Failing/failed alternator.

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My Name: DanniAgro

Top Contributor
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:53 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2006 (56)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 105000
Trim Level: LX
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: TU1 (60 PS)
Been thanked: 1 time

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This experience occurred yesterday and is offered up as a lesson to everyone.

Driving to a meeting, I'd done twenty miles when suddenly the power steering failed and three lights ( ABS, brakes and airbag) came on. I wasn't going fast at the time so could still steer ( I'm a farmer so am strong of arm, whilst possibly thick of head) and parked at the event. I was hoping the electrical fault, as I felt it must be, would correct itself whilst the car was stationary, which, as a previous Fiat owner, wasn't totally impossible.
However restarting the engine in order to drive home, the fault was still there, and after a couple of miles, the battery light came on as well as the other three. My girlfriend strongly felt that I should go to her local garage, and as I was a good few miles from, I did so. On getting there, I opened the bonnet to see the battery was smoking and had split open, leaking acid everywhere. I guessed then that, far from the voltage being low causing the fault lights to show, as I'd originally thought, the voltage was far too high, frying the battery.
This supposition was confirmed when I went to the garages reception, where an old garage hand told me that he'd diagnosed the problem as soon as I'd turned onto their forecourt and before the bonnet was opened! I was lucky that the battery hadn't exploded and the mechanics were very careful to take it out and leave it in an open space away from people. The top had just about come off it and there were splits done its sides.
A new alternator and battery were installed ( as this was Saturday at 12.45, I was lucky that the garages supplier rushed them to the garage) , and the car has worked fine since.
Reading forum posts on tinternet, I can see that I was lucky that the ECU wasn't fried, along with many other components. The moral of this story is that a fault like this should be attended to promptly, and not put off in a stupid attempt to get home.
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