Flat battery

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by dencol, May 7, 2008.

  1. dencol

    dencol Read Only Funster

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    I have been laid up for a month and came to use the van only to find the vehicle battery is flat and not sure how to proceed? I think the alarm has caused the problem.
    I have an auto sleeper Dorset (same layout and electrics as the Symbol) based on a Peugeot Boxer.
    The Boxer manual states I should disconnect the battery to charge it but worried that may stop the radio working as it is security coded
    I do have a battery charger that allows you to start the engine via the charger but will this affect any of the electrics?
    Also ages since I last charged a car battery and put the charger clips onto the positive and negative pole of the battery. The Peugeot manual is telling me the negative clip should go to an earth point well away from the battery does this mean I should clip it to any part to the vehicle bodywork or is there a specific point I should be clipping it to?
    Finally when looking at the habitat control panel I can charge up the leisure battery via mains hook up, but one of the switches allows me to change from the leisure battery to van battery I ‘assumed’ that putting the switch to van position would allow me to charge up the van battery rather than the leisure battery via the mains hook up or have I got this wrong?
    Sorry if the answers are obvious but mechanically I am at the stage of ‘pick up screwdriver in right hand and stab pointy end into left hand to get it over with’:Doh:
    Thanks for any advice.
    Colin
     
  2. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Hi Colin your starter charger will be OK to use leave to boost for awhile before attempting to start vehicle, you will be OK to connect to battery neg,nothings changed much, this instruction is safety orientated, if your at all worried connect neg to any heavy metal part of the engine or bare metal bodywork away from the battery
    Geo
     
  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    hi dencol,

    chances are you already lost the radio code if the battery was too flat to start the engine.:Angry::cry:

    you should disconnect the battery live terminal before charging as the sudden power surge could cause a spike on the ECU. (expensive repair)
    you should connect the earth/neg lead to a suitable engine/body point away from the battery as some sparking will happen and could cause the battery gas to explode. the other way is to connect the charger then turn it on.

    to see if its charging on hookup, remove charger if connected.
    connect your hookup and put a voltmeter across the engine battery, if you get 13/14volts its charging. try the switch in different positions.

    hope this helps.

    john
     
  4. dencol

    dencol Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for all your help, go and give it a try with the booster charger. Then try the radio hopefully will still work. Thanks for the suggestion re the voltmeter will give that a try once I have the van running again. Perhaps it would have been easier to keep the battery topped up by touring rather than coming home to work :thumb:

    Colin

    My van appears to give me two questions to the mile:Smile:
     
  5. dencol

    dencol Read Only Funster

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    All sorted although really must learn how to use a multimeter properly. from what little I know looks like I have an extra power drain over and above the alarm, clock etc, starting to switch 'things' on and off to try and track down problem.
    Thanks again:thumb:
     
  6. kands

    kands Read Only Funster

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    Hi Colin
    What makes you think that you have additional drain on your battery? Have you used your multimeter as an ammeter and measured the draw? If so what did yu read? I would think that an alarm is more than capable of draining the engine starter battery in a month and don't forget that you will also have a few microamps being drawn by the radio memory circuit, it all adds up....
    Hope that all is well now.

    Keith
     
  7. dencol

    dencol Read Only Funster

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    Hi,
    Personally I have no idea what I am doing 'yet', a neighbor, retired electrician saw me looking confused holding the two wires from the meter and took pity on me (did try to explain how to use the meter but still worried about sticking wires into area I know little about). Sorted the battery out found I can charge it from the hook up so should not happen in future, but at the back of my mind was something about various power drains and tried to check various ideas whilst still had the neighbours attention, when we disconnected the ariel booster (the control panel switches were off at the time) apparently the power drain dropped slightly. The van is due back for some guarantee work so will mention this to the mechanic see what they say.
    Did think about a small solar panel to trickle charge the battery via the cigarette lighter but don’t think this will work as the lighter only powered when the ignition is on? may buy the neighbour a pint or two and ask him to check.
    Must be honest had not thought about the alarm making that much difference, yet one more learning experience. :Doh:
     
  8. Decmac

    Decmac Read Only Funster

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    Hi, Sorry for your troubles Dencol but hope you have it sorted now. When I bought a new motorhome recently the supplier said he would not install an alarm because he said it would drain the main battery, because we do not use our vans like our cars, driving every day of the week and our car batteries are being charged during this driving time. Maybe if you have your van parked up during winter and if it's not too much bother, take it out for a run/spin, even go shopping with your wife :Sad: and that's a whole lot better than running the engine in your driveway or wherever you are parked. Hope this helps. And by the way I have an alarm fitted in my van,
    Decmac
     
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