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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, thanks for reading..

Car is mk1 crd, 2010 plate but built in 2008..90k miles

Was fine, no lights or anything.

Battery replaced a few months ago due to sudden total failure.

Did a 150 mile run and parked up overnight 0c temps). Starts fine the next morning and backed out of drive and parked up.

Tried to start it up and it wouldn't (spins over fast enough it no start).

Noticed at this point that when turned off and turned to the pre start point that the normal self test of the dash lamps has changed in that the charging light comes on with all the rest, flickers off then comes straight back on..this is before starting.

Voltage wise the computer (and my volt meter ) says 12.0-12.1 volts at the battery.

Called AA at this point.

After several attempts the car did start and he tested the alternator output voltage and got 10.6 volts at the alternator output while the battery was sitting at 12. He then tested the voltage at the front jumping point and got 12v...

This morning I put the battery on charge for a couple of hours (11amp charger, battery reading 12.8 volts after that).

Car wouldn't start 3 or 4 times (say 5-10 seconds turning each time) then did.

At which point i delivered it to the garage just round the corner who said " yeh it will be the alternator - won't be cheap".

Obviously on the four hour flat bed trip last night I had priced up a new alternator!

My question...sorry it's taken a while! Most alternator failures seem to be that the charging light goes out, then come on once started and i havent seen many comments about difficulty starting with a half charged battery...

Why does the charging light stay on before starting ..could this mean that it's NOT the alternator??? (Don't want to do a very expensive job unnecessarily!)
 

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There's a thread on the forum here somewhere explaining how to replace the alternator out through the front/top of the engine engine bar (it's tight but possible) which might be worth searching out. Much easier than the factory approved method
 

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Join the club! The battery light will stay on as long as there is a fault with the battery and/or charging system. See following instructions (taken from old post) on alternator removal from top plus additional comments.

ALTERNATOR REMOVAL

Right... Disconnect the battery.Remove all the gubbins at the front left of the engine...
The resonator box, the glow plug relay etc, remove the pipework from the inter cooler on the right hand side of the engine so that the whole of the front of the engine is visible(10 mins)
then move the belt tensioner which is on the right side to take the belt off, take off the plastic protectors off the electrical contacts on the alternator,
disconnect the alternator, remove the 4 "E" bolts that hold the alternator to the engine block then wiggle the alternator out upwards(that's half an hour gone).
Fitment is reversal but have a look at the seal on the intercooler connections as the one we did was split..... Wear some gloves as its really oily down there.... I hate diesels....lol


LOW MILEAGE 300c 3.0 CRD ALTERNATOR PROBLEM
My 2007 3.0CRD alternator failed recently. Car only done 26000 miles.
No Shroud but no oil or diesel leaks either.
Tried to shame local Chrysler dealer into replacing but all I got was "out of warranty" best they could do was £897.16 (claimed they give me a bit off for low miles!!!!)
I sourced alternator as local garages seemed to have a real problem with this.
I supplied them with changed method and 3 hours later job done for £510 all in. (still shocking for a car so new)

Stripped alternator today and brush box full of crud but no signs of oil or diesel.
Looking at the design of this brush box and position this is a serious design error.
It looks like the carbon from the brushes cant escape due to brush box design and orientation.
A little condensation on the slip rings will make a nice paste with the carbon dust.
Chrysler should be ashamed of themselves. They must realise this by now.
As far as I can see this problem will continue to recur with or without the shield its just a matter of when and where!!!
My replacement alternator was a Lucas model but still has the same crap VALEO brush pack!

Does anyone make a reliable alternative that will fit in available space????
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys ...

My only concern was why it was so difficult to get it to start, even after two hours of the battery on charge for a couple of hours @ 11amps...
 

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There are other reasons for starting difficulties, apart from battery issues. Have you tried scanning for fault codes? Failed glowplugs and/or glowplug module can result in poor starting. Even when everything appears OK, starting can sometimes be difficult. Try this: put batttery on charger again and check that with charger disconnected voltage is not less than 12.6 on light load. You can use EVIC to monitor voltages. Before cranking, make sure that all the warning lights (not just glowplug) extinguish. When cranking, voltage shouldn't be much less than 10. Keep cranking until the engine fires and if alternator OK, then volts should increase to about 14.6. If you abort cranking too soon, ie before engine fires, then subsequent attempts in quick sucession may well prove fruitless. Don't ask me why.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Car is at the garage now.

Faults comming up were charging on evic ...I must admit it didn't scan codes.

Previous to the charging light it's always started on the key without any issues so if there's something else it's one hell of a coincidence.

Battery was measuring 11.9 v on dvm when I out it on charge and 12.9 ish when I took it off (but that would be float value so possibly less than 12.6 after the float had been killed)

It ran ok once started (down at about 10v turning over, 11.9/12.1 running)

I suppose perhaps the voltage was just so low cranking that the injectors weren't firing due it the low voltage, as soon as it caught and I let go of the key the voltage would go up quickly I guess ..

Intererestingly I thought it was the fourth or fifth try to start each time (maybe won't fire with active code but code is reset after three key turns, then starts...)?
 

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Until your alternator is changed, you may just be second guessing about the poor starting problem. The garage will need to run the engine to test the new alternator and if they find that difficult they will presumably do further diagnostics.
 

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I had my alternator go this go, the symptoms I got were. Erratic voltage readings ( I have a voltage display on lighter socket )
the voltage sometimes went to 11v then next time back to 14.8
when it finally was on its last legs on a 90 mile journey the volts dropped to 5v then back up to 14v all the time, when it stuck at 6 volts all the dash display went Blank and needles to zero, after 1/2 mile it went into first gear and would not shift.
parked up and engine cut out and the electrics were dead, tip here don’t have a big daft dog in the rear ( touring ) as it makes reaching the emergency catch difficult as the boot lock is electric.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok just in case anyone does find this in the future :)

The alternator was blown, but the difficulty in starting was down to a fused link wire in the engine harness that connects the feed of the alternator and glowplugs to the battery....

When the alternator died (I assume) it went short circuit and blew this link....hence no glow plugs and difficult starting.....

Hope that helps someone in the future!
 

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There are two fusible links connected to the alternator. One is in the starter motor/battery circuit and the other in the glowplug module circuit. If it was the latter which fused then I doubt it was a fault in the alternator - more likely to be the glowplug module connector touching ground with the battery still connected.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Interesting ..though I do t see how that would have happened as it and the alternator went between me backing the car off the drive and parking it up and restarting it..unless it was very loose and the garage didn't mention it was and that they had looked at the glow plugs relay before the link ( so I assume they had checked connections etc...)

Well it's done 400+ miles since the fix so far so good...
 

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I'm pleased that everything is now OK. However, just to re-iterate, for the fusible link to the glowplug module to blow, one end would need to be connected to the battery whilst the other end was shorted to ground. I fail to see how an alternator "short" would create this condition. The purpose of these fusible links is to protect the cabling from damage in such eventualties. There have been a few instances of fusible link failures reported on this forum and they have usually been as a result of failing to disconnect the battery when working on the alternator. Was your alternator replaced from the top? If so, the glowplug module would need to have been removed and then replaced with the battery disconnected. Can you be sure that the correct procedure was followed?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I guess as the labour in total was 175 it was probably done from the top.

However I had the problem starting it at exactly the same time the alternator went out...(before anyone worked on it).


Litterally backed out of drive, parked on road and when I started it a couple of hours later both.problems......

Now it starts (as it always has) immediately ...

I get what your saying that the link shouldn't blow due to an alternator failure but the two did seem to coincide...(I have a habbit of watching all the lights go out before starting and also have radio equipment that tells me the voltage on switch on so I think I would have spotted if it hadn't been producing charge) I also noticed then when we did he tit started prior to replacing the alternator the old one sounded like it had bearing or bush noise...not excessive but definitely noisey....

It's pretty odd I grant...I wonder if the alternator failed going over voltage on startup ...if the glow plugs were pulling current that could put more power through them and the link....I would have thought it would have survived it ( and other stuff got fried) but it's the only explanation I can come up with at this point...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
And it continues...

Alternator replaced and it's been.fine, voltage sitting at circa 14.8 volts etc...covered over 1000 miles....

Got in the car this morning, started fine...got 250 yards down the road from my girlfriend's and charging light came on...

Voltage 11.9 volts/12 volts....

Drove the garage that replaced the alternator...not very interested as they say the cars basically a bodge of Chrysler body and Merc engine and none of their computers will touch it...

Recommend I take it to an autoelectrician....

Now what is interesting is that (a) when I was driving home I swear I could hear "buzzing" from the back (similar to a speaker crackling but the stereo was off) when I hit sharp bumps...and whennidling it was reading 11.9 volts but when driving 12 ..... Also the charging light went off after about five miles but voltage still 11.9 volts (suspect this was glow plugs fully turning off though I had just driven through a monsterous puddle)

I did try stopping and restarting the 300 in case it had had a computer brain spasm and it started fine...but charge light firmly on again

Its parked in my drive while I am at work as I got in my mr2 plaything to drive in (have to say that always works)!

Obvious thoughts ..check out battery connections and boot earth

Check relays/fuses are seated/unblown.

Measure (meter!) Voltage of alternator running/not running

Charge battery and check it keeps charge and doesn't have a collapsed cell..
 

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It's still looking very much like an alternator fault. Did you provide the replacement alternator for the garage to fit? If so, I can understand the garage's reluctance to take responsibility. Was it a re-furb or brand new and what warranty was provided? Buzzing from the back could have been the result of intermittent battery connections arcing, so worth checking again. The battery should have been disconnected prior to alternator replacement, but if it wasn't, that may be why the fusible link blew. You should also check that the exciter connection from the ECU to the alternator is secure, as it's the ECU that ultimately regulates the alternator output.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The garage supplied and fitted the alternator, I suspect it was a refurb as the core had to go back.....

Not a garage I normally use but they were very close.......there is supposed to be a warranty but they are saying it's not the alternator (sum testing a test light on alternator output lights up...but I think out would from the battery anyway....)

Having got home and done a bit more testing :

1. The battery having stood all day is now at 12.5 volts - so not a collapsed cell I would think..measured dvm to lead terminals on battery.

2 the measurement form clamp to clamp on the battery is the same...

3 measurent positive clamp to earth stud in boot is similar..earth stud doesn't look to great so will whip that apart and clean it for peace of mind...

opened the rear fuse/relay box and gave everything a wiggle and check battery clamps seem secure....

4 turn car on and don't start it dash lights go through self test and go off, then charging light comes back on...so the error is present even without the engine running (i.e. if it is the alternator then it can sense it even when it's not turning, and the battery is at a perfectly respectable 12.5 volts)...

Evic reads lower 12.4, my ham radio wired direct to battery 12.3v but I would trust my meter over that!

Planning to pop a starter pack accross the battery to lift it's voltage and see if the same still happens (bet it will)

Also wondered about starter pack accross under bonnet hot point to engine to see if that made any difference and measure voltage at under bonnet point...

Also plan to get odbii reader on the car if I can find the socket (I have quite a good one..as in will read and reset abs codes etc). Socket not immediately obvious...will Google and approach after tea...

I am wondering if it could be the glow plug relay stuck on and that burnt out the loom over a long drive and maybe dropping the battery voltage pre start... But after a half hour drive this morning I would expect the battery to be lower if that was true...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Further update.

Odbii reader says no faults (though it can pull what I assume to be historical steering angle sensor faults out of the abs) evic says charging fault ...

Jump pack from earth stub to battery ..no different

Have noticed that if you wait long enough ..60 seconds? The charging light goes out....

So thought I would start it...well I tried, spun over fine but won't start...just like last time when the fuselink in the harness had allegedly blown...

I suspect glow plugs not now working....So i bet fused link is blown again..for some unknown reason...

I have been bitten before twice by mercs weird diagnostic stuff, you would have thought I would have learnt!



Last time the aa tested continuity form under bonnet jump start post to battery and it was fine....

Garage said to me this morning the loom defiantly goes starter solanoid to glow plug relay to alternator..so wondering if it's gone again between starter and glow plugs ..so no connection to alternator and glowplugs....but then again apparently it's not supposed to do that anyway....

Having spent a fortune on the suspension with garages to not cure clunks and eventually insisted, that although four garages (including two mot stations) said the front anti roll bar was perfect, they humour me and change the bushes ..and it cured the fault and now another load of money on a new alternator not to cure that fault I rather feel I need to understand what the fault is myself...

Or scrap it and start again.... but that seems a shame on 10 plate car.that only down 90k!
 

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If the garage supplied and fitted the alternator, then they should take responsibility for the problem. I'm wondering if the large current pulse resulting when the fusible link blew might have fried the ECU - such things are not unheard of.

I'm not sure your code reader is telling the truth. Many of the cheap readers available on fleabay have not proven to be very reliable. Even a fairly basic device should report battery/generator faults, including those of a temporary nature. Codes will also be set for glowplug module faults and even for individual glowplugs. The so called glowplug relay is actually a fairly complex solid-state switching device which uses pulse width modulation techniques to downconvert the 12V supply to the 4.3V rated glowplugs. I think this process is used to ensure that the glowplugs are fully energised when the volts drop sharply during cranking. Glowplug module failures are not uncommon and many owners (myself included) have needed to replace them. Have you checked the supply volts on the EVIC display? If the alternator is working correctly, then you should see 14.6V with the engine running. The engine should crank and start with a fully charged battery. but there may be difficulties if the glowplug module isn't working correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Evic says 11.9/12v engine running..it also says charging fault....

The evic can't be relied upon as its never really right ....used two dvm's and they agree battery at 12.5 volts while evic says 12.1 (having been sat for 24 hours, engine off) everything lights etc turned off...

After alternator replacement (which I now suspect may have been unencessary) it was saying 14.8v for almost 1000 miles...obviously less.when starting/just startedup and down very slightly with load like headlights so it feels like the ecu was correctly controlling the voltage.

The charging light came.on just after starting ..literally couple of hundred yards down the road....so I suspect the glow plugs pulling current down the fused link fried it on start up...again.....then it took a minute or two for the ecu to work out it wasn't seeing alternator output, decide it wasn't a temporary blip and then pop the error....

When I checked.the evic it was 11.9...and not starting (assume glowplugs again and if I crank it enough it will start like last time )...currently have battery on charge ...

My code reader is actually quite good, but even the garages one won't talk to the engine..not entirely suprised as my experience with genuine Merc star systems talking to mercs has been hit and miss in the past... As in one day will work, next day same reader same car won't....

Perosonally I think the fused link had popped again hence no plugs and no charge....

The wiring diagram I found shows the main feed going to the under bonnet jump start pojnt, then to the starter then fused link to glow plug module then to alternator...

What I don't know is how it was "repaired"...

When I went into the garage he stuck a test light on the output of the alternator with the car running and it lit so he said " well the link must still be intact"...my logic says....or the alternator is producing volts and the wire has gone ..again...

Booked in with an auto electrician on Thursday assuming it will start and get there...

I dont understand why they didn't put the inline 6 in to be honest that was super reliable and well.proven (not to.mention better.mpg)

Well.we shall see but right now I feel it 50/50 if it's beyond economic repair unless the auto electrian can give a reason based on diagnosis why it keeps blowing fused links (unless the repair to it was a total bodge job which to be honest wouldn't surprise me given their speed of hand washing..)

It's a shame as it's otherwise a nice car (the inevitable continuous suspension work I am familiar with from the e class)...



Thanks for your input it's really appreciated.
 

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It isn't easy to perform accurate diagnosis via a forum. Hopefully your auto electrician, armed with the necessary daiagnostic gear, will be able to shed a bit more light on the problem.

I use the TorquePro Android App on my smartphone, in conjunction with the OBDLinkLX Bluetooth dongle and I have used this successfully to diagnose alternator, glowplug and exhaust gas pressure sensor faults. I have also used a cheap fleabay dongle which worked, but kept throwing up comms errors. There is a very comprehensive Chrysler tool, not expensive and with good reviews, but needs to be installed on a Windows laptop:Chrysler – Appcar DiagFCA – diagnostic tool
 
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