How far can you go without alternator charge? by Roverite


User avatar
Roverite
I know this sounds a daft question, but my CDTi alternator failed yesterday, and I want to travel to Jules for the work. If my battery is fully charged, does anybody know how long the charge will last? The journey is 110 miles and two and a quarter hours. I thought it would keep running, providing I didn't switch off or use lights etc. However, Jules thinks that was OK with older cars, but our cars use 20 amps for the ECU (Engine Control Unit) etc; plus when it gets low on voltage, the immobiliser might kick in and stop the engine. He thought if I backed it up with one of the jump start box of tricks, feeding through the cigar lighter socket, I would have a better chance and if not I would have to use my 'Recovery' membership!

So, has anybody traveled with the alternator light glowing and how far did you get?

Roverite.

Posted 06 Feb 2013, 13:40 #1 

User avatar
MrDoodles
Personally, as long as you don't use masses of electrical equipment on your car, I would have thought you'd make it OK! :)

However, if you can, I would be tempted to take a spare fully charged battery with you and the tools to replace it with! ;)
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Posted 06 Feb 2013, 14:25 #2 

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ceedy
Couple of years back , I had a Alternator belt fail in my dizzle ,just after picking my daughter up from work , and thought no option really , I should be able to do the 3 miles back .
It was at night so needed the light s .. I didn't make it !!
Stopped at local garage to find no one there .
Car stopped 1 miles from home typically in the most awkward place.
Bad decision on my part!! but didn't really have any option at the time .

Had to get towed to garage .. 1 miles to turn round and 3 miles back to garage !!
Got one for Me , Then one for her, and now a big one for me again, All BLOO! Well saves on the touch up paint, Now Number one son's Spoilt it all by getting a Firefrost 1.8T

Posted 06 Feb 2013, 15:05 #3 

Last edited by ceedy on 06 Feb 2013, 15:12, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Mick
(Site Admin)
Is there not a competent repairer nearer to home? Yes, I know you prefer to use Jules but it's not a difficult job, if a little involved.

alternator-diesel-replacement-rover-75-cdt.html

Posted 06 Feb 2013, 15:09 #4 

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Roverite
Mick wrote:Is there not a competent repairer nearer to home? Yes, I know you prefer to use Jules but it's not a difficult job, if a little involved.

alternator-diesel-replacement-rover-75-cdt.html


Thanks for the info; there doesn't seem to be any Auto-Electricians closer than Telford. I have seen some horror stories from members who have had alternators fitted and my 30+ years in the parts side of the retail motor trade gives me every cause to be suspicious. I trust Julian and will risk a breakdown next Tuesday. I will keep you posted!

Roverite.

Posted 06 Feb 2013, 16:07 #5 

User avatar
Duncan
No, you won't get that far. I'd probably say less than 20A, but it doesn't matter really. And the immobilser won't kick in, but the pumps and injection system are run by electricity and they will stop working. If you take a few fully charged batteries you would probably be OK.

Your battery is likely to be low anyway, given it's cold and the alternator has packed up. The jump start packs don't have much capacity really, some of the pro ones have more than the DIY types but all in all it won't be much different.

Mine failed, and I drove 8 miles with no need for lights, plus everything electrical switched off. When I got home the battery was clearly tired though.

On old cars there was an average of about an amp for the coil (it switches on and off) and not a lot else. Even if you switch everything off, the BCU (Body Control Unit) is using a bit, the IPK (Instrument pack (IPK from the German)) will use some. the ATC (Automatic Temperature Control) even if displaying nothing is drawing a bit of current. Is yours an auto? If so, then that takes a fair bit too.
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Posted 06 Feb 2013, 17:49 #6 

User avatar
Roverite
Mick wrote:Is there not a competent repairer nearer to home? Yes, I know you prefer to use Jules but it's not a difficult job, if a little involved.

alternator-diesel-replacement-rover-75-cdt.html


After giving it a lot of thought and having received grief from my wife, plus the posts on here, I decided to ask around locally. One garage was recommended by several neighbours; based in Ludlow, with 60 years of trading, family run and employing some ex-Rover dealer mechanics. It is booked in for Monday and saves the cost of buying a spare battery, jump-pack and 200+ miles of fuel. I just felt uneasy about breaking down on a dodgy bend in the rush-hour. I have just driven into Ludlow, a 12 mile round trip and the battery is still showing 12 volts, but the overall consensus was that it wouldn't do 110 miles.

Thank you for all the thoughts and info; at least it might help others in a similar situation.

Roverite.

Posted 07 Feb 2013, 14:53 #7 

User avatar
Duncan
The voltage doesn't help much. A fully charged battery is about 12.7 volts, it will still be 12.0 even when almost empty of usable power. Once they are nearly empty, the voltage plummets quite quickly!
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Posted 07 Feb 2013, 18:03 #8 

User avatar
starbug2
mine only just got to Austin garages from home (about 40 miles )but i didn't help my self as for got while the engine does power the air con ,there is is the small matter of the fan etc . it was like Apollo 13 at the end with my shutting everything down as warning lights started to come on / off ....

Posted 09 Feb 2013, 04:14 #9 

User avatar
Roverite
Roverite wrote:I know this sounds a daft question, but my CDTi alternator failed yesterday, and I want to travel to Jules for the work. If my battery is fully charged, does anybody know how long the charge will last? The journey is 110 miles and two and a quarter hours. I thought it would keep running, providing I didn't switch off or use lights etc. However, Jules thinks that was OK with older cars, but our cars use 20 amps for the ECU etc; plus when it gets low on voltage, the immobiliser might kick in and stop the engine. He thought if I backed it up with one of the jump start box of tricks, feeding through the cigar lighter socket, I would have a better chance and if not I would have to use my 'Recovery' membership!

So, has anybody traveled with the alternator light glowing and how far did you get?

Roverite.


OK; I have had the new alternator fitted by Corve Bridge Garage in Ludlow, Tel:- 01584 872878, total price was £372. That included the Alternator @ £156 and four hours labour @ £216; the VAT part of this was £62! So a third of your wages goes in Tax and NI contributions, then 20% of whats left is taken in VAT every time you shop, even more when you buy fuel, then 5% is taken in VAT on Insurance and heating, then the local Council takes the equivalent of 10% of our income in Council Tax, plus......no I can't go on!!!!!

Anyway, they did a perfect job and refitted everything as it should be; I can recommend them to anybody in this area and will use them for MOT, service and non-specialised repairs.

As far as the time it would take for a non charging battery to last, I can only say that mine did a 12 mile round trip and about six hours on a charger, starting at 4 amps, dropping to half an amp, brought it back to fully charged. I would say that a fully charged battery would take you between 20 and 50 miles, not using any lights, heater etc. Obviously it would be less on a not fully charged battery.

Roverite.

Posted 12 Feb 2013, 13:49 #10 

User avatar
Roverite
PS to yesterdays post.

Fitting the new alternator has also cured a noise that has been there for a few months. It was best described as like a timing chain rattle, but because of the proximity of the air-con pump, power steering pump, etc; it was difficult to locate. I can only think it was a bearing failure or the brushes were breaking up; whatever, the noise has now gone.

Roverite.

Posted 13 Feb 2013, 15:44 #11 


mi2540
My alternator went recently I knew it had to be that as I had just bought a new battery from AA after my original one gave up the ghost. the AA man charged my bsattery and agreed to follow me to the garage which was 1.25 miles away, lucky he did as it went flat within half a mile !! he had to restart me anyway because of warranty the repair was cost free but I had to buy a new battery as they tried to charge the battery but it wouldnt hold charge so two new batteries in one month how is that for bad luck

Posted 26 Feb 2013, 14:02 #12 


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