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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
first post, but did a fair amount of background reading before posting. I'd like to make it known that I have a really very basic knowledge of cars (would like to get this sorted at some point). I've got a J-reg 218 SLD Turbo with about 114k on the clock, one previous owner, hasn't been used much since 2003. I've had it since the beginning of this year. I had the clutch cable replaced recently but that's all the work I've had done on it.

Recently, there have been two problems. Firstly, my fuel economy has drastically been reduced - whereas I used to be able to get 500+ miles out of tank, these days I'm lucky if I get 400. Any ideas what I should check?

Secondly, my battery light continually flickers and the tachometer hits 0. Occasionally, it seems to "catch" and the light goes out and the tachometer works as normal. At first I thought it may have been the alternator drive belt, but do you think it's more likely to be the alternator itself? (I rang a garage, they reckoned it would be at least £330 to replace the alternator... bit steep I thought...). Also, how long do you think I can drive the car with a faulty alternator? I've only driven it for one short journey since this problem started.

Finally, are there any 218 SLD Turbo "niggles" that I should have checked out? I'm pretty poor but I'd rather sort potential problems out now instead of waiting for something to go really wrong.

Appreciate it.
 

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Alternator or alternator wiring need checking out. Make sure that all the connections are sound and tight. The alternator drives the tachometer so a fault with the wiring or the alternator would cause both of these faults.
An reconditioned alternator should be 40-70quid, then an hour of labour to fit typically.

Also check the intercooler hoses as if they spit you'll lose boost pressure and so lose power. you'll also get a nice oily engine bay. This can cause excess fuel consumption too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply, it's good to have a guide price. Also, the car seems rather sluggish - maybe I'm just used to petrol engines? When is the turbo supposed to "kick in"?
 

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Usually about 2000rpm or there abouts. If it isn't then check the intercooler hoses for splits (which let out the boost pressure giving poor turbo performance!). Also the fuel pump can be tweaked to give better performance if necessary.
 

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Yup, sounds like a split boost hose somewhere to me.

Also...an alternator would be around £80ish, 30 mins to fit, easy as.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys, I'll let my mechanically-minded friend know about this stuff. Maybe he can help explain just what the hell is going on underneath the hood.

Is it obvious when the turbo kicks in?
 
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