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Battery Charge Warning Light


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#1 dugdale

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:01 PM

Y reg 1.6 petrol Picasso (110,000 miles)

On Weds night the battery charge error message appeared on the dash display every time I pulled up to a junction with my foot of the gas (i.e. low revs). I parked up for a few hours before driving 20 odd miles home. The journey home was a nightmare, lights started to dim, ABS warning light came on, before the display died completely, no indicators and by the time I got home (at 10:30pm) no lights at all. I parked up outside my house and couldn't lock the doors (central locking not working) and no sign of electrical life at all. Called my local garage this morning who managed to start the car first turn of the key however the battery charge error message reappeared for about 20 seconds. The mechanic checked the alternator voltage off and on load and declared it " as it came out of the factory". He took it to his workshop but didn't have much time to look at it today but did run the engine for about 30mins with a meter across the battery. He couldn't see anything wrong with it so I decided to take it home with me but keep an eye out for this warning message. less than 200 yards from the workshop the battery charge error message reappeared. Straight back to the workshop and left it there to be looked at tomorrow. The battery is about 5 years old so I believe the plan is to change that first then if no success replace the alternator, I did ask if the aux belt was OK so I presume that had been checked. I spent hours trawling this forum last night and did find this interesting post

http://www.citroenpi...tor#entry171576

as my windscreen washer has not worked for a while, I did print out the thread and gave it to the mechanic but he told me that he'd checked all the fuses and they were OK,

 

I'll report back as soon as I get more info but am starting to think that this might be the beginning of the end for my beloved Picasso



#2 steve00117

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 11:25 PM

Wouldn't do any harm you trying another fuse in F27 just to make sure.



#3 stimulator

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:55 AM

Would suggest that although the alternator is working there is a loose connection in the circuit. The obvious one for this would be the one under the bonnet. You will find this in front of the front passenger area under a black cover with a + in a O on it. This is the remote battery connection terminal. Quite common for the terminal to come loose or just the connection corrode. Strip it down and clean it. If that doesn't cure it then have the battery and alternator rechecked.

 

With regards to the washers, possible that the motor in the pump is duff or the pick up tube is blocked. The reservoir is behind the offside front wheel arch liner.


62 Reg C3 Picasso VTR+ 1.6 HDi 92BHP
Previous Xsara Picasso 20HDi, C3 SX 1.4HDi, C3 SX 1.6HDI, C4 Picasso 1.6HDi VTR+ EGS

#4 gray

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 09:02 AM

Would suggest that although the alternator is working there is a loose connection in the circuit. The obvious one for this would be the one under the bonnet. You will find this in front of the front passenger area under a black cover with a + in a O on it. This is the remote battery connection terminal. Quite common for the terminal to come loose or just the connection corrode. Strip it down and clean it. If that doesn't cure it then have the battery and alternator rechecked.

 

With regards to the washers, possible that the motor in the pump is duff or the pick up tube is blocked. The reservoir is behind the offside front wheel arch liner.

As happened to me - car slowly got worse at starting.... thought it was the cold weather but the battery was only about a year old.

 

Putting the indicators on would make the instrument cluster flicker as the lights went on/off.   Gave the connector a good clean and it's fine now..... so far ! (Will be checking it again before the winter completely sets in)

 

Didn't happen as rapidly as the original post though, and the battery charging message didn't come on.



#5 granpa

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 11:12 AM

Though this does not appear to be your problem I have had the battery terminal come loose under the passenger seat on a 2.0 HDI Pic, sufficient contact to keep the car running once started, but not for starting. Believe this has happened to other owners too

#6 dugdale

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 06:46 PM

Thanks for all the tips.

 

Local garage informed me that when they checked the alternator under load today it was only delivering 11.5V (funny that it appeared to be OK yesterday) so £177 lighter I now have a new alternator fitted. Only drove about 0.5 mile home from the workshop but no warning lights yet. Will give it a long run tomorrow and let you know the outcome.



#7 mrickle

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:12 PM

ive had a similar problem with my in-laws car. it turned out that changing the alternator was the cure. apparently it had a clutch pulley, which was passed it, causing the intermittent fault.



#8 TheFrenchConnection

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 07:49 PM

Totally different vehicle but similar thing with our Fiat Ducato-based motorhome - charge warning light glowing and battery fading. Local French garagiste is an ex rally driver/mechanic and has forgotten more about obscure faults than any main dealer trained mechanic ever learned. The alternator originally checked out OK, but because that simply did not fit the symptoms he refused to believe it and recomended an exchange alternator... Problem solved!