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Frank Bullitt

A non-breakdown

A few days ago I noticed a squeaking noise when the car was idling or under load at low revs - a look under the bonnet suggested it was down by the alternator somewhere, so I thought I'd try and get to half term break and leave the car in the TT shop for a few jobs to be done.

This morning the squeaking noise seemed to have disappeared a little but on starting the car after dropping FB junior off to kids club there was a new 'rubbing' noise, heard at all revs. Arse-biscuits, I thought to myself, perhaps it won't make half term

Sure enough a mile from work a loud 'bang' with a quick check on the dash confirming the battery is no longer charging, thankfully I was 50 metres from Tesco so in we went. A quick check under the bonnet confirms the pully and shaft have had a messy divorce with the belt looking a bit sorry for itself, the pully having sheared off and staring me at me from the under tray; doesn't appear to be any collateral damage thankfully. The belt and idle tensioner were replaced at the last service so I'm wondering if either it has been overtightened or, more likely, a new belt on an old pully has simply exerted a new pressure to increase wear.

The flat bed was there in 15 minutes and the cheerful guy, who commented 'at least you parked it where I could get to it, you'd be amazed how many people don't' took it off down to the TT Shop for some TLC.

At the same time, I've asked them to do a VCDS scan as the economy has dropped from 52-55mpg to 43-45mpg since Christmas (temp is fine so I think a sensor is goosed).

Still, it's 11 years old an owes me some expenditure - I'll ask them to do a 4-wheel alignment on it and I'm getting the alloys refurbished at half term.

One of my colleagues happened to be in Tesco's so getting to work was easy enough too.

Shit happens and it's still a great little car.

Edit - got itself on the flat bed so it's definitely a non-breakdown!
JohnC

I hope it's a simple and inexpensive fix. It's an even better car than you thought, waiting to break down in a convenient spot.
Big Blue

Ah, small item breakage: not a breakdown. Same when Die Schreibmaschine's alternator went west. It got me home and dragged itself to the garage later that week (albeit with the 'box in limp-home mode).

Where you getting your alloys done?: I want to do mine and tie it in with new boots.
Frank Bullitt

Yes, had it have been 150 metres later is have been in an awful traffic queue that I couldn't get out of quickly. It does its bit!

Getting them done here;

http://www.acefinishcarrepairs.com/alloy-wheels.html

They did the repair work on the DS4 which I'm happy with and I had a look at examples of their wheels which are fantastic - they need the wheels leaving though, hence leaving the car over half term, you can get back to Lings Cross from Huntingdon station, more than happy to meet you BB. They do 4 wheels for £250 all-in. It needs new centre caps too as a result of fucking chimps in a tyre place levering them off many years ago which has let water get in and de-laminated them.
Blarno

If things like this class as non-breakdowns, then the Postbox has an exemplary reliability record.
Twelfth Monkey

JohnC wrote:
I hope it's a simple and inexpensive fix. It's an even better car than you thought, waiting to break down in a convenient spot.


+1!
Racing Teatray

Re: A non-breakdown

Frank Bullitt wrote:
The belt and idle tensioner were replaced at the last service so I'm wondering if either it has been overtightened or, more likely, a new belt on an old pully has simply exerted a new pressure to increase wear.


I have a vague recollection that the last time I had the belt replaced on a car (the Z1), the garage (ML) strongly recommended doing the pulley at the same time for the sake of prudence.
Boxer6

Re: A non-breakdown

Racing Teatray wrote:
Frank Bullitt wrote:
The belt and idle tensioner were replaced at the last service so I'm wondering if either it has been overtightened or, more likely, a new belt on an old pully has simply exerted a new pressure to increase wear.


I have a vague recollection that the last time I had the belt replaced on a car (the Z1), the garage (ML) strongly recommended doing the pulley at the same time for the sake of prudence.


My local garage did belts and pulleys on the GTI at the same time - water pump too IIRC.

Bad luck on the pulley front FB, but good re everything else!! Let's hope the bill isn't TOO enormous.
Martin

That all sounds pretty convenient, I hope the bill isn't too large.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Re: A non-breakdown

Racing Teatray wrote:

I have a vague recollection that the last time I had the belt replaced on a car (the Z1), the garage (ML) strongly recommended doing the pulley at the same time for the sake of prudence.


Isn't Prudence one of Bob's wives? (see other thread)
Frank Bullitt

Alternator bearings have collapsed shearing the pulley - £339 fitted, should be done by close of play Monday but they will run a vagcom on it when the work is done and identify if there is something affecting the economy.

When I looked for alternators on-line the cheapest I could find was £240 so I'm not concerned by that; cars without climate use a £120 alternator!
JohnC

Not the end of the world then - over 10 years that's buttons.
Frank Bullitt

Exactly, it's owed me a big bill for a while so I'm completely unphased by the money side, it's only the inconvenience of a (non) breakdown but I got away with it this time - I've nicked the DS4 for Monday and my maintenance manager can pick me up Tuesday so it's not the end of the world.

Next job is to get the wheels refurbished and the centre caps. The A2 is probably worth about as little as it will ever be worth at the moment (probably £1,500 part-ex, £2,300 private sale) so it's only going one way in value - however, it's Mrs FB's 40th next year and I'll get her a smart, then we can semi-retire the A2. It'll work for me in the long term as I'll get the DS4 and then replace it with a DS5 (2.0HDi Prestige or a 1955 edition if I can get hold of one!).
JohnC

Have you seen Car this month? BMW are bringing out an i car, i5 I think, which bears much more than a passing resemblance to a DS5

EDIT: Having just seen Auto Express' supposed pictures of the i5 on line, I completely withdraw my previous statement - it's a munter.
Frank Bullitt

Yes, I saw that in CAR and it looks superb probably down to its DS5-like profile but I can't imagine it will be £15k anytime soon!

I'd happily have a DS5 hybrid but the batteries compromise the boot too much, it's a step directly behind the rear seats.

This in 18 months to 2 years time would be absolutely perfect;

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/class...ert/201512189536329?atmobcid=soc4

I'd even buy it from Arsehole Shark (then remove the awful sticker!)
Martin

It's a pain to be without the car, but £339 isn't really a big bill, it could have been worse.

Broadspeed are offering 30% off the DS5, not interested in getting a new one?
Frank Bullitt

Yes, that's an example of what I'd like to get in a few years time (ie when it's a few years old) rather than squandering £21k on one but if I was then yes, the broadspeed prices are where it is at!
gonnabuildabuggy

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Yes, I saw that in CAR and it looks superb probably down to its DS5-like profile but I can't imagine it will be £15k anytime soon!

I'd happily have a DS5 hybrid but the batteries compromise the boot too much, it's a step directly behind the rear seats.

This in 18 months to 2 years time would be absolutely perfect;

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/class...ert/201512189536329?atmobcid=soc4

I'd even buy it from Arsehole Shark (then remove the awful sticker!)


That is nice. I'm a big fan of the DS5 too
Big Blue

Yes: the DS5 is a great car. They just don't make enough of a fuss about it!
Bob Sacamano

My next door neighbour works for Citroen and drives various DS5s and they do look nice, although compared to a Mondeo they looks quite small. I don't know the actual measurements so it could just be a case of clever styling hiding its bulk.
Frank Bullitt

Yes, they aren't as large (length ways) as you'd think - they are about 8" shorter than a Mondeo for example although just as wide.  The wheelbase is about 5cm shorter and it's the boot where they are smaller overall if still big enough for most people, especially as filling to the roof is quite easy due to the shape.
Martin

If you do fill it to the roof, you're not missing much rear visibility.
PG

That's not even a non-breakdown. That's the failure of a minor ancillary.  

Does Mrs FB know she is getting a smart or will you wrap it as a surprise?
Roadsterstu

Bob Sacamano wrote:
My next door neighbour works for Citroen and drives various DS5s and they do look nice, although compared to a Mondeo they looks quite small. I don't know the actual measurements so it could just be a case of clever styling hiding its bulk.


Remember, though, that the Mondeo is huge!
Bob Sacamano

Roadsterstu wrote:
Bob Sacamano wrote:
My next door neighbour works for Citroen and drives various DS5s and they do look nice, although compared to a Mondeo they looks quite small. I don't know the actual measurements so it could just be a case of clever styling hiding its bulk.


Remember, though, that the Mondeo is huge!


It is, twice the size of the Insignia.
Martin

Just had a look and the DS5 is 38cm or 15" shorter than mine, it doesn't look that much smaller.   It's 4" shorter than a 3 series and about the same size as a Golf Estate.
Frank Bullitt

PG wrote:
That's not even a non-breakdown. That's the failure of a minor ancillary.  

Does Mrs FB know she is getting a smart or will you wrap it as a surprise?


It'll be a surprise, but it's complicated...

Chez FB is on the market - however, neither of us are that bowled over about moving unless we find something we really want which isn't on the market at the moment.  If we don't move we will likely do an extension, so under either of those options I have to work out how much cash we will have to buy a smart with next Feb!
gonnabuildabuggy

I hear Luton is up and coming  

That would leave change for a Smart and a DS?

Guess your planning to stay in the same area? Always difficult trying to sell and buy the right property at the same time. We lucked out when we bought our present place (although a double garage would have been nice), but ended up converting our loft rather than move again.
PhilD

Martin wrote:
Just had a look and the DS5 is 38cm or 15" shorter than mine, it doesn't look that much smaller.   It's 4" shorter than a 3 series and about the same size as a Golf Estate.


3 has grown a lot from E90 to F30 (or whatever the correct wagon numbers are)

I always think of the DS5 a a big car but then I do drive a supermini!
Frank Bullitt

Still not got it back.

The alternator was fitted yesterday but on checking it they aren't happy with the voltage level - they've checked the earths etc so think either the batter has been damaged or the new alternator is faulty; they will try the former first then the latter.

They've not found anything to account for the poor fuel economy, mind.
Tim

Frank Bullitt wrote:

They've not found anything to account for the poor fuel economy, mind.


Has Mrs FB been borrowing it recently?  
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Frank Bullitt wrote:
.....they've checked the earths etc so think either the batter has been damaged or the new alternator is faulty

Sounds fishy to me.....
Big Blue

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
Frank Bullitt wrote:
.....they've checked the earths etc so think either the batter has been damaged or the new alternator is faulty

Sounds fishy to me.....


Yes: a broken alternator could fry the battery.
Frank Bullitt

Tim wrote:
Frank Bullitt wrote:

They've not found anything to account for the poor fuel economy, mind.


Has Mrs FB been borrowing it recently?  


I can't blame her to be fair!

It has been quite a drop in economy, I'd normally get 115-125 miles before it dropped to 1/4 full but on the last two tanks it has struggled to hit 100, it had two new tyres in December but try are at the right pressure etc, I am wondering if the alternator has been causing excess 'drag' on the engine as it's certainly sounded laboured at times when it ought not to have been.

Anyway, we have decided not to sell our home, get a conservatory (well, livin room affair) and then we can get a smart; will it wait until Feb 2017 or will my keenness get the better of me!

Edit; just heard from them, the battery was too far gone so they've replaced it for me - they think the alternator had probably been going for a while, giving the right voltage but insufficient current.

Another £99 for the battery but that's okay.
Roadrunner

Big Blue wrote:
Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
Frank Bullitt wrote:
.....they've checked the earths etc so think either the batter has been damaged or the new alternator is faulty

Sounds fishy to me.....


Yes: a broken alternator could fry the battery.


Maybe if it were chipped it would improve the performance?
Frank Bullitt

Roadrunner wrote:
Big Blue wrote:
Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
Frank Bullitt wrote:
.....they've checked the earths etc so think either the batter has been damaged or the new alternator is faulty

Sounds fishy to me.....


Yes: a broken alternator could fry the battery.


Maybe if it were chipped it would improve the performance?


It is chipped, it puts it in a good Place on the road
Tim

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Tim wrote:
Frank Bullitt wrote:

They've not found anything to account for the poor fuel economy, mind.


Has Mrs FB been borrowing it recently?  


I can't blame her to be fair!

It has been quite a drop in economy, I'd normally get 115-125 miles before it dropped to 1/4 full but on the last two tanks it has struggled to hit 100, it had two new tyres in December but try are at the right pressure etc, I am wondering if the alternator has been causing excess 'drag' on the engine as it's certainly sounded laboured at times when it ought not to have been.

Anyway, we have decided not to sell our home, get a conservatory (well, livin room affair) and then we can get a smart; will it wait until Feb 2017 or will my keenness get the better of me!

Edit; just heard from them, the battery was too far gone so they've replaced it for me - they think the alternator had probably been going for a while, giving the right voltage but insufficient current.

Another £99 for the battery but that's okay.


Fingers crossed.
Frank Bullitt

Tim wrote:
Fingers crossed.


I suspect it needs more than that...

Picked it up at lunch time and all seemed fine; driving home tonight as soon as I left the 30mph zone the battery light flickered away at me under full throttle was an ominous sign, thankfully backing-off calmed it down, but under heavy load it repeated this.

To add to the pure fucking joy, it now only pumps out heat from the vents at maximum force irrespective of what I set it to - even selecting 'Lo' was boiling hot. My guess is the pulley has hit a flap somewhere as it's made an escape for victory and this is now fixed in a fully open (or closed) position.

Arse shit bollocks.

If there is any good news a 3rd car in the household looks likely, sooner rather than later.
Frank Bullitt

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Exactly, it's owed me a big bill for a while so I'm completely unphased by the money side...


I might regret typing this at some point. Probably about now.

I took the car back in yesterday morning after not driving it all weekend. The battery warning light had a very low glow for the first few miles, with it glowing brighter on any sort of acceleration - once I got onto the main dual carriageway I set cruise to 60mph and hoped for the best, the light wasn't visible.  After driving for 8 miles and coming off the main road,  I couldn't get the light to glow at all.  Parking up, I revved it to 4000rpm at which point I could see a faint glow.

Left it with the TT Shop and went through with one of the team what was happening.

Spoke to them today and they filled me in on some details of what they did last week and what they have tried since - put simply, initially they installed an alternator which didn't appear to work so they fitted a replacement which did but the battery wouldn't charge sufficient amps so they replaced that; at this point everything was hunky dory. I bring the car back and they are then unable to get the light to glow at all, so they check all the cabling again and try a replacement idle tensioner and get it all tensioned up as there is a chance this was damaged when the alternator made an escape attempt - the battery warning light starts flickering - they check all the cables again and have replaced everything now that would affect and hold the charge.

It's now been sent to a specialist electrician to spend some time going through the car; they have been honest and tell me this is the first time they've seen these faults on a car present in this way and cannot find the source, nor can they even surmise beyond, perhaps, a faulty relay somewhere.

This is going to cost me a fucking fortune and I am hoping that I get a car back at the end that is usable, if they can't fix it then I have no chance with my limited skills so I will have no option left but to sell for spares or repairs if there is no end in sight.

At least the heating issue righted itself...

Either way, car shopping at the weekend.
Martin

Really hope they find it quickly and it's a easy fix.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Sounding similar to an issue I once had with the Galaxy (VW electronics). Where does the main cable go from the alternator? Is there a large capacity fuse before the charge (ie this high-current cable) reaches the battery? If so, check that it's not got signs of burning at one end where the fuse meets the cable.
DetmoldDick

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Frank Bullitt wrote:
Exactly, it's owed me a big bill for a while so I'm completely unphased by the money side...


I might regret typing this at some point. Probably about now.

I took the car back in yesterday morning after not driving it all weekend. The battery warning light had a very low glow for the first few miles, with it glowing brighter on any sort of acceleration - once I got onto the main dual carriageway I set cruise to 60mph and hoped for the best, the light wasn't visible.  After driving for 8 miles and coming off the main road,  I couldn't get the light to glow at all.  Parking up, I revved it to 4000rpm at which point I could see a faint glow.

Left it with the TT Shop and went through with one of the team what was happening.

Spoke to them today and they filled me in on some details of what they did last week and what they have tried since - put simply, initially they installed an alternator which didn't appear to work so they fitted a replacement which did but the battery wouldn't charge sufficient amps so they replaced that; at this point everything was hunky dory. I bring the car back and they are then unable to get the light to glow at all, so they check all the cabling again and try a replacement idle tensioner and get it all tensioned up as there is a chance this was damaged when the alternator made an escape attempt - the battery warning light starts flickering - they check all the cables again and have replaced everything now that would affect and hold the charge.

It's now been sent to a specialist electrician to spend some time going through the car; they have been honest and tell me this is the first time they've seen these faults on a car present in this way and cannot find the source, nor can they even surmise beyond, perhaps, a faulty relay somewhere.

This is going to cost me a fucking fortune and I am hoping that I get a car back at the end that is usable, if they can't fix it then I have no chance with my limited skills so I will have no option left but to sell for spares or repairs if there is no end in sight.

At least the heating issue righted itself...

Either way, car shopping at the weekend.


Sounds like dartboard diagnostics to me
Frank Bullitt

Yes, I agree!

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
Sounding similar to an issue I once had with the Galaxy (VW electronics). Where does the main cable go from the alternator? Is there a large capacity fuse before the charge (ie this high-current cable) reaches the battery? If so, check that it's not got signs of burning at one end where the fuse meets the cable.


Useful thought, thanks - I will mention it to them[/b]
TreVoR

TVR has one of those 100 amp fuses.  It's on the lower chassis rail and gets changed every 12k miles as a matter of course.
Roadsterstu

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Yes, I agree!

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
Sounding similar to an issue I once had with the Galaxy (VW electronics). Where does the main cable go from the alternator? Is there a large capacity fuse before the charge (ie this high-current cable) reaches the battery? If so, check that it's not got signs of burning at one end where the fuse meets the cable.


Useful thought, thanks - I will mention it to them[/b]


Poor or corroded earth straps/cables?  Sorry to hear of the woes.
gonnabuildabuggy

^Good idea Stu.

Don't strip it, the solution is out there somewhere.

Time to hit Google and the owners forum I'd suggest
gonnabuildabuggy

http://www.vwaudiforum.co.uk/foru...-working-and-battery-not-charging

Batteries faulty coming up on a lot of threads. Needs to be 14.4V I think
Frank Bullitt

Roadsterstu wrote:
Frank Bullitt wrote:
Yes, I agree!

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
Sounding similar to an issue I once had with the Galaxy (VW electronics). Where does the main cable go from the alternator? Is there a large capacity fuse before the charge (ie this high-current cable) reaches the battery? If so, check that it's not got signs of burning at one end where the fuse meets the cable.


Useful thought, thanks - I will mention it to them[/b]


Poor or corroded earth straps/cables?  Sorry to hear of the woes.


All checked according to the TT Shop!
Tim

A guy I worked with had a SAAB 9-3 V6 petrol and had all sorts of issues.
Tracking down the problem cost him various bits including new ignition/recoded key.

Ultimately the solution was cleaning the contacts of some wiring that lives under the fusebox in the engine bay - a 30 minute job.
It cost him well over £1k in pointless repair attempts first though.

He got the correct answer from one of the one-make forums.
gonnabuildabuggy

Reminds me of the £2 part and £45 labour o ring fix to my PAS that saved me £700+fitting on the cost of a new one.

The solution will be on the internet somewhere. Buy a multi-meter and start checking.......
Michael

I hope the solution is found. Is it worth asking the Audi technical experts about this or are they just a job title?
Twelfth Monkey

Sorry to hear about all of this, Chris.  Fingers crossed, eh?
Frank Bullitt

Twelfth Monkey wrote:
Fingers crossed, eh?


I think we might be past that point but thanks anyway!

The specialist couldn't find the issue and nor could he replicate it; the owner of the TT Shop took it home last night to see if something had miraculously changed and sadly it has not, the fault replicated itself as I had described. I've talked through the suggestions (gratefully received) on here and my reading from elsewhere but they've confirmed all these items have been checked or tested with no faults found.

I'm not remotely hopeful that today's investigation will yield anything at all and I'm expecting that by the end of the day or tomorrow I'll be told the fault can't be identified.

To be honest I'm gutted, compounded by a truly shit day at work yesterday, and I have to draw a line on how much money to haemorrhage on a car with no end in sight. To cut to the chase, I will be selling it 'spares or repairs' if it's not fixed by close of play tomorrow.

I'd never envisaged it ending this way; written off perhaps, but I always ignorantly assumed that anything that went wrong could be fixed, even at a price (new engine, gearbox etc.) but an untraceable electrical fault that will ultimately render the battery flat was not something I thought about. Even better, I'm already over £400 down and there will be another bill to pay which I hate to think what it is.

Gutted. I'm off to find a darkened room to weep a little...
PhilD

A few years back I posted about a £1000+ quote for a new wiring loom for the mighty Punto based on a specialist being unable to find the fault. When I took it elsewhere the fault was found and the bill was minuscule in comparison.

Is it worth a second opinion?
Frank Bullitt

Other than the one it's already had!?
Michael

Is scrapping it the only option? If it means that much to you could you get another car, stick the A2 in your garage and work on it over time to get to the bottom of the problem? Chances are it's a cheap fix but an expensive one to find.
Perhaps idealistic but food for thought.
PhilD

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Other than the one it's already had!?


Oh, this is the second opinion? sorry not been paying attention...
Frank Bullitt

PhilD wrote:
Frank Bullitt wrote:
Other than the one it's already had!?


Oh, this is the second opinion? sorry not been paying attention...


The TT Shop couldn't find it after checking everything so sent it to a specialist to find it; he was unable to, hence its now back with them.

I like the idea of keeping it and having a go but I don't have the space or the skill - our garage is integral so I need to get the car out to get to all sorts of things (tumble dryer, freezer being two) - if it's stripped down its not moving!
Martin

Knowing how much the car means to you, that's very sad news indeed.  
Michael

At least he can drown his sorrows with a beer and remind yourself of the car when he puts the can in the recycling.

Too soon?
PhilD

Michael wrote:
At least he can drown his sorrows with a beer and remind yourself of the car when he puts the can in the recycling.

Too soon?


having turned the drivers seat and front of the car into his new man-desk.
gonnabuildabuggy

Michael wrote:
Is scrapping it the only option? If it means that much to you could you get another car, stick the A2 in your garage and work on it over time to get to the bottom of the problem? Chances are it's a cheap fix but an expensive one to find.
Perhaps idealistic but food for thought.


My idea too.

How much were you thinking of asking for it?

Are the new alternator and new battery definitely OK?
Frank Bullitt

It's had two alternators already as they thought the first one was faulty - I will ask if the second one is from the same batch though as the thought crossed my mind too.
Roadrunner

This reminds me a little of the issues I had when the turbo was replaced on the Benz. It kept on throwing up error codes from the turbo actuator on the replacement turbo, so they replaced the replacement turbo three times and still the same issue. Eventually the problem was traced to a faulty swirl flap motor, which the original turbo had also destroyed in an explosion of smoke and oil. The car was receiveing two error codes, one which said the swirl flaps were in the wrong position and another saying that the turbo actuator was in the wrong position relative to the swirl flaps. The actuator error message overruled the swirl flap message every time and fooled everyone... for a while.

It just needs time and lots of asking around various experts who might have encountered this before. That is how my issue was solved.
Michael

The fault codes on my D3 suggested I needed a new turbo when a new filter was what it was crying out for.
Again, this may sound like a stupid question, but at the moment the battery light is suggesting an issue, has the car done anything to suggest it's not making things up? Could it be a connection to whatever powers that warning light?
TreVoR

Battery lights should be a simple affair.  You turn the ignition on and the alternator is shorted to earth which puts the light on.  When the engine is started, the alternator produces a charge and breaks the connection to the light and it goes off.  It is one of the functions of the diode pack in the back of the alternator.

Unless the ECU controls it and it is an ECU about to die.

Sorry to hear about the A2 though.  I've enjoyed your write ups on it over the years.
Frank Bullitt

They think (...think...) it could indeed be a second faulty alternator from the same supplier (who also supply Audi) - there's a suspicion it's the regulator on the side of the alternator that on this occasion is over-charging the battery, with the warning light appearing at certain levels of throttle; seemingly it should have an operational range of 13.8-14.4V but they suspect it is over 14.4 by a small amount.

They have some other voltage regulators to try and if this solves it they will get a replacement alternator from another supplier.

It's not dead yet
Twelfth Monkey

This is like watching er and wondering whether the patient's going to make it.  It will be something of a sad forum first if a genuine keeper dies, rather than its owner turning his back on it as one might an incontinent old dog!
PhilD

Twelfth Monkey wrote:
This is like watching er and wondering whether the patient's going to make it.  It will be something of a sad forum first if a genuine keeper dies, rather than its owner turning his back on it as one might an incontinent old dog!


We do tend to think of the keeper decision being a unilateral one!

Though I must say this does scenario does have the whiff of incontinent dog.
Martin

It's more like the Top Gear Toyota
Chris M Wanted a V-10

How handy are you with a current probe?  I wonder if the alternator is charginbg the battery and something is triggering the warning light glowing. Have you access to a multimeter with a current probe so you can check if electricity is getting to the battery?
Also further to my earlier point....... when the warning light comes on - if you can get it to come on when the engine is at idle, can you notice a change in tone to the engine's sound? That's what got me to fault-find in the Galaxy, waggling a load of different cables under the bonnet resulted in a change in engine noise, very slight but subtle difference. It was then a matter of waggling the cables one at a time until I found the one that produced the change in tone.  A bit of googling then led me to the likely cause which I could confirm.  Poor connections are often visibly the same as good ones as you cannot see the metal-to-metal surfaces that have corroded.

(Mind you, it took me about 3 months off-and-on with my intermittent problem until I traced the source. At times I was having to disconnect the battery at the end of each journey and re-connect every time I wanted to use the car to go somewhere)
DetmoldDick

Frank Bullitt wrote:
They think (...think...) it could indeed be a second faulty alternator from the same supplier (who also supply Audi) - there's a suspicion it's the regulator on the side of the alternator that on this occasion is over-charging the battery, with the warning light appearing at certain levels of throttle; seemingly it should have an operational range of 13.8-14.4V but they suspect it is over 14.4 by a small amount.

They have some other voltage regulators to try and if this solves it they will get a replacement alternator from another supplier.

It's not dead yet


If the battery is over-charging would a simple remedy not be to increase the load on the alternator by, for example, leaving the lights on?
Roadrunner

I have just been reading about someone on the TalkMorgan forum who had the diode pack on his LR Discovery alternator go and it took the belt and battery with it.
Roadsterstu

And I always thought it was just me who ended up with the "we've never seen that before" response from a specialist who has seen just about everything.  Fingers crossed.
Bryan M

When the alternator was changed on the Elan (pre me) it is wired slightly differently inside (Isuzu vs Elan) and the battery light stays on all the time. The battery still charges though and it wouldn't be a lotus without a dashboard light on!

Hope yours gets resolved soon - we had similar with fused spur sockets - it went through 3 and they were all from the same batch. A different make and problem resolved
gonnabuildabuggy

Bryan M wrote:


Hope yours gets resolved soon - we had similar with fused spur sockets - it went through 3 and they were all from the same batch. A different make and problem resolved


I find this can often be the case, more than one faulty item from within the same batch.

After all most stuff now is machine made so good chance of a large number of components being outside specification, not just one.

I'd have thought they could bench test an alternator before fitting?
Frank Bullitt

It isn't the alternator...

They've checked and tested it and that's fine, the issue is car-specific.
Big Blue

Oh dear. Long road of discovery or, as you suggest, another vehicle purchase.

For all the talk of buying a car to tinker with in the garage I am of the opinion that if you were to indulge in such a car it would be a DS21. Wait up a bit and get one of them?
PhilD

Big Blue wrote:

For all the talk of buying a car to tinker with in the garage I am of the opinion that if you were to indulge in such a car it would be a DS21. Wait up a bit and get one of them?


Putting the cost to repair into the DS fund is not a bad idea.
Twelfth Monkey

Frank Bullitt wrote:
It isn't the alternator...

They've checked and tested it and that's fine, the issue is car-specific.


Bugger.  Brevity of post suggests they (and you) are stumped.
Frank Bullitt

Twelfth Monkey wrote:
Frank Bullitt wrote:
It isn't the alternator...

They've checked and tested it and that's fine, the issue is car-specific.


Bugger.  Brevity of post suggests they (and you) are stumped.


Exactly that - they have it back in the workshop at the moment, they are fitting it in between other cars so as to keep the cost low, I've no idea what the bill is going to be.

I will take it home and then put it on the drive and have a go myself - I've got nothing to lose and if I can't fix it after something like 6 months consider my options from there.

I can't tell you how utterly fucking frustrated I am by this, because until the alternator went it was fine and is still fine other than this issue. I don't begrudge the money so long as there is a result, it's just being left with a U/S car and not really having the skills to take it on myself. Walloping electrics with a rolled up copy of Construction Manager magazine will not fix it but really it's the only thing I can do.
gonnabuildabuggy

Is there actually a problem driving it or is it just the light is coming on?

EDIT - have you also tried a different battery? Modern cars are very susceptible to electronics issues if batteries aren't 100%
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Frank Bullitt wrote:
.... because until the alternator went it was fine and is still fine other than this issue.

The issue has to be related to either the alternator failure itself, or something that your garage did wrong when they were attempting a fix.

Have they definitely investigated sufficiently well to determine what other damage was done when the pulley "fell off"?  If none, that leaves the battery and alternator as major suspects.  I suppose it is possible that when the failure occurred, an over-voltage spike has killed part of an ECU somewhere in the car, or maybe damaged the voltage regulator for the dashboard clocks?
Roadsterstu

Is the A2 capable of having a software upgrade? Or, what about trying a spare ECU? I'm not suggesting a new ECU here, simply swapping another one and trying it.
What about the wiring to the batteryight, or the bulb or bulb holder? A short in the instrument cluster circuit?
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Roadsterstu wrote:
What about the wiring to the batteryight, or the bulb or bulb holder? A short in the instrument cluster circuit?

We need to know under exactly what circumstances the light is coming on, and whether it's always dimly lit or full brightness when it's on. Also is it an LED or a traditional lamp?
Frank Bullitt

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
Roadsterstu wrote:
What about the wiring to the batteryight, or the bulb or bulb holder? A short in the instrument cluster circuit?

We need to know under exactly what circumstances the light is coming on, and whether it's always dimly lit or full brightness when it's on. Also is it an LED or a traditional lamp?


It is described in the post!

It varies and is inconsistent - however it generally happens when the car is 'on load' but then when I drove it down there on Monday if was on, to a degree, at constant throttle too - once I got up to 60 on cruise it totally disappeared and after driving for about 8 miles at this speed I couldn't get it to illuminate every on hard acceleration. However when I parked at the garage I revered the car (in neutral) up to 4000rpm and it illuminated a small amount.

At varying times over the past few days the fault has been recreated, not visible under any circumstances and anything in between.

If it was a spike damaging the display it would affect other lights in some way - everything else behaves as expected.

It's a traditional bulb, with standard VAG mid 90's instruments.

They have emailed me to say that they have one more thing to try Monday (who knows what it is) and after that they want me to take the car back and try and find a common theme as to when it occurs.

I might just ignore it until the car expires in a steaming mess at the side of the road.
Giant

This is terrible! I saw the OP last week and assumed it would be a minor repair, not the first cough of terminal lung cancer!

I was going to ask if you'd asked for advice on the A2OC forum but have just seen your post on there, I'd be surprised if someone on there can't suggest the solution, one poster, Timmus iirc, appears to know the intricacies of A2 electrics supremely well.

Could it be an ECU fault somehow, I'd read they can fail in weird and mysterious ways, mine had begun to have issues with electric Windows and and lighting.


Really hope this can be sorted  
Frank Bullitt

That's the CCC that goes up the swannie but it doesn't affect the cars ECU, ot the convenience unit that affects the operation of the internal electrics (Windows, doors, stereo, locking etc) - mine is a later one that isn't affected by the gremlins!
gonnabuildabuggy

IF...the battery isn't going flat then maybe it's a question of running it round for a while and seeing what happens.

Do you have a VAG code reader at all?
Frank Bullitt

I don't but the VAG Specialist looking after the car does and there are no codes showing on the car.

Suspect in just going to end up taking it back and seeing if it causes an issue in normal use and use the DS4 for long journeys etc although I don't like the idea of Mrs FB using it if there's a fault.
Bryan M

Is it a genuine alternator or pattern part, it may work fine just not be 100% compatible?
Frank Bullitt

Genuine - it's exactly the same as you'd get from an Audi dealer!
gonnabuildabuggy

Frank Bullitt wrote:
I don't but the VAG Specialist looking after the car does and there are no codes showing on the car.

Suspect in just going to end up taking it back and seeing if it causes an issue in normal use and use the DS4 for long journeys etc although I don't like the idea of Mrs FB using it if there's a fault.


Sounds like a plan.

Have they tried different batteries?
Frank Bullitt

No, but the new battery is behaving itself, this is in the email I got from them last night;

"the car has passed ALL tests and investigations - the alternator, belt, battery and complete charging system is doing what it should within spec, and the battery light flickering is still unexplained"

Going car shopping today and feeling glum - that's got to be a first hasn't it?
Martin

Go and get a DS5 instead, that should cheer you up a bit.
Roadsterstu

Martin wrote:
Go and get a DS5 instead, that should cheer you up a bit.


This. Go on. You know you want to...
Big Blue

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201601310592068

This is the one as a stop gap.
Resident Spanner

Split control wire to the alternator possibly, Fords with ecu controled alternators are notorious for it and it gives the same symptoms
Frank Bullitt

Resident Spanner wrote:
Split control wire to the alternator possibly, Fords with ecu controled alternators are notorious for it and it gives the same symptoms


I will pass that on as a suggestion, thanks - could be an option.

No DS5 yet, love the XM but the stop-gap is an A2 that might expire on me!
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Have you got a battery charger you can try? If the light stays out when you are charging from it that may help with diagnosis. It will also give you an idea of whether or not the battery is being charged or is draining

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