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Battery life
#1
Just wondered what your experience was of battery life/quality on a Mk3 (Mine's an Enterprise Van).

I bought mine new during last Summer. Unfortunately I was seriously ill right after Christmas and after I got out of hospital, was unable to work or use the van. My other half started it every week or so for 5 mins, thinking that would protect the battery etc.

One day, it wouldn't turn over, so she called the RAC who said the battery was flat. They got it going & tested the battery, saying it was ok rather than brilliant.

About a week later, it wouldn't go again, so I bought an electronic battery charger (Ring Automotive RSC508 12V Smart Charger you can use while battery left connected) and left it running overnight.

The following day, the charger said the battery ought to be replaced as it now only had 60% capacity due to sulphation!

It starts ok when I try it every few days, but I've also noticed the little green indicator on the battery top is no longer green! So, I suspect the battery is past it's best. My other half took it on a 200 mile run, but still no green indicator.

I reckon, the alarm has been constantly draining the battery (ultrasonic sensors etc?) and what with the cold weather and lack of use, it has become damaged.

I checked my Citroen warranty and the battery isn't covered, though if I'm totally honest, the problem is likely down to lack of use, but.....

Should the battery be damaged after only a few weeks of this lack of regular use and being left partially drained?
Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement…
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#2
You might get away with a conditioning charge; trouble is you either need a friendly garage who'll bung your battery on the big charger for a weekend as a favour, plus you need a spare car - or it becomes a simple decision of expedience/convenience.

The most basic rule of thumb for wet plate batteries, is that when they're bulging, they're wholly dead.
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#3
I would have thought the battery manufacturer would guarantee it. 3yrs or 5yrs, it should say so on the battery. So worth an email to manufacturer.
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#4
(22-03-2013, 11:50 AM)Argos69 Wrote:  Just wondered what your experience was of battery life/quality on a Mk3 (Mine's an Enterprise Van).

I bought mine new during last Summer. .................. the RAC who said the battery was flat. They got it going & tested the battery, saying it was ok rather than brilliant.

....................the charger said the battery ought to be replaced as it now only had 60% capacity due to sulphation!

Sounds like a bad battery.
Citroen may not guarantee it, however that does not affect your rights 'the Sales of Goods Act'.
Contact whoever sold you the battery (they are responsible, not the manufacturer) and demand a replacement due to 'reasonable time/not fit for purpose'. If you get no joy, contact Trading Standards or instigate a small claim in your local county court (you will need to prove the battery is faulty but all reasonable costs incurred will be awarded to you if you win).
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#5
Quote Argos 69: "...My other half started it every week or so for 5 mins, thinking that would protect the battery etc...."
That was the problem....running the engine for five minutes at tick-over does not restore the battery to a fully charged state
in fact it probably won't even replenish the energy used in starting the engine.
A lot of people suffer this syndrome with modern vehicles with electronic systems. They do a couple of trips to the shops once a week
and gradually deplete the charge of the battery until while the cold engine is being cranked there is insufficient voltage for the
ECU and the car won't start.
The Older I get the Better I Was!  Cool
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Ol'Jeffers for this post:
  • ron
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#6
You're not wrong there OJ.:thumbsup:
Strawberry flavoured windows  Dodgy
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#7
(22-03-2013, 06:14 PM)OlJeffers Wrote:  Quote Argos 69: "...My other half started it every week or so for 5 mins, thinking that would protect the battery etc...."
That was the problem....running the engine for five minutes at tick-over does not restore the battery to a fully charged state
in fact it probably won't even replenish the energy used in starting the engine.
A lot of people suffer this syndrome with modern vehicles with electronic systems. They do a couple of trips to the shops once a week
and gradually deplete the charge of the battery until while the cold engine is being cranked there is insufficient voltage for the
ECU and the car won't start.

Indeed, I have had quite a few batteries donated to me over the years that I have gone on to use for some considerable time in my own vehicles.... in fact over the last forty years I have only ever bought two new batteries.. mostly due to the " generosity " of others :whistle:
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#8
Thanks for your help & opinions folks.

I'm still not really well enough to give my dealership any kind of "seeing to" to try to get the battery under warranty. That's going to be a while off yet. To be honest, after reading lots about car batteries on the net, I reckon it's died to due my circumstances and lack of use. As I can pick up a new one for under £50 and fit it myself, I don't think it's worth the hassle of fighting a battle I'll probably lose anyway.

I can then play about with the old one, trying out some of the "recovery ideas" I've been reading - just for entertainment! Confusedtudy:

Anyway, I've learned a lot & kept myself amused:-
1. What not to do to keep a battery alive (leave it almost flat for 2 months+)
2. How to get the stupid battery cover off (disconnect +, remove red fuseholder then lift & pull!)
3. How to disconnect battery without having to reset van electrics (connect small 12v lead acid battery with croc clips to main battery cables before disconnecting van battery!)
4. That I'll buy a non-sealed battery, just to keep my recovery options open from now on! :thumbsup:

Thanks again to all who pitched in. :wave:
Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement…
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#9
One of the new 'Glass mat' batteries which are sealed are just as easy to
recover as the old type. If you were to invest in an Optimate
type 'Smart' charger you would find that even a neglected flat battery
can be brought back to life after a few days connected to one of these.
The worst thing you can do with a neglected flat battery is to
jump start from another vehicle and then use the alternator of the car to
restore the charge.
The Older I get the Better I Was!  Cool
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