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 Post subject: Alternator Light
Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:39 pm 
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Hi guys,

Last week the alternator light came on in my EF as I started it. It isn't on solid though, it's flickering very fast.

I swear I could hear a wierd, whiney noise coming from under the bonnet, but I have been extremely paranoid about the car lately, so I could easily have been making that up too.

Where should I be looking for the problem?

Other background:
The car had been sitting for around 3 weeks without being moved before I got back in it the day before. (working interstate atm)
The battery was completely dead when I got back to the car.
Charged the battery and when it went to start the engine had a horrible clunking noise. I started and stopped it a couple of times, by which point the engine noise stopped.
Later that night the alternator light came on when I started it to go somewhere.
The next morning I tried it again and the battery was flat again.

The battery has appeared to have been on it's last legs for a few months now. It regularly discharges in 7 days. It discharged to the point I couldnt start the car when I left the headlights on for about 30 minutes at christmas time.

All the cars vital fluids are at the correct levels; ie, the whine I may or may not be imagining wasn't a power steering pump running dry.

Thanks guys.
Nic

 

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 Post subject: Re: Alternator Light
Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:52 am 
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it could be as simple as sticky brush's on the alternator
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 Post subject: Re: Alternator Light
Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:20 am 
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take it out and hit it with some contact cleaner. I have had the same issue before, and contact cleaner worked as it was ment to.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Alternator Light
Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:28 am 
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this could be linked to your idel problems too. i had a dieing alt in mine and it threw the idel way off

 

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 Post subject: Re: Alternator Light
Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:48 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Okay, thanks guys, I'll give that a go when I next get back home (over in WA for the next couple of weeks). Hopefully that's all it is.

Oh, and I also meant to add in the background that I am concerned the gauge cluster may be playing up a little.

The coolant gauge will sometimes just not work, or stop halfway between cold and the bottom of the normal area. Turn the ignition off and back on and it works fine.

The tacho has also played up where it has only showed about 2/3 the rpm it should be, but it's only done this once.

If the contact cleaner doesn't work I am going to swap out the cluster for a spare that I have, see if that's the issue maybe?

 

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 Post subject: Re: Alternator Light
Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:59 am 
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get the alt redone and check your earth strap. i had simala issues

 

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 Post subject: Re: Alternator Light
Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:32 pm 
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okay awesome. Will do

thanks

 

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 Post subject: Re: Alternator Light
Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:19 pm 
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Finally got a day or two to work on the car. Chucked a new battery into it this afternoon and the alternator light wasn't there.

Took it for a celebratory drive and after about 1/2 an hour of driving, just as I pulled into the driveway, the alternator light came back on again.

Definitely thinking that it's alternator related now. I'll head over to the shops first thing tomorrow and grab some contact cleaner and try that.


I'll post results as I go.


Cheers,
Nic

 

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 Post subject: Re: Alternator Light
Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:34 pm 
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turf the alternator before you kill the new battery.

second hand ones are like $30

 

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 Post subject: Re: Alternator Light
Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:13 am 
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Whining at idle can be a shorted or blown diode - as Andrew said, there's plenty 2nd handers around.

You can put a meter on the batt terminals and measure the voltage - put a load on it, like headlights on/high beam, etc. If the alternator charge falls away, then that's most likely the problem.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Alternator Light
Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:08 pm 
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Hrmm... second hand alternators seem to be thin on the ground here. I've rung a handful of wreckers and only one has one and it's $90.

New ones are up around $385 mark, but no one seems to have them in stock either.

New flea-bay ones look okay, but there appears to be a couple of styles, Bosch and Mitsubishi. I'm about to go and rip mine out so I know which type I need to replace it with.

Looks like I wont get it running again till I'm back from WA again in another 3 weeks. :(


Silly question, can a dud alternator actually cause any damage to the new battery? Or will it simply discharge it?


Thanks for the help guys.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Alternator Light
Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:57 pm 
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nicco wrote:
Hrmm... second hand alternators seem to be thin on the ground here. I've rung a handful of wreckers and only one has one and it's $90.

New ones are up around $385 mark, but no one seems to have them in stock either.

New flea-bay ones look okay, but there appears to be a couple of styles, Bosch and Mitsubishi. I'm about to go and rip mine out so I know which type I need to replace it with.

Looks like I wont get it running again till I'm back from WA again in another 3 weeks. :(


Silly question, can a dud alternator actually cause any damage to the new battery? Or will it simply discharge it?


Thanks for the help guys.


Alternator can cause damage to the battery. If it doesn't charge, that means the battery will run dry and it is not good to run them completely dead and then revive them, their cycle life will have dimished. Batteries should be recharged before they are dead so not to kill the chemical reaction in the battery. This is assuming the alternator is dead and not charging the battery.

Alternator regulator could also be dead and can either not charge the battery or OVER charge the battery. So rather than keeping a constant charging rate of 14.4V while running, it may charge the battery at 15V or more.

Best to check it out then have another dead battery.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Alternator Light
Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:10 pm 
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Okay, thanks for the help guys. I have replaced the alternator.

Picked up a new one yesterday and installed it this morning. Alternator light is now off.

I have noticed a couple of things however, it is a Bosch alternator, but the one I removed was a Mitsubishi. The plug is in a different position now (before, looking from the front of the alternator, plug was at about 10 o clock, now its at about 7.30). It is also a bit whiney, you can definitely hear it. Should I be concerned?


Thanks again,
Nic

 

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 Post subject: Re: Alternator Light
Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 6:20 pm 
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Johnson stroker wrote:
take it out and hit it with some contact cleaner. I have had the same issue before, and contact cleaner worked as it was ment to.



I just degreased my engine and it started to make some crazy noieses . Read your post and gave it a go and it's going like a champ again :D
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