Which alternator? - MINI Cooper Forum
Second Generation Faults & Fixes MINI faults and fixes Late 2006 - Present

 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 19th, 2019, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Which alternator?

I have strobe effect headlights, side lights and internal lights. Lucky me. I have checked all earth, fuses and battery fixings are sound. I am getting 13.5v at idle according to Torque app. That does not mean it is not on its way out or the regulator is playing up.

I have the Autocom tool and software. Can I use this to define the type of alternator fitted? If so, where to look? There are two models for my R57 listed on Realoem, 2009, a 120 and a 150 amp. Rather not have to take the front end off just to determine the unit.

Mike, are you there?


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 19th, 2019, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Just a minute... I fitted a reverse camera a few weeks ago that had to have a fancy voltage box attached to stop the ECU having a problem with it being spliced into the reverse light wires. Am going to disconnect that in the morning and see what happens. My rational is that I have good voltage even with lights, seat heaters on so am doubting a problem with the alternator (52K miles on a justa). I have a feeling my cheap as chips wiring could be upsetting the light system even though I have no fault codes and even when the reverse light/camera is not on. Box was meant to regulate and stop the camera flickering. Could be doing a grand job but making everything else flicker.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 19th, 2019, 05:21 PM
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Just a minute... I fitted a reverse camera a few weeks ago that had to have a fancy voltage box attached to stop the ECU having a problem with it being spliced into the reverse light wires. Am going to disconnect that in the morning and see what happens. My rational is that I have good voltage even with lights, seat heaters on so am doubting a problem with the alternator (52K miles on a justa). I have a feeling my cheap as chips wiring could be upsetting the light system even though I have no fault codes and even when the reverse light/camera is not on. Box was meant to regulate and stop the camera flickering. Could be doing a grand job but making everything else flicker.
the joys of canbus multiplex wiring on modern cars, put your reg number in europarts web site and go look at alternators you might need to contact them to narrow it down or might not.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 20th, 2019, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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bit of feedback, nothing to do with any of my mods after reversing them all it most defo the alternator. Also found a very light ticking from the accessory belt area so we have the diagnosis. The cure however is painful! s and time... will give it a squirt of silicone lube anyway but that's my bonus accounted for.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 20th, 2019, 11:40 AM
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When my cars have an alternator problem, I get them repaired by a local company. They do them in 24hrs. Way cheaper than just replacing think the last repair was 60 instead of 180 for an exchange unit.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 2019, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to you lot for your advice. Fitted a new 150 amp unit this morning. Had a bit of trauma getting it as the shop ordered the wrong one which arrived and was rejected on Thursday, they got me a 120 amp even though I had written down exactly what car it was and my order for a 150 amp. Sheet happens but the good news is they only charged me for a 120 amp at 335 euro as a good will gesture (real price 440 euro).
I used the alternative technique I read about which was to remove the crash plate and air intake boxes, the exhaust heat shield, disconnect the lower engine mount and the left mount, raise and push the engine back to get access. Worked a treat and for me much easier than service mode.
While I was about it I changed the auxiliary drive belt and flushed and replaced the coolant. The seals on my two year old thermostat bleed valve had perished (thanks for a crap unit Eurocarparts). Thankfully I have a fancy coffee machine that I keep spare seals for as it also needs as much maintenance as a Mini. They were a perfect fit.
The performance issues due to a failing alternator is spot on, after an hour's drive I think I have quite a few horses back! Amazing how the insidious loss of performance goes un-noticed until it is back.
Again, thanks guys. I could have tried for a repair as there is a place in Malaga that offers rebuild but happy with the outcome and only a few hours off the road. By the way, the shaft movement was marked on pulling and pushing it so it really was heading for a dramatic fail.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 2019, 06:15 PM
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the steering rack takes a lot of voltage and amps so when charging drops it drags the rest of it down lower,
The process by which electric current passes through a material is termed electrical conduction, and its nature varies with that of the charged particles and the material through which they are travelling. Examples of electric currents include metallic conduction, where electrons flow through a conductor such as metal, and electrolysis, where ions (charged atoms) flow through liquids, or through plasmas such as electrical sparks. While the particles themselves can move quite slowly, sometimes with an average drift velocity only fractions of a millimetre per second, the electric field that drives them itself propagates at close to the speed of light, enabling electrical signals to pass rapidly along wires.
the best bit about motors/alternators is they car either produce electric or turn electric in to a rotatory movement with some clever wiring and controllers. and a power source to rotate them instead of the other way around,

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 2019, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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indeed, the steering has had a remarkable change from heavy to feeling normal to any other car (being a justa with electric motor steering assist) this has been one of the most noticeable improvements. I had thought that something had gone awry with my suspension after the lower rear bushing replacement but it turns out it was all electronic due to the failing alternator. Nothing weird about any of this, it all makes perfect sense. If there are not enough ziggies for lights and ignition then there are not enough for major systems either. I am so happy that I did not spend wasted time on peripheral jobs and you sent me in the right direction... spend time and money on the right parts. There are so many differential diagnosis to one specific query online yet the big picture has to be taken into consideration... no electronic power equals many zany problems.
Anyone with heavy steering, lights flickering, loss of power needs to consider alternator function after connections are checked EVEN if their scan tool says 14+ volts... it is on its way out, early doors maybe but defo going South.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 2019, 04:36 PM
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indeed, the steering has had a remarkable change from heavy to feeling normal to any other car (being a justa with electric motor steering assist) this has been one of the most noticeable improvements. I had thought that something had gone awry with my suspension after the lower rear bushing replacement but it turns out it was all electronic due to the failing alternator. Nothing weird about any of this, it all makes perfect sense. If there are not enough ziggies for lights and ignition then there are not enough for major systems either. I am so happy that I did not spend wasted time on peripheral jobs and you sent me in the right direction... spend time and money on the right parts. There are so many differential diagnosis to one specific query online yet the big picture has to be taken into consideration... no electronic power equals many zany problems.
Anyone with heavy steering, lights flickering, loss of power needs to consider alternator function after connections are checked EVEN if their scan tool says 14+ volts... it is on its way out, early doors maybe but defo going South.
yep its just a process,
1. code read the car.
2 get codes and work out what sensors are reading what
3 live data run it see what the others are doing
4, the hard part working out whether its a electronic or mechanical problem causing the code.( ie maf sensor saying implausible reading, might me the map sensors but might be, no oil pressure on a turbo car. or broken turbo. and many more things,, cars have just got to complicated for our own good
5 ie engine issues must do compression test, smoke test inlet pipes. oil pressure test, and alternator and battery storage rates,, (prob worth doing this near the first jobs,
process is knowing what base lines the car has, ie oil pressure 60psi. compression at 200psi is very good, oil pressure at 15psi and compression at 100psi is not so good, same goes goes for injection systems, process a tick list helps one to go around in circles with doubt...

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