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    Car fault, is it safe to drive car with alternator problem?

    My daughter has just phoned to say the car battery light has come on and the steering is heavy. Is it safe to drive like this, for say an hour to get home. Also I think its the alternator what is the cost any ideas?

    32 Comments

    what car is it ? if the alt light has come on & the power steering is heavy, then the alt/power steering belt has broken.I wouldnt advise driving it as the belt may run the water pump as well.
    Edited by: "richp" 13th Apr 2011

    ^^ this wraps it up well, mine snapped at around 70mph, car full of smoke, engine overheated within half a mile.
    Edited by: "greg_68" 13th Apr 2011

    Original Poster

    Vauxhall astra. She is forty miles from home. She needs to empty college room and get home. What would breakdown do in this situation.

    bluebindy123

    Vauxhall astra. She is forty miles from home. She needs to empty college … Vauxhall astra. She is forty miles from home. She needs to empty college room and get home. What would breakdown do in this situation.



    Fix it roadside (more than likely) or tow her home or garage depending on type of cover, ask her to give them and ring, they will advise best.

    Edited by: "greg_68" 13th Apr 2011

    greg_68

    Tow her home or garage depending on type of cover, ask her to give them … Tow her home or garage depending on type of cover, ask her to give them and ring, they will advise best.



    as Greg says, its dependent on cover & also if its a straight forward snapped belt & not a broken idler pulley or broken tensioner they may carry a belt on board & be able to replace it.

    waterpump is on the cambelt on the corsa
    so as long as the battery holds out she should be fine to drive if she has no road side assitance

    It would be both dangerous and irresponsible to drive a car without the power steering working (as well as maybe being hard work if not impossible)

    Original Poster

    I am covered by autonational so she will call them tomorrow. Any idea if its the alternator or steering belt. Costs anyone?

    Banned

    greg_68

    It would be both dangerous and irresponsible to drive a car without the … It would be both dangerous and irresponsible to drive a car without the power steering working (as well as maybe being hard work if not impossible)



    What a load of rubbish. It's perfectly possible to drive without power steering as long as you drive accordingly.

    However, battery light. AND no PS suggests the auxiliary belt has gone which could well be powering cooling systems. DO NOT DRIVE

    Gimme ur daughters deets and I'll go pick her up

    Belt would pounds, alternator could be £100-200 if having it fitted and dependant on type (new, recon etc), difficult to say until you know whats wrong with the car, I'd go for belt though.

    vibeone

    What a load of rubbish. It's perfectly possible to drive without power … What a load of rubbish. It's perfectly possible to drive without power steering as long as you drive accordingly.However, battery light. AND no PS suggests the auxiliary belt has gone which could well be powering cooling systems. DO NOT DRIVEGimme ur daughters deets and I'll go pick her up



    have you drove a car any distance with no power steering?

    Banned

    Yes - a 1.6 astra. Similar problem. I'd imagine the op's daughters car is also considerably smaller and lighter.

    Not suggesting she should drive it (for the reasons stated) but just wanted to assure you you were talking bobbins

    I was gonna go down the route of cars without powersteering but to be fair there are plenty of holes to pick in that argument.

    But seriously - you're wrong.

    Original Poster

    The car is astra estate 1.6 1997 so its getting old now. It does not have full power steering. May be its time for her to go.

    new belt is about £10-£20
    opps I had it in my head it was a cosra
    but cooling is still on cam

    Edited by: "djnaff" 13th Apr 2011

    Banned

    bluebindy123

    The car is astra estate 1.6 1997 so its getting old now. It does not have … The car is astra estate 1.6 1997 so its getting old now. It does not have full power steering. May be its time for her to go.



    Haha that's actually the exact same car I drove without power steering. Same year even. Still, don't risk it in case the belt has snapped. I it rid of the car a lOng time ago so couldn't tell you if the aux does anything else

    OT slightly but I assume if you were breakdown covered you'd have to pay for the belt, what sort of prices do they charge for roadside fixes including parts, are they a rip off or fair?

    your daughter or the car?

    bluebindy123

    May be its time for her to go.



    Edited by: "dt_matthews" 13th Apr 2011

    It can be more dangerous with broken power steering compared to no power steering, because the steering racks are geared differently normally... A car with no power steering will have a lower geared steering rack normally. It may be 3x heavier than no power steering with broken power steering... If she's a small girl, she'd struggle, especially at roundabouts!

    But yes, don't drive, you don't want it to overheat, it'll cost alot more than a new belt!

    greg_68

    have you drove a car any distance with no power steering?


    eeerr yes iam old enough to have driven cars before power steering was invented... : (

    see post 20, I couldn't be bothered to explain that a power steered car is not just the normal car with a bit bolted on, they are completely different. Just because cars never used to have it on doesn't mean that cars with it but where it doesn't work doesn't makes it just like a none power steering car.

    Original Poster

    dt_matthews

    your daughter or the car?



    Both I think, cost me a lot of money!

    Thank you for all your responses

    You said, we all thought it. after all, she's a young woman with a car and the bank of mum and dad to bail her out... I can feel a Monty Python sketch coming on;

    'When I were a lad...'

    bluebindy123

    Both I think, cost me a lot of money!Thank you for all your responses




    Edited by: "dt_matthews" 13th Apr 2011

    greg_68

    It would be both dangerous and irresponsible to drive a car without the … It would be both dangerous and irresponsible to drive a car without the power steering working (as well as maybe being hard work if not impossible)



    depends, my power steering died, and i had to drive it to the garage 20 miles away, that was actually quite easy on main roads, you wouldn't notice it had gone. it was only the small junctions and roundabouts it was stiff.

    DADOF7

    eeerr yes iam old enough to have driven cars before power steering was … eeerr yes iam old enough to have driven cars before power steering was invented... : (



    a car which never had power steering would be many times better to drive than a car with faulty power steering.

    Banned

    greg_68

    see post 20, I couldn't be bothered to explain that a power steered car … see post 20, I couldn't be bothered to explain that a power steered car is not just the normal car with a bit bolted on, they are completely different. Just because cars never used to have it on doesn't mean that cars with it but where it doesn't work doesn't makes it just like a none power steering car.



    If you bothered to read my post, you will see I stay I discounted that argument before it was mentioned. However, the fact remains, you were talking rubbish. It's easily possible to drive a car with BROKEN power steering safely.

    I just had a battery replaced by the RAC at the roadside it cost £72 fitted and it came with a price promise that if you found the same cheaper within seven days they would refund it. Seemed fair enough

    greg_68

    OT slightly but I assume if you were breakdown covered you'd have to pay … OT slightly but I assume if you were breakdown covered you'd have to pay for the belt, what sort of prices do they charge for roadside fixes including parts, are they a rip off or fair?


    mosskeeto

    I just had a battery replaced by the RAC at the roadside it cost £72 … I just had a battery replaced by the RAC at the roadside it cost £72 fitted and it came with a price promise that if you found the same cheaper within seven days they would refund it. Seemed fair enough



    didnt know about a price promise? They quoted me £150 for my diesel battery! Even though it was more hassle to do, I said no and got a lift to local retailer and paid 1/3rd of the price.

    Banned

    splatsplatsplat

    didnt know about a price promise? They quoted me £150 for my diesel … didnt know about a price promise? They quoted me £150 for my diesel battery! Even though it was more hassle to do, I said no and got a lift to local retailer and paid 1/3rd of the price.



    £150?!
    mine was £70 for the top end one in halfords, and around £40 with tradeclub card.

    vibeone

    What a load of rubbish. It's perfectly possible to drive without power … What a load of rubbish. It's perfectly possible to drive without power steering as long as you drive accordingly.However, battery light. AND no PS suggests the auxiliary belt has gone which could well be powering cooling systems. DO NOT DRIVEGimme ur daughters deets and I'll go pick her up



    you dirty man, this man is genuinely asking for help and you treat him like this, shame on you.

    Dont drive if the water pump is connected. Streering is not a problem, it will be tight but a workout is not a bad thing. Only problem is if its in the evening, the the lights wont be on for long nor will she be able to drive very far ( if petrol).

    Vibeone......can i please come with you lol

    Original Poster

    Rupz

    you dirty man, this man is genuinely asking for help and you treat him … you dirty man, this man is genuinely asking for help and you treat him like this, shame on you.Dont drive if the water pump is connected. Streering is not a problem, it will be tight but a workout is not a bad thing. Only problem is if its in the evening, the the lights wont be on for long nor will she be able to drive very far ( if petrol).Vibeone......can i please come with you lol



    And no you can't

    Actually I'm a lady, well sometimes!!!

    how did your daughter get on ?

    Original Poster

    It is the fan belt but college could not fix it today, she on her way back home through recovery service and it is booked into the garage tomorrow to get fixed. I am so glad it wasn't the alternator. I know she is old but I'm she just last a little longer, but dont want to through good money when she aint worth it anymore.

    Thanks for asking.
    Edited by: "bluebindy123" 14th Apr 2011
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