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1993 Toyota P/U Idiot lights

I have a 1993 Toyota pick-up truck with the famous 22-R motor with just over 200,000 miles. I recently drove the truck on a fairly long trip to another state. After running at highway speeds for about 2 hours I pulled over to a rest area for a brief stop. When I started the truck to continue my travels, the battery and brake lights remained on. Other than that, the truck ran well. On my return trip I didn’t make the rest stop and the lights never came on.

This has happened on more than one occasion. It doesn’t happen when I’m driving in-town but anytime I drive for an hour or more, turn the truck off and then turn it back on again I have the same issue.

I need to make another out-of-state trip soon and would like to know if this is something that I need to worry about or fix.

When the battery and brake light come on at the same time in your Toyota, that indicates the alternator is failing. Have it tested and if confirmed, replace it.

If driving a 20 year old truck with 200,000 mikes on it doesn’t bother you, I don’t think this should. After all, your truck starts when this happens so the battery isn’t dead and you have checked the brake fluid level, right?

AlanY is correct.
The alternator is failing and it would be wise for the OP to replace it before it kills the battery and winds up stranding him.

Replacing the alternator tomorrow–when it is convenient–is a better bet than having to be towed and paying an unknown shop to replace it while on a road trip.

When my alternator failed in my 1979 Celica (20R engine) , both the alternator and the brake light came on. Don’t know about your pickup, but my Celica’s charge light relay is connected to both the Brake Warning diode and the charge warning light. Hence simultaneous illumination of both lights.

No it doesn’t bother me to drive a car “over 20 years old (34 yrs) and with over 200,000 miles” (218,000 to be exact).

Go ahead and replace the alternator now. It is nearly worn out and on borrowed time.

My 1990 Toyota Pick-up (22R) did the same thing to me on a trip between Knoxville, TN and Columbia, SC. I was close to 280,000 miles at the time. The brake and battery lights stayed on the entire way home. I got home OK, then tested the alternator. Light didn’t come on when I started it up, and alternator checked out OK. 2 days later, the lights came back on, and my voltmeter confirmed it was on battery power. Took the alternator out and took it apart. The brushes were worn to the nub. I put it back together and got a reman at the local parts store. That reman outlasted the remaining life of the truck, some 6 or 7 years.

Again I learn something new, I wasn’t implying that driving a 20 year old truck should bother you, I was driving a 1966 Valiant in 1993 and on one very cold morning I had returned to my truck terminal after a two day trip and my car was the only car in the parking lot that started.
I just meant that most people who drive 20 year old trucks are not worriers.
PS On that same 66 Valiant the alternator brushes cost 25 cents and were replaced on the car from the outside with a Phillips screw.

On my Corolla, if there is a problem with the brakes, the alternator light comes on also. It’s a fail-safe, in case the brake light bulb burns out, at least you know something needs immediate correction. At the minimum, OP should inspect brake fluid level.

@oldtimer11, thay Denso alternator had soldered-in brushes. Plus, with 280,000 miles, I worried about the health of the pressed-on bearings. A reman simply made more sense and much less hassle.

@GeorgeSanJose, interesting wire scheme in your car. None of my Toyotas do that. The brake light triggers only affects the brake light, weather it is low fluid or parking brake applied. Only with the battery light does the brake light also comes on.

@oldtimer_11 : I learned (through a driving school) in a Plymouth Valiant. That car was a delight to drive. The school had a fleet of them. IIRC, there was a turning light indicator on the fenders, in addition to the lights on the dash for the directionals, no? And it wouldn’t bother me to rive that one too!

@BustedKnuckles … you are right, the Corolla’s brake light comes on when the alternator fails (along with the alternator light) . But the alternator light doesn’t come on when the brakes fail. I looked up the schematic and there’s a diode to prevent this. Makes sense, as the brake light comes on when the emergency brake is set, and you wouldn’t want the alternator light to come on then.