The i30 Owners Club

Those Monday blues (Hippo has a broken alternator)

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Offline PhireSideZA

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So a strange thing happened this past weekend. The i30 has had legendary reliability up until recently, when the vanity mirror came loose and had to be mended again to ensure the installed passenger module (ie. my fiance) was satisfied with the operation of said mirror and light fitting.

I've been chatting to her, not in a serious capacity but more of a 'maybe' capacity that I might want to look at getting a larger car, something with more boot space and space for our dogs when we take them to the beach or on hiking trips. Apparently, the i30 had overheard these conversations and as it turns out, she is a very jealous car and caused me a very chaotic Monday morning.

I felt that I had some hesitation in second gear on Sunday morning, and thought it may have been because it was a colder day than usual, and the sputtering may have been due to the colder ambient temperatures. Little did I know the drama that awaited me the very next day.

Monday morning - a chilly spring day, but I was up early to buy butter and some steak to make biltong with, and the trip to the shops was uneventful. When I got back to the car with the parcel, however, things really started to go downhill. The car wouldn't start with the swing of the key, so I turned it off, waited ten seconds and tried again. The car purred into life, and I reversed out the parking bay and made my way home. When I stopped at the traffic light (robot, in Safrican lingo), I noticed a warning light on my dash - the battery warning light.

F**k!



I quickly turned off all the power draws that I could - I silenced the radio, turned off the blower motor and the lights and made my way home. Luckily the battery is still fresh and held until I could get home. My biggest concern was the power steering motor drawing the battery empty and then killing my fuel pump and injectors.

I got home, pulled the car into the garage, popped the bonnet open and...


TO BE CONTINUED
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Offline Surferdude

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I drove my company Commodore more than 200 klms at night from NSW back to Brisbane, with a dead alternator. At night.
Stayed on low beam and didn't use indicators.
Lights were pretty dull by the time we got home but the power steering kept working.

All that aside, I'll be interested to see if you can rebuild your unit or a new one is required.
My Corolla's alternator died a year or so ago. Actually the bearings collapsed. Got a real death rattle on start up.
Apparently they're a throw away item. The whole alternator.  :crazy1:
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Offline PhireSideZA

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Cheers Surferdude. That must have been hairy! I hate how disposable everything is these days, where corporates seem to think that something ending up on a landfill is worth the extra 3 or 4 dollars they can add when selling you a product.

On to the rest of the saga - Those Monday Blues pt. 2: Electric Boogaloo

I opened the bonnet and was greeted with...well, an engine, which was to be expected, but nothing out of the ordinary jumped out at me. I checked the alternator wiring for snugness, and didn't spot anything out of the ordinary. At this stage the cavalry had already been dispatched (Future FIL used to work for General Motors/Delta so he is much more mechanically minded than I am) and I was due to start my work shift soon so I didn't have much time to do anything much more than check the fuses and relays.

When he arrived, he brought with some jumper cables so we could bypass the ground and also tried with a crocodile clamp from the battery to the positive terminal on the alternator - no dice. THe alternator had to come out for further diagnosis.

I'll give Hyundai the benefit of the doubt here that they make their cars very easy to work on. A total of two bolts, three if you count the one holding the positive cable on, had to come out and then I had to disconnect the harness carrying the alternator sensor which also seems to house the AC clutch switch and either the VVT sensor or knock sensor wiring as well and shove it out the way.

The alternator was removed with some gentle persuasion and placed onto the workbench where we could poke and prod some more.

All things considered and with the mileage being as high as it is, I expected worse but the brushes still had some life in them. The bearings were getting on in their age, and had a very slight rumble to them, but nothing that necessitates replacement just yet. Alternator stripped and multimeter brandished, we set upon testing the various diodes and ascertained that we had continuity where we should have had, and resistance where we needed to find resistance. That left the rectifier assembly as the only culprit.

A few phone calls later, FIL managed to find a store that sold the rectifier and brush holder assembly (one unit) and shot off to grab one. The price was actually quite reasonable, only R205 or around AU$20.00. Given that a new Valeo alternator is around ten times that price in Aus, or around fifteen times that amount locally, this was good news.

A new rectifier was received and the commutator was cleaned up with some emery cloth, and reassembly was done. The part wasn't OEM and we had to modify the plastic bracket slightly to make the alternator sensor plug fit and clip into place again. We bolted the alternator back up again, and started the car and watched it roar to life with no warning in sight apart from the ESP light on the dash that is normal after a battery disconnect. I cleared the stored fault codes with Torque and checked that no faults were returning. The battery was charging at a healthy 13.8v again, and Hippo was running once more.

I took it for a spin last night, just to make sure the issue was resolved, and that there wasn't any bearing whine or squealing from the accessory belt but so far it seems to be well behaved, so all is well that ends well. Not an ordeal that I would want to relive, however grateful I am to be in a position that it was able to get resolved without much fanfare.
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Online The Gonz

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I drove my company Commodore more than 200 klms at night from NSW back to Brisbane, with a dead alternator. At night.
Stayed on low beam and didn't use indicators.
Lights were pretty dull by the time we got home but the power steering kept working.
Funny, that. My VH Commodore's wiring loom in the steering column shorted and I lost headlights and indicators, drove from Melbourne to Wagga at night using hazard lights. The dull intermittent amber glow was all I had but I got there.
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Offline PhireSideZA

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Seems to me the Commodore's have an adventurous side to them! Maybe that's the car equivalent of nightswimming

Obligatory REM video:

:link: R.E.M. - Nightswimming (Official Music Video) [British Version] - YouTube

Sorry, I am not sure if the forum platform supports embedded videos :-[
  • 2011 Hyundai i30 GLS 1.6 manual 93kw in titanium grey, "quotHippo"quot


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