alternator problem? ford mondeo

Hello,
Last night I got into my car and it started without problems and I drove for almost three miles and then all the lights went out,
including all of the dashboard and the engine stopped.
I tried to restart the car but just got that clicking sound you get when the battery is too low. I put my hazard lights on but they only flashed for a few minutes before stopping.
The display briefly came back to life and said "engine malfunction" and then "low battery". It was very late so the tow truck recovered me home. He said it sounds like an alternator problem, that it is not charging the battery.
I tried to download torque light but could not get it to read any codes. Is there another app I could try?
I will try and get it to a garage tomorrow. I had a quick look but the alternator seems to be buried in the engine, so difficult for me to get to.
Just wondering if there is anything Ic could do to DIY diagnose or fix it before taking it to a garage or if this situation sounds familiar and you can tell me what it may be.
Thanks, Stephen.
PS 60 plate 2 litre diesel Mondeo if that makes a difference
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On 11/09/2019 07:25, Stephen wrote:

First check that the belt is on the alternator.
Some just have spring loaded tensioner pulley, others one of the accessories pivots and some you just have to stretch the belt (guy that does my welding says that's lots of fun - not).
Many FWD cars it's easier to get to the alternator from under the car. Usually have to remove the offside front wheel and a plastic dirt shield. Proper chassis/axle stand required.
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On 11/09/2019 08:03, Peter Hill wrote:

Wouldn't the dash battery light come on if that was the case?
I'd guess the battery - my 2007 Audi behaved similarly, and a new battery fixed it.
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On 11/09/2019 16:14, RJH wrote:

That depends on the failure. I had brushes fail and the light not come on with battery voltage becoming sufficiently low for the ECU to stop working.
I should have taken more note when the radio turned itself off!
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On 11/09/2019 19:31, Fredxx wrote:

Some cars let the ecu decide if it is charging and if the light should be on or off eg: 2005 astra: light on and no sign of a charge, so i replaced the alternator, charging as it should, but light still on, battery tested as ok. I asked the owner to drive it and see (lent him my jump pack, just in case) 2 days later he phoned to say the light was now going out just as it should (and he has since returned my jump-pack!!)
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On 11/09/2019 20:05, MrCheerful wrote:

Many cars have "n" start fault memory. If the fault goes away and doesn't return after "n" starts it is cleared. For some cars "n" can be as high as 50, so could take 25 days to clear (assuming one trip there and back each day).
When you find a mechanic that goes that extra bit to look after you, you are going to make sure he stays on your side.
Just watch out for all his mates coming round for a "lend" of your stuff.
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On 12/09/2019 08:48, Peter Hill wrote:

ah, so that is how it works, so I wonder if I had 'cleared codes' on the ecu the light would have gone out? Too late to find out on that one, but I will try it if I ever come up against it again. thanks.
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On 11/09/2019 16:14, RJH wrote:

The last time I had a battery fail I was driving the night before in winter with lights on and nothing appeared to be wrong - no warning lights etc. The next morning the car failed to start with just a click from the starter motor. The battery also failed to charge using a mains charger. The battery did fail on what was possibly the first VERY cold night after a prolonged mild period of weather.
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Yes - but in the OP's case, the engine etc stopped working on the move. Which will happen after time with a perfect battery, if the alternator's not charging.
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On 11/09/2019 07:25, Stephen wrote:

First check would be battery condition and state of charge, a 60 plate probably still has the original battery. Once you can get it started you can find if it is charging. As the other poster: check the belt is there, check it is all spinning, bottom pulley sometimes break, alternator will have a one way clutch and I am seeing more and more of those failing, or the alternator may just have died. Reading the codes is very unlikely to help.
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On 11/09/2019 08:20, MrCheerful wrote:

Probably fair to suggest that if OP didn't start with a DVM on the battery, it's beyond their DIY capabilities.
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On 11/09/2019 13:59, newshound wrote:

I agree with you, BUT, in my experience, other people may have the same query and either the OP or some other person googling for a similar fault, may benefit from a brief run through of basic fault finding for a similar problem.
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On 11/09/2019 14:06, MrCheerful wrote:

Oh yes I agree completely. My point really was that thinking about starting with codes was attacking the problem from the wrong end.
Is the battery completely flat? Give it some charge and try again. Does the voltage come up with the engine running? Alternator *probably* OK. If not, check for missing alternator belt, but can you even see that in some modern cars? Or spot it with any certainty given that there may be aircon and power steering belts.
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Charge the battery then start the engine. Measure the volts across the battery with a DVM. Should be something like 14 volts if the alternator is working. Around 12v if it's not.
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