Stubborn electrical problem in 1986 Toyota Tercel wagon

Me and several local mechanics are at our wits end as to what may be draining my battery over and over.
Two lights come on the dash–the ‘charge’ light on the left and the ‘brake’ light on the right–and then
the car is running only on the battery. Sometimes while driving, the two lights come on and then go
off again in a few minutes, and in that case, the battery does not drain. Repeatedly, though, after driving and turning
everything off, the next day the car will not start; the two dashboard lights come on faintly; the car starts only if jump
started. So far, mechanics have replaced the battery, replaced the alternator, replaced fuses, and replaced the
main relay switch. No effect. Further suggestions what to check may kindly be sent to
Thank you.

The problem might be a parasitic current draw on the battery as the vehicle sits. One example of this is the glove box light remains on. To check for this would be to open the glove box and touch the bulb. If the bulb is hot you know it didn’t just come on but has been on for quite some time.

The proper way to check for a parastic current draw on your year of vehicle is explained here.


The presence of those two warning lights indicates that your alternator is not charging the battery sufficiently, and will soon fail completely.

Yes, I understand that your alternator was replaced, but the percentage of remanufactured alternators that are defective is…incredibly high. If you install a new alternator, I believe that your problems will be resolved.

The charge light and the brake light shouldn’t interact.
To me that suggests a ground problem.
Check ground straps and any ground wire to the instrument cluster.

Take a look at the following older threads, circuitsmith, and see if you still disagree with me (and some other forum members), regarding the presence of both the charging system warning light and the brake warning light:

OK, fine.