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Thread: Alternator charging problem 2.3 Fiat

  1. #11

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    I've had a few vehicles where the alternator didn't kick in until the throttle was blipped. In fact I always blip the throttle now to start charging as standard practice for me. I have never checked this van whether I need to or not. I wouldn't give it seconds thought.
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  2. #12
    chas142's Avatar
    chas142 is offline Full Member
    Name: Charlie
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    Wiring Checks.

    I assume you have checked all the cables, + / - / warning light any connection plugs, terminals all in good condition, clean and tight. You can check the wiring with a meter for volt drop with unit charging, battery + to alternator + and then battery - to alternator -, you shouldn't really get much of a reading more than .25 volt should be investigated. You can also link a cable / cables from the battery to alternator + and - to see if that makes any difference, or if you haven't got a meter or to double check on volt drop. Jump leads work but take care and don't short anything out. Get someone to help if needed.

    If the warning light wire short out like mentioned earlier it could blow the diodes in the alternator, (so check asap), sometimes when the engine starts the loom moves and doesn't short out or not full short to a good earth, I have seen that before, on several occasions in fact, also the warning light wire broken in the loom, touching when engine not running then open circuit when starter throws in and when engine running. It all looks OK and can test as OK but it isn't, give the wires a bit of a tug, if it comes out of the connector or loom or streachesssssss that will be your problem, obvious area's for this are in the engine compartment, as stated above, where there is movement near the engine and around the alternator, same applies to + and - wires, give them a good tug to make sure they are firm in the connectors and not just hanging on by the crimp around the cable insulation.

    The alternator is what's called self exciting, it uses the small amount of current running through the warning light and alternator rotor to create a small amount of magnetism in the alternator to start the power up. They can start up on their own if there is slight magnetism left in the rotor poles, but revs would normally need to be slightly higher, just like you have.

    Wiring issues and connecting relays into that warning light circuit, like a split charge relay, heated rear window or any other devise can also cause a similar fault to what you have. I don't suspect this last thing applies to your vehicle unless you have fitted something new. I am not saying don't fit a split charge system and connect into waring light circuit, that's what I have had in all my MH's. On the very very rare occasion I have connected relays in a different way to overcome this relay problem by I doubt that is you issue, it was that or replace an alternator that wouldn't kick in unless it solely had that warning light input.

    If your warning come on as NORMAL, then light goes out and doesn't glows after that, I think you probably have a wiring fault, but I could be wrong.

    An ex Auto Electrician, 25 years ago, lots of things have changed. If your going down the line of replacing your alternator regulator I would see how much a new alternator on ebay was, before going down the line of getting a repair.

    Good luck,
    Charlie.
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  3. #13
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    chas142 is offline Full Member
    Name: Charlie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fazerloz View Post
    I've had a few vehicles where the alternator didn't kick in until the throttle was blipped. In fact I always blip the throttle now to start charging as standard practice for me. I have never checked this van whether I need to or not. I wouldn't give it seconds thought.
    I think I do the same, but just posted an answer re wiring faults. Perhaps I won't blip the throttle next time just to test.
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  4. #14

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    On the back of my alternator are 2 posts, + and - . I ran an earth cable directly from there to the starter battery, might be worth trying this. My van is old and probably very different to yours mind but it did cure a problem I was having with my dcdc charger.
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  5. #15
    chas142's Avatar
    chas142 is offline Full Member
    Name: Charlie
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScoTTyBEEE View Post
    On the back of my alternator are 2 posts, + and - . I ran an earth cable directly from there to the starter battery, might be worth trying this. My van is old and probably very different to yours mind but it did cure a problem I was having with my dcdc charger.
    You should have a thick + wire on one large post/terminal and a warning light/energising wire on a thin cable that goes to a smaller post/terminal, if you have an earth - again it will be a thick wire, not all vehicles have an earth on the alternator, they earth through the main engine earth cable, that will be a much thicker wire, it may also be a braded cable.


    Glad you sorted out you problem, now for the reason I replied at this point. I didn't suggest the most obvious thing to check first, losing my marbles, check that the Alternator Drive Belt is not lose, do it with engine not running, you shouldn't be able to turn the pully or fan, unless you put a socket and long bar on it, to tight is also not recommended as it damages the bearings, so tight enough but not to tight is recommended, I expect a lot of people have self adjusting systems now days, but the belt can still stretch beyond full adjustment and become lose.
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  6. #16

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    The correct tightness of the belt depends on the type of belt. If it is the old-fashioned sort, which run in v grooved pulleys and look like a toblerone bar with no gaps between the chocolate, you should be able to deflect the belt by a few mm by pushing it onwards with your finger in the middle of a run.
    If it is the modern sort that run on flat pulleys and the belt is a slim, ribbed thing, the belt should be really tight. If you can move it with your finger it is far too loose.
    Generally, if the belt is loose, when it slips, you will hear a squeal of a series of squeaks from it, particularly just after starting the engine.

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