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fiat earth strap charging problems

12702 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  ozwhit
hi everyone ,probaly info you all know. Heres the story on our last trip to austria ,we broke down on the m20 dover , there was an accident ahead which caused the traffic to stop ,so rather than sit there ticking over , i turned the engine of , so then the traffic starts to move ,turn the key ,nada , we were in the middle lane ( thanks for the help fellow motorists )the traffic starts moving it was pitch black ,i quickly phone the police to alert them , they knew we were there from the accident ahead ,stay with the vehicle they said,the traffic was moving faster and faster they were almost missing us ,i grabbed my wife and we made a beeline for the grass verge, a very frightening experience .We sat there waiting for a giant lorry to smash the van to bits at that point we didnt care ,we were safe .
The police came after a while ,stopped the traffic and we pushed the van to the side , phoned the safeguard breakdown, and the aa turned up in about half hour and recovered us to the services .
At that point we had missed our ferry,and the hopes of going away were rapidly fading, once at the services the aa repair man turned up , we made him a cup of tea ,it was freezing and late 2am ,he got his tool box out and said it was the alternator , i then said its not the earth strap is it ,i know fiat suffer with earthing problems ,no he said ,ill take you to fiat in dover ,no thanks i said ,im not paying £100 an hour and double for the alternator,ok he said ill take you to nationwide repair centres ,they are cheaper,but i said what i need is an place that rebuilds them ,ill take it of and they can sort ,ill put it back on ,the aa man was brilliant ,he took us to a shed on the industrial estate ,which repaired starters and alternators.
we bedded down for the night and at 8.30 thay opened ,they checked the charging system which was putting out 12.5v not enough to charge the battery ,not the earth strap isi t i said ,dont want to tell you your job and all that but they do have problems these fiats with earthing.
No definatly the alternator they said ,so of they took it , checked it ,all was ok . ( at 30 k i had my suspicions that it cant be kaput yet)On it went they checked all the battery connections,and fuses ,still not charging,.NOT THE EARTH STRAP IS IT I SAID BECAUSE THE IT LOOKS GROTTY UNDER THERE .So they put an jump lead from the negative to the body ,and guess what bingo bongo ,we were charging at 14.2.Cleaned the strap and connection we were good to go ,final bill £60 , a result ,after a quick half hour charge we were on our way . The van had always been a bit lazy starting ,but now it was on the button . So all turned out well in the end we caught the later ferry at a cost ,and had a lovely week , hope this help someone regards gary
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What year?

Interesting... we had a lazy start the other day... What year is your camper? Where is the earth strap?

Thank you,
Our 1998 Fiat Royal 630 kept suffering from not starting when we first got it, and indeed it happen 7 times en-route to Spain that year (brand new m/h).

It was jumped more times than a randy rabbit on route then when we arrived at Cap Blanch in Altea we had a friendly mechanic look at it.

The problem was that the earth strap was split into 2 parts on the early Swift models at the sump bolt and it was that that was causing the problem, a quick removal of the sump bolt, a good clean up and then replaced with a spring washer and tightened up it was never a problem again for 8 years and 90,000 miles.
Guess what we're all doing this weekend.


Guess what we're all doing this weekend.
Dunno about you Kev but I'm going to check my earth strap :lol: :lol: :lol:
Hi All

Just read ''New Motorhome 13 months on Not defect free'' in Motorhome chit chat.

It was first time out 60 miles on the clock

Best Regards
hi all my vans an o3 ,the earth strap is on the right hand side ,passenger side and if you lay down and glance underneath ,it goes from the gearbox to the body ,its got a bit of stainless on it ,remove the bolt ,itll be tight ,and clean it till it shines ,both ends , it certainly sorted out my stating problems , my van used to be flat after two weeks ,im on my 4th now and still starting ok .So get that socket set out :) , regards gary
Just had a quick look at mine (05 model)
Found the connection to the gearbox but the other end disappears into a wiring loom covered in plastic tubing. Can't find the connection to the bodywork ?????
hi trev could be the other side ,itll be a braded strap about 1" wide , we moved mine , as the bolt sheered ,as long as you get a good connection each end , should be ok , ill get a pic and post tomo , see if that helps you gary
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