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Big red battery warning (and the small one on the left)

Discussion in '456/550/575' started by niftyfivefifty, Apr 1, 2021.

  1. niftyfivefifty

    niftyfivefifty Formula Junior
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    Mar 5, 2007
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    PacNW
    I was out collecting exhaust sounds on Sunday in heavy rain, and at one point my dash lit up like crazy. ABS, suspension, and battery errors. I was able to get the car home, but it felt like it was losing power steering on some corners. I made it home and put it on the charger, thinking I must have left the car unlocked the night before and maybe that drained it more than usual. It started and ran with no issues last night, but it is still showing the big red battery error in the center info area and the smaller red battery on the left side of the instrument panel. I did some reading and I'm going to get the car on a lift this weekend to check all grounds, alternator wiring, etc. Has this happened to anyone else before?
     
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  3. flash32

    flash32 Formula 3

    Aug 22, 2008
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    Check your voltage while running
     
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  4. rhern213

    rhern213 Karting

    Jan 8, 2021
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    #3 rhern213, Apr 1, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021
    +1

    First check your battery voltage with the car off to make sure it's at 12+ volts.
    Then turn the car on and monitor the voltage, if the alternator is working properly the voltage should increase to about 13.5-14.5.
    If it's any lower than 13 then the alternator's probably the problem.
    If it has proper charging voltage then I would start looking around for potential loose wiring.
     
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  5. niftyfivefifty

    niftyfivefifty Formula Junior
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    Thanks guys! I'll test it tonight and report back.
     
  6. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Unless the battery is new, consider getting a new AGM. Cures a lot of weird problems.
     
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  8. niftyfivefifty

    niftyfivefifty Formula Junior
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    Yeah it's strange, the battery is a new Odyssey Extreme AGM, the alternator was rebuilt last year with a new regulator installed, and my mechanic confirmed all connections are good in November. So either something prematurely failed, or we missed something somewhere.
     
  9. niftyfivefifty

    niftyfivefifty Formula Junior
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    I'm only getting 12.18v when running (same when off). So it appears my alternator needs to be looked at.
     
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  10. 308 GTB

    308 GTB F1 World Champ
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    One gets an array of warning lights and a loss of power, most noticeable in turns, when the alternator isn't functioning properly. Here's my F355 Challenge at Daytona when my alternator failed in 2015...





    It's possible that the alternator cable connectors are dirty and just need to be cleaned.
     
  11. Qavion

    Qavion F1 Veteran
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    Also make sure the small red wire between the battery and the alternator hasn't detached itself.

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  13. niftyfivefifty

    niftyfivefifty Formula Junior
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    Thanks and yes, it was very strange in the turns. That looks like it was a fun day! I have been driving in a lot of wet and “dirty” conditions so it could very well be the connectors.

    Thanks, I will be taking a closer look on Saturday and hopefully it is a simple fix.
     
  14. 308 GTB

    308 GTB F1 World Champ
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    I had the same thing happen to me at Watkins Glen a couple of years ago. It wasn't the alternator or dirty connections but rather a broken wire in the cable....


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    My support techs spliced the broken wire and I was good to go. :)
     
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  15. niftyfivefifty

    niftyfivefifty Formula Junior
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    I have actually suspected this because it has always been a little off. So your broken wire was in the cable between the alternator and battery?
     
  16. 308 GTB

    308 GTB F1 World Champ
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    Yes, it was about 3 cm from the connector to the alternator. It gets hot over there and the wires in the cable get brittle. In my case, I experienced intermittent symptoms as the broken wire would make intermittent contact. My techs used a wire continuity detector to diagnose the problem.

    I replaced the cable when the car got back to the shop. The cable is difficult to shield in the F355.
     
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  17. niftyfivefifty

    niftyfivefifty Formula Junior
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    My mechanic confirmed that the alternator is toast. But he found a voltage drop at the ignition switch, so that may have contributed to the premature failure. More details to come...
     
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  18. niftyfivefifty

    niftyfivefifty Formula Junior
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  19. tres55

    tres55 F1 Rookie
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  20. niftyfivefifty

    niftyfivefifty Formula Junior
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    He said the contacts will loosen or oxidize over time, and the reduced conductivity surface area can create a dangerous amount of heat, leading to this type of damage, or worse. I can definitely see why people do the gold contacts fuse box upgrade.
     
  21. rhern213

    rhern213 Karting

    Jan 8, 2021
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    Ouch, yeah I guess in the grand scheme of things it was fortunate to just be the alternator. Perhaps also in the PacNW with the extra rain and condensation it could lead to higher risk of something like this happening.
     
  22. AVIMAX

    AVIMAX Formula Junior

    Aug 5, 2014
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    I don't know about the black connector in your first photo, but the 2 wires in the blue connector that overheated are for one of the radiator fans. Check the wires for the other radiator fan (they are in a different connector), I bet they have also overheated. I believe this is common as the radiator fans age.

    Mine before I repaired.
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  23. niftyfivefifty

    niftyfivefifty Formula Junior
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  24. rhern213

    rhern213 Karting

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    Was it difficult to get access to the back of the board to check on it?
     
  25. niftyfivefifty

    niftyfivefifty Formula Junior
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    My mechanic is is the one who pulled it, but I believe it comes out with a few screws after detaching all of the harnesses.
     
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