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1996 to 1998 - Battery charge light - Neb62
Hi all,

Please help and confirm my problem.

My Pug 406, is a strange beast at the best of times, but yesterday the battery charge light came on whilst driving, albeit a bit dim and almost flickering, as I drove home i noticed my lights seemed to be getting dimmer and dimmer, the cd stopped working, then indicators gave up the ghost, the anti lock braking light came on, the steering started to get heavier and the air bag light came on as well. Finally on low revs the car was spluttering a bit, but JUST managed to get the thing home.

1st thought was battery, and as I haven't had a new battery for years I didn't mind replaing it. On checking it, it did seem low on fluid, so guessed the cells were knackered. Bought a new battery and obviously everything worked sweet again, HOWEVER that darn battery charge light is still on, still a very dim/flickering (on high revs) but much brighter and constant on tick over. I was guessing/hoping that maybe cuz i put a new battery on it wasn't quite up to full charge and will right itself in due coarse.

What d'ya reckon you clever people out there??? is this an alternator fault? Have I needlessly wasted (a lot of) money on a new battery?

Please help else I'm gonna be in the same boat I was in last night.

Many thanks in advance for any replies

{No mention of age of car, so picked up from drop down menu for now}

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 27/11/2007 at 13:02

Battery charge light - Peter D
I suspect the alternator is failing, may be with just worn out brushes. Idelly you need to use a volt meter to see what the charge voltage is 3.75 to 14.25 would be good then measure it will loads of electical load, heated screen lights fan blower and at 2000rpm it should still hold 13.5 to 13.75. Most car parts places will test this for you. Regards Peter
1996 to 1998 - Battery charge light - Screwloose

You've just posted a classic description of the effects of alternator failure.

Without charge to replenish the current constantly being drawn from it, the battery runs flat. The new one was full of charge when fitted - it won't be so full now.....

The same scenario will now occur if you drive it again and, after a short while, it will break down - and it will stop dead without sufficient power left for any lights at all.

Ideally, get the old alternator and it's charging circuits tested before repair/replacement - but if that's not possible, take a risk and get a new alternator fitted - fast.

1996 to 1998 - Battery charge light - Falkirk Bairn
Neighbour had similar with a Micra - but he did the diagnosis in reverse of OPs

Bought a 2nd hand alternator from the scrappy @ £20 and it made no difference - then bought a battery for £50 at the Motor Factors - Halfords wanted £78 - odd shaped battery so sources of batteries limited (none @ Costco etc)
1996 to 1998 - Battery charge light - Neb62
Thanks for all your swift replys, what a great site this is!

Anyway here's an update on my problem......

As I was VERY limited for time I had to take the risk of using the car, with the new battery, to go to work, about 15 miles (30-mins) with lights ON, the battery charge light was still on but seemingly getting dimmer, getting real worried about the journey home.

Anyway did shift, got in car, drove about half a mile and the charge light went out completely and has NOT come on again since (after doing a further 30 miles with lights on)

What I would like confirmed is....is it feesible that the light was on after replacing the battery, because the battery wasn't fully charged and the short journey to work was enough to charge it fully and hence make the warning light go out? and all is now tickety-boo? I suppose i could have an intermittant fault with the alternator...what d'y reckon chaps???
1996 to 1998 - Battery charge light - Screwloose

The light is the alternator charge warning light and is connected directly to it's diode pack; the "battery" symbol is there only for simplicity. [Many female drivers haven't heard of alternators...]

It only stays on if there is a charging fault. It is entirely possible - and not uncommon - for it to be intermittent if the brushes are worn down.

You cannot rely on it staying off and it would not have made that distance home if it had stayed on.

Remember the risk of breaking down with no lights showing [that killed three policemen late one night] and get it replaced - fast.
1996 to 1998 - Battery charge light - AR-CoolC
I was only last night doing my night school course on vehicle electrics, and last nights lesson was all about the charging system and how to test the alternator. The symptoms you are showing are certainly signs of the alternator failing, as already said with either the brushes worn on the rotor or the regulator pack failing.

Yay.. night school works :)
1996 to 1998 - Battery charge light - Neb62
Doh, there was me thinking i'd gotten away with it.....will check the brushes.

and many thanks for warning me and all your advice
1996 to 1998 - Battery charge light - marty1979
It may not be the alternator itself, it could be the wiring. On my mk5 escort the battery light kept coming on whilst driving, I could make it go off by high reving the car whilst stationary, it would come back on a couple of min's later though. Eventually I found out that there was a small cable attatched to the alternator that was quite loose, it wasn't bolted or screwed on it was one of those L shaped connectors that slide over a thread. If I turned the car on in the morning and the light was on, I would pop the bonnet and move the cable around a bit and the light would go off. I sorted it in the end by crimping it nice and tight. Hope this helps
1996 to 1998 - Battery charge light - jc2
There was a service fix on Escorts in the 90's on this very subject;on the one I owned I never had any battery problems but the warning light would glow faintly in the dark.The fix was to change the connector to a different type-they did it on mine-no further problems.

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