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Dash Lights after oil change!?

Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:40 pm
by GrymReaper

I did a routine oil and filter change this morning, same as I always do. But when I get in the car to start it up, the CHARGE, SENSOR and BRAKE lights all stay illuminated! The car runs fine, I drove it down to the local Carquest to check the charging system, it showed alternator output low but I don't know how that could have changed between when I started the oil change and now. When I drove back, the lights all went off until I came off the freeway exit and revved down, at which point they all came back on and stayed on. I have zero idea why this would occur, maybe one of you can help me out.

I had a Carquest filter on it, I swapped it out for a Donaldson cross-reference. I can't imagine how this would affect anything but I mention it for completeness' sake.

In order to change out the oil filter, I reached in alongside the smog pump from the front, then pulled the filter down from underneath. This is how I've done it the last couple times as well. I looked to see if I knocked something loose but I can't find anything obvious, nor do I know what I could possibly hit on that side of the engine to cause these lights to all go on.

Any ideas? This is just gonna drive me bonkers until I figure it out.

Re: Dash Lights after oil change!?

Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:17 am
Light on is an indicator that the charge system is not working 100%.

What car and year ?
Inbuilt of extern voltage regulator ?

Re: Dash Lights after oil change!?

Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 4:39 pm
by GrymReaper
1981 Corolla wagon, external regulator. I had the alternator rebuilt locally about 6 mos ago for 3 bad diodes so I certainly hope it's good. There has only been one time I have ever seen these 3 lights on together and that's when I lost my alternator belt cruising down the freeway. They weren't on when I pulled it into the shop to do the oil change, and when I turned her over to fill the filter they came on. I drove it home Friday, 35 miles and +1000 ft, no problems at all except the lights are still on. Frustrating!

Re: Dash Lights after oil change!?

Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 4:41 pm
by GrymReaper
And yes, I checked the belt and it's tight. Checked wiring and everything is nice and snug.

Re: Dash Lights after oil change!?

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:48 am
by GrymReaper
Solved! 8-)

I was poking around under the hood this evening and noticed the red wire to the choke was looking kind of wonky. I had also noticed the choke had been less than responsive since I changed the oil so I broke down the wiring connector, un-kinked the wire and ensured it seated in the connector correctly, put it all back together and fired er up. Voila, CHARGE, SENSOR and BRAKE indicator lights all lit up and immediately turned off just like they're supposed to! I must've jacked that wire around during the filter change. I should prob rewire it sometime but I think I'll let future me deal with that. Anyway, file this in the random knowledge bin I guess.