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Today I was driving on freeway and noticed the battery warning light going on and off. This was happening for about five minutes. Then the ABS warning light, Brake warning light and air bag warning lights illuminated. In the fast lane, I begin working my way the center lane when all of the warning lights come on and the engine dies. Fortunately, I was able to push the car off into the shoulder, getting help from a good samaritan who was driving behind me, who got out of his car and assisted.

Trying to start the car, three warning lights would come on and I heard relay click sounds, but the engine doesn't turn over or start.

I called AAA and had a great /helpful towtruck driver in flat bed tow my car to my local indy, who is closed and will hopefully be able to check it out on Monday. The tow truck driver said it sounded to him like possibly the alternator.

The last time this happened to me was in 2006, when I experienced the IMS bearing and engine failure, so my first thought was that the engine has gone again. I am hopeful it is just the alternator.

Any thoughts?

Barry
2002 2.7 tip
Seal Grey
201,700 miles
Alternator...
MarcW - 5 years ago
That would be my diagnosis.

Based on my limited 2nd hand experience when the alternator quits or possibly just doesn't work up to snuff the battery can supply the car with electricity for a while -- in one particular case just a minute or two -- then all heck breaks loose and the engine shortly dies with a ton of warning lights before hand.

The battery may have suffered some degradation so you might consider replacing the battery at the same time as the alternator. Speak with your trusted tech though to get his input.
Also, thanks for the suggestion on the battery test. It is amazing how fast everything shuts down when the electricity flow has been cut off.

Barry
... not really the alternator itself, but the voltage regulator.
The regulator is the weak link in the alternator.
You can buy it separately from Mercedes Benz.
Happy Porscheing
Pedro

Pedro Bonilla
1998 Boxster 986 - 299,000+ miles: [www.PedrosGarage.com]

PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)



Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar

"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"

"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti

"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna

… is part of the alternator assembly, but is sold separately.
Bosch part number: 00M 145350, or
VW part number 038-903-803-EX.
There's also a Mercedes Benz part number which I don't have handy at this time.
If it is the voltage regulator, it is MUCH cheaper and easier to just replace it rather than the complete alternator assembly.
Have your tech test it.
Sincerely,
Pedro

Pedro Bonilla
1998 Boxster 986 - 299,000+ miles: [www.PedrosGarage.com]

PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)



Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar

"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"

"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti

"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna

Barry your experience reads just like what happened to my Boxster. I was able to get off the interstate before it died, not much warning just like your experience. Turned out to be the alternator my battery was almost new so no need to replace it. Marc has a point though, have the battery tested because if it's a few years old this type of event can damage/kill it.
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