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Staggered power loss 

 

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 Post subject: Staggered power loss
Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:22 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Age: 58

Posts: 953

Joined: 13th Sep 2010

Ride: Ford Falcon AU 2000 Series II

Location: Eagleby
QLD, Australia

Can anyone shed some light as to what might be happening with an electrical problem I had this morning?

I drove from home to see a GP in Sunnybank Hills, car performed ok , however on way back home I was getting loss of power when using indicators, when placing foot on brake pedal, all instruments shut down and powered back up when accelerator was engaged.

Had slow acceleration to begin with.

Managed to get back home and run FORScan diagnostic, came back with low battery or similar wording.

I had this problem previously except alternator was full of power steering fluid and caused the alternator to stop charging and battery was drained...green indicator turned black...took 26 hours to charge battery on trickle charge.

I changed the alternator over back then and never had a problem, power steering hose , seal and pump was renewed so no problem with steering fluid leak.

This time battery indicator is green, after 5 hours on charger still no light progressing to next level.

Question is would the current alternator be the problem (could not see any lights or indicator in instrument panel to warn me of alternator issue or battery indicator light).

Or is the battery gone past its use by date. I did get about 4 years life out of it.

Any help on this one would be grateful.

Thanks, Peter
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 Post subject: Re: Staggered power loss
Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:30 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Posts: 496

Joined: 14th Sep 2011

Ride: BF II Gas Ute

Location: Canberra
ACT, Australia

Hi,

Check battery leads, check voltage running and get a battery load test done. It will rule out some things, and may show where the problem is. A high resistance connection elsewhere also sounds possible, such as a big power cable with a melted connector for example.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Staggered power loss
Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:53 pm 
Getting Side Ways
Online

Age: 58

Posts: 953

Joined: 13th Sep 2010

Ride: Ford Falcon AU 2000 Series II

Location: Eagleby
QLD, Australia

Hi 96ELGli

I've checked battery leads, they're ok. Battery is about half charged at the moment, I'll check battery voltage when fully charged.

Battery load test? I don't have the equipment to do a load test, sounds like a drive to Battery World and see if they can do a battery load test. Public Holiday tomorrow, hmmm, looks like Wednesday will be the day.

I have not come across any dodgy connections as yet.

Sooner or later the problem that caused this will be found.

Thanks
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 Post subject: Re: Staggered power loss
Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:17 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Posts: 496

Joined: 14th Sep 2011

Ride: BF II Gas Ute

Location: Canberra
ACT, Australia

Hello,

When the engine is running, the alternator will provide enough power for everything. Same as the battery which is why I would suspect a bad connection going to the ignition or fuse / link area. With some luck you may get a reply from a knowledgeable regular poster who works on these and can be very specific as to where to look.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Staggered power loss
Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:30 pm 
Getting Side Ways
Online

Age: 58

Posts: 953

Joined: 13th Sep 2010

Ride: Ford Falcon AU 2000 Series II

Location: Eagleby
QLD, Australia

Hello 96ELGli

Thanks for your quick reply.

Battery is about 3/4 charged.

Yes, there should be enough power to keep everything going , todays events reminded me of what happened previously except it was an buggered alternator that failed to charge the battery (due to saturated with power steering fluid). Lost all power resulting in getting home on an almost dead battery, (glass indicator was black). took 26 hours to charge to full power.

Changed alternator with another and had no problems until today.

I was wondering whether the current battery might have been damaged first time round (not holding charge over time) or whether the current alternator is not charging the battery. I can get the battery tested on Wednesday to see if its still ok . I don't have the knack or equipment in testing the alternator to see if it's ok
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 Post subject: Re: Staggered power loss
Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:04 am 
Technical Contributor
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Age: 59

Posts: 6817

Joined: 22nd Jun 2005

Gallery: 8 images

Ride: EF Fairmont

Location: Campbelltown
NSW, Australia

.

Last edited by SWC on Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Staggered power loss
Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:05 am 
Technical Contributor
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Age: 59

Posts: 6817

Joined: 22nd Jun 2005

Gallery: 8 images

Ride: EF Fairmont

Location: Campbelltown
NSW, Australia

If you have a multi meter, you can check the alternator. When charging you want 14+v.
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 Post subject: Re: Staggered power loss
Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:49 am 
Getting Side Ways
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Posts: 496

Joined: 14th Sep 2011

Ride: BF II Gas Ute

Location: Canberra
ACT, Australia

Hello,

You can buy a Digital Multi for about $5 from Jaycar. Handy tool to have. I thought you would have one, and as SWC said about 14 Volts or more with the engine running. Next time you start the Car, make sure the Charge light is working. It does 2 things, it lets you know if the Alternator has failed, and it puts some power in to get the Alternator going. Most will anyway, but not all. If the globe is out ( I think AU's still had globes ) there may be some oil in the Alt, and it stopped charging for a while. Now you dont see the globe, and the batter runs down. You notice some things, then it kicks back in and the Battery is charged when you got home.

That is what could have happened if the globe is out, still could be a bad connection in the engine bay. Keep looking and keep us posted.

 

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Regards 96ELGli

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 Post subject: Re: Staggered power loss
Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:31 pm 
Getting Side Ways
Online

Age: 58

Posts: 953

Joined: 13th Sep 2010

Ride: Ford Falcon AU 2000 Series II

Location: Eagleby
QLD, Australia

Hi 96ELGli and SWC,

Yes, I forgotten about that, I do have a multimeter, I purchased a new upgraded one 3 weeks ago that has audio continuity (now cant find).

I placed the probes on battery terminal after full recharge, Multimeter reads 13.85v then 12.35v I about an hours interval.

With engine running I placed the probes on battery terminal and reads over 14v when engine running.

Battery indicator light does show up when starting engine, quickly goes off. There could have been some residual power steering fluid inside the replacement alternator, I cleaned out what I could, then replaced the power steering pump with a fully reconditioned one, no leaks have been seen the replacement.

What I'll do is take hourly readings of the volts measured on the battery and post here. Could well be the case battery not holding charge.

I had not turned the engine over for about 2 days before the problem occurred. I had day surgery and stayed overnight.

Maybe the battery went down a lot further than expected, I would have though the battery would have been able to be charged up by the alternator for a round trip of approximately 95 klm.
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 Post subject: Re: Staggered power loss
Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:05 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Posts: 496

Joined: 14th Sep 2011

Ride: BF II Gas Ute

Location: Canberra
ACT, Australia

Hello,

A bad Alternator can also drain a battery, keep an open mind about what is happening. New parts can also be faulty so dont assume they are OK because they are new.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Staggered power loss
Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:24 pm 
Getting Side Ways
Online

Age: 58

Posts: 953

Joined: 13th Sep 2010

Ride: Ford Falcon AU 2000 Series II

Location: Eagleby
QLD, Australia

Hi 96ELGli,

The alternator I used to replaced the fluid soaked one came from a wreck.

Might be getting another one from a wreck again. I'll have it bench tested before replacing the current one.

Current volt reading is 12.83v @ 2.15pm

Start engine and checked to battery voltage again, this time readings was fluctuation in mid 14v then dropped to 13.00v then back to 14.12v then 14.01v back down to 13.01v, 13.85v then up to 14.20v

Would the latest test indicate alternator could be a problem as well as battery needing replacement?
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 Post subject: Re: Staggered power loss
Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:33 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Posts: 496

Joined: 14th Sep 2011

Ride: BF II Gas Ute

Location: Canberra
ACT, Australia

Hello,

Check the Voltage at the terminal on the Alternator. It does sound like a faulty one though, but better to be sure than keep throwing parts at it. If the Voltage at the Alt drops, it is a sign that it is bad.

 

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Regards 96ELGli

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 Post subject: Re: Staggered power loss
Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:39 pm 
Getting Side Ways
Online

Age: 58

Posts: 953

Joined: 13th Sep 2010

Ride: Ford Falcon AU 2000 Series II

Location: Eagleby
QLD, Australia

G'day 96ELGli

Just checked the voltage on the battery at 5.25pm, reads 12.81v

I've never had tested an Alternator on vehicle before, I've always took one to a sparky to bench test in the past (prior to buying a Ford).

I have no clue as to how one goes about testing it on car, also have no ramps, just car jacks and garage floor jack, not keen to get under vehicle with engine running.

Neighbour next door has a hoist.

The FORScan diagnostic result is as follows:-
DTC Module
B1318 RCM Battery Voltage Low.
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 Post subject: Re: Staggered power loss
Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:53 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Posts: 496

Joined: 14th Sep 2011

Ride: BF II Gas Ute

Location: Canberra
ACT, Australia

Hello,

The main cable from the Alternator is where to test. Should be able to get to it from under the bonnet. Normally a rubber cover over it. If the Voltage drops there, it would show the Alternator is bad. If it jumps higher than the battery Voltage, there is a bad connection between them. If you can get it tested free, try that.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Staggered power loss
Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:15 pm 
Getting Side Ways
Online

Age: 58

Posts: 953

Joined: 13th Sep 2010

Ride: Ford Falcon AU 2000 Series II

Location: Eagleby
QLD, Australia

Hello,

Thanks for that info. Is that the cable that comes from the Alternator and attaches to the positive pole of the battery?

If it is I can check it easily. I'll then compare the two readings.

I'll put the readings up here soon.

Cheers.
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