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Help needed!! More head scratching on battery/alternator/charging system...

552 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  stevec101
Hey guys,

I’ve read through pretty much every forum thread known to man in an attempt to fix what I thought was a pretty simple problem that now has taken me from scratching my head to banging it against the wall. I’ll try to keep this concise.

Three weeks ago while setting off from a traffic light my 2006 V8 LR3 battery warning light came on and was accompanied by a screaming from the engine compartment that turned out to be the cooling fan going overworking. The afternoon had been particularly hot (S Cal) and I’d been running the AC for the first time in months. I’d also had an occasion where the radio had stopped working. In March my Diehard battery had given up after 7 years of loyal service and I replaced it with a well reviewed and well priced Exide H8 from Home Depot. Limping the car home with the fan screaming with any acceleration I noted that on deceleration it would calm down and the battery warning light would go out.

Once home I charged the battery and ran tests on that and the alternator. It was clear that I needed to replace the alternator (at 128k miles). I ordered a reman from Autozone and after fitting it the light went out and the car returned to normal. For two days…. When I tested the old - original - alternator a diode test showed they had failed completely so that was clearly a problem. The grounds from the battery and alternator appear to be good.

Since then the car has been undriveable and at the last attempt while taking it to Autozone for testing the instrument panel went dead and the car was throwing transmission and suspension codes. However, other than that there have been no codes showing for the battery or alternator.

I removed the alternator and took it to Autozone where the output regulator tested as outputting 14.5 volts though when on the car it tests at 13.90 when running. This is at both the alternator and battery. While off the car I’d tested the diodes, which were reading around 400, which is below the recommended 500 to 800 zone. The shop manager replaced the alternator but when I returned home the replacement was also reading lower than recommended.

Thinking this was an issue involving the regulator I replaced the rear connector but that has also failed to rectify the issues. Here’s a list of what is still happening:

1. When starting the car the battery light comes on after 6 seconds and revs increase.

2. The engine idles at around 1200 rpm

3. When testing charging voltage the meter very briefly shows 14.5 V but immediately drops back to 13.9/92

4. I’ve had to replace the 5a fuse three times since yesterday.

5. On a few occasions when I’ve started the car the exhaust has been kicking out significant smoke, though it doesn’t smell like oil burning. The car is low on fuel and perhaps related to that but then it goes away shortly after.

Before throwing any more money and time at the problem I thought I’d pick the brains over here to see if there’s something I haven’t read or thought of.

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I believe I have something similar going on with my 2006 LR3 V6. The battery light is intermittent but the other day the car was completely off, only the glow of the air bag light when I opened the door to try and start it. I know the battery is only a year old so I think it is not getting recharged enough when I have it out on trips and the battery light goes on. I also had it shut down on me once but I was able to get it restarted 5 minutes later.
I just had a message from the Indy shop that the alternator is ok but there’s something else going on but they can’t find it.
Things have only gone from bad to worse.... Took it to a second indy shop where a short was found between the rear connector and the ECU. However, the car then began overcharging - close to 18 volts and pretty much everything just lit up, except when the dashboard simply closed down altogether. It also has the engine light on along with a transmission warning (limited gears), park brake, suspension, you name it....

Thinking the internal regulator was shot I replaced the alternator with a remanufactured Denso but that was behaving the same. I took it in for testing and the regulator was shown to be just fine. I later saw that the battery voltage was dropping down to 12.2 about an hour from having been recharged. So I replaced the battery - again - charged it overnight and tried again this morning. Unfortunately as soon as I started it up this morning I'm having all the same problems.

Any ideas out there?
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