Red warning light!

Red warning light!

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ohidunno

Original Poster:

483 posts

229 months

Monday 14th October 2002
quotequote all
Are there common causes for the red warning light to illuminate.
I was on my way out Friday night and noticed the light. I took the car home and switched to my girlfriends car. Strangely when I switched off the ignition the light remained lit?
The car is booked in for some work in a fortnight, but my garage is an hours drive away - so I'm not sure I should risk it.

For a little background info. The car is a 93' 4.3. It has been making some ugly noises from cold, I suspect loose manifold. It has also been misfiring and running like a bit of a pig recently. Also I gave the car a wash just before I drove it, could this light be due to water ingress? Is it normal for the warning light to remain lit with the ignition switched off?

Phew, what a lot of questions. Cheers all......

shpub

8,507 posts

229 months

Monday 14th October 2002
quotequote all
Very abnormal. Red light indicates dead alternator and no charging.

ohidunno

Original Poster:

483 posts

229 months

Monday 14th October 2002
quotequote all
Cheers Steve, any idea what might be going on here. I looked into the car this morning, and the light had gone out.
If I take the risk driving it to the garage, am I likely to do any damage to the engine. If the worst that can happen is I'm left stranded on the hard shoulder of the M25, I'll give it a try and make use of my AA membership.

trefor

14,310 posts

240 months

Monday 14th October 2002
quotequote all
Do you mean the red 'MIL' warning light on the instrument panel near the light switches, or the red warning light in the middle of the speedo (usually) which comes on with the ignition? I think Steve is referring to the latter, maybe you meant the other one?

ohidunno

Original Poster:

483 posts

229 months

Monday 14th October 2002
quotequote all
The light is between the speedo and the rev counter (very old Chim).

GreenV8S

28,302 posts

241 months

Monday 14th October 2002
quotequote all

Is it normal for the warning light to remain lit with the ignition switched off?




If it's the ignition warning light, no. It suggests that the rectifier pack inside the alternator has failed and the battery is slowly discharging through the light. If it's the oil pressure light, it implies the ignition is staying powered up and will be discharging the battery. Either way is a potential problem.

Other far more dramatic problem is that if you really have little/no oil pressure, you will quickly destroy the engine. And if the no-charge warning light comes on because the fan belt has dropped off, you've also lost the water pump drive which can cause local overheating in the heads and destroy the engine. Neither of these would cause the light to stay on when the engine is switched off, though.

Suggest you check you have oil pressure and drive to the water pump to be on the safe side before you take it anywhere, and plan to get it fixed in the next day or so in any case. And don't be *too* surprised to find a flat battery some time soon.

Cheers,
Peter Humphries (and a green V8S)

ohidunno

Original Poster:

483 posts

229 months

Tuesday 15th October 2002
quotequote all
Many thanks chaps.
Before I go anywhere I'll check I have a fan belt. It sounds like if I check my levels and keep a close eye on oil pressure and engine temp, I shouldn't cause serious damage.
I'm due a few miles down the road for a new set of tyres tomorrow morning, so I'll use this as a test run.
If the car copes with this I'll try to get to David Battys next week, and add this problem to the list.
I'll let you know how I get on, and won't let my AA card out of my sight.
Thanks again.