Groan­ing al­ter­na­tor

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Tales From The Workshop -

Since pur­chas­ing this 2004 Vaux­hall Zafira 2.0 diesel, the owner had been slightly con­cerned about the groan­ing noise made by the en­gine. He had never owned a diesel be­fore and the seller ad­vised him that this was nor­mal.

When the ve­hi­cle was brought to us for a ser­vice, we were not con­vinced the en­gine should be quite so loud and per­suaded the owner to let us check things out. Re­mov­ing the aux­il­iary drive­belt and spin­ning the var­i­ous pul­leys by hand, we dis­cov­ered that the al­ter­na­tor bear­ings were the source of the trou­ble.

A light spin of the al­ter­na­tor pul­ley pro­duced a hor­ren­dous groan­ing noise and our advice to the owner was change it! Know­ing that preven­tion is bet­ter than cure, and that sooner or later the al­ter­na­tor was go­ing to fail, the owner took our advice about re­plac­ing the al­ter­na­tor. With the new unit in place, the deci­bel level of the en­gine dropped and the owner was pleased with the much qui­eter op­er­a­tion of the ve­hi­cle.

The al­ter­na­tor is lo­cated at the back of the diesel en­gine, so re­mov­ing the air fil­ter and in­duc­tion pipes gives easy ac­cess.

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