ALCO ATC red flashing light

Jun 9, 2024
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caravan is two years old the dealer/service manager says nothing wrong with the caravan its the fault of the cars 12v battery (it is a 7month old mercedes)
they tell me that it is a common fault
has anyone heard of this ?
 

JRT

May 5, 2024
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caravan is two years old the dealer/service manager says nothing wrong with the caravan its the fault of the cars 12v battery (it is a 7month old mercedes)
they tell me that it is a common fault
has anyone heard of this ?

Only ever heard of it indicating a fault with the ATC system.

Faulty vehicle battery is a new one on me, but others may have heard of it.
 
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JRT

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From the manual.
 

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JRT

May 5, 2024
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I doubt if it is the car even if it does have a Smart alternator.

Ditto, I suspect the dealer in question is trying to avoid having to fix it. I can't see how the car would create the fault status with the ATC.

But if someone knows how it could I would be very interested.
 
Mar 3, 2022
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On the rare occasion our van stands idle for a month or more it very often shows a red light on the ALKO and no sound of it initiating when 1st plugged into the car.
Start the car and let it run for 30 seconds or so and you then hear it kick into life and the light goes green.
 

JRT

May 5, 2024
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On the rare occasion our van stands idle for a month or more it very often shows a red light on the ALKO and no sound of it initiating when 1st plugged into the car.
Start the car and let it run for 30 seconds or so and you then hear it kick into life and the light goes green.

A steady light like that is very common. A flashing red light normally signals an error that requires the push rod to be disconnected before towing.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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I have it every now and again, especially when I connect the 13 pin socket before disengaging the caravan handbrake.
Remove plug and reconnect. Normally sorts it out.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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Flashing red is a problem and needs resolution before driving too far.
Here’s the official ATC Hand book .See page 4.

It makes no difference hitching up engine on or off. The ATC uses a permanent live feed.

When you plug in do you hear the ATC going through its start up cycle?
Spray the car plug and caravan socket13 pins with electrical contact spray and let it dry for 10 minutes. Reconnect. The flashing red shouldn’t actually apply the brakes but you will soon know!
Hopefully it’s just a connection issue.





Sent from my iPad
 
Jul 18, 2017
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A word of warning. If using WD40 make sure that it does not come in contact with any plastics i.e. the plug. The plug has a tendency to go brittle and crumble once it has been in contact with WD40. Don't ask me how I know.
 
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WD40 is NOT meant to be used as an electrical cleaning agent. There are specific products for that
WD40 is primarily a lubricant.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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WD40 do many products under the WD40 name some are ok for plastics, I think you are referring to the original WD40
I guess it is up to the individual to take the chance and use it near plastics when lubricating the plug or anything else where plastic is close by.
 
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I guess it is up to the individual to take the chance and use it near plastics when lubricating the plug or anything else where plastic is close by.
WD40 do silicone sprays and other ones, so it shouldn’t be a case of taking a chance, if the right WD40 product is used then there shouldn’t be an issue
 
Jul 18, 2017
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WD40 do silicone sprays and other ones, so it shouldn’t be a case of taking a chance, if the right WD40 product is used then there shouldn’t be an issue
That is true, but many people do not realise there are differences which is why I posted a warning.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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The flashing red light indicates the actuator is not being controlled and could be in a position where the caravan brakes are on to some unknown degree.
Like this it is way too risky to tow the van as even a slightly applied brake will quickly burn out. So, I am afraid it's a trip under the van for somebody to mechanically uncouple the push rod on the ATC.

As already suggested the easiest way is to plug your van into another car. Instantly from what happens then you will know if the van or your car has an issue.
Surely the dealer has a vehicle where they have the towing wiring right?
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Electrical Contact spray cleans and etches the contact surfaces leaving them absolutely clean and hopefully ready to make a good circuit. WD40 is not a cleaner nor etcher
 
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The flashing red light indicates the actuator is not being controlled and could be in a position where the caravan brakes are on to some unknown degree.
Like this it is way too risky to tow the van as even a slightly applied brake will quickly burn out. So, I am afraid it's a trip under the van for somebody to mechanically uncouple the push rod on the ATC.

As already suggested the easiest way is to plug your van into another car. Instantly from what happens then you will know if the van or your car has an issue.
Surely the dealer has a vehicle where they have the towing wiring right?
Would you let someone use your car to test a suspected electrical fault? I would be very wary as modern car electronics can be fussy.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Would you let someone use your car to test a suspected electrical fault? I would be very wary as modern car electronics can be fussy.
Yes, other than it would be me using it. At the worse it will cost me one or more of the spare blade fuses from my in car stock. Though even that is most unlikely if the unit has a history of working over the last two years.

But long before I bother to move my vehicle I would check his rear socket has positive 12 v on pin 9 relative to its earth pin 13, with a muti meter, again kit carried on board. That I must have used sorting way more other peoples problems out than my own.

Also in the kit is my car recharging adaptor, a plug wired to the appropriate pins, so even fathoming out which to stick the meter's probes on is side stepped.

All said, on info given I sense he is being fobbed off by the dealer, far from something unknown.
 
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