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Matt, Engineer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 20361
Experience:  Honors degree in Mechanical Engineering, worked 8 years as a Formula 1 engine engineer.
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Maserati Quattroporte: 2008 alternator failure

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I was driving on freeway when red light and buzzer went off alternator fail light came on and steering became hard to turn what causes this


1st check that the auxiliary belt on the front of the engine is intact and still turning as the alternator is driven by this belt, as the power steering uses an electric motor this will also be effected by power loss

if this is OK then check that the main battery connections are tight and in good condition also check the earth strap to the engine / gearbox.

with the engine off then another with the engine running. The 2nd reading should be higher than the 1st and climbing steadily. And also check that the alternator is secure to the engine as this provides the ground for the charging circuit and make sure that the engine / gearbox earth strap is secure and the contacts are clean and bright.

if the alternator appears not to be working - take it to a electrical specialist and ask them to test it as sometimes you can replace just the diode pack and this will repair the alternator without requiring replacement

And one last thing is – how old is the battery? – As even good quality ones need replacing every 5 years and faulty battery just won’t hold a charge

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