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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help please!! I'm in the UK but you guys seem really knowledgeable!! I bought a 2007 451 a week ago and until this Saturday she has sat on the drive while I waited for the log book and tax. On Saturday I tried to take her out for a drive - got 300m or so before I got 2 spanners, the alternator light and 3 bars where the N, 1 or R should be... managed to start her up again and brought her home. Have tried calling the guy I bought her off (he's ignoring my calls) so booked her in to a local garage to get her checked out anyway. Got home early tonight to take her round to the garage and she won't start at all - I'm just getting the 3 bars. Alternator light and 3 beeps. Might the battery be dead or could it be something more sinister??? I bought her as a first car run-around for my daughter. Thanks again in advance for any advice !!
 

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Welcome to the forum. Could be a dead battery. Worst thing, a bad alternator. Have someone jump start you. See if it’s just the battery. When you can get it started. The shop you take it to, can perform a load test, on the vehicles electrical system.

Good Luck!
 

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Welcome to the forum. Could be a dead battery. Worst thing, a bad alternator. Have someone jump start you. See if it’s just the battery. When you can get it started. The shop you take it to, can perform a load test, on the vehicles electrical system.

Good Luck!
Also check if your alternator belt is still intact. If it's broken, DO NOT DRIVE it until it's replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome to the forum. Could be a dead battery. Worst thing, a bad alternator. Have someone jump start you. See if it’s just the battery. When you can get it started. The shop you take it to, can perform a load test, on the vehicles electrical system.

Good Luck!
Thank you!!
 

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Hi, I recently ran into something similar on my 09 451.

My issue appeared like this:
  • started engine
  • noticed warning lights on display + three bars
  • no power steering light etc.
  • checked voltage with a multimeter and it was around 11.4V (with the engine running. 👎)
  • checked voltage at terminal on alternator output, and it was also 11.4V while running
  • I noticed the belt tension looked ok, and the alternator was spinning while the engine was running.
  • I had to replace my alternator (which turned out to not be original, this is likely your issue as well by the sounds of it)

Something I would like to suggest if replacing the alternator would be to replace the belt tensioner and belt if they are not in good condition. While my belt was turning the alternator without slipping, when I removed the old tensioner, it took substantial force to break it free - so I ended up replacing the following on my 2009 451 with 170,000+ km on it:
(Part numbers may be different, as my 451 is a North American model, 999cc non turbo, but it may help someone else down the road)
  • alternator (remanufactured, oem part number was 1321540001)
  • belt and belt tensioner
(gates tensioner # 39190) (gates belt # K040315)
  • my battery needed to be replaced due to being drained too low and damaging it. I put in an Odyssey battery.
  • I removed the leads from starter terminal and cleaned the corrosion from them and reconnect (even though I had no voltage drop, they looked really bad and it was only a matter of time)

That all said, please have a mechanic diagnose it. I hope you don’t run into the issues that I did when I realized that my 1 month old car needed the charging system repaired. Perhaps your car just has a corroded/or/loose terminal at the battery or alternator, or starter? That would have been welcomed in my case, but I was not so lucky.

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The repair is not difficult if you have mechanical experience, but it is a pain to do… especially when the alternator output terminal breaks free, starts spinning, and you have to smash it off with a hammer/drift (lol)


The engine has to be lowered slightly on the right side in order to get the alternator/tensioner/belt off. The alternators are in such a crappy location for road grime/debris that I am planning on making a small under engine shield before the snow starts coming down. Hope my ramblings help. It sounds to me like your battery voltage is so low that the TCU cannot communicate - throw a battery charger on it and try to start it after it’s on. See if your three bars are gone. Then get it to a mechanic close by :) (again, as was posted before, ONLY drive it if you have your serpentine belt on, if it’s not there, get it towed or work on it in place. Do not run the engine if the belt is missing*)

- R.E.
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