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Battery


Spamii
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Hi, 
Can anyone help. 
I have a  Ford Fiesta Zetec 2011 - 60kish on the block. 

The battery light keeps coming on, it's has been like this for a few weeks but the car has  been fine apart from the light. MOT & service Done end of July all fine. 
 
Driving home last night & the light came on again but this time more lights had come on and the car started to drive different... (power steering and ABS had stopped working)..

Luckily I'd managed to get it into my drive. 
But when shutting the car off and trying the engine again the car wouldn't start. 

This morning we’ve gone out & checked & the engine has started!!!!????

Any ideas what this could be?.
I know nothing about cars so I don't want to go into a garage and pay loads. 
If I ask them to check the alternator without carrying out any work will I have to pay just to get them to check ? 
Help please.

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Try Halfords to do a battery check, they test it under load as well as standard, or if you're a member of the AA or RAC they should be able to check the alternator for you.  If I were you I'd start with the cheapest method, if the alternator is dud the battery more than likely will be anyway. I know it seems weird, but if you try a TPS centre they can get you a battery and they usually aren't just as expensive as most places.

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could be alternator. when battery gets low, they can recover a bit if left alone eg. overnight so that could be why it started next day.

For this a voltmeter is very handy. If it was me I would get my voltmeter out and connect it. First with ingnition off, then ignition, then with engine running on tickover and with engine running faster. if the volts is not higher with engine running than without it running then a problem.

But it might just be something simple like the alternator drive belt needs replacing.

The alternator/battery  light is there as a warning that something's going wrong. Ignoring it is not a good idea. Best to sort these things before the car lets you down.

A very rough test of alternator, run engine on tickover. switch on all electrical stuff - fog lights, headlights, heater fan, rear window, heated windcreen. Does this drag the engine speed down slightly? if so that is good because it means the alternator is putting more of a load on the engine. if you rev the engine slightly (with all that stuff switched on) do the headlights go slightly brighter? if so, that is good as it means the alternator is charging more as the speed increases.   These are not conclusive tests but better then nothing.

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