It must have been a bad winter !

Discussion in 'Rally Planning Discussion and Chat' started by peter H, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. peter H

    peter H Funster Life Member

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    Off to Newark next weekend, so I thought I'd better get the van ready.
    I keep in a storage area about 25 miles away.

    Went to fetch it this morning, but as I need my car here I walked round the corner to catch a bus to the town, then a train from neath to Bridgend. Finally at Bridgend a taxi to the storage site.

    Lovely sunny day, a pleasure to be out. The stroll to the bus, then to the train was great.

    Found the van, quick check arounbd the outside and every thing looks fine.

    Get inside open the blinds etc, get to the drivers seat, put in the key, turn it and......

    Nowt, nothing, zilch. Not a light on the dash board, not a click of a relay, absolutely dead !

    Wander back to the reception area as they used to have one of those portable battery booster things. Its broken !

    Across the road is a hard wear type shop, they sell them i'm told. Ok i'll go see. Yes they do have them, to get one for my size engine and battery will cost.... you sitting down?

    £289

    and of course its flat and will need chatging for at least 3 hours.

    No mains power on the storage site and dont have my car.

    Plan B

    Jump leads, but van is parked nose into the fence and after struggling to open the bonnet, very narow gap between van and fench, find the battery is either invisible or somewhere else.

    I even had to read the instruction book for the van. Found the battery in a secret compartment in the drivers area under the floor.

    Still jump leads would need to be 25ft long, not an option.

    Plan C

    Take the battery home and charge it.

    No car, cant lug a battery on the train etc. so lock up the van, and retrace my steps home for the car.

    Phone a taxi, catch a train, catch a bus get home about 3 hours after i had originally left.

    Lunch first.

    Get in the car, drive back 40 mins. Start disconnecting the battery etc, electrics surprisingly easy, then the hold down bolt !!!!

    cant reach it my socket set extension in the van is too short

    Back to the DIY shop across the road, find a 200mm extension bar, back to the van.

    Battery is out in about 10 minutes. Nearly give myself a hernia lifting it out and putting it in the boot of the car.

    Lock up the van and homeward bound.

    Find the charger eventually, connect it up, dead as a doornail. Its about 30 years old and I think has finally died.

    Off to Halfords to buy a new charger. Got one reduced from £89 to £59 (bargin ?)

    Back home, connect it all up after reading the instructions and......

    says battery is knackered and wont charge. Swore at it a bit, no help, need a new battery.

    Its a Renault, delership in Swansea on the enterprise park. 14 miles away.

    Check website open 9am till 6pm on Saturdays great thiniks I.

    Oh no says the lady down there, thats car sales only, service and parts shut at 12:00.

    Closed tomorrow as well, open at 08:30 monday, then I can ask them if they have a new battery

    If they do, i have to charge it, fit it, fetch the van, retrieve the car (bus, train and taxi again), prep and victule the van and eventually leave for Newark all by thursday.

    Going to be a busy week next week !

    Thanks for reading this, the rant has certainly helped my blood pressure.

    Oh so far costs:

    Buses £2.80 so far
    Trains £8.20
    Taxis £11
    Battery charger, £59
    new battery ( I dread to think)
    Milage about 70 so far

    ho humm


    Peter
     
  2. Road Runner

    Road Runner Read Only Funster

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    Peter in future I will drive you to pick up your van mate.

    If there's any problems we can sort em out together.

    You have my number for current issues.
     
  3. rangitira

    rangitira Funster

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    Road Runner! you are a bonza bloke! All power to you:thumb:
     
  4. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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    Peter,
    O the joys of owning a MH. I enjoyed your tale - even if you didn't. Today we set of for a day out in the MH to a lovely spot on the beach; reached by a drive down a long, steep narrow hill. On the way thought the brakes seemed spongy but pressed on thinking it was just air in the system; sort it out when we get back home.
    Slowed for the junction to turn down to beach and brake pedal graciously glided to the floor. Changed destination and headed for a harbour stop on the way home; went to turn on gas and noticed fluid on floor. Surely this can't be mine, looked under van, brake fluid is dripping gently from the brake pipe. Switch off gas quickly pack up MH and head for home before all the fluid goes and we have no brakes at all.
    Arrive in town and drive to usual garage - but they close at lunchtime and there is no one there. Rather than have the expense of a call out decided to leave the MH on their forecourt, with great trepidation - not the wisest place to leave a MH over the weekend. But hey ho set off for home; had just turned corner and found a small garage I have never seen before that was large enough to take MH. Explained to Lithuainian mechanic what the problem was and he said drive it in he would work on it on Monday and phone me when it was ready.

    Cost - not known, but pleased to have found problem before going to France in June.

    So I smile and say - "I enjoy having a MH." Don't I?

    Norman
     
  5. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    Peter that sounds on heck of a day, think you have earned a sit down with a G & T . Better luck next week. :Smile:
     
  6. Road Runner

    Road Runner Read Only Funster

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    Peter's been a real good mate to me.
     
  7. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Peter, you have bought a so called 'intelligent' charger

    Go to a boot sale tomorrow and buy an old fashioned thing.. proly have an out put of 4 to 6 amps

    Put that on the battery and chances are good it will come back to life

    The clever chargers are all well and good but on a really flat battery they do not get a start up voltage fed to them and straight away say the battery is dead..

    Another way forward is to put your jump leads on the car and on to the battery
    Start the car and leave it running for 15 minutes

    THEN try the clever charger
     
  8. peter H

    peter H Funster Life Member

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    Guess whats in my left hand?

    Peter
     
  9. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    Our episode this week seems so insignificant to yours, but it did get us frustrated all the same.

    We went over the storage place to pick up our camper as we were going away for a couple of nights up to friends in Boston. The camper is stored just about an hour away. We got to within 5 minutes of it and realised we had left the truck keys at home, so it meant an hour back home, another hour back to the storage and then another hour back home - 2 whole hours lost:shout::shout::shout::shout::cry::cry:

    Then would you believe it, when dropping the camper back we almost left the house keys in the glovebox, thank goodness we double checked that we had everything - we would not have been amused if that had happened.:thumb::thumb:

    Nigel and Pamala
     
  10. madbluemad

    madbluemad

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    Now thats what I would call a right pain in the bum. It gave me a good laugh though.

    Jim
    :Laughing:
     
  11. Dalek

    Dalek Read Only Funster

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    Hope you all get sorted with your motors problems :thumb:
     
  12. peter H

    peter H Funster Life Member

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    I shall try that tomorrow

    Thanks
     
  13. motor roamin

    motor roamin Funster

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    Chances are if it has been flat for any lenghth of time it is had it, but I wouldn't go to the main agents for a battery far too expensive, example Mercedes wanted £260.00 for the gel battery on my car same battery from my local battery supplier £135.00.

    Hope this helps Rick.
     
  14. dazzer

    dazzer Read Only Funster

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    Got to agree. Car accessory shop for a new battery, will be half the price for exactly the same thing. Also agree about the charger, get the oldest charger you can find and batter the crap out of it for a couple of hours, then change over to the new charger after its had a good kicking at 6-10 amps, might solve your problem pretty cheaply!!:thumb:
     
  15. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    That worked for me once when the van battery got really flat.
     
  16. SandJ

    SandJ Read Only Funster

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    Peter

    Sorry to hear of your problems, one thing that worries me is you say that you locked it, how did you lock the passenger side door? The reason I ask is that it is central locking if the same as mine and has no key. If yours is different then no problems, if it has no key then a look in the manual will tell you how to lock it.

    Also are you not a member of AA, RAC or G Flag? I called mine out and he came to the storage site, 15min connected to his and all was well :thumb:

    Hope this helps
     
  17. peter H

    peter H Funster Life Member

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    Manually by pushing the button down on the door.

    AA RAC etc, unfortunately no, or at least not yet. I may be next week though !

    Peter
     
  18. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Peter if it is not too late,a mate needed a new battery a few weeks back,I got him a 90 amphr with 750 cold cranking :thumb: Bosch from local spares shop for £80 inc 4 yrs straight swap gtee
    terry
     
  19. peter H

    peter H Funster Life Member

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    Horray, I'm mobile again.
    Ended up getting a new battery from Halfords.

    After much muttering and only a little swearing (well it is Sunday), got it fitted to the van and driven home.

    Now all i've got to do is find the instruction book to reset the radio and the clock.

    Cheers for all the sympathy and helpful advice.

    See lots of you at Newark, off to make the Welshcakes now.

    Peter
     
  20. Road Runner

    Road Runner Read Only Funster

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    Do you need to get your car back?

    I will help.
     
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