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Thread: CDTI 120 Electrical fault Poss Alternator charging fault?

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    Vehicle : Vectra C

    Trim : SRI With a few added extras

    Engine : 1.9 CDTI 120

    Year : 06

    Default CDTI 120 Electrical fault Poss Alternator charging fault?

    On the way to Cosford yesterday the battery light came on.

    I also had the CID screen flickering in time to what sounded like a relay clicking coming from the glovebox area, or the passenger side kick panel, couldn't tell from the drivers seat.

    Also my sidelight dash telltale would flash in time with this clicking noise on occasion.

    Lost the power steering a couple of times.

    The guy following behind me said my rear lights were all over the place as well.

    Now the battery is a Bosh S5 (Silver plus) bought from halfrauds in January and I replaced the alternator myself no more than two years ago with a new one.

    I've put a meter across the battery terminals and I'm getting 12.6. With the engine running I'm getting 13.26 going up to 14.5 or so.

    Rumour has it that the earth straps can cause problems, does anyone know of any obvious ones to check first before hauling the alternator out for a check-up?

    I know alternators can go bad at any time, just wondering if there's anything else to check first as it's a pig of a job getting that bad boy hauled out.

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    Regular Member simon7257's Avatar
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    Check the alternator under load, engine running and put blowers on max heated rear screen on and headlights on, the voltage may drop slightly but make sure it doesn't plummet, to check the earth strap do a volt drop, using your multimeter put one end on the engine and the other end on the battery negative and you should read very close to zero (engine still running) then you could do the same on the battery positive terminal to back of alternator remember positive to positive or negative to negative and 0 volts is good if you get any other reading you will find a poor connection or broken wire etc

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    Regular Member alcutler's Avatar
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    Vehicle : vectra c 1.9cdti 120 estate

    Trim : design



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    To do a temporary earth lead for testing purposes use one jump lead - connect one clip on the negative post of the battery and the other end to the engine block. Looks like your alternator and battery are ok with those readings - sounds more like an earthing problem.

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    Vehicle : Vectra C

    Trim : SRI With a few added extras

    Engine : 1.9 CDTI 120

    Year : 06

    Default

    Cheers gents, will put your words into action tomorrow and report back

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    Regular Member alcutler's Avatar
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    Vehicle : vectra c 1.9cdti 120 estate

    Trim : design



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    These are handy for using as earthing straps if you do need one - and they come in different lengths http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/s...egoryId_255205

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    Vehicle : Vectra C

    Trim : SRI With a few added extras

    Engine : 1.9 CDTI 120

    Year : 06

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alcutler View Post
    These are handy for using as earthing straps if you do need one - and they come in different lengths http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/s...egoryId_255205
    Cheers mate I've got some quite long flat braided earthing straps somewhere, will pick one of them up if I can't put my hands on one

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    VIP-Member Z80's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Opel Vectra GTS

    Trim : Elegance

    Engine : 2.2 DTi 16V

    Year : 2003

    Mileage : 75 000

    Default

    Going up to 14.5 V may also be your alternator's regulator. The alternator then works, but if the regulator allows too high voltage to go to the battery, it may destroy it quickly. 13.8 V is the correct charging voltage, but of course, it's a mean value. 14.5 V is still acceptable, but beware if it climbs up any higher.

    Other than that, yes, you'll have to check your power cables (positive and ground), but you should probably have noticed the same fluctuations on the voltmeter... Or maybe you're using a digital one ? An analog one would probably more sensitive to variations and you'll see the needle moving more obviously....

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    I had a very similar experience where the battery light came on (which I thought I could ignore till i got home) and then lost my power steering. I actually called the breakdown people as I have a warranty style cover the guy that recovered me diagnosed the alternator from the above, had it changed and its been fine since.

    The one thing i noticed is that when the light was on the engine sounded rougher when I was in the car, which I guess was the alternator packing in!

    Additionally the breakdown guy said he was ex vaux dealer worker and the job would take them 43mins in which they'd do it by taking the wheel off!

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    Vehicle : Vectra C

    Trim : SRI With a few added extras

    Engine : 1.9 CDTI 120

    Year : 06

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    Readings across the battery terminals are 12.19 - no load engine off and 13.55 engine started no load, no hrw, lights, a/c, just the engine running. Can't find my earth strap braid, will have to improvise for the moment

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    Regular Member simon7257's Avatar
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    If you had a earth strap problem you would notice it would be sluggish to start or wouldn't even crank, you need to load the alternator and check the voltage, switch everything on (lights etc) and see what happens
    its common to see the alternator fail under load before it fails completely, if you do a journey at night and find your battery flat in the morning it's cause the alternator can't cope with the load and your discharging the battery while driving

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