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Thread: Battery, alternator or something else?

  1. #1
    Regular Member djr69uk's Avatar
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    Default Battery, alternator or something else?

    Guys

    My alternator failed earlier this year during the cold spell and I had it replaced at a local garage. All was well until a couple of days ago when the battery light came back on under full load from cold startup (lights, stereo, front screen and rear demister).

    I checked test mode on the BC today and at normal startup with no load the voltage reads about 14.2. When I add load it starts to drop until on full load and about a minute later it drops to just below 12v and the battery light comes back on. A gentle rev takes it swiftly back up to ~14v. Whilst driving there is no problem at all.

    She still has the original battery (5 years and 112k) which has been drained a couple of times during the last alternator failure, so is there a chance it could be the battery or is it likely to be the alternator again?

    The other thing to note is that I get P0621 which is something like 'generator lamp l - control circuit malfunction'. Thought it was glow plug related but now we think it's likely to be related to the alternator.

    I'm going to get it all checked out in the next couple of days but just wondered what other people's experiences/thoughts were?

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Regular Member Handyandy-UK's Avatar
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    Vehicle : BMW 525i

    Trim : SE Touring

    Engine : 3.0

    Year : 2007

    Default

    Assuming the battery is charging and holding ok, I'd be thinking regulator.

    No idea if they're available seperately though or whether you'd be looking at an exchange alternator.

  3. #3
    Full Member chrisvectra's Avatar
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    Vehicle : VXR8 6.0 muscle SRI ESTATE XP1

    Trim : VXR/ SRI ESTATE CDTI XP1

    Engine : 6.0 V8 Thunder

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    id be changing the battery fella dosnt sound like its holding a charge properly
    VXR IS FOR LIFE NOT JUST FOR THRILLS !



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    Battery, they can be funny things....

    People assume that because it's holding at 12v that it's ok, but that doesn't tell you it's cranking capacity, it simply tells you it's voltage when under next to zero load.

    For less than £60, it's worth changing. (online battery stores)

  5. #5
    Regular Member Thunder's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra C Facelift

    Trim : Elite

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    Year : 2005

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    Default

    As said above, as your battery gets old it loses it's AMPS

    Just keep an eye on the test mode on the BC mine is about 13.8 to 14.2 volts

  6. #6
    Regular Member djr69uk's Avatar
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    Default

    had BC on all the way to work today. whilst on the move it was fairly steady around 14.2v.

    does anyone know if the voltage readout from the BC test mode measures the alternator output or the battery output?

    also something else I'm wondering about, how much extra load do HIDs put on the battery? when i turn them on whilst stationary the voltage drops quite a bit...

  7. #7
    Regular Member marktaylor's Avatar
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    Default

    put a volt meter across the battery when its running
    if it shows less than about 13v then its alternator or regulator , if it shows about 14v then prob the battery

  8. #8
    Regular Member djr69uk's Avatar
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    Just been to Kwik Fit (yes I know... don't say anything) and the guy used some fancy looking kit (tech2 equivalent of a multimeter lol!) to test the battery and the alternator. the results are that apparently the alternator is fine but the battery has seen better days lol! Quoted £120 for a Samsun battery with 4 years guarantee! Dealer wants £98 plus the VAT.

    The guys did say that the HIDs put a substantial drain on the battery and it might be those that has tipped it over the edge.

  9. #9
    Full Member Big Sig's Avatar
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    Default

    weird, i thought HID's were a bit like Fluorescent tubes, high start up current but much lower when running.???

    Phone round for a battery- try all of your local independent tyre supply type places.
    Now I need a turbo to keep up!

  10. #10
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    Those prices are still expensive for a battery try a motor factors who supply parts to garages not the likes of Halfords.

    Andrew page up here would be my choice.

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