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Unread 11-14-2011, 12:54 PM #1
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Battery Light On / No Power Steering
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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Unread 11-14-2011, 01:07 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.

Jason
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Unread 11-14-2011, 02:09 PM #3
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Battery Light On / No Power Steering
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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Unread 11-14-2011, 05:27 PM #4
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Battery Light On / No Power Steering
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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Unread 11-14-2011, 05:32 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.

Jason
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Unread 11-14-2011, 06:07 PM #6
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Battery Light On / No Power Steering
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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Unread 11-15-2011, 10:31 AM #7
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Battery Light On / No Power Steering
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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Unread 11-15-2011, 12:25 PM #8
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Battery Light On / No Power Steering
How old is your battery? The OEM battery is well known to "check out" ok but still be bad.
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Unread 11-15-2011, 01:23 PM #9
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Battery Light On / No Power Steering
Have the battery checked before going to the expense & agro of swapping the alternator. Always check the easy stuff first.
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Unread 11-15-2011, 03:12 PM #10
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Battery Light On / No Power Steering
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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