Battery Problems

Silverstar
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Battery Problems

Post by Silverstar » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:05 pm

Since March 14 Spain has been in total lockdown which means I haven't been able to use the car daily like I normally would. I parked the car up on Saturday March 14th after a brief drive, I next started the car 5 days later to go to the supermarket, when I started the car it came up with an error message saying something the battery being low. Anyway it started and drove fine and after a 10 to 20Km drive I parked the car up again. Today after another 5 days I thought I'd better start the car again and now I am getting the message 'increased battery discharge'.

The only thing I can think of is the dash cam which I fitted a few months ago, but I set that to switch off the circuit once the battery gets to 12V and I noticed that after the car not being used for two or three days the camera does switch off. When I installed the dash cam I checked the voltage with the car switched off and it was around 12.44V. Today after getting the increased battery discharge message I checked the voltage with the car turned off and its showing 11.67V, after starting the car is shows 14.5V. The battery was changed by the previous owner in Jan 2018, he had the worked done by a independent garage, on the invoice it says 'Reset battery settings and monitor after fitting new battery' so I assume that means they coded the battery to the car?

I have today disconnected the power to the dash cam completely but what else could be causing this? surely this battery (Varta) should last more than 2 years? Or is there some other problem?
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Smartbear
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Battery Problems

Post by Smartbear » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:35 pm

Silverstar wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:05 pm
Since March 14 Spain has been in total lockdown which means I haven't been able to use the car daily like I normally would. I parked the car up on Saturday March 14th after a brief drive, I next started the car 5 days later to go to the supermarket, when I started the car it came up with an error message saying something the battery being low. Anyway it started and drove fine and after a 10 to 20Km drive I parked the car up again. Today after another 5 days I thought I'd better start the car again and now I am getting the message 'increased battery discharge'.

The only thing I can think of is the dash cam which I fitted a few months ago, but I set that to switch off the circuit once the battery gets to 12V and I noticed that after the car not being used for two or three days the camera does switch off. When I installed the dash cam I checked the voltage with the car switched off and it was around 12.44V. Today after getting the increased battery discharge message I checked the voltage with the car turned off and its showing 11.67V, after starting the car is shows 14.5V. The battery was changed by the previous owner in Jan 2018, he had the worked done by a independent garage, on the invoice it says 'Reset battery settings and monitor after fitting new battery' so I assume that means they coded the battery to the car?

I have today disconnected the power to the dash cam completely but what else could be causing this? surely this battery (Varta) should last more than 2 years? Or is there some other problem?

It depends on the treatment it’s had in those 2 years, if it’s been left for extended periods without being connected to a battery charger it’s going to discharge, once it’s gone below a certain level it’s never going to be 100% again.
Unfortunately these cars don’t seem to tolerate below par batteries very well :oops:
Rob
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Silverstar
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Battery Problems

Post by Silverstar » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:44 pm

Well in Jan 2018 the car had done 31,000 miles and when I bought it in May 2019 it had done under 33,000 miles and I don't think the last owner had the car in a garage and hence probably wasn't kept charged. I park the car in a communal garage but there is no possibility to keep a charger since there are no power points there. I do have an old fashion slow charger, should I remove the battery from the car and charge it overnight? or is there not much point in doing that since the car is only being used around once a week at the moment during this lockdown. Or am I going to need a new battery? or should I just leave the negative terminal disconnected?
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Battery Problems

Post by Smartbear » Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:11 pm

Silverstar wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:44 pm
Well in Jan 2018 the car had done 31,000 miles and when I bought it in May 2019 it had done under 33,000 miles and I don't think the last owner had the car in a garage and hence probably wasn't kept charged. I park the car in a communal garage but there is no possibility to keep a charger since there are no power points there. I do have an old fashion slow charger, should I remove the battery from the car and charge it overnight? or is there not much point in doing that since the car is only being used around once a week at the moment during this lockdown. Or am I going to need a new battery? or should I just leave the negative terminal disconnected?
Before buying a new battery you can get it load tested, how about turning the dash cam off & monitoring the voltage for a week or so?
If it won’t stay over 12.5v for a week I’d hazard a guess that it’s goosed :(
Rob
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Battery Problems

Post by Silverstar » Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:16 pm

I have today disconnected the dash cam, right now the voltage is showing 11.67v so I don't think it will get to 12.5v without being charged up or taking the car for a long run which right now isn't an option. Maybe I could remove the battery charge it overnight put it back in the car and then monitor it? Even before a few months ago when I fitted the dash cam the voltage with the car switched off was around 12.44v I've never really seen it above 12.5v, should it be above that?
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Battery Problems

Post by Pbondar » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:06 pm

Those devices that steadily suck a small constant current without attendant recharge are a killer for these types of batteries.. :thumbsdown:
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Silverstar
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Battery Problems

Post by Silverstar » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:11 pm

Pbondar wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:06 pm
Those devices that steadily suck a small constant current without attendant recharge are a killer for these types of batteries.. :thumbsdown:
Mmmm..... I guess I should have unplugged the dash cam the first day the car was parked up. I don't recall having this problem previously when I had to leave the car unused for a few days and I didn't have the dash cam.
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Battery Problems

Post by Smartbear » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:19 pm

Silverstar wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:16 pm
I have today disconnected the dash cam, right now the voltage is showing 11.67v so I don't think it will get to 12.5v without being charged up or taking the car for a long run which right now isn't an option. Maybe I could remove the battery charge it overnight put it back in the car and then monitor it? Even before a few months ago when I fitted the dash cam the voltage with the car switched off was around 12.44v I've never really seen it above 12.5v, should it be above that?
A fully charged battery should be approx 12.7v
Rob
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e89 Sdrive 30i, this ones busted, pass me another...
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Battery Problems

Post by Silverstar » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:26 pm

I guess this battery has seen better days then. Perhaps I should remove it from the car and stick it on my old prehistoric slow charger and then see what it does without the dash cam connected.
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Battery Problems

Post by Smartbear » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:57 pm

Silverstar wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:26 pm
I guess this battery has seen better days then. Perhaps I should remove it from the car and stick it on my old prehistoric slow charger and then see what it does without the dash cam connected.
Invest in a smart charger as they can de sulphate batteries, giving them a longer life. They can also be switched on & left.
Rob
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e89 Sdrive 30i, this ones busted, pass me another...
e85 3.0si sold

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Battery Problems

Post by Silverstar » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:00 pm

Smartbear wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:57 pm
Silverstar wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:26 pm
I guess this battery has seen better days then. Perhaps I should remove it from the car and stick it on my old prehistoric slow charger and then see what it does without the dash cam connected.
Invest in a smart charger as they can de sulphate batteries, giving them a longer life. They can also be switched on & left.
Rob
But the problem is that there aren't any power points in the communal garage, so I can't plug a charger in. If I want to charge the battery I have to remove it from the car and charge it at home which obviously I can't do all the time.
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Battery Problems

Post by trucker99 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:14 am

Hi Silverstar you helped me with my dash cam as I fitted the same make and hardwire kit which you suggested. I’ve been having problems with my battery as well due to not driving the car. I disconnected the power from the camera and thought this would help. No difference at all. I use a ctek charger and it kept saying fault battery to low to charge. Took the car out for a drive 2hrs. Left it in the garage camera connected and ctek connected and no problems yet. Don’t know how you will get round it with no power supply. Hope this helps abit. Keep safe in these difficult times
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Battery Problems

Post by Pbondar » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:17 am

Different ‘intelligent’ chargers have different algorithms to determine whether the battery can be charged/what cycle strategy for how long etc

Bootstrapping the charger by using an alternative charger may work..I’ve done this before successfully...

However it’s very well documented how a healthy battery is critical to a host of microprocessor based systems non the E89s.. :tumbleweed:

So I would humbly suggest that once it’s been to the bottom you seriously consider a new battery :thumbsup:
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Battery Problems

Post by flybobbie » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:32 am

Batteries are a pain. As soon as you have electrical problems, just go get a new battery, certainly if it is some years old.
We acquired an aircraft with a 18 month old battery, but hadn't been used for several months.
It would crank two or three times, then flat. So charged it and checked about 12.5volts off load.
Again after a few cranks flat. So on charge i noticed one cell wasn't bubbling.

So new battery it was.

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Battery Problems

Post by Silverstar » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:41 am

Thanks for the info trucker99 with regards to disconnecting the cam and not making any difference. Since this battery was struggling to get past 12.44v even when I was using the car regularly makes me believe that I would be better off changing it.

Looking online I found a couple of sites in Spain selling Varta AGM 70Ah for about 115€ so I could get the battery but the two issues are a) somehow I going to have to register it to the car and no workshops are open here right now, I have Carista but not sure that can do it and b) since I am only using the car once a week and for only a short drive at the moment will that discharge the new battery as well and I will back to square one?

Or would I be better off charging this old battery for now and wait until this lockdown is over to replace it?
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