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A few times now my car has refused to start and required jump starting in order to get it going again. Just now, I've set off and within 2 minutes of the car running, the SERV, ABS and traction lights have come on so I pulled over, turned it off and surprise surprise, it needs jumping.

It did it yesterday at FCS, had a 2 hour journey home no problems and it started fine just now, but after driving down the road it won't turn back on again.

Ironically I was on my way to get the battery tested. Any ideas as to which it could be? I don't want to replace one and then find out the other is at fault.

Further to this, I drove it back and the battery and STOP light came on. When I revved it they dimmed but came back. A few other lights are on the dash at the moment.

When I was driving back, if I sounded my horn or tried the electric window, the car would splutter and lose all power until I stopped doing that. Managed to get it home but obviously it won't start again now. When it was running, it was quite lumpy at idle and spluttering a bit but I put that down to the same problem as when I operated the electrics, the revs would die right down.

Darren S

ClioSport Club Member
The revs dropping and fading lights were EXACTLY the symptoms of what happened on my Punto GT (it ate alternators with them being right next to the turbo) - also the wipers taking ages to do a single sweep. It was on its third when I sold it.

My Clio had a new battery about 3 months back. Pulled up in Ashton, switched the car off and when I returned to it, the car simply refused to start. You just got the rapid clatter noise from the starter motor and that was it. Got a tow back home, then jump started and it caught straight away.

As the Evo had had similar problems, I risked it and just bought another battery for the Clio. Chucked it in and it's been flawless since. I'd try the battery route first - the much cheaper option!

Just tried a different battery and it started first time. Turned it off after 20 minutes, wouldn't start.

There are the ABS and airbag lights on the dash with this battery. When the jump leads are connected to the other car, none of the lights are on my dash and it behaves and starts normally. As soon as I remove the jump leads the dash lights up again.

All help appreciated.
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Earth is behind the passenger wheel behind the arch lining mate it's like a flat braided cable from the battery to the gearbox.

To test the alternator place a volt meter across battery terminals it should read 14v when the engine is running matey
  Mk1 16v brooklands
Theres also one on the gearbox and one behind the passenger side headlight.

Get a volt checker on there
Battery reads 7.5 when the car isn't started. When I start it, it reads 0, then cuts out after about a minute. When I try and start it again, it's flat and won't start!

When it's running, and I open the window or use something electric, the engine struggles and then eventually cuts out.

Getting pissed off now as I need the car for work :dapprove:
  E46 M3
The battery should only read 7.5v under a huge load or when its dead. If its at 0 at any point its either really dead or there's a short somewhere. I'm thinking an alternator issue.
Tempted just to take it to a garage and say sort this b*****d out! Is it easy to test for a short? I want to be sure of the problem before I fork out :dapprove:


ClioSport Club Member
  182 & Audi A3
Like I said at FCS...give Josh and Kat a shout at Renparts...50 for alternator and 15 quid next day delivery...I would be pretty sure its alternator on its way out...just dont have car die when driving it like I did a few months ago...not good
Cheers Don, did you say you fit yours yourself? What about the tensioning etc?
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ClioSport Club Member
  182 & Audi A3
Cheers Don, did you say you fit yours yourself? What about the tensioning etc?

No worries at all. I didnt fit mechanic said it was a ballache as it was more to do than they first thought.

I wouldnt do an alternator mate...dont do electrics. I would purchase a new belt for thr sake of a couple of quid extra.

When they let go will proper piss you off...was wet day in Feb and couldnt use blowers, auto lights, audio and the further I went...the worse it was...then stopped to wipe inside and outside of window as I couldnt see anything...then pulled off and rev counter stopped...then speedo and then pulled off from roundabout and had to crawl to a place I could pull into and wait for recovery.

Only time my car has let me down.


ClioSport Club Member
  182 & Audi A3
Bad times! Where can I get a genuine new belt from?

Renault...or you can go for Gates's as its essentially the same thing. Mine was sourced for dont know where they got it from but any decent motor factors should be able to get you the Gates's kit. :)


ClioSport Club Member
  182 & Audi A3
Is it something usually kept in stock? Cheers!

I wouldnt have said so...probably a day or two's turnaround if its a small factor. Larger factors may well have one in...but wouldnt bank on it.
Replaced it now and it's still doing the same thing. We've tested all the earths and they are fine.

This leads me to believe it's either;

a dodgy replacement alternator
the thin wire that leads to it is corroded, so it's making the battery light come on as it thinks it's not getting charge so causing the alternator to not work. We stripped the wire back and it's still playing up though.

Has anyone any ideas, or other suggestions?

Cheers for all the help x


ClioSport Club Member
  981 Cayman
Sometimes it's just worth paying an auto electrician mate, that's what I'd be doing around now.
Follow that thin wire and by pass it with another bit of wire,

(one end on the alternator where the thin wire is and the other on where ever the other side connects too) That will tell you if the wire is faulty mate.

Follow that thin wire and by pass it with another bit of wire,

(one end on the alternator where the thin wire is and the other on where ever the other side connects too) That will tell you if the wire is faulty mate.

The wire actually corroded and we've stripped it and put it back together, however the battery light is still on.

Could the faulty wire be tricking the car into thinking the battery isn't getting charge, and therefore the alternator is not doing its job? I'm getting a reading of about 1 volt through the alternator. :s

I always thought most of them were mobile, the one I used once was.
Ahh I don't know any round here apart from my uncle's mate who has his own place.
Bury mate.

I measured the battery output and it was charging but losing charge quite quickly once I took the jump leads off. The alternator (measured on the bolt for the main wire to connect it) was reading 1.6v at it's peak!
Only just seen this! I do need someone that knows their stuff to come and fathom it. I'm thinking I've just put another dodgy alternator on... but I don't want to buy a new one then fit it to find out the same thing is happening again. Help :dapprove:
I'm hoping to have it sorted by the weekend as I'm on a plane on Monday! Don't wanna come back to this so looks like I'll have to leave it with an electrician for a bit!

Thanks anyway pal. :)
No worries :) thanks man.

I've checked all the earths, they're all fine.

Jump started the car, left the jump leads on, everything behaves as it should. The moment I take them off, the alternator voltage drops as does the battery, then the car eventually cuts out.

What could this mean? It's going in with an electrician if I can't sort it, but I'd just like to figure out the problem as soon as possible. Could it be another dodgy alternator?
No, the electronic throttle won't allow it! I'll look at replacing the alternator asap and see how that goes. Cheers!