Audi A4 Blog: Problems, fixes, more problems..
The starter motor had been playing up on the Audi, and after the second time of failure, my brother in law (a mechanic by trade) collected the car to fix the starter motor with my father in law.
My Father in law asked for the MOT test sheet as well and whilst he had the car, he went through everything on there and fixed for me. Most kind! So, the upper and lower suspension arms were fixed too and whilst he had the wheels off checked the brakes. The front ones had about 3 miles left on them before disaster – there was almost nothing left on the brake pads and the front disks were heavily used. So new ones ordered and fitted too.
The starter motor was reconditioned and put back on, all good!
So great news, I picked the car back up yesterday and all was well.
Comparing the prices too, shows just how much DIY can save you as there is no markup or fitting charges;
(Quotes from a local garage)
- Front disks and Pads supply + fit(£150). My price £32.50 (ebay)
- Upper and lower arms supply + fit (£240). My price £54.00 (local parts-shop)
Total saving: £304
Very Not fixed.
Well, it is a bargain until;
Whilst travelling on the motorway at 70mph, the whole car simply shut down. The electrics went off, I lost power. There was nothing at all would work. I coasted to a stop, right next to the SOS box as it happens and put a call in via the Highways Agency to my breakdown provider AutoAid. Both teams were very efficient. I had a call back from AutoAid within 5 minutes confirming they had received the instruction and a truck would be with me within an hour. The Highways Agency called me back 5 minutes after that to check that AutoAid had called me. 5 minutes later and the recovery garage were on the phone to say someone would be with me by 7.15pm (45 minutes away). They arrived just 5 minutes outside of this time, so couldn’t complain really.
It was a lovely evening, so I just sat at the side of the hard shoulder and watched the world go by. It did perhaps highlight that the danger of hard shoulder running though. I believe that only a small percentage of people who stop on the hard shoulder actually need to be there but in this case I was definately one of them. And without any electrics (no brake lights, hazard lights) I had no way to warn anyone. Had this been 10 miles up the road where the hard shoulder would have probably been a live running lane the outcome could have been much worse.
When recovery arrived, he promptly put the car onto the trailer and towed the Audi to the next Services. From here he had a closer look at the problem. Believing it to be battery related, he tested it with a meter which showed the battery had 0.00 Volts in it. One very dead battery. However, the fact there was no warning of this and that it just died suggested a short somewhere.
Trying to revive the battery with a remote power pack let loose large sparks and the odd small fire. That also shorted out the power pack and that was the end of that! He towed the car back to my in-laws house and suggested that we remove the battery and try and charge it to see if there is any life left in it at all. He also noted that the connection points on the battery were still warm – even one hour after I had broken down. He found this unusual and thought something was shorting the battery – possibly the starter motor.
The starter motor, oh dear. My bro-in-law is going to have a look today at his handywork. I don’t know – you can’t get the staff. 😉