Automotive

ABS, power steering and battery light came on..whats the issue?

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[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 3, 2006
2675 posts
3985 upvotes
Vancouver, BC

ABS, power steering and battery light came on..whats the issue?

Anyone know whats going on? 2007 Mazda3. Battery, ABS and power steering light all came on while driving. Power steering light came on and off randomly so I would lose power steering sporadically which is dangerous. When I drove home later though, the lights went off. But I drove it the next day and the lights sporadically went on and off again.

Battery was changed 2 years ago (Costco). Battery connections were tight. Battery test was fine.
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31 replies
Sr. Member
Jun 21, 2006
803 posts
406 upvotes
Probably the alternator or a really bad battery you should tow it in a shop since it can stall while driving
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2015
1136 posts
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Barrie, ON
Any recalls for this car? Quick Google search shows that you're not alone with this issue.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 3, 2006
2675 posts
3985 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
mxthor3 wrote: Any recalls for this car? Quick Google search shows that you're not alone with this issue.
Just checked, no recalls. Sounds like an alternator problem from what I am reading online.
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Feb 1, 2012
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Thunder Bay, ON
stovetop wrote: Just checked, no recalls. Sounds like an alternator problem from what I am reading online.
Yup. Electrical power steering assist will stop working if the alternator fails.
I solemnly swear, to never assume I have an inkling at which direction the market will head, and to never make any investments based on a timing strategy.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 5, 2013
5394 posts
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gulfstream
Deepwater wrote: Yup. Electrical power steering assist will stop working if the alternator fails.
first thing you check is did your fan belt break? ,..if not ..alternator..most scam garages will sell you a battery first..do your due diligence
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
28310 posts
8763 upvotes
It's a common misconception that the "battery light" has anything to do with the vehicle's battery. The manufacturers don't make it any any easier by making it look like...a battery. It's a charging system light and is related to low system voltage which typically means the alternator. I guess the thing is if they made the light look like an alternator, the same people that think it means "the battery", would have no idea what the icon was depicting lol.
Deal Expert
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May 22, 2005
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Good Morning
I had a 2004 mazda3 that had the same symptoms a decade ago. It was the alternator.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 3, 2006
2675 posts
3985 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
Deepwater wrote: Yup. Electrical power steering assist will stop working if the alternator fails.
cardguy wrote: first thing you check is did your fan belt break? ,..if not ..alternator..most scam garages will sell you a battery first..do your due diligence
ES_Revenge wrote: It's a common misconception that the "battery light" has anything to do with the vehicle's battery. The manufacturers don't make it any any easier by making it look like...a battery. It's a charging system light and is related to low system voltage which typically means the alternator. I guess the thing is if they made the light look like an alternator, the same people that think it means "the battery", would have no idea what the icon was depicting lol.
coriolis wrote: I had a 2004 mazda3 that had the same symptoms a decade ago. It was the alternator.
Thanks for the replies. Sounds like the alternator then. Is it still best to pay for "diagnostics" or should I just bring it in and tell them to change the alternator. Reason I ask is because the dealership charges $158/hour for labor and they said it'll be about 30 mins to diagnose based on my complaints. I was quoted $842 all in (tax, labour, parts) to change the alternator. OEM part itself is $500 but I can get 10% off from them so it would be $450. I called Lordco and they have an AC Delco for $425....I'll stick with OEM if its only $25 more. If I have them diagnose it would probably be an additional 30 mins labour and they may just come to the same conclusion: that my alternator needs replacement.
Deal Addict
May 9, 2003
1591 posts
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If you have a multimeter then you can diagnose yourself in 5-10 minutes (including learning how to use the multimeter).

If you are in the GTA I highly recommend @iGarage (first to respond to this thread).
Deal Addict
May 9, 2003
1591 posts
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stovetop wrote: Thanks for the replies. Sounds like the alternator then. Is it still best to pay for "diagnostics" or should I just bring it in and tell them to change the alternator. Reason I ask is because the dealership charges $158/hour for labor and they said it'll be about 30 mins to diagnose based on my complaints. I was quoted $842 all in (tax, labour, parts) to change the alternator. OEM part itself is $500 but I can get 10% off from them so it would be $450. I called Lordco and they have an AC Delco for $425....I'll stick with OEM if its only $25 more. If I have them diagnose it would probably be an additional 30 mins labour and they may just come to the same conclusion: that my alternator needs replacement.
If you are comfortable taking it to an independent mechanic, you could probably get it done for $400-450 all in using a quality aftermarket part.
Deal Addict
Sep 6, 2017
3508 posts
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On another car something similar happened to me a few years back and it was a chewed up plastic pulley which shredded the serpentine belt.
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Oct 12, 2007
5006 posts
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Ottawa
stovetop wrote: Anyone know whats going on? 2007 Mazda3. Battery, ABS and power steering light all came on while driving. Power steering light came on and off randomly so I would lose power steering sporadically which is dangerous. When I drove home later though, the lights went off. But I drove it the next day and the lights sporadically went on and off again.

Battery was changed 2 years ago (Costco). Battery connections were tight. Battery test was fine.
What codes did you pull up with your scanner?
Deal Addict
Jul 19, 2004
1173 posts
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Vancouver
stovetop wrote: Thanks for the replies. Sounds like the alternator then. Is it still best to pay for "diagnostics" or should I just bring it in and tell them to change the alternator. Reason I ask is because the dealership charges $158/hour for labor and they said it'll be about 30 mins to diagnose based on my complaints. I was quoted $842 all in (tax, labour, parts) to change the alternator. OEM part itself is $500 but I can get 10% off from them so it would be $450. I called Lordco and they have an AC Delco for $425....I'll stick with OEM if its only $25 more. If I have them diagnose it would probably be an additional 30 mins labour and they may just come to the same conclusion: that my alternator needs replacement.
I know it gets said alot, but don't go to the dealer. If it's something straightforward an independent won't charge for a diagnostic in my experience.
Sr. Member
Jun 21, 2006
803 posts
406 upvotes
if you havent changed the belts best to get them changed together but it will be bit more than other cars becuase the alternator belt is underneath the AC stretch belt
our alternator price parts and labour is $400 rebulit incs recharging the battery with 1 year warranty
and drive belts $160
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 3, 2006
2675 posts
3985 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
bizzyseller wrote: If you are comfortable taking it to an independent mechanic, you could probably get it done for $400-450 all in using a quality aftermarket part.
I don't mind independent shop but not.sure how it can be done for $400-$450 considering i got a quote for just an AC Delco alternator for $425. Not sure how much other brands cost.

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