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Thread: Battery light flickering

  1. #1
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    Battery light flickering

    Hi all,
    I need some advice please, my battery light has started to flicker on and off, I've taken it to my trusty mechanic who says that it is the alternator and I will need to get it replaced. He is looking for one at the moment but they all seem very expensive to him. What price range should they be in?
    Also whilst he is searching for one am I still ok to drive the car? There are no noises coming from the car or anything like that just the flickering battery light which is a tad annoying.

    I'm a bit of a soft girl and scared it is going to just die in the middle of the road :-( With me and my children in it. ;-@

  2. #2
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    You should be able to get a second-hand alternator from a breakers/ebay. There are various people breaking cars on the forum as well.

    ...scared it is going to just die in the middle of the road...
    It's a diesel, so it should keep running even if the battery starts to get low. The headlights etc will cut out first (so you should be avoiding night driving). The other risk point is when you are starting it.

    Do you have a battery charger? If so, it might be an idea to charge the battery each night.

    The flickering can also be caused by an auxiliary belt which has started to slip.
    2002 1.4 TDi 75 SE OpenSky 6M/0.588

    VW Fuel saving tips

  3. #3
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    ... or by dampness in the regulator, which it's more likely to be than the alternator itself.

    Bret
    Do not expect spoonfeeding, you will be disappointed.

    2002 Petrol. Modded inside. 'nuff said.
    German A2 Forum Administrator.

  4. #4
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    Hi Kaismummy,

    As you're likely to be ferrying yourself and children around I would suggest getting yourself (along with your car) to either an auto-electrician or a large(ish) branch of Halfords. I wouldn't normally recommend Halfords, as they have a habit of not understanding the A2's quirks, but for electrical work you should be safe.......

    ......However.....make sure you keep a close eye on your car, and advise them how to access the engine bay (i.e. make sure whoever is going to check out your car understands exactly how the bonnet is removed).

    Also, depending what options you have fitted in to your car, the alternator part number differs.
    I'm sure there is a code for the alternator in the options list in the front of the owner’s handbook (this list can also be found in the boot near the battery). If you’re not sure how to “read” what the codes refer to, post all the codes and someone will decode them for you.

    I wouldn't have Halford's perform an alternator swap, but their auto-electricians should be able to troubleshoot what is causing the alternator waring lamp to flicker.

    It might even be worth a visit to a main dealer, fluttering your eyelashes, and asking if someone would be able to give you some free advice as you don't want to be stuck with young children in the car......you never know......maybe you'll find a kind tech who's happy "living the dream".

    Cheers

    Jeff
    Silver 2002 1.4 TDi SE
    Red Sports Leather, TTS FBMFSW, OSS, Bose, RNS-E with Audi Bluetooth Telephony & SDS, DIS, Audi iPod link, Cruise Control, Komfortblinker, Rear Cup Holders, 4 x Electric Windows, Auto-dimming Rearveiw Mirror, A2OC Mats, TT Pedals, Puddle Lighting, Headlight Washers, Headlight Protectors, Debadged, 0.659 5th Gear , Whiteline Rear ARB, Koni FSDs & Weitec -30 Springs, 17" TT Ronal Wheels with 215/40 Tyres, Floppy Wiper, Votex Body Kit, Spacesaver, Heated Wing Mirrors, K&N, Stealthed & a Coat-Hanger!

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies, but now the plot thickens because I've started it up this morning and the battery light was flashing dimly, then about half a mile down the road it went off altogether! I went on my journey stopped the car came back started it up again and no battery light flashing! My mechanic looked at the belt yesterday and said the battery seemed ok it was the alternator that had the low output.
    Very confused as to what to do next.

    Jeff I'm not even sure how to take the bonnet off :-) I struggle putting water in, I'm a bit of a fluttery eyelashes type of girl and then my hubby will do it for me. I just like driving the car :-)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by me
    It's a diesel, so it should keep running ...
    Just realised that you didn't say whether it was a petrol or a diesel. I just tend to assume they're going to be TDIs.

    If the voltage drops too far on a petrol it will cause the car to stop (since the spark plugs won't be firing properly).
    Last edited by MikeMarsUK; 28-02-2012 at 12:26 PM.
    2002 1.4 TDi 75 SE OpenSky 6M/0.588

    VW Fuel saving tips

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeMarsUK View Post
    Just realised that you didn't say whether it was a petrol or a diesel. I just tend to assume they're going to be TDIs.

    If the voltage drops too far on a petrol it will cause the car to stop (since the spark plugs won't be firing properly).
    Hiya, yes it is a 1.4 TDI. I was wondering how you knew that :-)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaismummy View Post

    Jeff I'm not even sure how to take the bonnet off :-) I struggle putting water in, I'm a bit of a fluttery eyelashes type of girl and then my hubby will do it for me. I just like driving the car :-)
    LOL......

    You may have an alternator that's going faulty, an issue with the voltage regulator, a car battery that's starting to die or a slipping drive belt.....Or indeed some other electrical gremlin.....

    A good test to determine if the problem has gone away (for the time being) is....tonight.....when it's dark outside.....go and start your car. Put the side lights on and check the dash-warning light. If all is good (no charge warning light), turn on full headlights and put them on full beam, then turn on the rear window demister and the climate control with the fan on full. Now look again at the dash. If there is no warning lamp lit you're safe for now. If the lamp is lit a little, rev the engine and notice if this puts the light out.

    If you are noticing the warning lamp lit, even dimly and only when the car is drawing quite a lot of current (i.e. with all of those items turned on), you have an issue waiting to occur.

    Unfortunately I'm not a "young buck" (anymore), but most alternators used to be able to be repaired/reconditioned. I'm sure this is still the case, but in today's throw-away society these services are possibly not in great demand.

    Let us know if you car is a Diesel or Petrol and also what the option codes are. Also, not sure where in the country you are, but it might be worth a google search locally to try and find "alternator repairs in ...... .

    It's great that you can "persuade" your hubby out of a comfortable armchair with a smile and flutter.......I'm wise to this from my wife now.......so she just threatens me instead, which does the trick too..

    Jeff
    Silver 2002 1.4 TDi SE
    Red Sports Leather, TTS FBMFSW, OSS, Bose, RNS-E with Audi Bluetooth Telephony & SDS, DIS, Audi iPod link, Cruise Control, Komfortblinker, Rear Cup Holders, 4 x Electric Windows, Auto-dimming Rearveiw Mirror, A2OC Mats, TT Pedals, Puddle Lighting, Headlight Washers, Headlight Protectors, Debadged, 0.659 5th Gear , Whiteline Rear ARB, Koni FSDs & Weitec -30 Springs, 17" TT Ronal Wheels with 215/40 Tyres, Floppy Wiper, Votex Body Kit, Spacesaver, Heated Wing Mirrors, K&N, Stealthed & a Coat-Hanger!

  9. #9
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    Thanks Jeff, I have a 03 1.4 TDI, I will carry out the technique tonight and see what happens. I will be able to manage all that with out hubby's help :-)

    My mechanic has found a recon alternator for £150.00 with 12 month warranty or a brand new for £210.00 with 24 month warranty. I am in Leeds West Yorkshire.

    I have found the options codes and they may as well be written in Japanese. I will see if I can post a pic of them on here.
    I'm sure there will be a time I have to threaten my husband too :-p probably when footballs on!

  10. #10
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    It makes no sense to me

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