Batteries/immobiliser - what is the problem

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by pinkie, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. pinkie

    pinkie Funster

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    Hi guys,

    Okay, for anyone who hasn't read my previous thread, I went to Holland to buy a Hymer Mercedes B555 1992. Drove it some distance Tilburg to Rotterdam, stayed in a hotel, the next day it wouldn't start.

    Dutch AA guy tested the batteries and they were both broken. I went to kwik fit and bought new batteries. It seemed to be okay, great as soon as it started, but had a problem a couple of times which seemed to be the immobiliser (stupid thing on the dashboard you have to connect with thing on key fob, before you put the key in).

    Okay, so new batteries were put in Saturday afternoon, got back to Harwich Tuesday night and finally back up to Scotland Thursday night. Lots of driving and okay to start.

    Friday/Sat no use of van. Tried to start it Sunday, I can't get it to start. It just does nothing. I have turned all the electrics off in the van, so is it the battery or the immobiliser thing that is the problem? There is clearly a problem.

    Also, I am going to go to Halfords today to buy a battery charger, is there a particular sort that I need to buy? Sorry for being dim but "I know nothing".......

    So, I'm away for the next week, as I've thankfully had great advice not to let it run down anymore and recharge before I go away, I can sort that out before I go, but I really need some advice as to what might be the problem.

    Thanks so much! :thumb:
     
  2. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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  3. lunarman

    lunarman Funster

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    Hi Pinkie,

    After all that driving and a new battery you should not expect the vehicle battery to be flat after standing 3 days.

    When you say it "does nothing" what do you mean? Do you get the ignition lights when the key is turned? Does the engine try to turn over or do you hear a clunk? Do the head lights come on?

    If the battery is flat it may be that it is not being charged when the engine is running which could point towards the alternator being faulty.

    Lunarman
     
  4. stcyr

    stcyr Funster

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    Albeit on a Citroen/Peugeot/Fiat 2.5td engine, a friend of ours with a Hymer had a problem starting: turn the key = absolutely nothing. I went out to rescue him (he'd stopped at a fuel station to fill up), clouted the starter with a hammer and it started fine. Next few starts all was ok. Then it did it again a week later. Dismantled the starter motor which was all crudded up inside, and cleaned it up. All good for a couple of weeks As he was going away he decided to change the starter motor. He's had no problems since.

    Occasionally on our MH nothing happens 1st turn of the key. 2 or 3 turns in quick succession and she starts fine. So I'll probably get a new starter when I get round to it... (1991 and starter not replaced before).

    :Smile:

    Some years back we had the same problem with the old MB608 - had new solenoid fitted to starter and had no further probs. (cost £25 fitted)
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  5. pinkie

    pinkie Funster

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    Hi guys,

    Thanks for those useful replies.

    Well it's difficult for me being deaf! But when I turn the key, the lights do come on for a second but no noise or the engine trying to turn over.

    Will pop to Aldi now and see if I can get the battery charger.

    Thanks.
     
  6. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    having charged the batteries and started the van. Using the new multimeter you bought, you did buy one didn't you; measure the voltage across the batteries it should increase when the engine is running, if it does not then time to look at the alternator.
    I fear it is not charging and running home with lights on would have flattened your battery.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  7. lunarman

    lunarman Funster

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    Pinkie,

    Just a thought but as its an automatic you have got it in "Park" haven't you. It wont start otherwise.

    Lunarman
     
  8. pinkie

    pinkie Funster

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    Hi,

    Yes, not that blonde!!!!

    I can only drive automatics so am used to that!

    x
     
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  9. pinkie

    pinkie Funster

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    Right, just been to Aldi's (thanks so much for the tip!!!) got the battery charger and the voltage tester, so off out now to check them, i'm concerned now IT IS (or sounds like) the alternator is the problem, let me fumble about for a bit and see what's happening! :Rofl1:
     
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  10. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Or as simple as a faulty PARK switch. So wriggle the gear stick around N or is it P and see if anything happens.
     
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  11. pinkie

    pinkie Funster

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    Okay, the battery reading was 9.2v, so i'm charging it now.

    Where do I find the alternator?

    And what is the best thing to do if I'm leaving the van for a week, I don't want to have to buy new batteries again.

    Thanks.
     
  12. Wissel

    Wissel Read Only Funster

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    9.2v is really flat.

    Just a thought, does your van have a 3 way fridge and if so is it switched to 12v?
     
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  13. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    The charger you just bought also acts as a maintenance charger, so if you leave for a week, you can leave this attached and plugged in and it will look after itself.

    Where the battery is currently low, the charger may be on motorcycle mode until it reaches a level where it can switch to car mode. In this mode it regenerates batteries that have lost alot of charge, such as the level yours is at now.

    The alternator will be strapped to the engine (so to speak) Follow the battery leads down to the alternator if unsure. It will be cylindrical in shape, and have a belt that is running it from the front of the engine.

    http://auto.howstuffworks.com/alternator.htm
     
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  14. pinkie

    pinkie Funster

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    Hi,

    I have a fridge in the van, but i'm not even sure that it works, didn't seem to get cold, although Poppy said it made a noise when on.

    Anyway, there is a Power Invertor 12v coming from the battery which I assume is powering the back of the van things - is that correct?

    I've switched it off, as is everything else.

    Also, if this little charger I bought this morning is 12v - will it charge the battery enough for me to start it?

    Thanks.:thumb:
     
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  15. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    the charger will charge to 13.5v area, which is where a battery should be. 12v will start the vehicle, but wait until it is charged!

    As you battery is low, it may take a while to charge to that level, so don't panic if you go out in a few hours and it hasn't risen much.
     
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  16. pinkie

    pinkie Funster

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    Thanks Rainbow Chasers, you are great for explaining things properly for the mechanically challenged.

    I have to walk the dog now, but will have a look at the link and the alternator on my return, at least I can leave it plugged in whilst away, that's reassuring.

    Any ideas of rough costs for a new alternator?

    Thanks again! :thumb:
     
  17. Wissel

    Wissel Read Only Funster

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    The fridge when run off 12v will probably operate from the starter battery. It should have a voltage sensing relay so it only works on 12v if the engine is running.

    I had a van years ago where the relay wasn't working properly. I left the fridge on 12v and it flattened the starter battery overnight.

    If it is on the 12v setting it might be worth flicking to a different setting even if just to eliminate it as the possible problem.
     
  18. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    Recon one will be around £100. New anything up to £250 margin.

    If you are not in the vehicle when you are away, make sure the earth is disconnected, the caps are loose to allow ventilation and there is plenty of airflow. The charger cannot get wet either - something to think about with the weather. If you know someone who can keep an eye on it for you, all the better.
     
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  19. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    If 9.2V on the starter battery then the above is not the problem.

    You bought 2 batteries - normally we call them Starter Battery or Engine Battery and Habitation battery.

    Have you measured the second battery, the habitation one that runs your lights, TV and that sort of thing ? That also will be knackered if allowed to stand at a low voltage.
     
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  20. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    If you can get a mains lead for the charger to the MH can you not just plug in the hook up lead and charge everything, that will overcome any issues with damp and disconnecting things. That will then charge both batteries and keep the fridge cold to test that.

    Enjoy your trip away you sound like you need a break!!

    David
     
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