Charge low warning @ 147 GTA [need Help] - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Charge low warning @ 147 GTA [need Help]

My 147 GTA does have some strange electrical issues.


It started nearly 8 weeks ago. Windows opened very slowly and wipers speed was also low.
A few days later (it was really cold outside) I got the VDC and ABS failure while driving to work, for a short moment but it went off again. This indicated low voltage for me, because theese sensors are the first to come on when voltage is low.

I replaced the battery and checked the voltage without engine running and while running.
Without was ~12,5V and running ~14V. Windows opend quick again.

Everything was fine the next weeks with the new battery, except the fact, that the voltage after starting the engine needed a bit of time to go up to >14V from 12,5V, which could mean that the alternator was not charging the battery from start up, only when engine (parts) are getting warmer.

Two weeks ago, while driving home from work, it was very cold again I got VDC and ABS failure but the error stayed active. The headlights went dark and dashbord illumination failed. I could drive to the next parking area where the engine failed because of low battery charge.

My garage installed a new alternator and checked all wires again. Battery is also brand new. They gave me a call to pick up the car. But when I wanted to go home from the garage the "battery charge low" warning came up, which means alternator is not charging at all. (It was very cold outside again, car stood outside over night). The mechanic who installed the new parts had the gta for a 50km drive after everything was finished without any warning.

I left the garage without the GTA. They checked all fuses and relays and also installed a new grounding wire to the gearbox to eleminate that kind of issue.
The battery charge low failure still comes up for a few seconds when engine is cold and disapears a few seconds/minutes later when everything is warmed up.

Any ideas what wire/fuse/relay could cause such an issue? As said, alternator is new, battery is new.
Its definitly something with the temperatur! At low temps, alternator is not charging, warmed up (or outside warm) everything is fine.

Many thanks in advance!

(Please excuse my english!)

Arne

Last edited by M-IU14; 29-01-13 at 14:30.
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Sounds like you need a new alternator! They are the signs of one that's starting to fail

EDIT: Just read that you've had a new one already, which leaves me stumped!
 
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as you have covered your bases with the new bat and alt. I would say an earth issue some where. As they can make the car electrics go mental. Checking the resistance between the earth and the wiring attached is your best bet, not to neg terminal as it can give flase readings.
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It's a simple enough check to make. Car running, multimeter on terminals. 14v ish = good. Now is it a brand new alternator or a recon one? I know you say new but I just want to be clear.
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@Joss:

Car ist running @ 14,4V when warm. Just when starting from cold alternator does not seem to work because of the charge low warning for a few seconds/minutes until parts a warm. The alternator is recon.
But I'd like to know if there is another possible reason why it wont charge from cold start. Any known ground/wire or relay issues?
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The dashboard is saying "charge low". But is the charge actually low? Like Joss said, this needs to be confirmed manually by use of a multimeter in the circumstances you describe, when the engine is cold etc. Sorry if you've already checked this, but you didn't make it clear in your post whether you've checked that the reported "low charge" fault is actually a real fault or just something that is being reported by the car.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-IU14 View Post
@Joss:

Car ist running @ 14,4V when warm. Just when starting from cold alternator does not seem to work because of the charge low warning for a few seconds/minutes until parts a warm. The alternator is recon.
But I'd like to know if there is another possible reason why it wont charge from cold start. Any known ground/wire or relay issues?
We had exactly this on a customers car, Bosch list a recon alternator that does not work properly only the new one should be fitted. Bosch accepted the fault and paid us to do the job again but they have not changed the listing in their catalog

Ned
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-IU14 View Post
@Joss:

Car ist running @ 14,4V when warm. Just when starting from cold alternator does not seem to work because of the charge low warning for a few seconds/minutes until parts a warm. The alternator is recon.
But I'd like to know if there is another possible reason why it wont charge from cold start. Any known ground/wire or relay issues?
I have heard of an issue on the 3.2 with an earthing strap to the gearbox which would corrode. However this was only on Australian cars and the GT 3.2 only so not really that helpful


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Originally Posted by Pud237 View Post
The dashboard is saying "charge low". But is the charge actually low? Like Joss said, this needs to be confirmed manually by use of a multimeter in the circumstances you describe, when the engine is cold etc. Sorry if you've already checked this, but you didn't make it clear in your post whether you've checked that the reported "low charge" fault is actually a real fault or just something that is being reported by the car.
Yep. Do as I say

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Originally Posted by Autolusso View Post
We had exactly this on a customers car, Bosch list a recon alternator that does not work properly only the new one should be fitted. Bosch accepted the fault and paid us to do the job again but they have not changed the listing in their catalog

Ned
So could this be the issue. Very plausable
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Quote:
The dashboard is saying "charge low". But is the charge actually low? Like Joss said, this needs to be confirmed manually by use of a multimeter in the circumstances you describe, when the engine is cold etc. Sorry if you've already checked this, but you didn't make it clear in your post whether you've checked that the reported "low charge" fault is actually a real fault or just something that is being reported by the car.
While the low charge warning is on, the voltage drops to less then 11V. Confirmed with manual messure.

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We had exactly this on a customers car, Bosch list a recon alternator that does not work properly only the new one should be fitted. Bosch accepted the fault and paid us to do the job again but they have not changed the listing in their catalog
I didn't get your point here I think. You mean the recon alternators use to cause the fails? And only a completly new one should solve the problem?
The problem here is, my garage or better to say fiat only trades the alternator for a recon one. They don't pay the costs for a new one.
@Ned: Do you have something written on paper from bosch or fiat that confirms this issue with recon alternators?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-IU14 View Post
While the low charge warning is on, the voltage drops to less then 11V. Confirmed with manual messure.

I didn't get your point here I think. You mean the recon alternators use to cause the fails? And only a completly new one should solve the problem?
The problem here is, my garage or better to say fiat only trades the alternator for a recon one. They don't pay the costs for a new one.
@Ned: Do you have something written on paper from bosch or fiat that confirms this issue with recon alternators?
Bosch show 0986041280 as reconditioned alternator for GTA, it is wrong and does not charge properly

The alternator you need is Bosch 0124515087 and they are currently on back order I am waiting for 2 to arrive. One for a customer and one for stock

Bosch know it is listed incorrectly and they have paid us to change one we fitted, it was a battle and they sent someone out to look at it but agreed

Ned
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-IU14 View Post
While the low charge warning is on, the voltage drops to less then 11V. Confirmed with manual messure.

I didn't get your point here I think. You mean the recon alternators use to cause the fails? And only a completly new one should solve the problem?
The problem here is, my garage or better to say fiat only trades the alternator for a recon one. They don't pay the costs for a new one.
@Ned: Do you have something written on paper from bosch or fiat that confirms this issue with recon alternators?
Then it is definitely an alternator fault. Looks like Ned has the sollution so check with the garage to confirm which one they ordered. Either way it looks like it will have to come out but at least you know what it is
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@ Ned:

I called my garage to check the number they used for the new (recon) alternator. Sadly they can't give me any bosch part number, because they order the parts directly from fiat with my vehiclecode.
The Fiat part number for the alternator my garage used is 71784319. Can you compare this number to the correct bosch nr.? Otherwise I would give Bosch a call to check the correct partnumber.
Google says 147 GTA uses:

0124515090 BOSCH
0124515087 BOSCH
0986041280 BOSCH
60672342 ALFA ROMEO
60673305 ALFA ROMEO
60672342 FIAT
60673305 FIAT
71723411 FIAT
71723412 FIAT
71784319 FIAT
71784320 FIAT
71784321 FIAT


Or with other words, which Fiat partnr. is the correct one for the 0124515087 Bosch Nr. Ned mentioned? My search gave me a lage number of fiat codes for this bosch alternator. Is 60673305 (Alfa Romeo code) correct?

Thanks in advance!

Arne

Last edited by M-IU14; 30-01-13 at 14:07.
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Quote:
Or with other words, which Fiat partnr. is the correct one for the 0124515087 Bosch Nr. Ned mentioned? My search gave me a lage number of fiat codes for this bosch alternator. Is 60673305 (Alfa Romeo code) correct?
Can someone help me with this?

EDIT: Code is correct. 60673305 is partnr. for Bosch code 0124515087.
Problem is still up to date. Occasionally (every 3-5 days) I get the low charge warning when starting engine from cold. Normaly the warning disapears after a second. Today it stayed on for 10-20 seconds. So i decided not to drive.
Voltage drops to ~12V when warning is on. Without the warning and engine running voltage is about 14,4 - 14,5V.
Any futher ideas?

Arne

Last edited by M-IU14; 20-02-13 at 06:20.
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Originally Posted by M-IU14 View Post
Can someone help me with this?

EDIT: Code is correct. 60673305 is partnr. for Bosch code 0124515087.
Problem is still up to date. Occasionally (every 3-5 days) I get the low charge warning when starting engine from cold. Normaly the warning disapears after a second. Today it stayed on for 10-20 seconds. So i decided not to drive.
Voltage drops to ~12V when warning is on. Without the warning and engine running voltage is about 14,4 - 14,5V.
Any futher ideas?

Arne
Have you checked everything on the battery is secure? maybe clean areas that look suspect. I personally would check the earths if the battery and alt are ok. Have you had your bat tested? I have had one DOA which caused dash to display whatever it felt like.
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Have you actually changed the alternator yet? If not then this is still the problem? Why don't you try ringing ned as he'll probably have all the details and be able to help over the phone.
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Your alternator is failing.
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Quote:
As said, alternator is new (recon), battery is new.
I have no more ideas than the recon alternator is also failing, which would then be alternator nr. 4! in the car.

Original alternator lived 7 years, nr.2 18 month, nr.3 2 weeks...

Grounding wires are double checked an there is even a new wire from alternator to the gearbox in addition to the normal one.

Arne
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As said have you corrected the issue with the wrong diode pack as mentioned as this seems to be the only thing that has been mentioned you haven't confirmed. If it still has the wrong one then it will still cause the same problem. that's all I can think mate
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The alleged alternator fault doesn't make a great deal of sense to me, at least not in respect of it being the wrong alternator or wrong diode pack. The rectifier or diode pack does one thing, it converts AC current to DC current and you cannot have a compatibility issue with this part, it either works or it doesn't. If the alternator physically fits on the car, same brand (Bosch), then the only issue you can have is that the alternator is faulty or the output is too low for the car. This becomes an issue when there is a heavy draw on battery power or from cold start when there is a high internal resistance to charge within the battery. I would check a number of things...
1. Check the charge from the alternator under load conditions. First put a voltmeter across the battery and write down initial voltage reading. Start the car and turn on as much as you can, lights, heater fan, stereo etc then check voltage reading again, it should not be below initial voltage reading.
2. Have you got a parasitic drain on the battery? Even a failed rectifier pack within the alternator can cause this. To check, disconnect the battery earth lead and connect the red lead from an ammeter to the disconnected lead and the black lead to the battery earth terminal. You should have no more than a 50 milliamp draw on the battery with everything switched off and keys removed from the ignition. If you have more than that remove one fuse at a time to find out which circuit is draining the battery.
3. The alternator may not be properly earthed through the body but this is unusual and would be more linked to a poor engine earth which would more likely cause the starter motor to turn the engine over slowly. I'd be inclined just to remove and clean up the main engine earth strap between the body and engine.
4. Check what amp rating alternator should be on the car against what rating is on the car.
I used to recon alternators when I was serving my time as an auto electrician many years ago and it is not unusual to get faulty recon alternators. Most are reconditioned using the bare minimum repair, so maybe a set of brushes or a faulty part replaced to get it functional.

Last edited by YulBrynner; 20-02-13 at 20:10.
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Iīm having the same problem in my 147 GTA.

My mechanic have installed a bulb (led) behind the excitement wire which is the wire that sends the signal to the alternator to start charging from low revs and now it works fine, but I donīt like the change of original installation of the car.

I want to know how did you solve the problem. My car is a 147 GTA too and the alternator is reference 0986041280 and it seems is working fine, only not working when you start the car and you donīt rev it. If you push the accelerator to 2k rpm aprox it starts working and all fine. This is why my mechanic has installed this bulb for charging from low revs.

Lot of thanks in advance!!

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Iīm having the same problem in my 147 GTA.

My mechanic have installed a bulb (led) behind the excitement wire which is the wire that sends the signal to the alternator to start charging from low revs and now it works fine, but I donīt like the change of original installation of the car.

I want to know how did you solve the problem. My car is a 147 GTA too and the alternator is reference 0986041280 and it seems is working fine, only not working when you start the car and you donīt rev it. If you push the accelerator to 2k rpm aprox it starts working and all fine. This is why my mechanic has installed this bulb for charging from low revs.

Lot of thanks in advance!!
I am in the same situation. just changed to the 0986041280:-(

how would a bulp help? could you describe the installation?

Best Reg. Mads
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Quote:
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My mechanic have installed a bulb (led) behind the excitement wire which is the wire that sends the signal to the alternator to start charging from low revs and now it works fine
Which wire is that?
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Which wire is that?
itīs the small wire of the two wires connected, but I cannot understand how this would help??
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The bulb is connected to this wire and to the battery.
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Must be that the bulb i LED. As I understand the description in e-learn is that the wire energize the altenator before start-up. But also read the voldtage from the altenator after start-up. The LED Could prevent the body computer to put up the alarm. Maybe😀
Going to try it
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