850 warning lights remain dim

Discussion in 'Volvo 850' started by daniel swetschinski, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. in my wife's 850 some of the warning lights on the dashboard ["low
    washer fluid"," bulb failure", "low fuel", "generator not charging",
    "low coolant", "brake", and "park brake" lights] remain dimly lit
    after starting the car and while driving around. when they really
    indicate a warning--as when I step on the brakes and the bulb failure
    lights up because one of my brake lights is really busted--the warning
    light brightens.

    I have worked on the electrical system of my 240 [with a lot of
    patience, by following the lines in the wiring diagram] but have no
    experience doing any electrical work on the 850. it looks a whole lot
    more complicated.

    does anyone, perhaps, have a ready or more or less plausible solution
    for this problem? is there a relay that needs to be checked and/or

    thanks, Daniel
    daniel swetschinski, Jun 13, 2007
  2. daniel swetschinski

    Guest Guest

    You likely have a bad ground for the instrument panel.
    Guest, Jun 14, 2007
  3. daniel swetschinski

    Mike F Guest

    This happens when one of the 3 phases in the alternator is shorted to
    ground. Putting a scope on the alternator output will confirm if this
    is a problem, or measure battery voltage with the engine at or above
    2000 rpm and the lights, heater fan, rear defogger etc. on.

    Mike F.
    Thornhill (near Toronto), Ont.

    Replace tt with t (twice!) and remove parentheses to email me directly.
    (But I check the newsgroup more often than this email address.)
    Mike F, Jun 14, 2007
  4. Thanks for the succinct answers. I suppose this is what happens when
    you venture beyond a certain, relatively low level of expertise. I'm
    not sure what the info means that you gave me.

    Presently the car's battery is dead and needs to be recharged. With
    "one of the 3 phases in the alternator shorted to ground" do I just
    replace the alternator (which is only slightly more than 2 yrs old) or
    do I have to do something else? I have replaced this alternator before
    and could probably find brushes if those needed to be replaced, but I
    hate to do all that work only to find out that in my eagerness to hide
    my stupidity, I overlooked the answer most obvious to anyone who
    really knows how electrical systems work. I hate to bother you again,
    but want to be practical.

    Thanks again, Daniel

    daniel swetschinski, Jun 15, 2007
  5. daniel swetschinski

    James Sweet Guest

    If that's the problem, then yes, replace the alternator. You can have it
    tested at any autoparts store though and I would do that before replacing it
    James Sweet, Jun 15, 2007
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