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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm desperate for advice.... am female - no, don't get excited, nearly 60!... and still need 1999 Rover 214 to get me to work, which is 60 mile round trip daily. Work for a charity, so don't have much cash.. and am constantly being ripped off for jobs that I need to spend hundreds more on and/or completing myself... Does it make sense so far?

The car suddenly started emptying it's battery at odd intervals and mechanics haven't been able to find the fault. However, all tried replacing battery (anyone want an almost new battery - have got a spare?), which hasn't solved the problem. Took it to an electrical mechanic who cleaned out all the gubbins, but it still didn't resolve anything.. and he's now saying it needs a new ECU (not a repair job, as they're not reliable), which will give the engine new memory or something (I'm completely in the dark and getting suspicious..). He says if I don't put in a new one, I'm going to keep having the same battery drainage problem.

One garage offered to buy it from me for £700, which was very tempting ... but would prefer to soldier on with this than go into heavy debt with another 2nd-hand car (better the devil you know that the devil you don't know).

Please please let me know whether the ECU thing is what I need to get - he says it'll cost around £250...?? Many thanks
ps can't remember if one of the rules to this forum say 'keep it short' or 'no gabbing' !! In which case, I've broken a rule first time round !! whoops
 

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other_manufacturer
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Right, first thing I would personally check is the boot wiring. There is a chance that the light in the boot is on all the time (might only drain the night after you have the boot open?) It could also be the wiring that comes into the boot through the rubber on the right hand side as you look at the boot. common for the wires to chaff and short out alsorts of things.

lets hope it is a quick and cheap fix, i'm sure other people will be along with suggestions shortly!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Rover 214 T reg - addendum...

Further to the previous ECU problem, I forgot to say the radio and clock display fizzled out about 18 months ago, too.
 

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The radio and clock display fizzling out could be anything - its not forced to be related to the draining battery. I would leave the ECU till the last thing, it sounds more like a short to me.

A common place is the boot loom (like whats been said). Open the boot and you'll see a black rubber tube at the top of the boot door frame at each side. Peel back the one on the drivers side and inspect the wires for any damage to the insulation on them. I had this problem and it caused strange goings on with my electrics!!

good luck with it...
 

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mg_zt_t
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Hey - I almost got excited there.. I have a few miles on my personal clock too...;)

From what you describe - I'd check the alternator is operating correctly.. Two successively drained new batteries would make an iffy alternator my prime suspect.

If you have a friend with a Multi-Meter, get them to check the charge across the two battery terminals with the engine running.

No such friend, go along to a garage you can trust or a reliable one recommended to you and ask for someone to do that alternator check for you - will take two seconds once the bonnet is up.

The multi-meter should read 14.00 volts or even a shade more whilst the engine is idling .... That means there's always more going into your battery than is being taken out. If it reads BELOW 12.00 volts with engine running, then if the battery is new and good, your alternator needs replacement. A good used one off a similar car in local breakers hereabouts is less than twenty quid ... remove it yourself - and refund if not a goer.

In my own experience, Rover and MG ECUs rarely give trouble unless someone has been careless or mucking about ...

Good luck and let us know how you get on.
 

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surberb advice above and I too would go for the alternator with one little addition is to get an ammeter with the ignition off and check for a current drain then I would be pulling fuses some multimeters go upto 10amps or scavenge an old army surplus 'tis wher mine was from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, but mechanics have checked boot light, present mechanic has stripped out everything and cleaned it all, put it back, but you can still hear something whirring inside when it's switched off - he reckons it's the memory for the motor which isn't switching off - the ECU... it's all Greek to me... thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK - I'll go for this - sounds like good sense to me. Have no friends - or friends with multi-meters anyway - so will be off to mechanic tomorrow with printout of your advice - will let you know how it goes... thanks a lot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You know! MEMORY - don't expect a technical answer from me... I don't know what they're called - it's the thing that tells the motor what to do or something... Memory! - that's what I need - the 'ECU' thing is all I remember the mechanic saying... No bulbs getting warm.. what's the ignition barrel when it's at home? I do remember mechanic saying when he switched off ignition, there was something still running... but I suppose that's not much help to you either - sorry!
 

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haha, dont know of any dealers that far away!

the ignition barrel is where you put your key in! :err: someone recently had a problem with it and it was getting warm to the touch.

can you see i'm clutching at straws here :(
 

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I would also be looking to see why the clock and radio isnt working. They are fed permanantly from the battery, suggesting a short circuit / damaged wiring
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re ignition barrel - ok - I'll check that out too, will pass on all your comments to my mechanic... Thanks for offer of multimeter, griffmonster, personally I wouldn't know what to do with it...! I'm sure mechanic would have one - wouldn't he?
Don't you boys ever go to bed?
 

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the same thing happend to my brother in laws rover.never did find out the problem,it been sat outside his house for 2 years now rotting away :(...he wont even sell me his alloys off it lol
 
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