Battery warning lamp

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joolie
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Battery warning lamp

Post by joolie »

Having passed the MOT with no faults whatsoever (just a recommendation to sort out the rear arm bearings for winter), Im hapily driving me BX around Scandinavia.

Despite the fact that the turbo is not conected properly so Im a few horsepowers off on the power side, if I take it nice and slowly and use the hills appropriatley, I can get around.

But since yesterday, the battery warning lamp has come on while Im driving, and doesent go out.

I had a look in the mauals and couldnt find anything there, and the closest I got in my first search on the internet was 'take it do your cirtoen dealership'.

Not very useful info.

So what could be the deal with the battery?

Its an Exide 90A (on a TZD) new since January 2006, it has been run flat 2 times, once after I fixed the car the car had been standing for a year. and another time I left the keys in the car maybe on one notch, but no lights on (?!). One time it slipped from the trolley and had a bit of a bump, I checked it and there were no cracks. I also topped it up with water recently (in the car, not when I fully carged it out of the car).

If its the alternator, how do I check it? via battery or on the alternator?

Should I have an earth cable somewhere on the battery?

J
'91 BX MkII 1769cc Turbo TZD Break

running on RME/SVO

IF it aInt BrOKe dON't trY 'n FIx iT.

Doz
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Post by Doz »

Hi,

The - terminal of the battery connects to earth. Check the braid here , make sure it's tight on both ends. Check the + terminal too, make sure it's tight... when you do this make damn sure not to touch the bodywork with anything metal that you may be tightening the + terminal with...

If you have a multimeter, set it to volts and measure the voltage across the battery terminals with the engine running. Anything from 13.2 volt to 14.4 volts means your battery is being nicely charged. Anything more than 14.4 volts means the regulator in the aleternator is U/s and it's new alternator time.
Below 12.8 volts, and check the brushes in the alternator. Sometimes a clonk with a suitable instrument will shift a stuck brush and restore charging... sometime's it just worn out and time for a new one!

Also, don't forget the easiest check... make sure the belt driving the alternator is tight! Is it squeeling?
Doz

2007 Citroen C1 (it's not a real Citroen)(With a complete set of wheel trims)
2006 C4 1.6VTR+ (Alloys no wheel trims)
1982 Mini HL (No wheel trims, no wheels)
1993 Kawasaki GPZ500

Doz
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Post by Doz »

... that's DC volts BTW ! :roll: :roll:
Doz

2007 Citroen C1 (it's not a real Citroen)(With a complete set of wheel trims)
2006 C4 1.6VTR+ (Alloys no wheel trims)
1982 Mini HL (No wheel trims, no wheels)
1993 Kawasaki GPZ500

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AndersDK
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Post by AndersDK »

Doz wrote:Also, don't forget the easiest check... make sure the belt driving the alternator is tight! Is it squeeling?
... or broken / missing :wink:
C U / Anders - '90red16riBreak - '91GrisDolment16meteor - Project'88red19trsBreak
dead cars : '89white 16RS - '89antrasitTRDturboEst - '90white19triBreak

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joolie
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Post by joolie »

Its had a new belt on recently, and ts not squeeling.

I will test tomorrow, thanks for the info, I like the bit about not touching anything metal while tightening the +ve.

If you hadnt mentoned that, I recon id be a bit shakey after an 88A blast. :shock:
'91 BX MkII 1769cc Turbo TZD Break

running on RME/SVO

IF it aInt BrOKe dON't trY 'n FIx iT.

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joolie
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Post by joolie »

If the alternator is a bit nackered, would it be possible to still connect it to an old exercise bike and charge an old leisure battery?

http://www.veganbutik.se/02_files/cycle_gen.pdf
Last edited by joolie on Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
'91 BX MkII 1769cc Turbo TZD Break

running on RME/SVO

IF it aInt BrOKe dON't trY 'n FIx iT.

prm
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Post by prm »

Check the alternator output with the engine about 2000, check voltage at the battery, a good reading should be between 13-14.5 volts, but not higher than about 15.5.
A high voltage, induces spikes to ECU etc.
Found BX’s, about 13.2 – 14.2V. --- Doz – Yes DC :oops: Me.

One at a time, turn on side, dip and main lights, then blower and rear demister, keeping an eye on the volt meter, should be above 13V. It may show a large drop in the reading, possibly due to a leak to earth with the electrical equipment.
This should give you a rough idea if the alternator output is ok.

Turn off all the equipment one by one, whilst checking the voltage. Readings should be between 12.5 and 14.5.

Check the continuity between the alternator casing and negative battery terminal, and alternator terminal to battery positive. Also you can check the output terminal to negative while running to see if there is a voltage drop within the positive supply cable.

It does sound if the battery maybe past its sell by date with being laid up.

Ideally, a constant supply from the alternator at approx 1 volt higher than the battery static voltage, should maintain a good constant charge under normal conditions.

An output amp meter test is the best way to determine battery condition. Where an adjustable load is applied to the battery, up to the designed capacity and maintaining approx, a minimum of 9 volts. Most battery suppliers hold this equipment.

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DavidRutherford
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Post by DavidRutherford »

If the battery warning lamp is on all the time with the engine running, then there's either a short to earth in the alternator "exciter" cable (the small diameter cable to the alternator) or the diode pack has gone pop. Either way, I doubt the battery is being charged, so that needs sorting quickly before the car dies on you.
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joolie
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Post by joolie »

DavidRutherford wrote:short to earth in the alternator "exciter" cable (the small diameter cable to the alternator)
Is it a simple continuity check on this cable?
'91 BX MkII 1769cc Turbo TZD Break

running on RME/SVO

IF it aInt BrOKe dON't trY 'n FIx iT.

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DavidRutherford
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Post by DavidRutherford »

joolie wrote:
DavidRutherford wrote:short to earth in the alternator "exciter" cable (the small diameter cable to the alternator)
Is it a simple continuity check on this cable?
Pull the cable off the alternator, and check that with the "ignition" on, there's battery voltage (or very nearly) on it. The "battery" lamp on the dashboard should be off. Now short the cable to the engine block and the lamp on the dash should light up. If this all works, then the wiring is fine, and the alternator suspect.

The problem can't really be the battery. If its got enough life in it to start a diesel engine then it must be at least OK.
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joolie
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Post by joolie »

ok, so if the alternator is defunkt, whats the replacement figures?

Its there a good brand or several?

The car is a TZD 1789cc (Turbo Diesel)
'91 BX MkII 1769cc Turbo TZD Break

running on RME/SVO

IF it aInt BrOKe dON't trY 'n FIx iT.

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DavidRutherford
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Post by DavidRutherford »

joolie wrote:ok, so if the alternator is defunkt, whats the replacement figures?
Alternator failure is actually fairly rare these days. Thus, almost any car with an XUD in it in the breakers yard will surrender a decent alternator. You'll ideally be looking for an earlier type, which came with the threaded tensioner built in to the upper mounting, but even later types from things like 405/Xantia will fit with a small amount of wiring fiddle. Later ones are also higher amperage, which can be a good thing if you drive with your headlamps on a lot.

Alternatively, it is possible to change the diode pack in an alternator (or at least it used to be on Lucas ACR-type units... haven't done one in years)
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joolie
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Post by joolie »

Well after all that discussion . . . the belt had slipped off. . .

Now I know exactly what to do if the alternator plays up! Usually my style is to probe around, too muchm electricute my self a few times, fry a lamp and a multimeter, before getting readings that I dont understand. . . THEN ask on the forum what I should look for. . . this time was quite the opposie, but nice and easy to fix. . . . however.

There must be areason why it slipped, and it dosent look so good.

I noticed the coverings for the timing belt were looking very tight, almost bent, also the timing belt is ALMOST touching the engine mounting at the top of the engine.

At a closer inspection, the mounting which holds a tube related to the turbo, a 90degree gold alloy bit connected from the engine mounting through the timing belt covering, was not connected. . . does this hold the mounting in place? If so the treads seem a bit buggered, its dosent tighten, but it looks like I can fit a through bolt.

I jacked up the engine from below, and the gap widens between the belt and mounting, what other bolts/brackets hold the engine in the correct place??

2 more things. . .

The knob that the timing belt coverings fit onto (next to the tesioner), was very loose, unscrewed in half a turn and came out, the very tip was sheared off. . . looks like it will go on again, but why did that happen? I dont want to fit these covers until the engine is mounted right.

There is another bolt which I havent put in, I think it goes from the timing belt housingm through, direct into the cylinder head. I dont know the EXACT 'M'number bolt his was, and I dont want to force it, as the head is soft alloy, I dont want to tear the threads, does anyone know the exact thread, length and alginment for this bolt, how important is it?

There is ONE more thing, Im going to write another thread for it, if anyone can figure out why the breather pipe between the oil filler and air filter is full of yellow white fatty goo and water. . . click the link below . . .

http://bxclub.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?p=71044#71044
'91 BX MkII 1769cc Turbo TZD Break

running on RME/SVO

IF it aInt BrOKe dON't trY 'n FIx iT.

Doz
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Posts: 248
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:38 pm
Location: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Post by Doz »

prm wrote:, but not higher than about 15.5.

I wouldn't like to be seeing more than 14.4 .... any more than that and gassing occurs....

... and there's nothing worse than a boiling battery ... it stinks, knakers the battery and takes the paint off the bonnet!!!
Doz

2007 Citroen C1 (it's not a real Citroen)(With a complete set of wheel trims)
2006 C4 1.6VTR+ (Alloys no wheel trims)
1982 Mini HL (No wheel trims, no wheels)
1993 Kawasaki GPZ500