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Electrical system dies while driving

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New User

Apr 1, 2018, 12:50 AM

Post #1 of 4 (829 views)
Electrical system dies while driving Sign In

Hi All,

This is my first time posting on here, thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

The van I am posting about is a Ford Transit 2011 2.2 ctdi with 207000k

I picked up the van I bought on eBay yesterday and at first there seemed no problem at all, the engine started from battery (did seem a bit slow to turn over but fired up quickly. After about 5 miles the battery light came on, I called the guy I bought it from and he said it may have been from where the van had been sitting. I continued on the journey straight onto motorway and carried on for 75 miles. As I came to a toll I slowed down and used the electric window and then I got warning lights of an engine malfunction and all lights on dash started lighting up and going off and things like the radio and trip meters were resetting. I pulled over as soon as it was safe to and called out the recovery. The guy that came tried to jump start the van but it would not turn over, he said it would not turn over as the alternator was faulty and pulling to much power from his starter box. We then got relayed back to base by three different recovery vehicles over the next 6 hours. When we got back we needed to start the van to position it where it was to be parked and the recovery man managed to get it to jump start but with a lot of sparking coming from the jump pack. Once the jump pack was removed the van would run for a few minutes before shutting off. We positioned the van and I got my volt meter. When slightly revving I was reading 14v across the terminals on the battery so this has led me to believe that it isn’t the alternator.

I am tempted to just buy a new battery and try it but I do not want to do that if the battery is fine and the problem lies elsewhere. The battery and lead condition looks good albeit that it obviously has been removed recently and not put back correctly.

Are there any other tests I can do to find the fault before blindly replacing parts?

Many thanks.

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Apr 1, 2018, 4:29 AM

Post #2 of 4 (800 views)
Re: Electrical system dies while driving Sign In

There is no question that you have a charging system problem, most likely a bad alternator. Now that the battery has been brought down to zero multiple times, you likely have a bad battery now too.
If you replace the battery now with a brand new one, you will likely make it home as long as you don't operate any electrical accessories like AC or headlights.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 1, 2018, 5:40 AM

Post #3 of 4 (794 views)
Re: Electrical system dies while driving Sign In

? Dealt with just one of these literally days after new purchase as a dead vehicle/service call. Had a battery terminal that was all different style to me could spin in hands. Can't touch (it's not right - a dealer issue or get blamed) it for more towed back to dealer but was a seriously goofy style of clamp.

Other thing is a 2011 just can't have it's OE battery still it's too old to trust for amps by now so know or find out.
Whacked - the one I dealt with was assembled in the country of Turkey look at the door jam. I can imagine for shipping batteries are either missing still or disconnected (don't know this for vehicles sent all over the world) for safe shipping I could believe that and this one make it that clamp which looked one nut + funky wedge could do in seconds I think new,


Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Apr 1, 2018, 7:29 AM

Post #4 of 4 (780 views)
Re: Electrical system dies while driving Sign In

14 volts across the battery and it still died when the jump pack was removed? Something doesn't seem right there.

Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

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