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Thread: Lights on dash, alternator not charging coolant light on..

  1. #1
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    Lights on dash, alternator not charging coolant light on..

    Hello Folks,

    Have the battery light, Exclamation mark light and coolant light illumined on dash.

    Having tested the voltage output at the battery on idle the battery isn't being charged as necessary.

    I have removed the alternator whilst check the belt at the same time and checked all the cables etc, cleaned terminals blah blah blah, put everything back as you'd expect.

    On checking the tension the belt seemed 'OK' but the lights remained on. I then re tensioned the belt and found that all was well....the lights were out and the alternator putting out approx 14.5 V IIRC.

    Drove to work...all okay...but on start up to come home, the lights were back. Didn't matter how much I 'adjusted ' the tensioner..lights are 'ON'...

    Yesterday I removed the belt tensioner and the small bushing at the upper end is deformed allowing the steel 'bush' to move about and it is very sloppy...so have ordered a new one. The idler wheel for the internally toothed belt is a little noisy, should it spin silently...??

    Looking to replace it anyway so maybe a mute question.

    Hoping this fixes my issue permanently (well, until the next time)

    Any tips or comments greatly appreciated...

    Replacing front shock absorbers today....

    TIA

    Malcolm
    1998 LT35 2.5 SDI

  2. #2
    Administrator Keithuk's Avatar
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    There isn't much you can do for alternator and charging unless you have the correct equipment. You can only check all wiring/connectors and belt tension which you have done.

    The coolant light on is another problem, after you have checked the level.

    You need to get your motor scanned (preferably with VAG-COM\VCDS) for any error codes logged in the ecu and post them, that will save a lot of guessing and check systems out.
    2010 Golf GTD (170) CBBB, 5 Door, Shadow Blue (P6/D5Q), Transmission Code: KXZ, Flat Tyre Indicator, Basic Protection Pack + VCDS.


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  4. #3
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    Thanks Keith

    Should emphasis that on pretensioning the serpentine belt the lights all went out and the charging system was producing the specified amount of volts(or at least within spec'). I think the issue is a 'lazy tensioner' and that is the approach I am going to follow...The busing is shot anyway and I feel that having retightened it the first time it has 'given up the ghost'...A simple mechanical issue as opposed to an electrical issue requiring a 'diagnostic computer'...Doing the cheap thing first (and necessary) so that IF nothing changes, the diagnostic route will be taken..

    On a more positive note....SACHS shock absorbers fitted.....(on the front anyway....) will keep you abreast of things, now just awaiting delivery of the tensioner....
    1998 LT35 2.5 SDI

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    How many miles on the odometer? Might be worn alt brushes barely making enough contact, so intermittently not working? Only plausible with fairly high mileage on the machine, I think.
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    Hello Pete

    Sorry for the delay in replying.

    Yes, that is plausible, mileage is 276,000 so not quite to the moon yet...

    The tensioner is 'shot ' and is no longer tensioning the belt as it should..ATM alternator output is down to 12.10Volts so not nearly enough 'chuff' in it
    but originally when I pretensioned the belt the tensioner kept the tension for the 38 miles to work, alternator was charging within spec but after sitting 4 days it
    couldn't maintain the tension. On inspection the tensioners is 'knacked' so as mentioned in reply to Keith's comment I will replace that first then take it from there if needs be.

    Have managed to 'tool around' as the battery is supported by another under the passenger seat that powers the rear lighting etc...but it's just a 'stop gap'...don't
    like 'jury rigged' solutions for anything other than emergencies. Will keep everyone posted, just awaiting a new tensioner(from Poland) which will hopefully last (OEM part)
    but a damn sight cheaper than the 90 quid wanted by VW/local motor factors...(GSF car parts wanted 276 for idler and tensioner, albeit mounted on the alloy bracket...)
    1998 LT35 2.5 SDI

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    Yeah, at that mileage very believable that the alternator brushes are too short to do their work reliably any more. But as you say, if the tensioner isn't tensioning then that needs fixing first.
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    Administrator Crasher's Avatar
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    Which engine code is this, AHD?
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    Administrator Keithuk's Avatar
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    It isn't easy to say Crasher, his car spec says 1998 LT35 2.5 SDI.

    Manufacturer: VW, Date(s) Used: 05/1996-04/2001, Model: LT, LT 4x4, Engine Code: AGX, 55Kw, 75PS, 2.5 Ltr, 5 Cyls, Remarks: Suction Diesel Injection (SDI), 4x4 Timing belt

    Manufacturer: VW, Date(s) Used: 05/1996-04/1998, Model: LT, LT 4x4, Engine Code: AHD, 75Kw, 102PS, 2.5 Ltr, 5 Cyls, Remarks: Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI), 4x4 Timing belt
    2010 Golf GTD (170) CBBB, 5 Door, Shadow Blue (P6/D5Q), Transmission Code: KXZ, Flat Tyre Indicator, Basic Protection Pack + VCDS.


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