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Unfixable battery light on my Cali t

Discussion in 'California/Portofino/Roma' started by James cln, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. James cln

    James cln Karting

    Dec 20, 2015
    233
    San Antonio
    Full Name:
    James cline
    Well I have ran the gauntlet on this battery / alternator light that won’t shut off. Took to both authorized dealer, unbranded guy who specializes in f cars to no avail . Replaced Alternator, temperature sensor , had new battery super tested , Voltages on dash are perfect ! Me thinks maybe dash panel is bad giving false alarm but apparently there is no way of testing it. Dealer says if I get a used one or new for a couple grand then I have to pay another $2500 to reflash it and car! I have talked to a fellow who is great on dash instruments to send out to him but he has little or no info on this panel and now won’t call me back. Very sad - I guess I am just destined to live with red light. Hoping someone somewhere reading this post might know of a solution. Thanks for reading , james in San Antonio Tx
     
  2. whatheheck

    whatheheck F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Mar 27, 2006
    3,752
    Seattle, Wa
    Full Name:
    Dan L.
    Sorry to hear that James.

    The battery fault light got triggered by something and it stayed latched. For it to disappear it needs to be reset and unlatched.

    Have you tried a long battery reset? Like leave the battery disconnected for about 5 days, then perform a battery reset procedure? That may unlatch and reset the fault light.

    I'm disappointed that the Ferrari dealers cant help you. All it should take is a phone call to the design engineer and he can tell you how to reset that fault light. There has got to be a way to do that.

    I'm a lead design engineer for a big airplane manufacturer and the airlines frequently contact us asking for help & we always get their issues resolved with a simple conference call.

    Dan


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  3. SLViper1

    SLViper1 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Mar 25, 2014
    435
    Nashville/Destin
    Full Name:
    Steve
    James,
    I know that's is very frustrating to say the least! Is the red battery light steady (undercharged) or flashing (overcharged)?
    If this is only reading voltage of the battery and not reading the charging level, of the alternator, testing the alternator output was in order, not a new one.
    Like Dan suggested, float charge battery to full while off and do reset procedure.
     
  4. vjd3

    vjd3 Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jun 3, 2005
    1,834
    Massachusetts
    Full Name:
    Vic
    One of the techs who posts here -- Brian Brown -- has suggested this procedure to reset the ECUs on a California and clear any errors. You'll want to follow his instructions carefully if you decide to move forward. I have not tried this on my car. Proceed at your own peril ;)

    Motob said:

    First disconnect the negative cable. Then take a jumper wire and connect the positive cable to ground, which is the chassis of the car, not the negative battery terminal. (the positive cable can still be connected to the battery). Just don't do it with the negative cable connected, or you will have a major short circuit and your jumper wire will glow red hot.

    Connecting the positive cable to ground with the negative cable disconnected will drop the voltage in the positive side to zero, erasing the memories of all of the ECU's. You only need to jump it for about thirty seconds.

    After reconnecting the negative cable, turn the key to the on position and leave it there for a minute, then start the car and don't touch the accelerator pedal for five minute so that the ECU's can learn the idle speed. You will then have to use the remote to arm and disarm the alarm system in order to reinitialize the system, otherwise the top, fuel door release will not work.
     
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  5. James cln

    James cln Karting

    Dec 20, 2015
    233
    San Antonio
    Full Name:
    James cline
     
  6. James cln

    James cln Karting

    Dec 20, 2015
    233
    San Antonio
    Full Name:
    James cline
    Yep I have done both resets many times . Did it again today - grounding positive terminal - going crazy!! Dan don’t I wish there was someone to call! So frustrating- don’t have any idea what to do now- maybe just have to live with light :((( thanks for ideas. james
     
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  7. James cln

    James cln Karting

    Dec 20, 2015
    233
    San Antonio
    Full Name:
    James cline
     
  8. James cln

    James cln Karting

    Dec 20, 2015
    233
    San Antonio
    Full Name:
    James cline
    Hi Mr SL , red light is steady not flashing. Both dash voltmeter and putting my VOM on battery while running show proper output of alternator.
    A fellow on FCL suggested I check for ac voltage with motor running. I did and saw 30 volts Ac which led me to believe alternator diodes were bad . I had local Ferrari put their computer on it and it said replace alternator. Sooo I reluctantly put on a brand new alternator and it does exactly the same as the old one !! Oh I also put my VOM on my 2020 GMC Denali- guess what? 30 volts ac !! On a great working brand new truck! So that’s not problem - cost me 1800 bucks to learn ! :-( I am at my wit’s end :-((
     
  9. SVCalifornia

    SVCalifornia Formula 3

    Mar 28, 2011
    1,880
    Silicon Valley
    Full Name:
    Keith
    Does the light come on immediately when you turn the key on? Without starting the car?

    SV


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  10. SLViper1

    SLViper1 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Mar 25, 2014
    435
    Nashville/Destin
    Full Name:
    Steve
    Was voltage regulator checked by dealer?
     
  11. James cln

    James cln Karting

    Dec 20, 2015
    233
    San Antonio
    Full Name:
    James cline
    No voltage regulator to check -it’s integral part of alternator- put in brand new oem alternator gave same readings as old one. The dealer simply said their computer told them naughty alternator bc of what dash panel was saying . Yep light is on when I turn key on - start up stays on. Wahhh black tape please :-((
     
  12. SVCalifornia

    SVCalifornia Formula 3

    Mar 28, 2011
    1,880
    Silicon Valley
    Full Name:
    Keith
    Two strong possibilities.

    First the circuit could be stuck ON. Output from ecu is bad or somehow broken. Still haven’t heard if the behavior I asked above is relevant.

    Second, the input to the ecu is broken or shorted. Connectors can fail or become loose. In which case nothing you do short of fixing the input will help. Sometimes it can be a broken connector, sometimes it can be a missing or loose cable. You haven’t noticed any unconnected wires around the battery have you?

    If you can read the ecu for what it detects on the battery voltage does it give you a reasonable answer?

    SV


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  13. James cln

    James cln Karting

    Dec 20, 2015
    233
    San Antonio
    Full Name:
    James cline
     
  14. James cln

    James cln Karting

    Dec 20, 2015
    233
    San Antonio
    Full Name:
    James cline
    Hi SV , sure appreciate your help. When I turn key on battery light comes on and stays on . I have checked and rechecked connections and have found no abnormalities. I disconnected and sprayed contact cleaner on connectors to EcU . Battery connections are great - every connection seems fine.
    Don’t know how one could tell if problem is w Ecu which I have thought might be it . Even thought about getting new one but then dealer says it would cost 2500 to flash new one - just don’t know what to do . Thanks, james
     
  15. James cln

    James cln Karting

    Dec 20, 2015
    233
    San Antonio
    Full Name:
    James cline
    Ps how could I tell what Ecu is seeing or putting out ?
     

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