Author Topic: Alternator danger  (Read 566 times)

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  • au Australia
    Australia
Alternator danger
« March 02, 2020, 08:06:26 »
I just wanted to share something that happened to me yesterday. It shook me up quite a bit...

Was on my way home after taking my little girl to the beach for the day. Cruising along at 110 on the freeway when the battery warning light flashed up Ė thought it was a little odd considering I just replaced it last month. Nowhere safe to pull over at that stage so just kept driving. Was aiming for the servo about 15km away. About 10 mins later the dash warnings lit up like a Christmas tree. Then I noticed the power had gone out of the electrics, including the steering. The steering wheel went rigid and it felt like it seized up. It was quite a shocking moment when I felt like I was losing control of the car at that speed with my daughter asleep in the back.

There was still nowhere safe to pull over, so kept driving as there was an exit 1km away. Engine started losing power just as I got to the exit, went to indicate but didnít work, so went to put my hazards on and they didnít work either!

On the exit ramp heard a massive thud in the engine as I pulled over.

I then realised I couldnít unlock the car and the windows wouldnít go down with no power on a hot day. Started to feel a bit of panic creeping in but the key fob remote lock still worked and got out.

Got onto roadside assist, said it would be a two-hour wait but someone arrived in 15 mins after I told them I had a toddler in the car. RACQ bloke reckons the alternator went. Got towed. $100 taxi back home. One grumpy kid.

Car is in the shop being assessed. Still under extended warranty luckily.

A few thoughts I had after this experience:
- There should be a back up power source for hazard lights when alternators fail, I found myself in a really precarious situation.
- Losing power steering while going 110 isnít fun
- Road shoulders on highways need to be wider
- After looking into it, it seems like recent Hyundai i30s have a history of alternator issues, anyone else experienced problems? If itís a known issue, they should do a safety recall. Things couldíve gone a lot worse yesterday.

Thanks


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  • au Australia
    Adelaide
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Re: Alternator danger
« Reply #1 : March 02, 2020, 08:13:17 »
Wow, that's scary. Good that you kept a cool head through it all. The nearest I had to that was just a tired battery needing recharges after 15 months of car storage while we were overseas. In contrast to your alternator problem, that was downright boring.
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  • au Australia
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Re: Alternator danger
« Reply #2 : March 02, 2020, 08:40:22 »
That would be quit scary :eek: and very unfortunate :disapp: first time I've heard of a alternator problem on the forum in the 6 years I've been here.


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  • fi Finland
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Re: Alternator danger
« Reply #3 : March 02, 2020, 11:20:41 »
Must have been scary. I live in a place where there are fairly safe places to pull over atleast in every few km. With fast stop you would have had energy for the hazards and powersteering.
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  • au Australia
    Ipswich
Re: Alternator danger
« Reply #4 : March 02, 2020, 14:45:34 »
So when the batt light lit, what electrical loads did you have? What items did you shutdown?

I would say one disadvantage in your scenario is the EPS, however if all non essentials are turned off, like the Aircon which in this case  I presume was running if the windows were up, headlights, radio, fans then the range should be extended. The current draw in the steering will be variable dependant on the amount of assistance required.

I went through this exact same scenario only 2 weeks ago in my Santa fe (diesel) , however it has conventional hydraulic steering .

It occurred fairly early on the start of my trip to work on the hwy, I immediately turned off, the A/C, fans, radio, headlights.

I managed to drive the 20 ks to work(20mins), stop, restart the vehicle, stop, sit for the day, restart and drive home another 20K (25mins) stop and still had enough to restart. Battery was at 11.83v and was a 700CCA battery.

It's not intuitive to turn things off but it will help immensely.

For those with a petrol vehicle would use more power as it runs due to the ignition system and fuel pump, it will generally have a smaller capacity battery
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Re: Alternator danger
« Reply #5 : March 02, 2020, 16:24:09 »
Dad once lost alternator 300km away from home. Luckily it was old meachanical diesel. Shut down radio, lights, etc. Only electrical power he used was brake light and turn signal. Managed to get home without any problems. Not possible with modern cars.
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Re: Alternator danger
« Reply #6 : March 02, 2020, 17:06:48 »
Dad once lost alternator 300km away from home. Luckily it was old meachanical diesel. Shut down radio, lights, etc. Only electrical power he used was brake light and turn signal. Managed to get home without any problems. Not possible with modern cars.

Wow! That was pretty cooll.  :goodjob2:
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Re: Alternator danger
« Reply #7 : March 02, 2020, 19:34:34 »
Glad all ok   :goodjob:
As they saying goes "swiss cheese holes lined up"
Would say battery had not been getting charged properly for a  while as a full battery would have kept engine, fan  etc going for quite a while-30 min easy. Then alt totally died.
Good that light came on and WARNED you of major problem   :goodjob:

Advice to all with EPS  regardless of brand :
Slow down if ALT light comes on,
 put a window down,
turn off fan, radio etc to save power,
Stop ASAP,  even if at on or off ramp area. Most have cameras and are monitored. 
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