I'm looking for insight into a problem that occurred in the last 24 hours with my 1999 Audi A6 Quattro (currently 80k miles). Preliminary diagnosis is something with the alternator and/or serpentine belt. Here's the situation:
Last 24 hours: Battery light went on suddenly yesterday (drove about 10 miles total for the day). Today, the battery light went on again immediately, but still ran fine. After a few miles the steering got stiff and the car was barely moving and finally died. I got a jump and drove the car another mile or so before it finally died again - it's currently sitting in a parking lot at work.
Symptoms: Car will not start at all and will not hold voltage. Crystal dashboard indicators went crazy this morning, warning indicators went on and other lights went off and on like a Christmas tree. Power steering started to go out and then went out completely. Even when the car was running, there was little power and pick up. After letting the car sit all day at work, went to start it up and it did with little trouble, but could not get it out of the park position (automatic). Tried to start it again, but would not turn over (classic clicking sound of a dead battery).
Any ideas on what the problem might be? Shop says serpentine belt has gone which sounds logical. If that's the case, is this like other belts (i.e. timing belt) to replace, meaning does the front end need to come off?
I had the water pump, timing belt tensioner dampner replaced 3 months and 1,400 miles ago.
It's a 2.8L/V6 30 VA. The battery was replaced in Nov. 2003. I checked the serpentine belt today and it looks to be in tact and on all the rollers. Did not check to see if it was slipping - didn't think of that til afterward.
I got a jump to see how it would behave. Basically, the car ran for a few minutes while I watched the voltage drop and then the engine shut off. I heard a little chirping sound as the idle dropped and then cut out. Seems like a possible alternator, voltage regulator and/or brushes issue? If that's the case, now a question of how much and how difficult to fix.
I have a same car;replaced alternator at 66,000.At first it was making ruttling sound for few weeks and then suddenly died.I didn't have any issues with pump, by the way.Best place to buy is from NAPA store(cheaper). Make sure you know which one you have on your car, BOSH or ... sorry forgot the other name.
Thanks Andrew for your assistance. I remember you provided some good insight to an earlier problem I had with the water pump.
Bad news - had the car towed to the shop here in San Francisco on Monday. Looks like a need a new serpentine belt (it's intact, but cracking); also need a new alternator and there's a transmission seal that is leaking --- over $2,000 in new repairs, $1,500 of it for the new alternator. I'm not convinced that the alternator needs replacement thought. There was still voltage flowing, but that was visible only on the dash gauge. Haven't checked it with a volt-meter.