audi alternator fault problems

Audi “Alternator Fault Battery Not Charging” [Causes & Fix]

As a professional Automotive Technician and an Audi owner, one of the most common error messages is “Audi Alternator Fault Battery Not Charging” Meaning.

This warning is usually triggered when the alternator stops working or malfunctions due to electrical issues or other potential causes I am going to list below.

I have had several Audi owners come to my workshop with this warning on their cars, and I can say that it is one of the most common issues with Audis.

If you are an Audi owner and have just received this message on your dashboard, then don’t worry; we will fix it together. In this article, we will discuss what causes this issue and how to fix it.

“Alternator Fault Battery Not Charging” Meaning on an Audi

Usually, when this warning comes on the car, it means that the alternator is not charging the battery properly.

The Alternator is responsible for keeping the battery charged, so if it fails to do so, then you will get this message on your dashboard.

In order for an Alternator to function properly, the pully needs to be turned by a drive belt (Serpentine belt) that is connected to the engine.

If this belt breaks or becomes loose, then your car will not be able to provide power to the Alternator, which in turn cannot charge the battery.

Now, let’s look at the common causes of the Alternator fault on your Audi.

Audi “Alternator Fault Battery Not Charging” Causes

Damaged Serpentine belt:

If your Serpentine belt is damaged, then it will not be able to turn the Alternator’s pulley. This can happen if the belt breaks, or if it becomes loose and starts slipping on its pulley.

This is one of the most common causes of the fault, I advise you to open the hood and check if the drive belt is not loose or worn out.

Bad Alternator:

If the Alternator is bad, then it will not be able to provide power to the battery.

This means that your car will not start, and this is one of the most common causes for “Alternator Fault Battery Not Charging” on an Audi since these Alternators do go bad over time as part of wear and tear (especially high mileage Audis).

Bad Battery:

If your battery is not holding a charge, then it will not be able to start the engine.

The Alternator provides power to the battery so that it can charge up and provide more electrical current for the car’s electrical systems, unfortunately, batteries do need to be changed over time.

The average life of a battery is around 3-5 years, but this can vary depending on the type of battery and how often it is used.

A quick way to tell your Audi battery is bad is to take your car out for a spin, and then try starting it again.

If it does not start, then there is a good chance that the battery has gone bad another way is to look at how bright the interior and headlights get when you turn the lights on.

If they do not get bright, then there is a good chance that your battery has gone bad.

Related Post: Start/Stop System Fault on an Audi

Faulty Alternator Voltage Regulator:

If you have a voltage regulator that is faulty, then your battery may not be able to charge properly. The alternator is responsible for taking the energy from the engine and turning it into electricity, which can then be stored in your Audi battery.

If the voltage regulator becomes faulty then it won’t be able to properly regulate the voltage that is coming from your engine and triggers the error code.

Failing Alternator Brushes:

On high-mileage Audis, this is a semi-common problem. The brushes are what help to generate electricity by moving back and forth in a magnetic field.

If they become worn out, then they won’t be able to properly generate power for your Audi battery.

Can You Drive with Alternator Fault Battery Not Charging?

The answer is no, the reason for this is if your battery is not charging, it will eventually run out of power and you won’t be able to start your car.

So depending on where you are, I recommend towing the vehicle if you get this message to the shop as soon as possible.

If you have a tow truck nearby and need to be able to get home, then I recommend going to an auto parts store and buying a battery tender that plugs into your cigarette lighter. This will keep the battery charged while you drive home.

Related: Audi S5 4.2 Common Issues

How Much Does it Cost to Fix This?

Depending on the main cause for the Alternator fault on your Audi, fortunately, I have personally experienced this and also had people coming to my workshop with this issue, here is what to expect

  1. If it is caused by a Worn drive belt then you can expect to pay $10 for parts and $75-100 for labor
  2. If it is caused by an Alternator then you can expect to pay anywhere between $180-400 for parts and $75-200 for labor
  3. If the issue is only the battery then you can simply remove it and install a new one for $50-250

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