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#1 gerrywac

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 09:24 PM

The original alternator on my 07 1.9Tdi packed in last year (95k miles) and due to the mileage I thought worn brushes and bought a replacement brush/regulator pack.
When I pulled the alternator and checked the existing the brushes were ok but there was a split and bulge in case so I tbought fried regulator and replaced tbe unit and refitted the alternator.
Although its charging fine (13.9-14.2v max) in the several months since I have noticed a slight flickering of the displays and lights at low engine revs.
Its not causing a problem or throwing any fault codes but I just wondered what it might be and how to resolve it

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#2 ttg4l

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 09:56 PM

If the alternator is charging fine and the battery is good, then I'd be leaning towards a bad ground somewhere. I'm thinking one of the main grounds is rusty and just needs a clean-up. 

 

Has the flickering always been a problem or have you only noticed it recently?



#3 gerrywac

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 11:14 PM

Not an issue before the alternator failed and I replaced the regulator pack.
I only noticed it as tbe winter nights drew in and I was driving in the dark more. It hasn't changed.

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#4 adam-

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 07:49 AM

Under more load in winter with lights, heating, rear demist etc.  Could it be that one winding is dead and it's trying to maintain voltage with two?  Or a bad diode on one introducing ripple?


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#5 adam-

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 07:50 AM

Would also tie in with the old regulator dying from working hard to maintain charging voltage and overheating.  


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#6 gerrywac

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 01:38 PM

Would also tie in with the old regulator dying from working hard to maintain charging voltage and overheating.

The alternator was fine on minute and gone the next and I only replaced the brush/reg pack. There is no difference in the flicker from different electrical loading at all.
The battery was really struggling with starting afterr standing for several days in the cold snap over Christmas so I took it for a free battery diagnostic at Kwik Fit and they reckoned the battery and charge system were both good.
Anything I can check myself or is it a job for an auto electrician?

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#7 thinkpad

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 01:44 PM

The original alternator on my 07 1.9Tdi packed in last year (95k miles) and due to the mileage I thought worn brushes and bought a replacement brush/regulator pack.
When I pulled the alternator and checked the existing the brushes were ok but there was a split and bulge in case so I tbought fried regulator and replaced tbe unit and refitted the alternator.
Although its charging fine (13.9-14.2v max) in the several months since I have noticed a slight flickering of the displays and lights at low engine revs.
Its not causing a problem or throwing any fault codes but I just wondered what it might be and how to resolve it

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It could also be a faulty/poor quality regulator even though new?

 

EDIT: My internal lights started flickering a couple of years back - headlights are fine. It could be one of 2 things. Some crankcase oil got into the alternator due to a failed oil filler cap. Or the dome light switch contact overheated and burned slightly one time due to the switch not making good contact - that could cause it too. I'm thinking it's no.2 as headlights don't flicker.


Edited by thinkpad, 19 February 2021 - 01:49 PM.


#8 adam-

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 01:59 PM

The alternator was fine on minute and gone the next and I only replaced the brush/reg pack. There is no difference in the flicker from different electrical loading at all.
The battery was really struggling with starting afterr standing for several days in the cold snap over Christmas so I took it for a free battery diagnostic at Kwik Fit and they reckoned the battery and charge system were both good.
Anything I can check myself or is it a job for an auto electrician?

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You said that the regulator was swollen.  I'm saying that it might have died because of an internal alternator fault, the regulator failing is a secondary issue.


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#9 gerrywac

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 05:06 PM

You said that the regulator was swollen. I'm saying that it might have died because of an internal alternator fault, the regulator failing is a secondary issue.

I considered that possibility but the split in the swollen area of the failed regulator did not look at all recent and I examined the alternator windings and commutator as far as possible for any sign of mechanical damage, arcing, burning etc and found nothing.
I know its not quite right but I im trying to do more testing or work myself if possible and avoid going to a garage or the hastle of stripping it out for testing, replacing or going to a garage or dealer if possible.

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#10 adam-

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 08:10 PM

You'd have to pull the alternator to check the windings and at that stage, you're easier just throwing another unit on.


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#11 DerPanzerWagen

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 10:23 PM

Although its charging fine (13.9-14.2v max) in the several months since I have noticed a slight flickering of the displays and lights at low engine revs.
Its not causing a problem or throwing any fault codes but I just wondered what it might be and how to resolve it

 

 

Getting the same flickery thing since the recent cold snap. If you get to the bottom of it, let me know - I'm still hunting!



#12 thinkpad

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 11:08 PM

Getting the same flickery thing since the recent cold snap. If you get to the bottom of it, let me know - I'm still hunting!

Is it just the cabin dome lights or headlights too?



#13 gerrywac

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 11:43 PM

Getting the same flickery thing since the recent cold snap. If you get to the bottom of it, let me know - I'm still hunting!

I replaced it in October last year because my MOT extension ran out but it was December before I drove it in tbe dark due to slashing my use due to lockdown and I noticed it in the instrument, dash and radio disolays and the headlights ligbti g afead, can't say I've checked the cabin or other lights but I've no reason to think they wont be affected too.
I'll certainly let you know any developments.

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#14 DerPanzerWagen

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 01:53 AM

I replaced it in October last year because my MOT extension ran out but it was December before I drove it in tbe dark due to slashing my use due to lockdown and I noticed it in the instrument, dash and radio disolays and the headlights ligbti g afead, can't say I've checked the cabin or other lights but I've no reason to think they wont be affected too.
I'll certainly let you know any developments.

 

I did read that the dash lights dimmer wheel can be an issue with the flickery lighting but don't really think that is where the problem lies. But I'm gonna ask anyway! If you turn it, do the lights flicker instead of smoothly transitioning? It does on mine but that problem has been there for years unlike the flickery interior, which hasn't.

 

BTW, headlights are uneffected.


Edited by DerPanzerWagen, 20 February 2021 - 01:54 AM.


#15 Bandit127

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 04:21 AM

I can't remember if the alternator pulley has a clutch on the Mk5, but if it does include it in your thinking.

 

The one on my Mk6 went and I ended up graphing it trying to work out what was going on. Voltage was all over the place between battery and charge voltage as the clutch slipped and gripped. A new pulley fixed it.

 

That read OK on a meter too.


Edited by Bandit127, 20 February 2021 - 04:23 AM.

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#16 thinkpad

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 10:00 AM

I can't remember if the alternator pulley has a clutch on the Mk5, but if it does include it in your thinking.
 
The one on my Mk6 went and I ended up graphing it trying to work out what was going on. Voltage was all over the place between battery and charge voltage as the clutch slipped and gripped. A new pulley fixed it.
 
That read OK on a meter too.


Yes, the alternator pulley does have a clutch.

#17 adam-

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 10:38 AM

A scope wil help.


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#18 gerrywac

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 03:31 PM

Thank you all for your replies snd suggestions.
I checked the operation of the overun pulley when I had the alternator off the car and againwhenba k onthe car and theres no indication its not working correctly.
I also checked all the other lights and they all exhibit a degree of flickering tbrougbout the rev range. Altering the instrument dimmer doesnt have any affect on the flicker either.
I dont have, or have access to a scope so can't check the waveform.
As its not creating an issue, isn't showing any codes or getting worse I'm not inclined to throw money at it or do much more than check all the connections and earths and just await any developrments especially as my mileage has plummeted to <2k for the last year.
Again, thanks to those who replied, I'll let you know any developments.

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#19 thinkpad

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 03:52 PM

Thank you all for your replies snd suggestions.
I checked the operation of the overun pulley when I had the alternator off the car and againwhenba k onthe car and theres no indication its not working correctly.
I also checked all the other lights and they all exhibit a degree of flickering tbrougbout the rev range. Altering the instrument dimmer doesnt have any affect on the flicker either.
I dont have, or have access to a scope so can't check the waveform.
As its not creating an issue, isn't showing any codes or getting worse I'm not inclined to throw money at it or do much more than check all the connections and earths and just await any developrments especially as my mileage has plummeted to <2k for the last year.
Again, thanks to those who replied, I'll let you know any developments.

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A bad or battery that has low charge can make the flicker worse in my experience. The flicker was much more noticeable with my old battery before it failed. With the new battery it's much less noticeable as it probably stabilizes any fluctuations in voltage much better.



#20 yurtesen

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 05:16 PM

Battery normally works as a buffer to absorb the voltage fluctuations, but I think it is hard for battery to go so bad that you can see flicker.

There may be a problem with the stator windings. Regulator may try to compensate, and such problem could be cause of original failure also. I guess an easy test would be checking resistance between windings. Should be easy enough...

http://handsontutori...or_Testing2.gif


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