Power and steering problems - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 2012, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down Power and steering problems

Hi guys I've recently had a problem with my r50 it start as soon as the U.K got cold, I was parking up and suddenly the dash went crazy and power steering hardened up, I had a thought that the pump was about to fail, but when I went to the car today I unlock it and went to start it but it was completely dead, the battery still had 12v charge, and when I checked the alternator the other day it was charging at 14.4v , so there is nothing wrong there, but anyway as soon as I got back into the car I pressed the unlock button on the key fob and put my key in and everything came up as normal. Can the forum shed some light on my situation. Here's my video link for the steering problem.

youtube.com/watch?v=_VIkUe2AI5M&feature=plcp
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 2012, 10:26 AM
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It is pointing to a battery/alternator problem or a connection problem.

My 2005 Cooper S cabriolet had exactly the same 2 weeks ago. RAC suspected alternator which I had replaced. Coming back from Gary Numan Concert in London last night, the steering goes heavy, battery indicator on. I started the journey back home to get as close as I could. After about 5 miles, I stopped at traffic lights and noticed that the battery light had gone out. When the lights turned green, I pulled away and the steering was back to normally assisted. The light then flicked on again for a few seconds and then off. It stayed off for 20 miles or so of bumpy London Roads and then highway at speed, and then came on again all of a sudden. I had to conserve battery power by turning off headlights when no other cars nearby. When I was about 3 miles from home, all the warning lights came on - ABS, airbags etc. and then all the dashboard and headlights went out. Fortunately I made it home before all power gave out.


So, for me it was not the battery (which is fine) and it was obviously not the alternator as a new one has made no difference.

Testing the voltage with engine running shows no increase in voltage though so in my case I suspect some dodgy connection or maybe a problem with the computer (hope not).

If anybody has ideas what my problem could be - please let me know thanks.

Good Luck
Mike
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 2012, 08:24 PM
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I had a similar thing happen on my Audi TT. The RAC reset the computer which was showing a can bus error. After reset everything was back to normal and did not do it again. Apparently it might have been condensation or water from a puddle that caused the computer communication error. Was a bit odd driving with all dashboard lights on and some flashing.


Sent from my iPhone using AutoGuide.com App
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 10th, 2012, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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Hi guys what's even worse is that I don't think it is the power steering problem as originally thought, as I was about to go shopping with some friends, when I parked outside 1 of my mates houses and pressed the horn everything started going crazy on the dash again like from my YouTube video, it's so strange the battery is at 12volt even after being left for 2 days and the alternator is charging fine at about 14.1-14.4 volts I've checked for connections and can't find anything wrong at all anything else i should be looking for?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 10th, 2012, 11:39 AM
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Maybe time to check your BC1 and its connectors/wiring for damp or corrosion......we have had a lot of rain recently:
The BC1 (Body Control Unit) - Forums
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 10th, 2012, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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hi guys, just an update the fusebox was completely dry, and just checked the bc1 and that is also dry, ive done a thorough check on all earth points within the engine bay and test fine, ive even shoved 500v down them buy doing a insulation resistance test all are fine.
I will have to take the power steering pump out i think and give it a clean up, because what ever it is it seems to happen only when there is a load of current getting used, i just started the car with headlights, mainbeams, heater and radio on and obviously with the car essentials on eg power steering pump aswell and the dash goes crazy, which would have directed to the alternator which is fine, which is now brought me to think the PSP is filled with carbon which is around the brushes and the control unit. does anyone else before i take on this dread task
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 10th, 2012, 10:02 PM
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If you haven't, check the connections between the battery cables, alternator connections and ground. If the alternator is putting out proper voltage and the battery is charged, start with the least expensive parts... the cables/wires.. The only other issue I can think of is an intermittent bad cell in the battery. Insufficient voltage makes computer controlled cars crazy!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 10th, 2012, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macguyvic View Post
The only other issue I can think of is an intermittent bad cell in the battery. Insufficient voltage makes computer controlled cars crazy!
I agree......worth checking with another battery
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 2012, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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hi guys just an on the situation, since i remove the battery, battery casing, fusebox in the engine compartment, Since putting everything back it hasnt had any of the problems i had had described it all works fine again, HOW STRANGE!!! I notice that the battery casing had some water at the bottom, Which i think was a bit of battery water and not rain water as this was only in 1 little area in the middle of the casing, I think this indicates a bad battery which was causing the problem and from moving it out of the car it has seemed to fix a cell or 2 i hope and also the cable from the battery live to the fusebox which was in a terrible state, i havent replaced it, i have relocated it to its correct position as it was trapped under the battery casing. The only thing the car does now is dim when turning the steering wheel which is normal due to the current draw from the psp. if anything else happens i will keep everyone posted about it. for now im going to keep an eye on her and change the battery next week as i dont want an internal short! could be very nasty!
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