Recently, on a longer trip, the battery light came on while I was driving, indicating the alternator was no longer charging the battery. The shop diagnosed a bad alternator and replaced it, which fixed the issue. The car had some 260,000 km on the clock at the time.
I had hardwired a battery charger, to which I hooked up the car almost constantly when not in use for the last winter (and the winter before) – this mostly due to previous experience with my previous car (same make, model and year), where the battery would go flat after a few days of sitting outside in cold, damp climate conditions.
The alternator in my old car lasted for over 360,000 km, until the car was lost in an accident. Now I am wondering if there’s a chance the external charger damaged the regulator or other electronics, or accelerated its wear. Could that be the case?
The car is a 2005 Audi A4 2.0 TFSI, if it matters.