Help! Dashboard battery light on with engine off

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by greggzy001, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. greggzy001

    greggzy001 Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Sorry for the long post but need a bit of help and thought it best to give you the full story.....right here goes:

    I have a 1995 Swift Kontiki 640 on a Peugeot 2.5tdi base. The van started first time on Friday and drove fine down to St.Andrews (65 miles approx). Parked up on site, switched engine off but the red battery light on the dash illuminated. :cry: Restarted engine, the light turned off, I checked van battery voltage when running and got around 13.8V ish. Switched engine off again but the light came on again. Checked van battery voltage with engine off and it was 12.8V something.... Left the van 10 minutes but the light remained on. Rather than chancing a flat battery on restart I disconnected the van battery -ve.....guess what, dashboard battery light was still on! :Angry: Checked leisure battery voltage with engine off and it was around 12.6V. Pulled fuse out of the leisure battery circuit and the dash battery light went out.

    Ready for departing this morning, I put the fuse back into the leisure circuit, dash light remained off, reconnected van battery -ve and light came on again but the van started first time and the light went out. Nice drive back to Aberdeen but again, when parking up and turning the engine off, the red battery dash light came back on! I've disconnected the batts again until I can take a look tomorrow.

    Other info: Last week I removed the van battery tray as it was very rusty, it fell apart in my hand and some rusty crud fell down into the engine bay. I removed as much debris as I could and cleaned up and re installed the repainted tray carefully so as to not disturb the wiring in that area.

    I checked both earth straps for corrosion and condition but they are fine

    Sometimes when starting (usually when warm) when turning the key to start after the glow light goes off, I hear a single click of a relay but the van doesn't start but it always starts on the second attempt.

    Apart from the obvious advice of "take it to a garage" has anyone had any similar experience which could help me pinpoint the problem before I heed the obvious advice?

    Thanks in advance:thumb:
    Gregg
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,443
    Likes Received:
    16,872
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    split charge relay stuck/welded closed and backfeeding the ignition..
     
  3. greggzy001

    greggzy001 Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Thanks pappajohn, i'll investigate tomorrow.......fingers crossed. Would that cause the intermittent non starting condition also?
    Regards
    Gregg:thumb:
     
  4. CHRI$

    CHRI$ Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    5,588
    Likes Received:
    7,084
    Location:
    england
    diode in the alternator gone tit's up:Sad: replace alternator:thumb:
     
  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,443
    Likes Received:
    16,872
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    Just one thing Chris.

    with the engine battery disconnected the light would go off anyway...no power source, no light.

    with a stuck relay the power is still present with the engine off and battery disconnected...the relay will bypass the ign circuit and backfeed the alternator....just the same as turning on the ign but not starting the engine with the engine battery connected.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. greggzy001

    greggzy001 Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Thanks guys.... So i guess its best case: split charge relay and worst case new alternator (or both). Regards Gregg
     
  7. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,443
    Likes Received:
    16,872
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    No...but neither would a faulty alternator.

    that sounds like a faulty ign switch, starter solenoid or dirty commutator in the starter motor
     
  8. greggzy001

    greggzy001 Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Thanks pappajohn, i did consider the starter motor or ig sw. Ill get the battery light fixed first and continue the investigation into the starting problem.
    Ill try the relay tomorrow
    Thanks again for your help
    Gregg
     
  9. CHRI$

    CHRI$ Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    5,588
    Likes Received:
    7,084
    Location:
    england
    the big thick red/brown wire that is connected to the allternator is a constent live, the small wire is the ignition feed wire or exciter wire,when a diode goes down in the rectifier pack it will send 12v up the ignition wire putting the light on even when the ignition is off,(sometimes)
    easy way to test is with a lamp tester disconect the small wire on the alternator leaving the red/brown wire in place,put one end of lamp tester to the small wire connector on the alt and the other end to earth if it lights up the alt is kaput.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
    • Like Like x 1
  10. greggzy001

    greggzy001 Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Thanks for this info chris, obviously for cost and ease, ill check the split charge relay first then if the problem is not solved, ill start on the alternator side.
    Regards
    Gregg:BigGrin:
     
  11. greggzy001

    greggzy001 Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Okey doke, ill try tomorrow.

    Thanks guys!
    Gregg
     
  12. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,205
    Likes Received:
    9,587
    Location:
    Dorset
    diode failure is not neccessarily a case for a new alternator. A local firm will refurbish it much cheaper, the same with starter motors.
     
  13. greggzy001

    greggzy001 Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Pappajohn, thanks for the help and advice with my battery light problem last night. Can you identify the split charge relay on the pic attached? I believe it to be the one indicated with the red line as it is fed directly off of the van +ve and is fused. Are relplacements readily available or is it a motorhome garage job? I think one of the two 'standard looking relays' marked with blue lines is for the fridge but i'm not sure what the other is for.

    Regards
    Gregg
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Terry

    Terry Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    10,722
    Likes Received:
    6,224
    Location:
    South yorks
    The other will charge the leisure battery :thumb:
    Terry
     
  15. CHRI$

    CHRI$ Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    5,588
    Likes Received:
    7,084
    Location:
    england
    the 2 marked with blue lines! one is the split charge relay the other is the fridge relay,the one marked red ignore its not a relay.:Smile:
     
  16. greggzy001

    greggzy001 Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Great guys! Thanks for your help, ill pull the relays tomorrow and test. Hopefully it'll just be the relay.
    Regards
    Gregg
     
  17. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,443
    Likes Received:
    16,872
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    Chris is correct...and the same layout and position as on my old kontiki.

    from memory both relays are identical so you should be able to simply swap them and see if it cures the problem.
    if it is stuck on then the fridge will switch to 12v without ignition turned on.

    replacement would be a normal 4 pin 30amp automotive relay...no need to pay a premium for one marked 'motorhome split charge relay'
     
  18. greggzy001

    greggzy001 Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Thanks again for your help all! Ill try swapping the relays tomorrow and hopefully this will solve the problem.
    Cheers
    Gregg!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. greggzy001

    greggzy001 Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Right guys, problem with my battery light is now diagnosed. I tried swapping the fridge and split charge relays but the battery light remained on. Whilst in a 'fiddling panic' I nudged the chunky wire running from the split charge relay connection (I think)to the alternator. This is protected by a rubber sheath and contains a thinner wire also which I believe runs to the dashboard battery light. When 'fiddling' ie tugging the wire, the split charge relay clicked on and off. On closer inspection it looks like the rubber sheath has been rubbing on the back of the engine block and has worn through. Ill pull the sheath off at the weekend and look for the short in either the thick, or thin wire and replace as necessary. Thanks again for all of the help and advice, without which, I would have probably put the van into a garage to be diagnosed.
    Best regards
    Gregg :thumb:
     
  20. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,443
    Likes Received:
    16,872
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    but it was still split charge relay related !
     
Loading...

Share This Page