I have a '91 Ford Ranger.
About half way into my 2 hour commute this morning, I noticed that the dashboard lights were dim. A few minutes later, the battery warning light flickered on. It stayed more or less on for the next hour, finally switching off after I got past a particularly nasty traffic accident (overturned manure truck). In addition to the dashboard lights, the windshield wipers and turn signals seemed sluggish, but maybe I’m seeing problems where I want to.
What has me confused is why I would have electrical production problems while driving. Shouldn’t all the power be coming from the engine, not the battery? What is going on and how panicked should I be?
The truck has 4 gears and a 5th gear labled “O.” Since I’ve been doing a lot of highway driving lately, I was using O as a true fifth gear for obtaining speeds at 70 mph (the legal limit here) while maintaining the RPMs between 2-3. Is this okay to do? Or is that gear for towing or something? The owner’s manual was not helpful.