at ur expense.
Originally Posted by Naked Runner View Post
Forgot to say that when all 3 lights come on it is a charging issue, stupid warning if you ask me but I didn't design it.
Concur 200% Freakin' stupid, confusing design. Like I always say... back in the 80's Toyota mechanical engineers were way better than its electrical engineers. May have equalized now.
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:06 PM
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Thanks Naked Runner and Rad4Runner. Tightening the alternator belt did make the 3 lights on the dash go out however. they soon came back on. This time I replaced the alternator and again the lights went out. 150 miles later the lights are still off and the 4runner is going strong. Thanks you guys and all the others on here who has offered great advice. You all have been a tremendous help. Every question I have asked has been answered in a timely manner and has been 100% accurate.
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:17 PM
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Glad your truck is running well again, and always happy to help.
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:59 PM
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Red face

I don`t know if three warning lights light up on the dash it should get your attention !!

Though some people just ignore them

People run out of fuel all the time with a fuel gauge that works so why pay attention to a discharging or over charging Volt Meter ??
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:56 AM
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i agree with wyoming. when all those lights come on, it grabs your attention. happened during a cross country trip in my legacy, and i quickly got off the higway to figure out what happened. it was the alternator, and i had it replaced within 40 minutes.
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Old 03-24-2016, 01:59 PM
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I totally get that all those lights coming on gets your attention. But if you didn't know all the lights coming on was just for charging it would confuse you some.
My Wife came back from the store last month and was frantic about the Runner she told me she didn't do anything to it but the brake light, AT Temp and Charge lights were all on. She knew that having low brake fluid would make the light come on and said she checked it but it was full, and told me she drove home really easy because she didn't want the transmission to overheat more than it already had and also said she was glad it was still daylight so she didn't have to turn the headlights on and drove home with no heat fan, radio on. I just laughed and told her it was just the charging when all of them come on. her response was awesome... Well that is just [email protected]#KING dumb, I'm an Engineer and I would never design something as stupid as that, if they were so worried about letting you know it was just the charging why not make the Charging light brighter, bigger or just flash.
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Old 03-25-2016, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Naked Runner View Post
...her response was awesome... Well that is just [email protected]#KING dumb, I'm an Engineer and I would never design something as stupid as that, if they were so worried about letting you know it was just the charging why not make the Charging light brighter, bigger or just flash.
I agree 200% with your wife. Make it flash, make it bigger, make it beep, not make the indication so confusing like Toyota did.
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