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Old 11-14-2011, 11:54 AM   #1
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Battery Light On / No Power Steering

So I went to the mall with my g/f yesterday. When I started my MINI back up to leave, the battery light was on. I checked the voltage on my ScanGauge and it was showing 11.3 constant (normally it was around 13.5-14.2) and I started driving and the power steering wasn't working at all. I went to Autozone and they tested the battery. They said the battery was good, but needed a charge. I'm thinking that alternator isn't charging the battery fully. Would a low voltage from the alternator cause the power steering to shut off though? Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:07 PM   #2
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Sounds like a bad alternator is a strong possibility. The electric power steering pump will shut down when the system voltage drops too low. The same exact symptoms happened to a friend at MOTD this year, a new alternator was the fix.

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Old 11-14-2011, 01:09 PM   #3
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Check the positive power stud (connection) located on the firewall, driver's side in a small black plastic box. These have been known to come loose on the R53 and create the problem that you describe.
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Old 11-14-2011, 04:27 PM   #4
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Both alternator and power steering pump are run off the serpentine belt. Check the belt, belt tensioner, and crank pulley, too.
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Old 11-14-2011, 04:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BThayer23 View Post
Both alternator and power steering pump are run off the serpentine belt. Check the belt, belt tensioner, and crank pulley, too.

On the R53 the power steering pump is actually electric, not belt driven.

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Old 11-14-2011, 05:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonsmf View Post
On the R53 the power steering pump is actually electric, not belt driven.

Jason
Oh, right, my bad. I've been working on the other car too much lately.
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:31 AM   #7
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yeah i figure it's the alternator going out. i put 2 and 2 together. i have aftermarket headlight assemblies and the caps for where the headlight washers (are suppose to be on stock MINI's with HID's) are missing. that's sitting right on top the alternator. water comes in and will run right down on top of the alternator. it didn't even occur to me about them causing an issue with them not being there. guess i'm gonna have to get them as well.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:25 AM   #8
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How old is your battery? The OEM battery is well known to "check out" ok but still be bad.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:23 PM   #9
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Have the battery checked before going to the expense & agro of swapping the alternator. Always check the easy stuff first.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:12 PM   #10
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He said he had the battery checked (post #1). Is there a particular type of test Autozone wouldn't have done?
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