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Old 02-06-17, 05:34 PM   #1
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Default Battery or alternator???

Hi,

I've just had my car (2006 Peugeot 207) towed to a garage after breaking down out of the blue! Car was fine, came up to a set of lights and noticed the battery light was on. When lights turned to green and I tried to set off, there was nothing. Engine wouldn't turn over. Kept trying every couple of minutes but still nothing. Radio and lights still worked. Now its at the garage, the windows won't go back up. The recovery driver said its either the alternator or battery.

Theres been no signs of the battery failing. Starts first time, every time even after sitting for a week at an airport car park.

Could anyone give advice on if it is the alternator or not and if theres a way to put the windows up?

Cheers,
Matt
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Old 02-06-17, 05:36 PM   #2
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Sounds more like the starter if its not turning over if you mean turning over in the correct sense.
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Old 02-06-17, 05:37 PM   #3
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Sounds more like the starter if its not turning over if you mean turning over in the correct sense.
It kind of turns over for a second or two and then just fizzles away really. I've not tried jump starting it as it wasn't possible in the place i broke down.
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Old 02-06-17, 05:41 PM   #4
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Ok it still could be the starter if it is the easiest test would be a push start if it starts its most likely just a dead starter or wiring to the starter
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Old 02-06-17, 05:50 PM   #5
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Ok it still could be the starter if it is the easiest test would be a push start if it starts its most likely just a dead starter or wiring to the starter
I've not actually tried to push start it as where i broke down, it wasn't very safe. Its in the garage now and they said they'll try a new battery first. Just hoping its not too expensive as i reckon the battery would be cheaper.
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Old 02-06-17, 08:59 PM   #6
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Post Sealed for life

From experience so called sealed for life batteries fail more often in the heat of summer than the cold of winter due to the electrolyte "boiling off" with the higher under bonnet temperatures. There was a time it was good to be able to top up your battery when required.

The symptoms you describe fit, but without being on site to make observations first hand it's difficult to be absolute. If you are doing lots of urban cycle driving frequently re-starting after being stationary at junctions, then the battery will work harder and there's a long terrm cost in that, to wit battery longevity.

The battery symbol light on the dash these days is there to indicate the electrical system is under nominal working voltage and it's not directly connected to the alternator as it would have been in past configurations.
Should the auxiliary belt driving the alternator break, then the light would come on as a warning.

The garage starting by fitting a new battery is a reasonable approach given the history of the breakdown you've shared here.

For what it's worth I had the same out of the blue, sudden battery death experience myself a couple of years back. I'd driven to make a local pickup and returning to the car a couple of minutes later, the battery gave up the ghost then and there. In fact the battery was so dead (resistive) even with using 2 sets of quality jump leads trying to boost start from the battery on a running donor vehicle, I could not get the engine to crank. At that point the battery was at least 8 years old, as it came with the car when I took it on.

A new battery sorted it immediately.

Do get back to us and let us know if a new battery resolves your problem.

Last edited by Blow By Blow; 02-06-17 at 10:59 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-06-17, 10:00 PM   #7
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I received a call from the garage this morning and was told to sit down. The timing belt has snapped supposedly and they think it'll need a new engine. However, they don't do that kind of work.

I'm fairly shocked by this as when the car failed, we were pretty much stationary therefore i'm struggling to understand how the engine can be so badly damaged, that a new one is needed. I heard nothing from the engine when it first failed.

Would a timing belt snapping cause the battery light on the dashboard to come on?

Am I right in thinking you can see the timing belt on the left hand side of the engine or is that a different belt?
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Old 05-06-17, 10:06 PM   #8
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Timing belt would probably make battery light come on if engine stopped you dont say what engine you have but some are easy to fix others are not some dont even have a belt !

The belt you can see is the auxiliary belt this is what drives the alternator.

I think you need a second opinion.
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Old 05-06-17, 10:08 PM   #9
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Timing belt would probably make battery light come on if engine stopped you dont say what engine you have but some are easy to fix others are not some dont even have a belt !

The belt you can see is the auxiliary belt this is what drives the alternator.

I think you need a second opinion.
I wish i could get a second opinion but the car won't move

I'm not sure what engine it is exactly but its a 207 1.4 petrol 16V.
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Old 06-06-17, 08:12 AM   #10
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Post The timing belt is not readily visible, it's protected by covers.

One of your symptoms was the windows not going back up. That suggests a depleted battery, rather than a full failure of the timing belt. Again not being on site it's difficult to diagnose at a distance. However, it does sound more like an auxiliary belt failure than a timing belt failure from what you have described. If that garage are not going to replace an engine because "they don't do that kind of work" you'll have to get the vehicle back some how in the near future and that will be the time to get a second diagnosis.

Last edited by Blow By Blow; 06-06-17 at 10:34 AM.
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