Toyota Tundra Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've had my 2001 Toyota tundra for 4 years and it has been very reliable. Recently I've had it die on me and after a bit of multimeter testing I belive it is the alternator. The battery is relatively new, takes a charge, shows good voltage in its own, and starts the truck fine. After some driving the battery light came back on. When I tested with the truck running, battery voltage was about 11.8-11.9 V. So I pulled the alternator and find it is absolutely covered in oil and grime - no wonder! The power steering pump is also covered. Any suggestions on a likely source or what to check?

Couple pics:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,285 Posts
You can get your alternator rebuilt, usually for a relatively low price, and waaaaaaay less than you would pay for an OEM one.
As for the source, your best bet is to clean the engine bay with a pressure washer then watch to see where it forms from. Going to guess that if your alternator looks that bad most of your engine compartment does too so if you dont clean it up you may never be able to find the cause. Lots of youtube video's on how to use a pressure washer under the hood without damaging anything so you might want to watch one of those before you start hosing everything down.
Have you never noticed any drop in any fluids that would cause this? It has to come from somewhere so start checking your fluid levels.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LGL002

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks cheapskate, good points!
I drive this maybe once a week and haven't had any problems, never noticed any low fluids but I will try to check. I haven't done any of the oil changes myself either.

Someone suggested it could be power steering fluid coming through degraded lines (I haven't had any steering issues that I could tell). Has anyone heard of that before?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,285 Posts
Could be powersteering fluild, but it could be just about anything. Could have been a leak the previous owner had and fixed but didnt bother to clean up the mess. Either way clean up the mess, check all fluid levels now and watch to see if the mess comes back or not.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lindzaur

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,285 Posts
Almost forgot, post back what you found out would ya? Too many times people come on here with a problem but never come back to say what the cause of fix was which leaves others with a dead end thread.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LGL002

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Will do. I'm hoping to clean it up tonight and get the alternator back in tomorrow, so we'll see how it goes from there! Thanks for the advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
As per usual, it took me longer than it should have but things are relatively cleaned up now so I should be able to see fresh leaks. Aside from the covered alternator and power steering pump, there was thick goop built up across the whole width of the front frame crossmember, the alternator wiring, lower portion of the power steering lines, timing cover etc... quite the mess. Now to wait a bit and see what shows up!
152010
152011
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Battery light on means bad alternator, go figure, but it's always been that way. I wouldn't rebuild that alternator. Go to Rock Auto and get your self a Denso Alternator. That is OEM. Sounds like you have the typical power steering leak. How is the engine oil? Are you loosing any? Valve covers are common.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, the battery light came on when the battery was being run down on account of the alternator not keeping it charged - so my first step was charging the battery, testing the voltage etc. to see if that was the problem. I went with a new alternator - the old one was so packed full of grease that I also figured it was better to say goodbye. All in all, I've had very few expenses with this truck so I didn't mind spending a few extra bucks.

The power steering level was just below the cold minimum, so I topped it up to the cold max and will be keeping an eye on it.Oil level was right in the middle, so doesn't appear to be any problem there... When I was cleaning things up, I couldn't spot any obvious valve cover leaks. My plan is to drive around for a week and then take another look underneath to see if there's anything fresh.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Oil gauge in the middle? That's pressure not level. Got to check the dipstick. Power steering is my first guess knowing these trucks. Check the seal on top of the rack and pinion were the steering shaft hooks to. Small things for a great truck, it's worth putting money into for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Yeah - I meant that the oil level looks appropriate on the dipstick (middle point between the min/max holes).
Thanks for the tips on the power steering and steering bits - I've never looked into that stuff before.
I agree, this is the only truck I've ever owned, but I love it and want to keep it running as long as possible!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Linzauer, if you don't mind, please include your odometer reading. My 2002 4.7L has 258k miles. While no clear leaks yet I'm just starting to get an occasional whif like some fluid drops may be cooking off a hot engine. No visible losses in fluid levels or indications of leaking so I'm thinking possibly very early stage of a leak that could progress later. It would be great to know usual suspects besides always looking everywhere.

Datzen, please say more about coil failures. I've only replaced one so far, and that was time and miles ago. What's your experience base on that issue? And if you happen to know of any threads documenting others' experiences and could share a link, that would be great.

May the iForce be with y'all
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
That's a power steering fluid leak. But you might as well change your valve cover gaskets (and tube seals) too while its all apart.

Oil don't usually kill and alternator unless it gets all the vents blocked. Like you got there.

but ATF will, for sure. The detergent breaks down the vanish on the windings and washes out the bearing lube.

Make sure you flush that powered steering system or that rack and pinion will go out next.. if that PWR steering pump bombed internally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Well keep in mind I had 350,000 for miles, so coils could last forever, but you don't know that, and for $20 having one on board just in case is not a bad thing. Power steering fluid in most cases is ATF, so yea, good bye alternator. Valve cover bolts need to be tighten once in awhile, try that first before replacing gaskets.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top