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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Guys

GTV 3.0 V6 24V Ph2

I think I got electric gremlins somewhere. Not sure where to start looking first.
Went out for a spin yesterday as it was a nice day. I was almost home when they started. My radio switched off first. Then the engine cut out for a second but it kept going albeit not too well, the ABS and brake light warning lights came on. I managed to keep the car going to my garage 100 yards away and park it inside before it eventually stalled. In all this time the radio and various dashboard warning lights were switching on and off... I'm not too sure which ones as I was concentrating on getting the car in to the garage to enable me to investigate the problem at my leisure. Once inside the garage the engine eventually conked out. I switched the ignition off and back to MAR. The dashboard lights came on and off as normal. No warnings. Turned ignition to on. Nothing! Tried a few times all to no avail.

Came back out this morning to investigate. Lo and behold it started first time as if there was nothing wrong. The problem is I'm now scared to take the car out in case it happens again, especially with the engine cutting out.

I fitted a new battery two weeks ago.

Any suggestions?

Phil
 

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Start by making sure the battery terminals are clean and tight, particularly the negative lead? Earthing back through other circuits (instead of through the negative lead) can give the symptoms you describe. Also check the engine earth lead (onto gearbox) as similar effects apply if the engine ECU is earthed to the engine and then not earthed properly to the body.

-Alex
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Alex

Thanks for the response.

Excuse my ignorance but where is the earthing strap on the gearbox? I'm struggling to find it without taking anything off. Is it left, right, top, bottom, front, rear.
The battery is brand new and all connections are clean and sound. It should output 13.8V when engine running but it is not, only 10.8V suggesting my alternator. I hope not as it is less than a year old and is a nightmare of a job to get at. I don't fancy incurring the labour costs again.

Diagnostic check reported:

PO560 - Battery Voltage
The ECU supply voltage is below or above the specifications.
Check the voltage between all the ECU harness positive and negative terminals key on, engine off, during cranking, and when the engine runs. Further, measure the voltages with and without the electric loads turned on, and verify that there are no ground differences when under load. Check the charging system voltage and the battery and cable condition.
NOTE: Disconnected battery or cranking the engine with weak battery may also set the code.
The reason for this fault is that ECU has received very low signal from the sensor. The fault is not detected now, but it is stored in memory. Clear fault codes, and observe for future appearance of the same fault. Dashboard warning light was not activated for this fault.
PO0650 - Failure Lamp
Malfunction indicator light (MIL) control circuit
The reason for this fault is that ECU has received very low signal from the sensor. The fault is not detected now, but it is stored in memory. Clear fault codes, and observe for future appearance of the same fault. Dashboard warning light was not activated for this fault.

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Alex, spankdanny

Something is causing my battery to drain very quickly. I put it on trickle charge to make sure it had enough to get me to and from the battery shop which is literally around the corner to me. The battery tested as good and recharge meaning there is nothing wrong with it. I was advised to have the alternator checked out at the shop I bought it from, and the guy was good enough to lend me a spare battery in case I needed it, which I subsequently did. The car struggled to start again and I got half way back home when the car became undriveable... my ABS and brake light warnings came on and I had to limp home feathering the throttle in first gear before eventually stalling outside my garage. The car would not start. I connected the spare battery and it started immediately, enabling me to put the car back in the garage.

I have arranged for the alternator to be checked out in-situ on Monday. However the shop and I are both confused as to why the battery warning light is not displaying to indicate an alternator failure.

It is a Bosch alternator and 11 months old. If it proves faulty I'm hoping the shop will replace it and cover the labour costs under warranty as they assured me at time of purchase it would not fail. I told them I did not want to be putting in another alternator within the warranty due to the high labour costs. I will soon find out on Monday.
 

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Hmmm... my suggestions... get the battery onto a bigger battery charger - it needs a full charge if it has been operating at 10.8 volts.

A battery should be 12.3-12.6 volts. When the alternator is charging (engine running), voltage at the battery should be 13.8-14.4 volts. 10.8 volts means the battery is seriously discharged and potentially faulty - and no output at all from the alternator. No wonder the car's electronics drop out :) at least once the battery and charging is fixed, I don't think you have any widespread 'gremlins'.

The reason the no-charge warning light isn't on, and also the reason that there is no charge, could be that the smaller of the two wires has broken off the alternator. Perhaps the terminal didn't fit due to a difference in alternator models; perhaps it was rigged up insufficiently. The wire serves to 'excite' the alternator windings, allowing the alternator to develop a charge, and it also powers one side of the warning light bulb. Just an idea... but check that wire?

It is possible the warning light bulb itself has blown - seems unlikely, but possible. It should of course come on when you turn on the key.

Never discount the simple causes as I'm sure you know, thank you for reading my posts ;) I had a Stilo recently - similar belt setup to the Twinspark - and the belt was too long, meaning it was slipping and yet not making a noise due to being a fairly new and supple belt. The length for the Twinspark should be 1975mm if my memory serves, and even a 1980mm might be too long, depending on how well the tensioner is working. So perhaps check the correct length of belt was fitted.

Sorry the suggestions are leaning towards a mistake when fitting the alternator - but as you can appreciate, a new alternator should work for a long time.

It was a new one 11 months ago and not second-hand? If it had been second-hand, then you would have to check the brush length - they do tend to stop working quite suddenly when they reach minimum length.

-Alex
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Alex

Problem is hopefully solved - Alternator.

A bit of a long story but my alternator packed up eleven months ago. I arranged with my independent garage for me to source a replacement and for them to fit it. Whilst the car was on the ramp stripped down, I took the non-working original Bosch alternator to my local auto electrical shop to get a replacement. They had nothing in stock so I ordered a dearer refurbished (new costs a fortune) Bosch rather than a cheaper after market one.

The replacement arrived two days later but upon fitting it was noticed that the two terminals were in a different position and could not be connected to. I took it back to the shop who could not understand why as they had ordered the correct part. Fortunately they still had my old one and we used it as a pattern for me to order a cheaper after market one. It was not what I really wanted but my hand was forced as my car was taking up valuable time whilst on the ramp.

Anyway I took the car back to the shop today and they confirmed that the alternator is not charging and that they would change it under warranty. I told them that I want a Bosch replacement and not a cheaper aftermarket. They are being most helpful but there is confusion with the Bosch part number x-referencing system. I have left them with the headache to ensure the Bosch replacement will be correct.

Phil
 
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