Battery charge light on then engine stalls
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Thread: Battery charge light on then engine stalls

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Battery charge light on then engine stalls

    Yesterday the battery light came on and stayed on. Research indicates a charging issue and I started doing some tests. With the engine switched off voltage at the battery 12.4. Engine running the voltage at the battery is only 11.6. Hanyes manual suggests reving the engine with all electrics functionning as a further test. This causes teh voltage to drop more.

    During this time the engine was started/stopped several times with no issue and idles fine, until one last time when the engine won't start...flat battery obviously. I jump start the engine and it idles fine. However after several minutes the engine starts to occasionally stutter almost stalling before picking up a few times. It then stops completely.

    Is this simply a charging issue with either the alternator or voltage regulator at fault? What I don't understand though is why the engine would stutter and eventually stall as I thought the alternator/regulator is only to charge the battery?

    Any help is much appreciated. Cheers.

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boony View Post
    What I don't understand though is why the engine would stutter and eventually stall as I thought the alternator/regulator is only to charge the battery?
    Any help is much appreciated. Cheers.
    The flux capacitor is being over modulated. Of course the engine will stall.

    Jo
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  3. #3
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    lol...French cars can time travel too?

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    I have no idea what car you have, but suffice to say it needs electricity for the ignition, and possibly the fuel pump.

    If the voltage gets too low....which it eventualy will without a working alternator....These systems will start to fail and the car will stall.

    Is that the bit you don't understand, or have I not understood you misunderstanding??

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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    I have no idea what car you have, but suffice to say it needs electricity for the ignition, and possibly the fuel pump.
    G'day,
    it is not a gti180, because Haynes don't have a book for that model.
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  6. #6
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    Sorry it's a 306 N3
    Last edited by boony; 5th February 2016 at 10:41 PM.

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    You have already diagnosed a faulty alternator/regulator issue where with the engine running you have less than 12.5 to 14 volts across the battery.

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    My neighbour suggests to check the regulator before getting a new alternator. I can't see anything that looks like a regulator down there...is it inside the alternator unit?
    Cheers

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    I'm going to take the alternator out once I find a decent set of instructions as I'm not a mechanic. The removal seems easy enough just worried about the refitting with the belt, it's all pretty tight in there and hard to see what goes where.

    Edit: ok seems easy enough. I'll post back here when it's done for info.
    Last edited by boony; 6th February 2016 at 05:12 PM.

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    G'day,
    bon chance
    regards,
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  11. #11
    1000+ Posts FIVEDOOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boony View Post
    Is this simply a charging issue with either the alternator or voltage regulator at fault? What I don't understand though is why the engine would stutter and eventually stall as I thought the alternator/regulator is only to charge the battery?

    Any help is much appreciated. Cheers.
    I am not familiar with the 306, but if it fitted with electric fuel pump, it could be because it may draw power from battery to start and once started switch to drawing power from alternator, causing the car will start but starve of fuel quickly. They do it that way as a safety feature, so that in case of accident the fuel pump shuts down with the engine
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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    The tachymetric relay does this on most PSA cars since the late '80s. If there is a lack of stable power to the engine ECU, it may stop pulsing the injectors or powering this relay.

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    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boony View Post
    My neighbour suggests to check the regulator before getting a new alternator. I can't see anything that looks like a regulator down there...is it inside the alternator unit?
    Cheers
    There's one pictured here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt39gm6AWQs

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    Ok replaced the alternator but it seems that wasn't the problem silly me...the job is easy enough with 2 bolts though it involved removing a few bits and pieces to actually get to the second mounting bolt (hidden behind the belt tensioner, which is behind the wheel arch liner, which is behind the wheel, which needs to be removed...).

    The problem seems to be a broken electrical wire somewhere.... I am saying this because a multi-metre indicates high resistance in the negative wire when I test from the alternator to the battery. I chased this wire from the alternator to the first electrical connector plug and testing shows no resistance. Did the same from that first plug to the next couple of plugs and that shows high resistance.

    At this stage however there are another 40 or 50 wires coming out of/going into those 2 plugs before going to other plugs and I can't be sure I'm chasing the correct wire anymore. There are also multiple instances of the same coloured wire going into and out of those plugs. A smaller set (including what appears to the negative from the alternator goes to a relay) before returning to one or both of those plugs.

    In other words there are wires going all over the place before eventually disappearing under the radiator, coming out the other side, going through the firewall and (I assume) to the fuse box before going who knows where. The fuses test fine including the designated fuse for the alternator.

    To me it seems stupid that the wire for the alternator would run halfway around the car instead of being connected closer to the battery. I'm thinking I've got it wrong and there is some other problem.

    Any suggestions?

    It wouldn't just be the battery that needs replacing?

  15. #15
    1000+ Posts Peter Chisholm's Avatar
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    Welcome to the world of modern car electrics.
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    As others are stealing my grumpy hat on a different thread, I'll try being cranky here instead.

    Have you access to a Haynes? Are you familiar with PSA wiring; this (following wires) is a matter that comes up quite often and someone like myself or Armidillo usually explains it? It's quite simple once someone shows or tells you.

    I once accidentally connected my dash charge light to an unused oil pressure switch. Soon as the car started, the battery light came on! That's what you get for working by feel and choosing the wrong terminals...

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    Thanks for your reply. Yes I have a Haynes manual. Essentially I followed the wire from the alternator to the second set of electrical plugs (removed the plastic wraps and black tape for visual inspection also).

    I could continue but at this stage I'm worried that I'm barking up the wrong tree (so to speak) not to mention barking my knuckles and fighting an octopus of cables lol

    Am I on the right track? Or could it be a relay or some other mysterious (to me) component?

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    OK, you need to look at the wiring schematics.

    First clue is not colour, but number. The wires are identified by unique number/letter combination from 1-5 characters, look on the alternator telltale wire for a number sandwiched between four asterisks, like (example) **2504C** or **103**. These are just random combinations, nothing related to the actual subject wire.

    Now see if you can find the same code on a wire going into the dash cluster plugs. If so, test it for continuity.
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  19. #19
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    aha! That will be a great help. I didn't realise the cables were numbered coded and not colour coded. Poor me chasing multiple red wires all over the car until I was crossed eyed. I'll be back tonight or tomorrow.

    Thank you!

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    Be aware that some if not all the wires from the alternator don't run direct to the battery and have other components in between, so hi resistance may be normal. Assume nothing when computers are involved.
    I can't say for sure what should be expected in you case because the setup changes depending on age and the engine fitted.

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    So I chased the wire around the car and also managed to understand the schematics of the wiring diagram in the manual. All the connections are good and the wire showing resistance would seem to be normal as there is a resistor "duh". I guess it's one way to learn.

    I think anything further is beyond me and will have to get an expert.

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    You've probably learned more than you currently give yourself credit for.

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    Let me guess…The alt dash light still glows??

    Jo

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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    You've probably learned more than you currently give yourself credit for.
    Ooh.
    Double entendre. Extra points for Addo.

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    Yes it was a good exercise.

    Yes alternator dash still glows and when the car is jump started it dies very quickly once the jump leads are removed. At the end of the day the replacement alternator I bought could be a dud but not really willing to buy another one just to see....

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