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I think that my alternator is on the way out? - Engine/Ancilliaries - The Lotus Forums - Official Lotus Community Partner Jump to content


I think that my alternator is on the way out?


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Hi there

My battery was always flat after 2 days of not using the car. Looking at the battery some of the spy holes were red. So I went out and purchased a new one. So off I went for a quick drive seemed OK. The following day of again, after about 10 minutes I noticed the voltage gauge was moving down to the red, the radio stopped, and the wipers also the window would not move up (but the lights came up). :P Great, I was waiting for the car to stall and then it started to rain :D:P . So I stopped and waited for the rain to pass. Twenty minutes passed and the rain was easing off and the engine still ticking over. Then the wipers, window and radio all started to work??? I turned off the radio, wound up the window and got home as soon as I could.

Does it look like the alternator is on the way out? Is there a way (with a voltmeter) to test it? Or did I get a bum battery? Checked the battery connections they look fine. Any help would be great.


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if it is the alternator, battery or voltage regulator on the alternator, all you need to test it is a volt/amp meter. start by checking the battery, and post again for the next step.

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Do you have Motorola or Lucas Alternator. I have servicing instructions for both. Including tests that can be done on car. The Lucas one is easier to check as it has built in regulator.

If you suspect the Alternator take it off. Check condition of brushes (replace anyway) Recommended to replace every 75000 miles.

You can take to Auto electrician who can do bench test.

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Teigan is on the right track. Get a meter across the battery and test the voltage with keys out of the ignition.

A good new battery should hover near 12 volts unless something is dragging it down like a short. I my case my Viper alarm was draining my battery in 5 days. The car had to be on a tender during the weekmif I wanted to drive it on the weekends. I discoed it and all is well.

If it seems ok then monitor the voltagr with the car running. Some Esprit alternators don't charge at idle speeds so get the revs up oer 2000. It you don't get 13, 14 or 15 volts you have a problem.

Post the results and the year of your car and the alternator type here for the next suggestions from the gang.


Dom Giangrasso

1977 S1 Esprit - Lagoon Blue

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Guys, It's back working; :D There is a brown and yellow/cream coloured wire that is also attached to the alternator. What I did was replaced the end of the wire and cleaned up the connector.

Great, so off I go for a spin into sunny Southend. Bo11ox (to put it one way) The turbo boost gauge is spinning round... :( . (well as far as it can go anyway). It sounds the same as ever but I know this is not good. If the waste gate it is sticking can it be unstuck? or is it a replacement job?

What a pain, is it OK to drive as long as I keep the revs down and don't use the turbo much?

Cars, why do we do it?


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that's an easy one, which is why the gauges have problems. all the esprit gauges have the same earth. any first year engineering student knows to put each gauge on a dedicated ground wire. thanks again lotus.

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Tiegan can be soo convincing :(:):D

Yes I used penetrating oil to free off the wastegate.(Gunk brand)

They (commonly seize if the car is not used or driven gently)

The term "use it or loose it "springs to mind

I pulled off the exhaust pipe to get to mine.

Removing the whole unit is a horrible job, the nuts are always sized solid :(

Edited by WayneB
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any oil is fine. it'll just burn off. but i still don't think the gate is stuck. it's easy to find on your car, because it is a separate unit. don't take it apart because the spring and shim settings are hell to put back. it's all under high tension, but it is still very fragile. if i were you i wouldn't be playing around down there without diagrams and tools ready.

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