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Robert
Robert, Vauxhall Technician
Category: Vauxhall
Satisfied Customers: 4666
Experience:  Fully qualified 19+yrs exp/self employed technician in the UK
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I have a 2012 Vauxhall Insignia Ecoflex CDTi. All serviced,

Resolved Question:

I have a 2012 Vauxhall Insignia Ecoflex CDTi. All serviced, last one in June 2015. Today it starts fine but the steering seems to be broken, it's rock solid and after a few moments a warning light with a spanner comes on saying 'service battery charging system', the car stays on. I don't have anything plugged in and it's never had any problems before.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vauxhall
Expert:  Robert replied 2 years ago.
Hi..there..

How do you mean rock solid? the steering doesnt turn and fixed in one position "steering lock on" or has become stiff to turn?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

lock is not on, it's just extremely stiff, I can hardly move it.

Expert:  Robert replied 2 years ago.
Hi..there..

Ok..these cars can have to types of steering one hydraulic with fluid using a hydraulic lines and power steering pump run via the auxiallary belt - the other is electronic power steering which is essentially a motor driven power steering rack...the battery service message is clue - in that you either have an issue with that battery on the car or the alternators is about to give up.either way id say the first intial check here is to ensure the auxiallary belt down the left hand side of the engine is still intact and tight - if its has snapped or become loose then thats likely the cause..and you need toget access to see why the belt gone like that whether it be tensioner failure or one of the pulleys has come away..If everything seems to be in roder as far as you can tell and the belt still feels tight..then the next step from there is to get the battery tested/load tested and the a test done on the alternators performance and voltage output..sometimes when the alternator or battery is showing signs of failure..normally the knock on effect will be the steering system if its a motor driven electronic rack.as these need a constant 12v interupted supply to be able to perform properly..so if the alternator isnt putting out or failing then rack will simply go or revert to unassisted steering..so as above those will need to be first checks you'll need to get done..and im pretty sure if you dont have the equipment yourself then any good well equiped mobile tech should have or your local garage to come out to it if you dont want to drive it...they will also be able to check or confirm by diagnostic testing to see what the live data is showing on the charging system/steering system module or fault codes...I do hope this helps
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Cheers. I've taken a look and there is a belt which is undamaged on the left which has become loose, looks like it's supposed to go around a number of wheels. Is this something that is relatively easy to fix, wondering if I'll need it taken to a garage or if a mobile mechanic will be able to fix it.
Expert:  Robert replied 2 years ago.
Hi..there..

If the belts loose/slack as far you can tell - then that will be your problem right there...Its likely one of pulleys has failed and thus allowed the belt to become slack.and that why you had no charging system and that message flag up - so id say from there..is to get the airbox out from that side - the top engine cover off..get a torch and see whats actually come away or loose even..ideally id be checking the alternator itself first and see if the pulley has come off that.that can be quite common..if it has then its likely you need another alternator..if thats ok and you can spin the pulley by hand ok and no play or movement from it..then you need to check the rest of them..ideally Id say the best advice would be to find a decent local reputable mobile mechanic to come check this out for you..i wouldnt try driving the car as you wont get very far if there is no charging system to keep the battery from going flat...the mobile mechanic or local garage come out to it..they should have a schematic of the belt routing and what that belt runs to inspect what pulley is at fault or lost even..I do hope this helps further
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