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  • Battery/Alternator problem

    I am trying to diagnose my charging problem. It just started happening right before the Group 2 meeting. I didn't notice until a week or so ago that the one dash light that is for the starting and charging comes on when I start and drive the mini. Now I am thinking that is why it is not charging it. I can't find anything else wrong with the mini except for that light comes on. What should I do to solve this problem?
    1971 mini Clubman Turbo
    1991 Black German mini
    2007 Jeep Wrangler

  • #2
    The ignition light probably isn't causing the problem but it is warning you that there is a problem. If the ignition light never came on then the ignition light could cause the problem you're seeing (but that's another story).

    It is likely that the alternator isn't functioning properly. I think there are auto parts stores that can check them in the area but you'll have to ask someone else about that.

    If you have a volt meter you can check the voltage at the battery with the car off (you will have to charge the battery first if you haven't), this should read a little over 12VDC. Start the car and run the engine above normal idle. The battery should read over 13 volts.

    If you don't get the correct reading on the first part of the test, the battery isn't charging. This doesn't explain the ignition light but you will probably need a new battery before you can determine the problem.

    If you don't get the correct reading on the second part of the test. Repeat both parts where the main power cable connects to the starter solenoid.

    If you don't get the correct reading on the second part of the test. Repeat both parts on the main output of the alternator, it's the big brown cable.

    You should not be disconnecting anything on the car during any of these tests.

    If all tests fail you will need to remove the alternator and have it tested or you can just replace it.

    Kelley
    If you can afford the car, you can afford the manual...

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    • #3
      I tested the battery with it running it is not charging. I tried it with two alternators. Now I ordered a new alternator and it is still not charging the battery. My battery is an Optima yellow top. I am not saying it is good. It is a few years old so it might be going. Now how do I check the wires for the alternator and starter solenoid? Also the light does not come on sometime when the car is running. Some times it flickers also when it is running. The battery has never gotten flat also.
      1971 mini Clubman Turbo
      1991 Black German mini
      2007 Jeep Wrangler

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      • #4
        Well I finally got it working, the only alternator I got to work is the one Chuck gave me. It is now reading over 13 volts at the battery and the light is off when it runs. Tried to find a place that will test the alternators that i have and none of them can. Not sure where else to go anyone have a place I can go?
        1971 mini Clubman Turbo
        1991 Black German mini
        2007 Jeep Wrangler

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        • #5
          Very curious. Since our discussion, I'd questioned those alts. But now I'm wondering about the related wiring or faults taking out otherwise healthy alts.
          Best
          MSH
          All Together Now..... Everybody.......

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          • #6
            I got my new alternator to work. I changed the pulley on it with one of my spares as it was to big and would require removal of the alternator to remove the belt. I also made sure the belt was good and tight so it would work properly. I am now getting over 14 volts at the battery while it is running.
            1971 mini Clubman Turbo
            1991 Black German mini
            2007 Jeep Wrangler

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            • #7
              Which if its drawing that kind of voltage now the episode might have been triggered by low battery voltage. Is the car a driver or sits in the garage most of the time for occasional driving? Even with a quality battery, it needs to be "cycled" (draw, charge) or the weaker cell starts shorting eventually to failure, I know this one from experience.

              What I did to maintain the battery in my Mini was to get a trickle charger which cycles the battery, mine is a "battery tender". At one point I was replacing the battery every 2 - 3 years, with this set up I've
              Had the current plain Jane battery in the car without failure for going on 5 years.

              Something to think about.
              Skip

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              • #8
                I have a ctek charger for the battery. A regular battery tender can't charge the dry/gel battery's properly which is what mine is. I drive the car to school 2 times a week and other places if i need anything. So maybe 3-4 times do I drive it a week. Less if I am on break from school. I will keep a look out for a draw on the battery.
                1971 mini Clubman Turbo
                1991 Black German mini
                2007 Jeep Wrangler

                Comment

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