What is this idiot light on a 99 Crown Vic?

There is a red idiot light on the top left side of the instrument cluster that looks like an icon for a auto battery - it is in the row where the low fuel indicator is the first one and also the seat belt
light, it used to come on when I switched the ignition on to start the car and stayed on for a few seconds after the car started.
About three weeks ago it came on and stayed lit for several minutes after I started and then went out, later it came on again and also went off again. Now it is on most of the time! At first I thought it might be indicating that the battery was not charging, but the car has a real gage for this and it shows that all seems to be well,I have not bothered to check further since it is not causing any problems that are causing a bother for me other than the annoyance of seeing the red rectangle lit u0 most of the time.
Can anyone tell me what this thing is supposed to be warning me about or if I can expect that I will find out when I take the car in for its annual inspection next week and the DMV computer will reject me? (I tried to get it inspected last week but the network was down because of Isabel (;-< )
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It is trying to tell you there is a problem with the electrical charging system. Take the vehicle to competent service facility an have the fault corrected before you are left stranded, WBMA.
mike hunt
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On Tue, 23 Sep 2003 15:50:31 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote:

Got it in for service today ---- BUT the light stopped 'glowing' (after start up) yesterday and local Ford dealer's service center didn't find any problem (?)
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snipped-for-privacy@invalid.net says...

You could have a bad wire (corrosion or break causing intermittent contact) or drive belt related (slipping?) to the alternator. Does weather seem to be a factor (wet vs dry, cold vs hot?)
You could also have a bad battery that is not properly taking a charge.
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On Sat, 4 Oct 2003 09:40:33 -0500, Andrew Rossmann

It did go out after we started to get lower temps over the last five or so days - and I also suspected that wet vs dry might have had something to do with it because it didn't start to become noticeable until after my wife had the car through a local carwash (I never do that and in fact limit my washes to just cleaning the wheels about twice a year, but she will take it to the car wash place primarily to get them to vacuum the carpets (;->
Thanks for the response and I'll check out the wires closer, the belts are tight and no signs of slippage.
Jim

Battery checks out - no problem with it since the light went on the first time.
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On Tue, 23 Sep 2003 15:29:01 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.net wrote:

i'm betting on an intermittent alternator.sounds like what happened on my other car.
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