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Battery light
boxsterd - 6 years ago
The red battery light on the dash came on this afternoon. According to the owner's manual the drive belt or battery charging system is broken.
I barely made it back home (around 10 miles from when the light came on).
The AC stopped working, the lights on console got dim, windows were very slow to go down, etc...all the things you would expect from a dead battery.
The car also got very SLUGGISH in the last couple of miles, like I was towing 5 tons.
When I braked at a stop sign, the brake fluid light came on, but there was plenty of fluid.
Engine temp went beyond it's normal range.
Oh, and of course the Check Engine light came on.
My question....could all this be caused by a dead battery or is it more likely the battery charging system or drive belt being broken?
TIA.
Re: Battery light
MarcW - 6 years ago
Quote
boxsterd
The red battery light on the dash came on this afternoon. According to the owner's manual the drive belt or battery charging system is broken.
I barely made it back home (around 10 miles from when the light came on).
The AC stopped working, the lights on console got dim, windows were very slow to go down, etc...all the things you would expect from a dead battery.
The car also got very SLUGGISH in the last couple of miles, like I was towing 5 tons.
When I braked at a stop sign, the brake fluid light came on, but there was plenty of fluid.
Engine temp went beyond it's normal range.
Oh, and of course the Check Engine light came on.
My question....could all this be caused by a dead battery or is it more likely the battery charging system or drive belt being broken?
TIA.

Can't say. Could be a dead battery. Could be a bad charging system. Could be a broken belt. That engine coolant temp going beyond its normal range points to a broken belt, but I can't believe the engine could run for 10 miles at all with no coolant circulation unless perhaps you started out with a nearly dead cold engine. Even then... However the engine running very sluggish could have been the DME reverting to Limp mode.

The only car I've run with what proved to be a broken V-belt was my Golf TDi. Thankfully the water pump was driven by the timing belt. The engine ran fine everything was fine the only clue was the battery warning light was on. 'course, I found out when I went to turn on to a surface street after taking an off ramp the power brakes and steering were gone. The car was a very tough steer with no power steering.

So, based on my experience with no alternator the battery did just fine for around 15 miles. I'm not sure how much longer it would have lasted but it gave no indication it was not capable of carrying the electrical load. (I'm can't recall for sure, but I bet I turned off as much electrical load as possible. The belt failed during daylight so all I did was probably turn off the heater -- it was winter time just before Christmas in Albuquerque so it was cold -- and turned off whatever else I had on that didn't need to be on.

You'll have to check the belt. If it is there and the accessory drive system is intact then either the battery or the alternator is the problem.

If the belt is gone.... you might have ruined the engine. Not to kick you when you might be down but really you should have pulled over as soon as it was safe to do so and either confirmed the belt was present or called a tow truck. (When the belt broke on my VW Golf I was not sure the water pump was being driven so watched the coolant temp. One "twitch" of that needle would have had me over on the shoulder waiting for a tow truck. As I drove and with one eye on the gage it became clear the water pump was being driven so I figured to push on to town if I could without any real drama.)
I'm now thinking it's the alternator or charging system. When I got home I read the Check Engine code and it was P0562 indicating low voltage.
I'l have it towed to the dealer Monday.
Re: Battery light
MarcW - 6 years ago
Quote
boxsterd
I'm now thinking it's the alternator or charging system. When I got home I read the Check Engine code and it was P0562 indicating low voltage.
I'l have it towed to the dealer Monday.

If that is the only error code I would agree that the charging system is at fault. The battery did what it could as long as it could but when the battery ran low all sorts of things, seemingly unconnected/unrelated things, start to go wrong.
If the check engine light comes on steady, that means something needs attention. If it's a flashing CEL, then the engine should be shut down immediately or as quickly as possible when there's a safe spot to pull over, otherwise serious engine damage could result.
FYI - it turned out to be the alternator. I'm having it replaced at the dealer for $2300, including new battery.
I had serious reservations about this, and considered donating my car, since the car itself is probably worth around $6k and I have plans to buy a new car next year.
But the wife intervened and said it would be a hassle sharing 1 car for 12 months.
I figured if I pro-rate the cost over 12 months, it comes out to about $200/month.
Now keeping my fingers crossed no further problems for 12 months.
Jeez, that seems like a crazy amount of money. Do you know the parts / labor breakdown?
Quote
Crooster
Jeez, that seems like a crazy amount of money. Do you know the parts / labor breakdown?

Here's a DIY for removing and replacing the alternator: [www.pelicanparts.com]

There seems to be one tricky part, but it does not seem like it should be more than a couple of hours of labor.

Rebuilt alternators shouldn't cost more than a few hundred dollars.
the unit with a new one the old one can be removed and sent out and rebuilt. A tech at the dealership here in town knows of in town knows of a place that has a very good reputation for rebuilding these things. He focuses on starters. But there is I am pretty sure a similar business that focuses on alternators.

If you live in an area large enough to have a Porsche dealer I'm pretty sure there is one maybe more than one shop that rebuilds alternators. Up to you but maybe you should ask about this at where you are having the new one installed?

The cost to remove the old unit and replace it with a new one is what it would cost you to have the old one removed and sent out and rebuilt not including the cost of the rebuild. For my Boxster's starter is was approx. $1000 for a new one vs. $300 to have my old one rebuilt.
The biggest cost is the alternator, I think $1600 for new OEM. New battery I think was $250.
Will/can a dealer order a rebuilt alternator? I would love to pay a few hundred dollars instead of $1600. smiling smiley
Quote
boxsterd
The biggest cost is the alternator, I think $1600 for new OEM. New battery I think was $250.
Will/can a dealer order a rebuilt alternator? I would love to pay a few hundred dollars instead of $1600. smiling smiley

but this results in a better rebuild.

What the dealer should do is remove the unit and arrange to get it to the rebuilder. The dealer sometimes has a parts delivery/pick up vehicle that can do this or the shop arranges to swing by and pick the unit (or units) to be rebuilt.

The dealer should do... That it the tricky part. My dealer, at least a tech at the dealer, brought up this rebuild vs. replace when it looked like my car's starter might need replacement. In the case of your dealer all you can do is ask if there is an alternative to replacing the bad one with a new one. Like I said in an earlier post if you live in an area that can support a Porsche dealer the odds are high there is a place that can rebuild the alternator. The shop doesn't have to live on Porsche alternator business alone. There is Audi, VW, M-B, BMW alternators, too. The Porsche units probably share a lot of components with the Audi/VW units. In fact the Porsche alternator and the Audi/VW alternators may be the same, at least for some models.

If you want to do some research search for alternator rebuild shops in your area and pick the top one or two that advertise they rebuild Audi/VW (and hopefully Porsche) and other European vehicle alternators. Then call the top shop or two and find out what's involved, the cost, any warranty, turn around time, how to get the unit to and from the shop, etc.
I recently replaced both my battery and alternator. I purchased a rebuilt alternator at the local (Winchester Auto) parts store... it turned out to be a Bosch. The price was around $200 dollars and I installed it myself. The most difficult part is described as the removal, not the case for me. With a few solid taps as the Pelican parts directions instruct on the top bolt my alternator was easily removed, installation (alignment of the replacement was the challenge), having done it I realize it is much easier than I experienced. The key seemed to be hanging the "C"portion of the alternator over the top bolt... space is tight and it is a dirty job that you'll want to cover you carpet behind the seat. Beyond that... IMO, if you are capable it isn't too difficult. If you are not experienced with a wrench... have it done.

Per the suggestion of having yours rebuilt... nice option as it would ensure the alternator matches the space between the front and back top mounting bracket (IMO, the key to an easy installation).

For battery I purchased an Interstate... approx. $160.
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