Battery light flickers / Loss of power steering on 1997 Toyota Corolla

This morning, my battery light (dash) started flickering and I seemed to lose power steering. The car did not die, and would restart after being shut off. The light did not stay solid, is there a common belt between the alternator and PS pump or something else common?

by in Anderson, IN on March 02, 2009
2 answers 1 comment
ANSWER by on March 02, 2009
Sounds like your engine idle is very low maybe your air filter is dirty or try installing a new set of spark plugs and a new distributor cap and rotor. The alternator has to turn at a minimum rpm level to charge the battery properly and if its too low the battery light will flicker. By tuning the engine it will run smoother at lower rpm's.
1 person likes thisFlag inappropiateReply
ANSWER by on March 02, 2009
Both the 1.6 and 1.8 liter engine offered in this car both has a separate alternator fan belt/drive belt and a separately driven belt for the power steering system. Check the power steering belt it is the small belt on the inside groove of the crankshaft pulley ensure belt is intact and tensioned correctly. Check power steering fluid level in resiviour .I suspect the steering belt deteriorated and came off.
3 people like thisFlag inappropiate
COMMENT by on March 03, 2009
I was actually able to find the cause - the locking bolt on the tensioning block for the alternator had snapped off... This removed tension from the alternator (flickering light), power steering pump (loss of PS), and I suspect the water pump (I had little to no heat, as well). Placed a new bolt and replaced the belt also, for good measure, and all is well. Thanks for the answers and assistance though!