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Author: Subject: Starting issues....bad alternator?
lordbenny

posted on 9/6/18 at 05:35 PM Reply With Quote
Starting issues....bad alternator?

So....after having problems starting my car over the last few months (I thought it was heat-soak problem as the starter is so close to the exhaust manifold) I fitted a brand new starter. Now on starting it occasionally clicks and when it does start it seems a weak start-up.....until I charged the battery, then its fine!

Most of my journeys are just quick country lane blasts that rarely last more than an hour so with that in mind do you think the alternator just isnít charging the battery and the car is running on battery power alone?

The thing is that once home I always put the car on a trickle charge because I donít know when Iím going to use it next resulting in me having a full charged battery every time I go out in it.

I presume a Westfield can go quite a long way without an alternator especially if your not using the lights. What do you need a battery for...brake lights, indicators...thatís about it!

I am completely useless when it comes to electrics, should I get the alternator checked out? I havenít got a multi metre thingy....am I making sense or am I missing something?

[Edited on 9/6/18 by lordbenny]

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scudderfish

posted on 9/6/18 at 05:40 PM Reply With Quote
Does the alternator light on the dash come on and then go off when you start/rev the engine?
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lordbenny

posted on 9/6/18 at 05:43 PM Reply With Quote
Yes, it goes off when you start the engine. I presume that would suggest the alternatorís ok?
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lordbenny

posted on 9/6/18 at 05:46 PM Reply With Quote
By the way....on fitting the starter motor I took all the earth straps and battery earth to chassis and cleaned them all up. What I didnít do was replace the live battery to starter motor lead but I have no reason tho think that could be an issue.
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perksy

posted on 9/6/18 at 05:55 PM Reply With Quote
Put a Voltmeter on the battery terminals and check what the alternator charge is

Are you using a conventional battery or a gel one ?

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lordbenny

posted on 9/6/18 at 05:58 PM Reply With Quote
Itís conventional.....I havenít got a voltmeter.

Can an alternator just be working at half mast so to speak. Can it be charging but just poorly and enough to turn off the big red light on my dashboard on startup?

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perksy

posted on 9/6/18 at 06:04 PM Reply With Quote
The ignition warning light doesn't mean a great deal when it comes to charging and a voltmeter (even a cheap one) will show what's going into the battery and will help rule out the alternator if its ok

If is a conventional battery it might be that it has a failing or failed cell

With your previous starting issues it might well be that the battery has had a hard time and is now saying its had enough

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lordbenny

posted on 9/6/18 at 06:07 PM Reply With Quote
The battery has only done approx 1000 Miles!

I think my question has been answered in that I canít do anything until the alternator has been checked.

Do you think my starting issues could be due to the circumstances in my original post?

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gremlin1234

posted on 9/6/18 at 06:09 PM Reply With Quote
yes, alternators can fail, and still partially work. (diode fail)
though battery failure is more common.

one test you can do...
put the head lights on,
start the car, - they will dim as the car starts, but do they then get bright, (and hopefully brighter than before the engine was running)?

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lordbenny

posted on 9/6/18 at 06:12 PM Reply With Quote
To be honest I see no difference between the lights being on before the car starts and after.
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ian locostzx9rc2

posted on 9/6/18 at 06:29 PM Reply With Quote
I would buy a cheap multimeter they can be bought for less than £10 and check the battery voltage with the car not running should be at least 12.3 volts when the cars running you should see 13.5 to 14.5 volts if thatís ok then a good battery test is without the engine running put the headlights on and see how the voltage drops if it drops off below 12 volts then towards 11 volts within 1/2 mins it could be a weak battery then turn headlamps off and see if the voltage recovers hope this helps
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lordbenny

posted on 9/6/18 at 06:53 PM Reply With Quote
Thanks....do you think the alternator not working properly could be the reason for my problem?
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ian locostzx9rc2

posted on 9/6/18 at 09:40 PM Reply With Quote
Could be alternator / wiring issue or battery but the tests I suggested will help diagnosis
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lordbenny

posted on 12/6/18 at 11:46 AM Reply With Quote
So.....the alternator is fine and so is the battery and itís a brand new starter!

Iím thinking now before I get an auto electrician in (at £75 per hour!) that It would make sense to replace the live feed from the battery to the starter as itís a cheap fix.....if that is the problem. How many amps rating should the wire be...I was looking at 110 or 170?

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scudderfish

posted on 12/6/18 at 04:02 PM Reply With Quote
How good are your earth straps?
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lordbenny

posted on 12/6/18 at 04:10 PM Reply With Quote
Iíve got one decent one from the starter casing to the chassis that I have taken off and filed down so good contact. Iíve also got the battery to chassis earth wire which i have taken off any field the contacts so Iím sure its good too.

[Edited on 12/6/18 by lordbenny]

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starterman

posted on 12/6/18 at 06:57 PM Reply With Quote
Take the alternator off and send it down. I'll check it over and send it right back. No charge, doesn't cost me anything to look and test.

Cheers
Mike

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lordbenny

posted on 12/6/18 at 07:16 PM Reply With Quote
Thanks for the offer Mike but I had I checked today and it and the battery are fine.

Iím sure the sarter is fine too, thanks for that

Iíve ordered a new live cable, see if that makes any difference!

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02GF74

posted on 12/6/18 at 07:49 PM Reply With Quote
Location?

To summarise, starter motor is sluggish after a short drive when engine is up to temperature.


If you connect second battery I. E. Jumptstart, will engine turn over.

When engine bay has cooled down, is starter motor sluggish?

Buy a dvm then measure bettery voltage when fully charged and when trying to start when hot, both cases engi e not running.

Lets take it step by step before replacing random parts.
Incidentally has it always done this, if not, what was changed.

[Edited on 12/6/18 by 02GF74]





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lordbenny

posted on 12/6/18 at 07:59 PM Reply With Quote
Coulsdon, Surrey

At the moment even when the battery is fully charged it doesnít start first time....usually but not always. I either get a click from the solenoid or sometimes nothing at all. The engine does fire up with a jump start which suggest that power just isnít getting to the starter doesnít it? The battery has been check as has the alternator by a pro and theyíre fine. Iíve cleaned up all the earth straps.

Itís done this for a while which is why I changed the starter motor...itís just doing it again with the new one which suggests itís not the starter. Could it be the live cable not getting the power to the starter? Iíve ordered a new one anyway.

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02GF74

posted on 12/6/18 at 08:24 PM Reply With Quote
Too far from me to take a look.
What battery is it. (ah rating)

What condition is the solenoid.
Have you tried bypassing the solenoid with a jump lead.





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lordbenny

posted on 12/6/18 at 08:29 PM Reply With Quote
Itís a big meaty, nearly new, Mondeo spec battery, more than man enough.

the solenoid is brand new, like the motor.

Bypassing the solenoid? No

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02GF74

posted on 12/6/18 at 08:38 PM Reply With Quote
Do you have a set of jump leads.
Connect one end to bettery negative and other end to earth e.G. Gearbox casing near the starter.

Other lead first to starter positive and then the other end on battery positive, expect a big spark when initial contact is made.

If engine turns over you can rule out starter and battery.

Yhow is battery earth connected starter motor?





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starterman

posted on 13/6/18 at 07:08 AM Reply With Quote
That's not correct. You won't be engaging the solenoid. the starter will spin but the bendix won't be engaged in the ring gear.
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DJT

posted on 13/6/18 at 02:38 PM Reply With Quote
I had similar issues with mine. Even though starter was remanufactured when I took it apart there was hardly any copper left on commutator. I binned it and bought a new geared one.





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