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Thread: Alternator not charging after replacement

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Alternator not charging after replacement

    So I've had my alternators replaced every 3 years or so (because they died) and the last mechanic told me I have an incorrect model after the last checkup (but no details whatsoever). So I went to MB, and got a part number according to the VIN. When replacing I only had the power cable connected, but there was another cable dangling around the front engine mount with a tape at the end (and looks like earthing . But as instructed in every guide out there I only reconnected the same cables - the power. I couldn't re-tension the tensioning bolt to required 45Nm as the head is already messed up, but the belt feels allright. Still when starting the engine with everything on I only have ~11.6v . Is it possible that it's due to this missing cable ? Or the belt needs more tension ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    The extra cable could be for the Air Conditioning unit - does it have a green connector on the end?

    Does the belt "squeal" - make noise when you rev the engine? If yes, then it probably needs a bit more tension.

    Do you have pictures of the alternator and cables?

    John

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinkeljb View Post
    The extra cable could be for the Air Conditioning unit - does it have a green connector on the end?

    Does the belt "squeal" - make noise when you rev the engine? If yes, then it probably needs a bit more tension.

    Do you have pictures of the alternator and cables?

    John
    I haven't heard any noises and I think it'd have to be really loose to not charge. I'm tempted to try and connect this rogue cable to PH-IN. Will probably take the whole alternator out again and take pics.

  4. #4
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    Forgot to update on this one. Turned out the alternator was busted :/

  5. #5
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    I really don't understand why you have had to change the alternator every three years..... the one in my 1999 450 ha been on there from new and still works ~ 337,000km's later!

    John

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinkeljb View Post
    I really don't understand why you have had to change the alternator every three years..... the one in my 1999 450 ha been on there from new and still works ~ 337,000km's later!

    John
    I can't quite match you on mileage but mines the same one that was attached to the car when it left the factory 15 years ago. Even survived being laid up from March to September without any ill-effects.

    Something I'd been unaware of but is discussed on an American forum I visit is how alternators can take a hiding from subs. When they stick big subs in they fit a bigger alternator.

  7. #7
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    Well, mine has had a sub fitted for the last 15 years, so unless you are talking of very high power sub's which you obviously don't need in the small space of a Smart. There should be no need to change the alternator. Mine has survived being left not being used during the winter months and then having to be freed off because it had seized and prevented starting.

    So having said all that, Maybe they are fitting "refurbished" ones which have been fitted with sub standard parts?

    John

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinkeljb View Post
    Well, mine has had a sub fitted for the last 15 years, so unless you are talking of very high power sub's which you obviously don't need in the small space of a Smart. There should be no need to change the alternator.
    [/QUOTE]

    Yep, monstrously powerful subs! The old guys who've been there, done that and have the shirt and coffee mug advise that they had to fit bigger alternators - and that they've grown out of all of that now.


    Quote Originally Posted by Heinkeljb View Post
    Mine has survived being left not being used during the winter months and then having to be freed off because it had seized and prevented starting.

    So having said all that, Maybe they are fitting "refurbished" ones which have been fitted with sub standard parts?

    John
    Good point. In the 15 years of running my smart it only ever got genuine (usually dealer supplied) parts. The one instance where I put pattern parts on it (though supplied by main dealer as for some reason genuine had leapt in price) was discs. And almost immediately regretted it when I saw how corrosion prone they are compared to genuine.

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