Brake Light and Battery Light On

In the two odd years I've been driving this '99 Hyundai Accent, the brake and battery light have always flickered in rhythm with the rpms of the engine. The one time I had it checked out, the garage gave the
alternator a yellow, (caution) warning. They said it was still working but wasn't in the best condition. Now today for the first time, these lights are on and won't go off. Also in the recent past I was told the brake cylinders were leaking and had two of them replaced. Brake fluid levels seem to be fine as well.
What should I do?
Any help is appreciated.
Chris
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It seems you already have your answer. You've already been told that the alternator was weak, and now your symptoms have gone from flickering to full on. How about replacing that alternator now?
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How much do you think that will cost?
Chris
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Not so long ago parts like Alternators/Starters could be repaired. New brushes, regulators etc. Is that no longer the case? Damn sight cheaper than a new replacement. John
How much do you think that will cost?
Chris
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Where I live in Central NY John, there is a shop that will still repair most alternators for around $65. They are worth looking for in my opinion, but most people who ask really basic questions like Chris' don't generally want to go this route, or seem stymied by the thought of finding a shop that repairs alternators. Easier just to send them to the store.
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Alternators can still be repaired, but the time involved is a hassle if it's done right, as it should be completely stripped, cleaned and rebuilt.
It's easier to just buy a rebuilt alternator, then return your old one to the seller to recover the "core charge" after you've installed the rebuilt unit. It's been a while since I had to replace an alternator, but I recall the rebuilt units going for somewhere in the $65-$75 range (plus the core charge). It's usually worthwhile to see if there is a local rebuilder in your area that you can buy from, but rebuilt units are available at most auto parts stores.
John wrote:

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On Sat, 09 Feb 2008 15:45:00 GMT, Brian Nystrom

Some of the rebuilt available at the parts stores have been rebuilt in China. The cores are then sent to China for rebuilding.
The last time I replaced the starter on my Dodge truck it was a Chinese rebuilt.
Old_Timer
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Old_Timer wrote:

to China where they sandblast them then send them back and there's your $65 "rebuilt". My son and I replaced his alternator 3 times ( a lot of wasted labor) and each one was bad. We spent $100 on a name brand rebuild and it's still working years later.
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A bit tedious to do but very cost saving, last time I did an alternator was in the 1980s for under $5.

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I'm seeing costs of $90-125. I tried to buy brushes for my 99 a couple of years ago and was told by the dealer that nobody rebuilds at the local level anymore so they don't stock parts like brushes. If you want to play you can try changing the brushes on the unit but you will have to find some somewhere. They don't seem to be sold to the public.
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Whatever you were told the first time. How could anyone tell you what it would cost when prices depend on where you live? You've already been told what is wrong by a qualified mechanic, who likely quoted you a repair price, which you elected not to exercise. You have all you need - now just go do it. Want to try to get a better price? Call a couple of aftermarket stores like Advance Auto or Auto Zone.
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I suspect you have an intermittent /corroded connection and there is nothing wrong with the alternator is the alternator belt loose? I would start by checking and cleaning all the electrical connections. On the alternator, (ALL of them) you can spray deoxit gold 100 on the disassembled terminals. if the connections have turned black, green, etc... clean all the contamination off. very often a bad connection will lead you to believe that an alternator or other part is bad, even when it's still good... even a bad connection on the computer equipment. this may send you on a wild goose chase. unplug the brainbox, relays, connectors and spray deoxit gold 100 into all that stuff, plug and unplug to distribute the contact preservative around, inside the deepest connections. going through and cleaning, checking, tightening may well solve this problem. use only HIGH QUALITY contact cleaner which is safe on PLASTIC! This is made by CAIG chemical, and it IS NOT relay cleaner. Cheap contact cleaner is inferior and may damage (melt) plastic. Relay cleaner will MELT plastic. If you have cleaned all this stuff and confirmed that there are no loose plugs, etc... your alternator can be tested for free at an auto parts store. From what you are describing, I doubt the alternator is really bad, although I will not say impossible. The deoxit spray is non shorting and does not interfere with operation when it's wet. you can spray it and run it right away, it's non flammable. Generally speaking, repair shops have no clue when it comes to automotive electrical, and you are better off finding an automotive electrical specialist. Otherwise you may wind up replacing a bunch of parts for no real verifiable reason, then the problem comes back again. Even a bad solder connection on the computer PC board could cause this. bad connections can be found by tapping, wiggling, etc.. to narrow the area where the intermittent exists.
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So just a followup. Apparently the alternator was dead. Rebuilt one installed was $500Cdn. Didn't have much of a choice.
Chris
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I sure hope that included the Vaseline.
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$500????? You are not serious I hope.
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Totally serious. Parts and labour=$500. I called a Hyundai dealership as well and it was about the same price.
Hey I just did what you told me to do.
Chris
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Totally serious. Parts and labour=$500. I called a Hyundai dealership as well and it was about the same price.
Hey I just did what you told me to do.
Chris
Well - you did the right thing by getting it replaced, but that price...!!! Holy cow man. The worst I would have expected would have been around $200 - $250 US. Then again - I don't pay for repairs so it's easy to get out of touch with pricing.
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Thats not that bad a price. Its so bad on an XG350 that a lot of the time it makes sense to go ahead and have the timing belt done at the same time as much of the required labor is the same. I did anternators on both my XG350's and its a pain!!! Not to mention, the alternators are around $200 to begin with (this is for a rebuilt).
By the way, on the XG350 the brake light and battery light are wired togeather so they both go on when the alternator fails. I have no idea why they did this, but I suspect your Accent is the same.
Dan

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