Alternator Fault: Battery Not Being Charged


New Member
Hi everyone,
Please bear with me this is my first post on the forum and I do not know a lot about the ins and outs of cars.
Here is my problem, a few months ago my car would randomly die with no warning - it wouldn't tell me my battery is low and to charge it.
What would happen is randomly, I will get a warning light on the dash, something along the lines of 'alternator fault: battery not being charged'. and the electrics slowly start turning themselves off, radio etc. When I stop and turn the car off the battery is 'dead' and needs a jumpstart, upon jumpstarting the car fires back into life (as expected) and only after this do I get a warning saying something like 'battery is low: please recharge'. The strange thing is once it is jump started, I can more or less turn the car off straight away and it will start no problem. How is this the case, if my battery is 'dead' can it start up without having to recharge?

I brought it to one mechanic and he replaced the battery, a month later it happened again. I then brought it back to the same mechanic and he said it is something to do with the battery terminal at the front of the car and he has bypassed the signal going to this terminal. A month later it happened again. He said with the bypass it should fix the problem, it shouldn't only work intermittenly, so he replaced the battery terminal, a month later it happened again.

It has now happened twice in the past week and there are no tell tale signs of when it is going to happen until the alternator fault comes on the dash but by that point its too late. On top of it happening twice in the past week, another thing happened - I was driving and all of the electrics shut off - radio, windows, speedometer, dashboard - everything. Lots of warning lights were on the dash, so I assumed it was going to die. I pulled over turned the car off and turned it on straight away again and it started with the electrics all back to normal?

Over the past week the car has brought up random faults that I have never got mid way through a joruney, when I get to my destination and I am on the return joruney the warning lights that were on are gone.
A few examples of these lights include: Glow plug warning light flashing, something on the centre dash saying 'Brake warning: bring to your nearest garage' (but the brakes were working fine) and a few other faults but they do not cause me any problems as they go away once the car is restarted.

I am just wondering if anyone has had any similar experiences? As I have only had the car for just over a year and have already spent in excess of £1400 on problem after problem and the car only cost me £3350, so I want to get a rough idea on what the problem is before I spend anymore money on it because if it is another expensive repair, I think I am better of getting a new car.

Thanks for reading and look forward to reading your replies.


New Member
Hi Luke, I had this problem (excluding the glow plugs part etc.) this winter on my A4 Avant 2.0 TDi 2009, had just had the multitronics oil changed at Audi dealership and came out to start the car and had the alternator sign flash, while driving it home 40min it disappeared and did not reappear for another 5 months, this time however I had gotten my OBDeleven and looked at the voltages supplied and saw that the alternator was completely dead. Replaced it, noticed that it only supplied 12,7-12,8V to the front terminal so we added a + wire directly from the alternator to the + terminal under the hood (make sure it's thick) to bypass the starter/alternator harness, this provided sufficient 13,5V and charges the battery good, however when I further looked on the starter/alternator harness there was a kink close to the starter where it follows along the front of the engine to the alternator, to change this harness you have to jack up the engine so you can loosen the engine mount and remove the harness... I decided to not care and it has driven good for 5 months after that, occassionally doing an extra crank to start as it's sometimes slower, possibly due to abit of resistance in the kinked wire to the starter.. Got rear ended this monday so I cannot show you pictures however but it's definately where I would start looking with a multimeter after grounds are confirmed good.

Best regards, Robin