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Old 14th October 2009, 21:20   #1
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Default Fiat Palio alternator issue? or something else?

Hi Experts,
I own a fiat palio 1.2 ELX 2003 . The car was doing all well till last friday.
The car was unused for 15 days since I was outta station, sixteenth day I planned to get it serviced from the famous 'Hariprasad Automobiles'.

The car started in a single crank even after unused for 15 days. Took it to hariprasad auto for a basic service. They checked the engine sound and said there were missings. They took my vehicle to TVS Sundaram to get the ECU examined for error codes if any. End of day I was being told that the RPM sensor or Temperature Sensor is gone so need to get it replaced.

Nothing opened, nothing serviced, nothing done except brake pad cleanup, bill= 500rs, waste of one full working day. That was ok till here.

I brought the car home (from chickpet to marthahalli), left it for half an hour and tried starting, the car did not start, no cranking.

Seeing the behavior of the cranking it was evident that the battery is not taking the load. My Exide is less than 2 yrs old.

I push start the car and drove it car for more than 30 kms, stopped and started it worked fine. But after 1 hour or so again it refused to start (I guess the battery charge was gone).

Currently the car is at Prerana Motors and they are banging their head to diagnose the problem.

My question is-
1. Prerana guys said the battery has gone, which I cannot believe at all. So leaving this, can it be possible that the battery is somehow getting discharged? Also after 15 days of no usage the car started in a single crank. The battery life is gone then it should start showing symptoms gradually, not all of a sudden after coming back from Hariprasad Auto.

2. Is it a problem with the alternators?

3. RPM sensor, Temperature Sensor ...... The examiner at Prerana did not show any fault, can u guys make any guess if those guesses are right?. I think Hariprasad Auto is a wrong place to be. I did not like the QOS at all neither I like their guesswork. They confidently told me to remove the RPM sensor and try starting. Nothing worked. I stopped calling them and holded my ears not to make mistake like that again.

Myself being naive in these terminlogy, right now I am trying to recover from the shock of getting my well running car screwed up as a result of getting it 'basic' serviced.

On a serious Note- I would recommend Fiat owners to see a service station which is well equipped to service a FIAT car. As per me, Hariprasad does not fit into this league.
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Old 15th October 2009, 10:43   #2
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I had been through a similar experience with my Palio s10.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...g-14-what.html (Battery Not charging light on - Alternator giving 14+ !! What is it ?)

cases :

1.Do you see a battery sign on the dash after you have cranked ?? This should glow when you turn your key, but should go off after cranking. If it stays on their is some problem with the charging system.(alternator)

2.Battery : Get the battery completely charged, once it is charged please confirm it holds 12+ V. Also if its a wet cell kindly check the fluid levels. Exides are known to go bust within 2 years.

3. Parasitic Drain : If the battery is ok, after charging it disconnect the -ve terminal of the battery and leave the car over night. Next morning check if the car cranks ok , there parasitic drain is the culprit. If the car doesnt crank then battery. To check parasitic drain , connect a bulb to the -ve of the battery and -ve of the terminal from car, if the bulb growns continiously its is parasitic drain indeed.

Also check the alternator relay which sits behind the battery in a black cover.
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Old 15th October 2009, 10:53   #3
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Agree with karizma devil, but would like to add something to point#1:

The battery in the Palio (at least the 1.6) can get discharged, even without the battery warning light getting illuminated. In my GTX, the voltage across the battery terminals (without any load, engine at idle) was 12.5. But on a full load condition (with A/C, radiator fan on 2nd speed, music system etc.), the voltage would slip under 12v. So under specific circumstances, the battery was getting discharged, even though the alternator itself was charging it to some extent (and therefore no warning light).

The solution in my case was the replacement of the alternator rectifier ("cut-out") whcih cost Rs. 2,900.

All of this is based on my experience with the 1.6 GTX. I would ask you to get the battery terminal voltage (with engine on idle, no electrical load) checked using a multimeter manufactured by a reputed company. If it is at or over 13.8 volts, the chargin system is most probably not the issue.
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Old 15th October 2009, 11:13   #4
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I am wondering as to how they diagnosed the problem so easily when you left a perfectly running car, was there another palio in there for repairs? (pilferage)
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Old 15th October 2009, 11:21   #5
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I have not faced this issue, so not sure what the problem is!
Karizma & Vipul would have given you some clue.

Reg the service in Blore, I visit Green Tracks (near Silkboard jn, Hosur Road).
They did a good job so far, and I am happy with them.
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Old 15th October 2009, 11:22   #6
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Just a quick question , is the alternator same for the all the fiat engines ?

I mean the swift , vista ,palio etc ?
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Old 15th October 2009, 11:36   #7
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3.5 Years in my Palio ELX, no issues with the battery or alternator.

BTW, Push-starting the car is bad for the cat-con. The manual says it can permanently damage it. I recommend jump-starting it if battery is dead.
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Old 15th October 2009, 11:59   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karizma_devil View Post
I had been through a similar experience with my Palio s10.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...g-14-what.html (Battery Not charging light on - Alternator giving 14+ !! What is it ?)

cases :

1.Do you see a battery sign on the dash after you have cranked ?? This should glow when you turn your key, but should go off after cranking. If it stays on their is some problem with the charging system.(alternator)
I am not getting the battery light on while switching. This is what I am also surprsied at.

Quote:
2.Battery : Get the battery completely charged, once it is charged please confirm it holds 12+ V. Also if its a wet cell kindly check the fluid levels. Exides are known to go bust within 2 years.
I got my battery serviced 4 months back. And it was all fine then. Moreover I believe the symptoms of battery going should start gradually right? The car started in a single small crank even after 15 days of shut down.

Quote:
3. Parasitic Drain : If the battery is ok, after charging it disconnect the -ve terminal of the battery and leave the car over night. Next morning check if the car cranks ok , there parasitic drain is the culprit. If the car doesnt crank then battery. To check parasitic drain , connect a bulb to the -ve of the battery and -ve of the terminal from car, if the bulb growns continiously its is parasitic drain indeed.

Also check the alternator relay which sits behind the battery in a black cover.
I think I can check that. The prerana guys have replaced the battery with another one and left it for overnight. I need to get the status today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vipul_singh View Post
Agree with karizma devil, but would like to add something to point#1:

The battery in the Palio (at least the 1.6) can get discharged, even without the battery warning light getting illuminated. In my GTX, the voltage across the battery terminals (without any load, engine at idle) was 12.5. But on a full load condition (with A/C, radiator fan on 2nd speed, music system etc.), the voltage would slip under 12v. So under specific circumstances, the battery was getting discharged, even though the alternator itself was charging it to some extent (and therefore no warning light).

The solution in my case was the replacement of the alternator rectifier ("cut-out") whcih cost Rs. 2,900.

All of this is based on my experience with the 1.6 GTX. I would ask you to get the battery terminal voltage (with engine on idle, no electrical load) checked using a multimeter manufactured by a reputed company. If it is at or over 13.8 volts, the chargin system is most probably not the issue.
My case is nearly or almost similar vipul. While going to prerarna I hardly used any electricals except the brake lights and side indicators. The car retained charge for close to one hour and then discharged.
Alternator is a potential culprit I think so. Let me see what they have to say.
I am somehow unable to digest that the problem is with the battery.
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Old 15th October 2009, 12:27   #9
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I tend to agree with Karizma devil.

Hariprasad is a old school garage. Some how theya re good at the mechanicals but when it comes to trouble shooting with modern technics, there are no where. He can not understand a thing even if you read the ECU scan report aloud to him. (My personal experience).
Hope you have not replaced all those sensors just because he said so.
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Old 15th October 2009, 13:26   #10
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Never ever push start morden cars, fuel night flow to catalytic converter and damage it - It is quite expensive.

I am not getting the battery light on while switching. This is what I am also surprsied at.

Please cross check, if this is indeed the case then you have some grounding/earthing issue, or may be instrument cluster problem - But these wont lead to battery discharge.

My battery died all of a sudden - so there is no thumb rule.

rectfier cost in mumbai is Rs.1700 + 350 labour for 1.2 Palio , since the alternator sits right infrom , in care of 1.6 engine the alternator sits right down and difficult to access.
Also 1.2 and 1.6 ahve different alternators.
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Old 15th October 2009, 14:21   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karizma_devil View Post
...
Please cross check, if this is indeed the case then you have some grounding/earthing issue, .... .
I think this is the case. I received a call from prerana motors and they said (guessed) that there were some wiring issue. They have asked to keep the car under observation for few days.
Going to get the car and will take a full explanation and update.
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Old 15th October 2009, 14:35   #12
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I also faced this problem on my Tata safari a month ago when I had returned from my hometown.Started the safari and it was on without any troubles.Then remembered that I had forgotten my phone in my apartment.Went back to take it after switching the vehicle off.
Came back and the vehicle would not respond.No lights on the instrument cluster and not even a cranking noise on selfstarting the vehicle.
Called a friendly mechanic down to my basement parking and he tested the battery with a pair of wires and declared that the battery is completely discharged.
Then he jumpstarted my vehicle with his ford ikon and asked me to drive if for a few kilometers which i did only to realise that the vehicle to behave the same next morning.No response.

gave the battery to him to get it charged for >9 hours(kept at his gararge overnight).Problem solved.Did not encounter this issue again, its been a month now.
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Old 15th October 2009, 22:17   #13
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Guys the update- The battery was apparantly gone. I got them checked at a battery shop. I checked the dates also, the battery was bought in Jan 2006. So being an Exide, the life is already over.

I replaced them with Amaron Fire.Lets see how it goes.

Prerana guys charged the batteries for more than 5 hours and so I was able to start the car. They also said that there was some current leakage somewhere (I dont know where).
Drove it for 20 kms, stopped and tried to start again, no cranking, absolute dead. Compellingly push started the car and next stopped at a battery shop to get them replaced.

But anyway I am keeping the car under observation for few days. Since the battery is new and less on charge the battery indicator is showing up. Planning to drive it for long and see when the indicator goes off. I hope this time there no current leakage.
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Old 16th October 2009, 09:08   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Pujari View Post
Guys the update- The battery was apparantly gone. I got them checked at a battery shop. I checked the dates also, the battery was bought in Jan 2006. So being an Exide, the life is already over.

I replaced them with Amaron Fire.Lets see how it goes.

Prerana guys charged the batteries for more than 5 hours and so I was able to start the car. They also said that there was some current leakage somewhere (I dont know where).
Drove it for 20 kms, stopped and tried to start again, no cranking, absolute dead. Compellingly push started the car and next stopped at a battery shop to get them replaced.

But anyway I am keeping the car under observation for few days. Since the battery is new and less on charge the battery indicator is showing up. Planning to drive it for long and see when the indicator goes off. I hope this time there no current leakage.

If the battery indicator is showing up, then the issue is definitly with the car charging system ( the complete alternator loop).

Refrain from driving the car, it would die within 20-25 kms of driving with a new battery also.
Get the car checked at a Authorized Bosc service station , Fiat A.s.s is not at all competent in electrical issues of the car. They would onlty say " replace the alternator" - which is a costly affair.
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Old 16th October 2009, 09:55   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Pujari View Post
Since the battery is new and less on charge the battery indicator is showing up. Planning to drive it for long and see when the indicator goes off. I hope this time there no current leakage.
Once the engine has turned on the battery indicator has to turn off (which means the battery is getting charged by the alternator) if it still remains lit even after starting the engine it means the battery is getting drained and there is a problem in the charging system.
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