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Thread: Battery light, power steering on and off, engine management light. Alternator???

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    Default Battery light, power steering on and off, engine management light. Alternator???

    Hello guys, in the past the car has mysteriously drained the battery for no reason but after a bump and a charge it was fine.

    At the weekend driving back from Dorset in my 2003 1.8 vectra, the engine management light came on ( spanner over the car ) with the battery warning light. I pulled over switched the car off then on again and everything was clear, drove down the road and the dials went off then sprung back on, then the car was fine for the rest of the journey.

    Yesterday when the car started the power steering warning light came on and there was no power steering, switched the car off then on and it came back but the lights flicked between battery, engine management and power steering with the dials going off and springing back. The car refused to start a couple of times but did after a short wait.

    Seems there are common problems with the alternator, does this sounds like the same thing ? I have also read about a plug that might be the problem.

    I think I could change the alternator myself but when it comes to wires I am not so clever. I also Have no idea what I should be paying if it does need doing as well.

    Any advise ?

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    this could also be the module around the steering column , AA bloke fixed mine by taking it off and cleaning it , never happened again after that

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    Quote Originally Posted by bembo449 View Post
    this could also be the module around the steering column , AA bloke fixed mine by taking it off and cleaning it , never happened again after that
    Thanks for that, do you know where he got access to it ? seems like something I could do ( unplug, clean, plug ) if I knew how to get to it.

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    check the voltage on the alternator

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    I have a multimeter on order, would I check at the battery with the engine on to test the alternator ? what would indicate a duff one ?

    Also I have had a look through the haynes manual l and seen how to get the steering wheel off but it doesn't mention the plug connection that might need cleaning any thoughts ?

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    only problem is it seems that usually it's an intermittent fault that causes the alternator to fail for a short while and then work normally before failing again. Check the electrical connections onto the power steering pump, your alternator and battery, as well as your power steering fluid level.

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    Cheers, the cost of a secondhand alternator is about £30, for that money and the likely hood of it being that I think I will try and swap it over and see if that helps.

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    Mine was the alternator. Rebuilt for 90 quid

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    Quote Originally Posted by naut1que View Post
    Mine was the alternator. Rebuilt for 90 quid
    What were the symptoms of yours before you changed the alternator ?

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    I think it's false economy fitting a secondhand unit - it could be as bad as the one you are removing - You can get one off Fleabay for around £75 http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/OPEL-VECTR...ht_4015wt_1139 - not sure exactly what model you have - at least you will have some warranty if there is a problem.
    Classic signs of the alternator failing are temporary loss of power steering - mine would usually fail while waiting at a junction to pull out and stop working for a few seconds - the steering wheel with a spanner through it would flash up and then the steering would recover and be fine for a day or two - you will also find that your battery voltage will be low.
    Last edited by alcutler; 1st August 2012 at 08:24.

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