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Old 08-25-2006, 03:04 PM   #1
aduke
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Default new here small problem with new impreza

hey everyone im andy. i come from a long history of built jeeps. i just picked up a 98 impreza sport outback 5 spd, 90K, for the winter.

so when i start it up the battery and brake lights stay on until the motor is revved up to 3000 rpm. after that the lights go off but then the motor will idle at around 500rpm. is this normal?

right before i bought it it had a new timing belt and cam seals installed

thanks
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Old 08-25-2006, 05:49 PM   #2
Kostamojen
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The battery and brake lights arent normal. Check your battery and see if it has any corrosion and check the brake fluid to see if its full.

As for the idle, 700rpms is normal. Is it close to that, or well under?
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Old 08-25-2006, 06:49 PM   #3
Master2192
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As kostamojen said. The battery and brake lights thing isn't normal.

But as for the RPMs, you are reading it wrong. Took a good look at it again, or compare the distance between Zero and One, and then One And Two. You'll notice that the first set is much smaller. In reality, the very first tick right above the Zero is really 500 rpms. I don't know why they did it that way, as it confuses everyone.
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Old 08-25-2006, 07:32 PM   #4
Guerice
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Really easy, you need an alternator.

When you rev it you make enought energy to somewhat charge your battery. When you let it idle, your running on your battery.
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Old 08-25-2006, 07:33 PM   #5
Guerice
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oh yeah if you wanna see if your alternator is good, start the car and unplug the battery, if it dies, well it's gone
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Old 08-25-2006, 08:10 PM   #6
bheinz57
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Alternator.

Brian
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Old 08-25-2006, 08:45 PM   #7
Tim Sanderson
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Why not just buy a 10 dollar volt meter and check your voltage at the battery before and after you start it.
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:57 AM   #8
wirolla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guerice View Post
oh yeah if you wanna see if your alternator is good, start the car and unplug the battery, if it dies, well it's gone
do not do this. this was popular (and apparently still is) with the backyard mechanics aka hackjobs. you can do this on older cars, but not on the newer cars with the computers and everything. too much of a risk of frying something.
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Old 08-31-2006, 06:15 AM   #9
LetItSnow
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+1 for the voltmeter. 12v off, 14v on should tell you what you need to know.
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Old 08-31-2006, 08:23 AM   #10
Back Road Runner
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^ditto

One question, well a couple:
Will the battery/brake lights turn off automatically after a period of time if you don't rev the engine? How long?

For idle, like people said, normal.

Battery issue -> car off, battery reads lower than 12v -> replace
Alternator issue -> car on, voltage reads less that 14v(I believe high 13's are acceptable) -> replace alternator

If the battery light stays on, I can see an electrical issue. However, I'm not sure how the brake light in invovled. Check brake fluid levels first to see if it's actually full. After that, you may want to go around the car and check pad wear to see if you might have a sticky brake somewhere(one almost gone or a lot newer than the others). It could also be the parking brake. You may want to drive the car around a bit and see if you can feel any wheel temperature difference between the wheels, see if any is generating a bit of heat. You may even consider the parking brake switch, lots of things really.
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:06 AM   #11
problemcat13
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I'm betting the brake light is just the "emergency brake is up" light triggered by the little switch sticking. It would stay on part of the time in our 95 leggy, seemed sensitive to temps, and I could have replaced it but why bother since it didn't really mean anything?

Ditto on what wirolla said, you SHOULD NOT unhook the battery with the car running on newer cars. Take it to Advance Auto to have the battery and alternator checked out (they can tell you most of the time, but not always), also check your cable connections (corrosion, bad connections, etc). Always good to clean them and use dielectric grease to protect it.

Good luck on getting it ironed out!
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