I recently purchased the car from my grandparents, my grandma told me that the battery light would always come on, at random times, for a random amount of time. I've had it die twice complete power loss when I drive, and it will lose power steering, or I'll either have the feather the gas, which isn't good for a fuel injected car. I put in a brand new alternator in today, and the light still is just on now, and won't turn off. I'm wondering if it's my battery being dead from my old alternator or what, if you have any suggestions please help.
It sounds like you are dealing with two distinct problems. Firstly, the behavior you describe about the battery light coming on occasionally and the power steering going off would point at the alternator belt being stretched / perished / not correctly tensioned. The reason I say this is that this belt is typically responsible for driving the alternator and the power steering pump.
The second issue I suspect relates to the wiring on the back of the new alternator not being correctly fitted, seated or possibly a fuse has blown.
Your owner's manual will give you the exact causes for the battery light to come on. It is at least one of these reasons:
- Alternator is not charging
- Alternator is OK, but the battery is not charging or damaged
- A main fuse in the charging circuit has blown
The root cause(s) can be these:
- Bad alternator (internal voltage regulator or just the entire thing)
- Damaged wiring to/from the alternator
- Bad/corroded battery terminals
- Missing/ineffective alternator belt
In this case, it sounds like the wiring was suspect, and now that you replaced the alternator the wiring was jostled enough to permanently affect the connections. Or, perhaps the wiring was suspect and the installation of the new alternator caused a fuse to blow.