This doesn't happen often

  Ancient Learner 20:28 25 Apr 2008

Last Saturday am. car refused to start, that is ignition produced absolutely nothing, other than a couple of lights on the dash.
Called out Green Flag. Whilst waiting for man to arrive kept checking, but although the locks all worked nothing from the ignition at all.
Man arrives, we give him the key and he leans into the car inserts key and - well you can guess, it started immediately.
Man checks through system and decides that battery which is 5.5 years old seems OK but alternator seems to be not producing the 14.4 volts he says it should.

We book car into main dealers, for today. We used the car at least twice each day since Saturday with no problem at all, but with heavily crossed figures.

Car collected by dealer this morning.
! hour later a phone call from the workshop manager, quite overcome. Apparently when they tried to restart the car to get it into the workshop, it acted exactly as we had described and refused to start. I guess that got minds attuned, and the fault was found to be the wires nearly falling off the starter motor.

How often does it happen like this wonder, usually the dealer just cannot find anything wrong at all and you feel a bit foolish until it fails again, and again, and again .

2 Hours later we had the car back, complete with new battery as we and the dealer had decided that at this age it would now give in (sods law), and new front brake pads which needed doing. The alternator is in excellent condition.

I must say that we have used this dealers for over 20 years and we have found them to be brilliant. Volvo in Doncaster.

  tullie 20:32 25 Apr 2008

Not bad,couple of loose wires and ending up with new battery and brake pads!

  Ancient Learner 20:43 25 Apr 2008

I see what you are saying, however the brake pads have been the subject of warnings for the last 39000 miles (might not last) and the last service I was told of only 3000 left. At 5.5 years old and now 72000 miles I am more than happy to replace the front pads just prior to a weeks visit to the Lakes when we will no doubt do our normal thing of driving over every pass we can find. I simply took the oportunity to have the work done whilst they had the car.
As for the battery, the shock of the non start on Saturday, got us both worried and realised that we were probably on borrowed ground with it at 5.5 years old and at 74 years old dead batteries are something we can most certainly do without. So we said to them that whatever they found, replace the battery.

  Quickbeam 20:52 25 Apr 2008

"the brake pads have been the subject of warnings for the last 39000 miles"

...39,000 miles! these parts age harden and aren't as good by far after a year as when new, never mind years at low mileage use. I would want new pads on every year regardless of mileage or pad thickness left.

You did right about the battery, that's a long time and when they fail they just go.

  rdave13 20:57 25 Apr 2008

Using the same dealer for over 20 years must indicate that you trust them and have had good service over the decades. Same goes for the dealer as you've been a good customer. A lot to be said about sticking to the devil you know. :)

  bluto1 21:00 25 Apr 2008

Glad all turned out well for you.
It reminded me of the time I had a similar type of incident. I turned the key and got absolutely nothing, not even a whimper of protest. So I checked all connections, battery, starter motor, alternator and made sure they were all clean and tight. I even checked the distributer cap for cracks, the required gaps etc and still nothing. This was many years ago, about 40, so I took it to a small garage on tow, and left it with them. As soon as I got back to camp (RAF days) a pal told me they'd had a phone call from a garage to let me know that the car was OK. Got a lift and when I arrived I was told that the 'ballast' resistor' was the cause of my problems but was now OK. I'm still asking lads what the hell is a ballast resistor's function.

  Quickbeam 21:04 25 Apr 2008

click here I can't do 'hard sums' though like the maths trick:)

  Ancient Learner 21:16 25 Apr 2008

We are glad it's over now. And we have some peace of mind as it's terrible to lose any faith in the car you rely on
That's an interesting comment on the pads. You are quite right that they do harden and glaze, as we are light footed on pedals, but not really low mileage for non business users though. We try and have a few weeks every so often to be brutal on them, to burn it off, and with an auto gear box that's fairly easy to achieve.

  WhiteTruckMan 21:18 25 Apr 2008

-You were lucky. Far too many main dealers cannot diagnose a thing these days without plugging a laptop in. If the computer doesnt say its broke, then it 'aint!


  Ancient Learner 21:35 25 Apr 2008

That's why I use them.
I get to talk to the service manager, the workshop manager, and when it gets tricky the chief mechanic comes and sits to have a discussion.
I suppose that with long holidays touring in the Alps with caravan produced some unusual problems at times, and they have become used to my ability to have 'entertaining' faults. And a common sense of trust between us all.

  namtas 22:22 25 Apr 2008

In the days when cars and petrol engined trucks used coil ignition, and where unlike today when you could determine where the problem was with out having to resort to the aid of computer diagnostics, the ballast resistor was used to reduces the voltage applied to the coil.

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