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Charging System Dilemma
#1
I've an '09 Panel van, HDi 1.6 90hp, and it all started with the occasional no start, solenoid click, intermittent starting. 

Took it to a local garage which diagnosed a faulty starter motor and quoted £400. Ouch.

Received wisdom states first check your battery, so I did, at Halfords for a free test. They diagnosed a failed drop test on the battery and low output on the alternator, and recommending to renew both at a cost of £600 ish. Ouch.

I'm sceptical that this problem is due to all 3 components of the charging system being faulty, or on their way out, although I accept that this might well be the case. Ouch.

I'd like to have a go at replacing whatever definitely needs replacing, but how do I know for sure what that is ? Thanks chaps.
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#2
I would not take much notice of Halfrords and i would get another opinion from a decent garage NOT a quick fit centre.
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#3
(03-08-2019, 01:04 PM)iano Wrote:  I've an '09 Panel van, HDi 1.6 90hp, and it all started with the occasional no start, solenoid click, intermittent starting. 

Took it to a local garage which diagnosed a faulty starter motor and quoted £400. Ouch.

Received wisdom states first check your battery, so I did, at Halfords for a free test. They diagnosed a failed drop test on the battery and low output on the alternator, and recommending to renew both at a cost of £600 ish. Ouch.

I'm sceptical that this problem is due to all 3 components of the charging system being faulty, or on their way out, although I accept that this might well be the case. Ouch.

I'd like to have a go at replacing whatever definitely needs replacing, but how do I know for sure what that is ? Thanks chaps.
You need to do a battery test under load.The alternator output needs to be checked as will the starter motor.Do you know a competent auto electrician? In my humble opinion,Halfords aren't the best.
Strawberry flavoured windows  Dodgy
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to ron for this post:
  • iano
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#4
Starter motors seldom fail, it's always the solenoid that causes the problem and that can be replaced cheaply if necessary.

The starter motor on the 1.6 hdi is at the back of the engine so it is quite difficult to access, you may find that you problem is nothing more than dry / corroded connection. (Common)

I would advise you to disconnect the battery then gain access to the starter motor, which entails removing the air filter housing and the skills of a contortionist. . .  then when there remove and clean up all of the connections to the starter motor, a rub with sand paper and a smear of grease on each connection may solve your problem, but it's not an easy task.

If cleaning and greasing the connections doesn't work at least you will know all of the connections are sound and you can take it from there.


.
My vehicle .... 2006 (m59) Berlingo Multispace Desire - 1.6 HDI 92 
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to jj9 for this post:
  • iano
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#5
Thanks all for the advice, seems you share my cynicism regards ‘free’ tests.

Good thinking, jj9, although not much of a contortionist will attempt what you suggest as a first step.

That doesn’t work will try the battery load test, I know of someone quite local, Cheers ron.
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#6
Well, having sanded/greased the battery connections a fortnight ago, haven't had a starting issue since. <Touches table !>.

I still park on a slope when possible and give myself space to bump start, but can something so simple have been the root cause of this intermittent starting issue ? Almost too good to be true if so.
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#7
Good to hear it's starting without trouble, hope it continues.  Cool

Yes a dirty connection can make a world of difference.

On diesels where the starter motor is working for it's living the contacts inside the solenoid can become pitted over time which causes the starter motor to become sluggish or if badly pitted the clicking sound.

I've never known a starter motor to fail, it's always the solenoid.

.
My vehicle .... 2006 (m59) Berlingo Multispace Desire - 1.6 HDI 92 
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to jj9 for this post:
  • iano
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#8
(03-08-2019, 01:04 PM)iano Wrote:  They diagnosed a failed drop test on the battery and low output on the alternator, and recommending to renew both at a cost of £600 ish. Ouch.
I'm sceptical

You should be.

Battery condition and Alternator output are very easy to check. Connect a multimeter to battery voltage, ideally directly to the battery, but it doesn't have to be, off the cig-lighter socket or interior lamp will do. Put it somewhere you can check it while driving.

When you come to the vehicle in the morning, the battery voltage should be nearly 13V. 12.5V is ok, 12V is a bit low.
Glow-plugs on, BV should not drop below 11.5V If it gets to 11V there is something wrong.
Cranking. Volts should drop to about 11V. Lower and you have an Issue.

Immediately the engine starts, BV should rise. Very quickly it should be 13.5V-14.4V. Lower than this indicates a weak alternator. Higher indicates a failed voltage stabiliser in the alternator and it will be cooking you battery.

Now drive for a bit. BV should hold at somewhere between 14V and 14.4V.

Now turn EVERYTHING on. lights, wipers, interior fan, etc. BV should drop a bit, but not below 13.5V. If it does, the alternator is weak.

Now turn it all off again. BV should again be 14-14.4V.

Turn off and allow the vehicle to sit with no electrical load for at least 30 mins. BV should stabilise back at it's "resting" voltage. As per above this should be somewhere close to 13V. If it drops back towards 12V, the battery is tired.

Example: My car (actually a Merc, but that's irrelevant) sits at 12.2V when parked. Glowplugs pulls this down to 11v, cranking sees 9.5.
Driving sees the voltage a very stable 14v. Big electrical load only drops this to 13.9v
Engine off and the volts drop back to 12.5 within a few minutes and 12.2 after 30 mins.

Conclusion: Alternator output is good. Battery is tired. (which it is.. you get about 15 seconds cranking before it's dead)
[-] The following 2 users say Thank You to David_R for this post:
  • iano, jj9
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#9
(26-08-2019, 11:50 PM)David_R Wrote:  
(03-08-2019, 01:04 PM)iano Wrote:  They diagnosed a failed drop test on the battery and low output on the alternator, and recommending to renew both at a cost of £600 ish. Ouch.
I'm sceptical

You should be.

Battery condition and Alternator output are very easy to check.  Connect a multimeter to battery voltage, ideally directly to the battery, but it doesn't have to be, off the cig-lighter socket or interior lamp will do.  Put it somewhere you can check it while driving.

When you come to the vehicle in the morning, the battery voltage should be nearly 13V.  12.5V is ok, 12V is a bit low.
Glow-plugs on, BV should not drop below 11.5V  If it gets to 11V there is something wrong.
Cranking.  Volts should drop to about 11V.  Lower and you have an Issue.

Immediately the engine starts, BV should rise.  Very quickly it should be 13.5V-14.4V.  Lower than this indicates a weak alternator.  Higher indicates a failed voltage stabiliser in the alternator and it will be cooking you battery.

Now drive for a bit.  BV should hold at somewhere between 14V and 14.4V.

Now turn EVERYTHING on.  lights, wipers, interior fan, etc.  BV should drop a bit, but not below 13.5V.  If it does, the alternator is weak.

Now turn it all off again.  BV should again be 14-14.4V.

Turn off and allow the vehicle to sit with no electrical load for at least 30 mins.  BV should stabilise back at it's "resting" voltage.  As per above this should be somewhere close to 13V.  If it drops back towards 12V, the battery is tired.

Example:  My car (actually a Merc, but that's irrelevant)  sits at 12.2V when parked.  Glowplugs pulls this down to 11v, cranking sees 9.5.
Driving sees the voltage a very stable 14v.  Big electrical load only drops this to 13.9v
Engine off and the volts drop back to 12.5 within a few minutes and 12.2 after 30 mins.

Conclusion:  Alternator output is good.  Battery is tired.  (which it is.. you get about 15 seconds cranking before it's dead)


 My goodness, what a wonderfully detailed bit of diagnostic advice. Saved to my Google drive so I'll have it handy for the future. Thanks David.
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#10
If your doing a lot of stop start , put the battery on charge over the weekend once a month , to keep it topped up .
                                     Smile  It's too orangey for crow's It's just for me and my dog  Smile

                                                        Heart Heart Love a lot trust a few  Dodgy
 
                                                        

                                        
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