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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by ALLDATAdiy.com users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.
 
 

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  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'96 Ford Taurus, Flickering Battery Light

Q: When starting my ’96 Ford Taurus the battery light flickers then fades out. Is this an alternator or battery problem, or is it time for a tune up?

A: Why the vehicle manufacturers persist in confusing the vehicle owner by mislabeling warning lights is beyond me. The vehicle manufacturers must be in cahoots with the battery manufacturers. Why is that? That mislabeled battery light has sold more batteries needlessly than any other warning light I know of. The battery light on vehicles has little to do with the battery; it’s about the charging system. The warning light that is even more idiotic is the check engine light. I can assure you that if the check engine light comes on, your vehicle does have an engine, no one stole it! I could really get running on this topic but it won’t answer your question. A flickering battery light is not an indicator that you vehicle needs a tune-up. As for the battery being the cause, not likely. A battery light should be a charging system warning light. And, with that little piece of information a consumer can logically conclude that if the warning light is doing strange things there may be a potential problem beginning to start with the charging system. A simple relabeling of the warning lights by people who use and drive the vehicles would minimize the confusion. I guess that’s why they call them idiot lights after all. Because only an idiot would have given warning lights names like that in the first place.

 
     
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