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Old 10-17-2016, 10:14 PM   #1
awdonry
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Chapter/Region: W. Canada
Location: Winnipeg
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1998 GF8 wrx STi

Default flickering lights

Hey guys my wife's stock 2010 impreza's headlight/tail lights and interior lights started flickering(not the dash lights) I went to check the battery and I get 12.5V. I cleaned the terminals/posts and still does it. I also tried to charge her battery with my charger but the "full battery led" is always on.

When you start the car the battery warning light on the dash flickers insync with the rest of the lights

I used a multimeter on the DCV 20 setting, red probe on the alternator wire and black to - battery. It fluctuates between 12-13.8V while the car is on. A friend of mine sugguested to put the red probe on each of the + and - and the black probe onto bare metal. I get: + battery: 12-13v. - battery: 0.01-0.03. I'm not sure what that means.
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Last edited by awdonry; 10-17-2016 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:37 PM   #2
motardmom
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I have the same problem in my 2009. Did you ever find an answer?
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:33 AM   #3
CRAZYHAWK
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You should check for a solid ground at the lights.
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:04 PM   #4
Cougar4
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Disable the alternator by disconnecting the small connector to it. Then start the engine and see if the problem clears. The battery warning light will be on of course but if the flickering goes away it means there are bad diodes inside the alternator and you have excessive ripple voltage.
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Old 01-15-2017, 11:59 PM   #5
motardmom
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Around Thanksgiving my 2009 WRX was in the shop (Subaru Specialists) for something else and they told me my battery was low. So I swappped it with the one from my 2003, which was only a year old. Everything was fine for a month. After Xmas, the battery light started to flicker intermittently and then eventually it just stayed on, within minutes all the warning lights went on, the gauges went crazy and it died-going down a steep, windy road in a snowstorm no less. So the next day I sprang for a new alternator. No change, however when I first started it, the alternator readings were low for a second and then it sounded like something clicked, and everything worked fine for a few hours. And then the flickering battery light reappeared, and the crazy gauges came back. Took it to another shop (not Subaru Specialists but the owner has had a few and very knowledgable), they claimed I needed an alternator belt. The belt was fine when the new alternator went in, my boyfriend's theory was that something was not telling the alternator to work (ECU? Wires?) but whatever, I let them change the belt, even though I tried to explain that something more is going on. No difference. I took it back, let them keep it for week and they claim none of the lights will come on for them. They put a new battery in. Yay. Within 5 minutes of picking it up, it was going crazy again. Now I'm back to square one after spending hundreds of dollars (right after xmas) to not get my car fixed. It's very frustrating. I can't seem to get it across to these guys that something else is going on--I'm not a mechanic (especially with electrical stuff--I started a Chrysler on fire hooking up a stereo in high school---big ole nope), I've read through every electrical thread on here and have tried to suggest things to these guys without telling them how to do their jobs but I'm at the end of my rope. Sorry there's not a lot of technical data in my rant, but I could use a push in the right direction. My boyfrend will be looking at it tomorrow, he's a bike/sled/atv mechanic but doesn't like to mess with newer cars, especially mine.
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:07 PM   #6
motardmom
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I just drove it around, all dash warning lights are on, battery light was solid, not flickering. Clock and stereo went black, tested battery and it was 15.45 v. Turned it back on a minute later, stereo and clock came back on, battery was at 14.5.
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:06 PM   #7
motardmom
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FYI it ended up being a bad connection at the wires to the 3 pin plug for the alternator.
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Old 01-26-2017, 11:32 AM   #8
Cougar4
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Glad you got the problem solved. The warnings lights are tied into the alternator field circuit lead so when the alternator has a problem it can affect the warning lights along with the battery warning light. Power from the ignition is passed through the battery warning light circuit and then on to the field windings inside the alternator. If that power doesn't get to the exciter then the alternator output is dead. Since the voltage was higher than 15 volts it seems you had a problem with the voltage regulator inside the alternator also.
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