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Discussion Starter #1
The battery light on my 2004 E comes on intermittently. While driving, it may go off if RPM are above 3,000. While idling, it may or may not come on. I finally caught the light on while idling at home and checked the battery voltage: about 12.5. When the light is off the voltage is above 14. Last time I checked the cold battery it was 12.6. This has been going on for weeks so the alternator must be topping off the battery whenever the light is off, but I feel like I'm asking for trouble driving to work everyday. Loose connection somewhere? Bad voltage regulator? I replaced the ECM a few years ago, and the alternator maybe 1 or 2 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What's the condition of your belt? Maybe it's slipping?
Belt appears fine. Is the battery light triggered when the voltage drops below a threshold? I'm wondering if the alternator is able to charge intermittently and tops off the battery, which makes the light go away for a while (minutes, maybe longer). I still can make the light go away most of the time by keeping the rpms above 3000, but lately I need to go to 4000 or 5000 to get the light off.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Had alternator replaced. It was only 2.5 years old so mechanic only charged me for the part. Says my starter is drawing a lot of current indicating failure soon. I swear my E is a lemon, but I bought it used with high mileage (over 200k now and body is good) so what you gonna do. I love the car. Replaced engine (timing chain failure), alternator (twice), battery, AC condenser, I think the water pump, what's left?
 

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Any time the charging voltage is less than the power required to run the engine, lights, and everything else electrical, the battery light will turn on as a warning.

Sounds logical ... lets use more electricity when we don't have enough to begin with. :oops: Backwards, but it works to alert you.
 
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