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Locked out and deadlocked overnight.

Cryllic94

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First off I was coming home the other day and the ABS, Trac Off and Battery light were coming on and off intermittently. I thought nothing of it (as it has been raining heavily) so locked the car for the night.

Next morning I couldn't open my car with the key button so decided to manually unlock but if I try to turn the key any harder it will bend and break. The manual lock refuses to turn at all and it is the only keyhole on the entire car. (drivers door)

So I think the battery is dead and maybe due to a wiring short because of the heavy rain. I read elsewhere on this forum that a flat key battery won't cause a deadlock like I have - I should still be able to use the key manually so have ruled the tiny key battery being at fault.

I will get the RACQ out to get into the car - I imagine they will have to put charge to the car via the alternator so I can gain access but from there I need to find where water is fouling any connections. It may not be water but surely there are some common water leakage faults and places to look for the VX.

This has never happened before - the car has started every time for the last year. I have however had water leaks fixed last year, several in the boot and rear drivers side door. So some pointers where to look for wet connections would be a start I guess. Thanks.
 

accentstencil

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I would say the alternator is a good place to start. Those warning lights usually indicate a voltage regulator problem. Check all the wires and connectors at the alternator and battery.
You should still be able to unlock the door manually by "forcefully turning the key clockwise", this is a quote from the manual.
 

Cryllic94

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Finally got in manually and the battery was fried - literally. Got battery world to replace at home and test - alternator is charging at 19 volts and you could smell the new battery boiling so we shut it down fast. So the same warning lights were on the dash and to my understanding when I drove the mile or so with the warning lights on home, that 1 mile was enough to fry the old battery due to the overcharge. So now I will have to get a mobile electrician out - I dare not drive this new battery anywhere no matter how short a distance.

Does anyone know what would cause this behaviour? To me it sounds like some kind of relay/capacitor gone bad but don't know much about this. Will post again with what the problem is for others to read.
 

sleepa

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I'd start with the alternator and work back from it, wouldn't be a hard job for an auto elec.

BTW If you do need to drive it somewhere for a short trip, just start it up then disconnect the battery ASAP.
But don't hold me responsible for any other voltage related damage that could potentially be caused.
 

accentstencil

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As I said in my first reply, the voltage regulator is usually the problem. Now that it is confirmed, replace it. A very easy and inexpensive job.
 

Cryllic94

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Firstly a big thanks to accent and sleepa for the advice - much appreciated.

Update - I ended up replacing the alternator - the reason I didn't just replace the regulator was no auto elec I rang would do that without skimming the commentator first which made sense. In any case the reg would have cost $75 and I got a 5 year warranty alternator for $180 and doing the job myself saved me around $250+. Auto elec was going to charge $300 for the alt, $66 call out fee + $100 for an hours work.
 

accentstencil

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Glad you got it sorted. The auto electrician was a bit ambitious with those prices. replacing the alternator should only take about 15 mins on a V6 for someone who does it for a living.
 
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