Autoelectro has urged motor factors to assist technicians in order to avoid a fitting error that leads engine coolant to cause alternator drive belt slip.
The issue affects Minis with 1.4 and 1.6L petrol engines (2001-2009) and all models featuring the W10 engine code (2003-onwards). Several alternator replacements have been subject to warranty claims, but, after inspection by the company’s technical experts, the cause of the problem was identified as coolant leakage rather than alternator defect.
Analysis revealed that when the original alternator was removed, the coolant hose close to the alternator was not detached or moved into a safe position, causing the pipe to rub against the alternator mounting bolts and rupture. Consequently, this caused coolant to leak onto the alternator and drive belt, resulting in the drive belt slip and a charging fault/low charge fault.
To avoid these unnecessary warranty issues, factors should advise technicians to ensure the pipe is moved safely away from the mounting bolts when the component is removed. If the pipe is damaged in the process, it must be replaced.
Technical Manager, Dally Singh, said accurate fitting advice needs to be filtered through from supplier to motor factor and, in turn, garage. He said: “Technical bulletins like this one are very important, so technicians are aware of potential issues in the marketplace and the fitting tips to help avoid them.
“We want to ensure technicians are fitting Autoelectro products correctly, so they maintain excellent relationships with their customers and motor factor. Distributors can also take note of this information, so they’re up-to-speed and can liaise with their customers.”