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Alternator change - battery light, engine light at 3500 rpm, no power steering etc
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Thread: Alternator change - battery light, engine light at 3500 rpm, no power steering etc

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    Exclamation Alternator change - battery light, engine light at 3500 rpm, no power steering etc

    I have a 2012 Fiat 500 pop.
    Okay so the problem is, from the beginning, I was driving down the freeway and my battery light came on. So I pulled over and my car died. Mdot jumped it and I made it home. Found out it was my alternator. But also found out that I had a bad ground. So replaced the ground then replaced the alternator. After replacing the alternator, my battery light is still on. Not only that but its having a slightly rough idle and when you rev the RPMs past 3500, the engine light comes on (Im not sure what happens or how it runs with engine light on), when I turn the key into accessory the engine light will stay solid for about 30 seconds then flash about 8 times then stay solid, But when I disconnect the battery and reconnect it, engine light goes off and doesnt come back on until rpms go past 3500 battery light is still on and still slight rough idle. Also, when idling, my power steering doesnt work. Like if Im driving and stop at a stop sign, my power steering goes out and comes back immediately when I take off. Revving engine does not make it come back. (My power steering is electronic). Also my rear hatch will not open.
    None of this was ever a problem before the alternator went out and was replaced. I read somewhere that I would have to have something electronically reset at the dealership? Any help is genuinely appreciated.

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    The rear hatch has its own issues of broken wiring. They could feasibly short to ground and allow a battery to drain.

    that your battery was not charging adequately due to a failed alternator/bad ground, it may now have a flat cell or need replacement from being regularly depleted of charge. It should be load tested. At the very least, the battery after this, should be placed on a charger for a full and complete charge in order to evaluate what is going on, or for it to be load tested.

    the key put to accessory, and engine light coming on at the thirty or so second mark is its normal operation.
    Last edited by pasomoto; 09-04-2020 at 09:37 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pasomoto View Post
    The rear hatch has its own issues of broken wiring. They could feasibly short to ground and allow a battery to drain.

    that your battery was not charging adequately due to a failed alternator/bad ground, it may now have a flat cell or need replacement from being regularly depleted of charge. It should be load tested. At the very least, the battery after this, should be placed on a charger for a full and complete charge in order to evaluate what is going on, or for it to be load tested.

    the key put to accessory, and engine light coming on at the thirty or so second mark is its normal operation.


    so its just a coincidence that it stopped at the same time? Ill check into the broken wiring. I just assumed it had something to do with it since it all happened at the exact same time. Also, I tested the battery before replacing the alternator. I placed it on a charger for 12 hours, tested it. Then waited 2 days and tested again. Battery had same charge as it did when it got off the charger. Im not sure if thats an adequate way to test it?
    and yes but it will usually go off. Now it doesnt. It stays on. But what it does do, is at the thirty second mark is the engine light starts blinking. It blinks like 8 times and goes back to solid and stays on even when car is started.

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    Heres whats wrong with your rear hatch broken wiring. That why your rear hatch wont open.

    What was the voltage off your battery. Before, and after charging. It Should be around 12.4 volts. Did you do a load test of the charging system, when the car is running? Should be over 14 volts. You didnt mention either.

    Last edited by smark; 09-04-2020 at 12:32 PM.

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    My hatch was totally fine before the alternator change. Could it be just a coincidence that both went out at the same time?! Or could it be related? I’m extremely skeptical that it just happened to stop at the same exact time. I will definitely check it tho. I’m willing to check everything and anything at this point. Lol. Battery after charging was 12.4. Battery after 2 days of sitting was 12.4. Nothing lost. I did not do a load test but I will try. Right now, when car is running, it’s only reading between 13.4 and 13.9. It hasn’t went over that. Could it be that I’m actually not getting enough volts? What could be the cause of that?

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    Poor connections at the battery can reduce charge rate. Make sure neither clamp can be pulled off of or rotated on the battery posts. Safety glasses and gloves working around batteries.

    I worded my answer poorly. I’m sorry.That the light blinks at the end of the boot up cycle in accessory mode, is normal. Not formthe lamp to remain on after a restart. If something triggered the lamp and was repaired so as not to trigger it any more, unless reset, it may continue to show until a certain amount of drive cycles post repair. Typically a code would be removed by a tech doing a repair to anything that triggered a code/lamp.

    an overcharging condition can create heat in corcuits, especially one woth faults like the hatch loom’s broken strands. Poor grounds mean impedance, means heat, means more damage.

    the hatch fault is a wear with use fault, related to work hardening of the wires, breaking of the strands, overheating, melting of insulation and shorting and breaks in grounds, and an overheated circuit can accelerate damage any of that quickly. It may have worsened with an alternator/battery issue, but it also may have happened totally separate from it and unrelated.
    Last edited by pasomoto; 09-04-2020 at 01:59 PM.

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    A 12V battery can be charged at 12.9 to 14.1 V; usually 13.5 or higher with the car running since the car places a load on the system. The dash light can be an alternator, battery or other causes such as faulty connections, shorts or grounds, as pasomoto said. Have the battery/alternator test performed before continuing; the test is free and can save on randomly replacing parts. It's possible you installed a defective alternator, but I'd guess it's other causes. Since you found a bad ground, it might be wise to yank the battery tray and clean all the connections underneath.

    As for the hatch wiring, those are not powered when the car is off. Failed hatch wiring is fairly common on the earliest 500's... usually like in smark's photo. It's common enough that FCA and Ebay sell replacement (longer) harnesses and the group has numerous posts on repairs.

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    What kind of alternator- rebuilt or new? How old is the battery and the drive belt? There are 2 different alternators available, the one you have should be the 105 amp. I have the same year pop.

    I just replaced my alternator last month. I went with a new one from the dealer, wasn't that much more than a rebuilt. Had to replace the battery as well, was at like 10 volts. These cars are very fussy with batteries.

    Is it possible the belt tensioner is bad and the belt is slipping? Just some ideas.
    Last edited by Fiat88; 09-05-2020 at 12:14 PM.

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    I was a rebuild. I’m not sure of the battery. I bought the car in marchish I believe and it’s the same battery. I’m going to assume it’s the battery and replace... my back hatch has started opening like normal again. Out of nowhere. And now I am seeing that when I am at 3000 rpms, my battery light goes off. So fricken weird. & as far as I know, all belts were checked and given the okay when changing alternator. The guy who I bought my car from said he had just replaced alternator/ belts/etc right before I bought it so all should be new.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pasomoto View Post

    Poor grounds mean impedance, means heat, means more damage.
    I think you mean resistance. Impedance is when an AC circuit is inductive or capacitive. These vehicles have DC electrical systems.

    Quote Originally Posted by pasomoto View Post
    the hatch fault is a wear with use fault, related to work hardening of the wires, breaking of the strands, overheating, melting of insulation and shorting and breaks in grounds, and an overheated circuit can accelerate damage any of that quickly. It may have worsened with an alternator/battery issue, but it also may have happened totally separate from it and unrelated.
    Actually the failing hatch wires are purely caused by mechanical stresses from repetitive flexing and bending of the wire. Pretty common malady with hatchback cars, not just Fiat's

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