Every Fault Known To Man

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BigBriDogGuy

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Western Washington (Seattle area) gets a ton of rain. Typically, it's overcast and partially cloudy with scattered showers. That could be the weather forecast 75% of the time. My brother-in-law came to our wedding from Mexico City and said, "I can see now why Kurt Cobain killed himself." Had a sunroof drain tube clog recently, but cleared that out. No sign of moisture. No smell of dampness or mold. Everything seems really dry inside. Plus, I can see the puddles of water behind the front wheels when it gets wet.

The battery thing is interesting. Whatever it is, seems electrical, for sure. When the guy came to tow me, we were getting an electric parking brake fault when I tried to release it. He hooked up a portable battery unit to my battery to get the parking brake to release (which it finally did). He also said it was reading whacky, like the voltage was randomly going up and down. He wasn't used to seeing that.

I was thinking an alternator because the vehicle was running just fine, until the juice got sucked out of it to the point it was getting all these faults. However, the tow guy's portable battery unit reading has me re-thinking that scenario. The car wasn't running at the time he was reading it, so I don't know how the alternator could come into play. Maybe once the battery level gets that low and has thrown a bunch of faults, the ECU is going to freak out until whatever is wrong gets fixed and the ECU gets reset.

My first car was this old Chevy Impala that had a modest version of Batmobile wings in the back. It was truly a boat, but the engine was simple. I had an electrical problem with that one. Changed the alternator (or it may even have been a generator back then) that didn't seem to fix it. Had a friend with an electronic testing meter come out and test various wires and so forth. Finally, we came across a very plain looking heavy colored wire (green?) that was dangling with a flat washer-type hook on the end of it. We stretched it out and moved it around to look for possible connections and there it was, a common screw connected to the frame. Turns out the electrical system wasn't grounded. Attached the wire and... "Bob's your Uncle." (Hopefully, it's something like that.)
 
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Longtrail

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I still have to do the drain tubes!

I think you're in the right area in terms of battery/alternator/earth strap; the biggest single issue is going to be finding out which one! I think being on here will certainly help. I guess I'd try and rule out the simple stuff first, so I'd probably be looking at codes; then looking at the earth straps, seeing if the vehicle is well grounded and then start looking at the battery followed by the alternator. Are there any leaks that might be knocking out the alternator? I know I've read a leaking valve cover gasket can have this impact on the alternator!

I'm still a newbie also...
 

BigBriDogGuy

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I actually did have a counseling session today as part of my rehab from a recent accident where my previous vehicle was rear-ended and totaled. We talked about the LR4 meltdown and she asked how I was feeling about it. I said, "It all depends upon how it works out but, right now, I'm feeling better than I thought I would. It's more stressful waiting for the other shoe to drop. Honestly, I'm a bit relieved."
 

CRYA

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...and for those of you playing along at home, the answer is (drumroll) alternator. ($1,200) Ouch.

Could have been worse.
Yeah, and isn't the alternator relatively straightforward diy? Or is that the starter I'm thinking of? Well now you know. Fire the therapist.
 

ftillier

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It comes down to how well you can tolerate down time and your desire to DIY. If you have another vehicle you can use while you "tinker", the alternator itself can be had from FCPEuro for about 350. $900 in labor seems like a lot, though surely some of that will go to replacing the serpentine belt, which I believe (by the book) requires removing the fan belt which itself is single use... What caused the failure, do you know? I've read here that a leaky valve cover gasket can cause oil to drip onto the alternator and fry it. I would tackle this myself, as I intend to increase the remoteness of my adventures, learning in the comfort of my garage will help demistify should I have issues trail-side.
 

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