2002 Alternator charge - battery warning came on but stayed on

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My Name: ukyorks

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Hi,

I have a Citroen C3 52 plate, petrol. We were driving as normal and parked in a car park. After waiting 20 min with engine off we turned it over and it started but went about 10 metres and it cut out would not re-start. The AA came out and got it started said prob alternator. We took it to the recommended garage as we had repair cover. They replace the alternator but said these cars have a fault and when we start the car we need to rev at least to number 4 as this kick in the alternator charge. We weren't happy but needed the car. We did as he said and seemed to work except for battery warning light coming on randomly but took it as battery slowly getting charged. Then a week later we were driving and the battery warning came on but stayed on then the air bag and the rest of them all at once... the power steering went of and the engine cut out, we managed to pull to side. AA out again and then back to garage, he said it must be the ecu that control the alternator. I found a place he could send it to be tested and they tested and sent it back saying no issues but said they were unable to test the alternator part of ecu as not able on there rig. And also cost me £70 for that test. We argued it out but needed our ecu back. The car is back now and garage said he test it with meter and it definitely kicks in the alternator and charges battery and runs ok if always revved up to 4.

Has anyone any ideas. We are not comfortable with the revving trick.


Thanks
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My Name: C3driver52

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Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (03)
Engine Size: 1.4 i
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 79984
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
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Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
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went about 10 metres and it cut out would not re-start.
Not restart, did it turn over? or was it just dead?

except for battery warning light coming on randomly but took it as battery slowly getting charged.
Battery light coming on is the opposite, its the battery NOT getting charged. (a red warning on the dashboard is a serious warning).

the battery warning came on but stayed on then the air bag and the rest of them all at once... the power steering went of and the engine cut out,
Yep, ECU locked up and reset itself, and then the other ECUs too, bring on the dashboard lights and disabling power steering....
This will store codes that need clearing as its just gets plain confusing.

They replace the alternator but said these cars have a fault
The only recall I could find was R/2008/199, refers to faulty relay causing ECU damage and Battery Charging may be Affected. VINs affected VF7******67002101 to VF7******45299702 . Citroen UK can help identify if your car is covered by R/2008/199, or any other recall notice.

The car is back now and garage said he test it with meter and it definitely kicks in the alternator and charges battery and runs ok if always revved up to 4.

I would get the error codes from the BSI cleared and then drive around and let the car pick up new faults and store them. You may find the ECU is getting a bad reading from a sensor, rather than the ECU itself being faulty. (use an OBD2 Reader plugged in the diagnostic port to clear and read codes)

I would also use the meter to check the signal on the ECU output/Alternator input signal line. (the one that the ECU sends to the alternator to activate it - white wire on the alternator). You may find that the ECU is sending it and the alternator is not receiving it, rather than it not being sent. At least you will know where to look after you have had the tests done.

If you are having charge problems, a voltmeter for cigarette lighter socket (on eBay) is a useful tool to watch the battery voltage, then the alternator output voltage when the engine is running.


Citroen C3 test battery charge on a run
Citroen C3 test battery charge on a run
My Name: ukyorks

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Not restart, did it turn over? or was it just dead?
not turn over totally dead, battery drained. I take it the alternator wasn't doing its job.

There is a clue somewhere. It having battery been re-charged and car running again. The garage man said if you just turn the car over the alternator does not charge but if you rev up to about 4 it kicks in the charge and as long as we not turn engine off it shud run for day. So the revving to 4 power is somehow creating this charge and why isn't it automatically charging Alt when just turning over with keys.

Thanks for any added help.

Cheers
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (52)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 100000
Trim Level: Exclusive
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DPF: No
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I would do the bit that C3driver52 says and get those codes cleared and read. This way you can see if its an ECU related problem.
I would get the error codes from the BSI cleared and then drive around and let the car pick up new faults and store them. You may find the ECU is getting a bad reading from a sensor, rather than the ECU itself being faulty. (use an OBD2 reader to clear and read codes)

The next step, if the ECU codes with the obd reader check out OK, it to see (with a multimeter/voltmeter/volt tester) that the 'charge' signal from the ECU is getting to the alternator. - White wire on the alternator plug.


The behaviour you describe:
So the revving to 4 power is somehow creating this charge and why isn't it automatically charging Alt when just turning over with keys.
Sounds like the old problem (with cars from the past) when the battery warning lamp bulb had blown or had a wiring fault. The alternator wouldn't charge with a low RPM due to the 'exciter' circuit not being made because the lamp is blown. When the RPM is high enough (say 4000 RPM) the alternator becomes 'self exciting' and starts to produce charge.

You may well have an 'exciting problem', but I don't think the old 'charge warning lamp' is used in the same way on the C3. My diagrams only show the ECU charge enable/disable wire.
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My Name: Tailspin

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Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (03)
Engine Size: 1.4 i
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 77000
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Hi All

just been reading this topic and it seems similar to the problem I have with my C3 2003 1.4 petrol

Battery not charging so I checked the charge voltage and was only 12 volts and there seemed to be a smell of burning coming from the alternator. I replaced the alternator with a second hand one also the auxiliary drive belt. The problem is still there . I have tried an BSI reset but still no joy . Could I have picked up a duff alternator or is there some thing else going on ?

Confused John :shock:
Citreon C3 SX 2003 1.4i petrol
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A bit of a bump for an old thread.

Was wondering if anyone got to the bottom of this issue?

Thanks
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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Posts: 3417
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:47 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (52)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 100000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
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Tailspin wrote: Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:39 pm Hi All

just been reading this topic and it seems similar to the problem I have with my C3 2003 1.4 petrol

Battery not charging so I checked the charge voltage and was only 12 volts and there seemed to be a smell of burning coming from the alternator. I replaced the alternator with a second hand one also the auxiliary drive belt. The problem is still there . I have tried an BSI reset but still no joy . Could I have picked up a duff alternator or is there some thing else going on ?

Confused John :shock:
Check the live connection on the loom that attaches to the alternator is in a very good condition and not corroded or otherwise not in the best of shape.
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