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Hi all,

I've been asked by a friend to help with her Mini. Whilst I'm perfectly happy working on 70's cars I'm at a loss with the new ones and I'm hoping some nice person on here can help me out. I'll describe the situation and hopefully someone can help with a diagnosis.

So she drove to work and all was fine, parked it up and when she's come to start it everything's dead, battery flat as a pancake. Jump started it and it was running but no power steering. She had it recovered to a local garage who said that it would be the pump and quoted £320 for replacing it with a second hand pump from a scrapper (3 months warranty). In the mean time she researched the common problem and as a result declined the garages quote and ordered a refurbed pump with lifetime guarantee at £170. The mini was then collected from the garage by her breakdown cover to be returned home, at this point the recovery guy has said that the garage doesn't know what they're talking about and it will be the alternator that has failed and that the pump simply has no power. She doesn't believe that any fault lights were on prior to it conking out.

So my question would be (without a multimeter to hand) is there an easy way to diagnose where the fault lies? My thoughts would be to charge the battery overnight then run the Mini and if the power steering is initially working that would point to a fault in the alternator? But I could be totally wrong, once a pump is bunt out due to the common fault is it dead, dead or could it still work intermittently.
Any advice to diagnose where the fault lies would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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