my battery is going flat!

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Philcott, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Philcott

    Philcott Read Only Funster

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    I know this was brought up recently, but cannot find the thread.

    My motor home battery is going flat over a couple of days, and I suspect that there is a 'leak' somewhere.

    Can someone give me some direction as to where to start looking for it, and how please?

    If I can rule out some simple things, I've got a better chance of lower price repairs to get it sorted I think! I've just had the alternator replaced (four days ago!) but two days after a 80 mile run, the battery was flat again. The battery is approx 2 1/2 years old.

    I have a 'C-tek' charger running for the two leisure batteries and am assuming that it does not charge the motorhome battery. When 'My Man What Does' lifted out the wardrobe floor, it appears that there is an old battery charger still connected in there.

    Many thanks!
     
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  2. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Hi Phill

    Can you be a bit more specific?

    Exactly what is happening?

    You are of course talking about your engine battery I assume as you have replaced the alternator.
    What led you to replace the alternator? why?

    Under what circumstances is the battery going flat? are you away in the van? is it left unattended?
     
  3. CHRI$

    CHRI$ Funster

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    could be the alarm or radio(if fitted) pulling it down it does on mine if not hooked up,what size battery you got on it???
     
  4. Philcott

    Philcott Read Only Funster

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    Please bear in mind that this is a single lady of grey haired age, not the brightest spark when it comes to engines, lights et al!:Laughing:

    The battery is the one under the bonnet - it went flat on me after three or four days of being parked in my drive. The electrics were hooked up to the 'van, and the c-tek charger showed that it had charged up all the leisure batteries (I thought it did the vehicle battery too, but apparently not.) I called out RAC who started the vehicle for me, tested the charge on the battery and told me that the alternator was not charging the battery.

    Took it to my local garage who had done my service and cambelt change, and they kindly turned it around for me the same day. Dennis tested the alternator and bench tested it too, and said it was not charging and needed changing.

    Drove from Bury St Edmunds down to Welwyn Garden City on Tuesday evening, stood on site on EHU until Thursday morning, and flat battery when I came to leave at mid day Thursday. I did not use the radio at all, and don't think any switches were 'switched' to draw current off the vehicle battery.

    The battery is a 88ah sealed type (It's bucketing down and I don't feel like braving the elements to fight with the bonnet catch!) according to the receipt I have here. The C-tek charger was fitted by Wokingham Caravan Services in June 2010 just a week before the battery on the vehicle was replaced.
     
  5. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    If it is safe to do so, take the battery off and charge it indoors, then see how long it remains charged, use a multimeter to check the battery voltage. I suspect if the alternator has been faulty for a while it has knackered (technical term) the battery. However if it holds a charge of at least 13V after a couple of days off charge then the problem is in the van. Two main sources of a problem.
    1) when plugged into mains you are not charging the engine battery (unless you have switched it to do so where you do that changes from van to van)
    2) you have a reasonable size (or should that be unreasonable) current drain someplace. Both radio and alarm draw power from the engine battery.
    a c-tec charger is a multistage charge that can safely be left plugged into the mains when on hook up, do the charge lights come on in the unit??? my xs7000 charger has a range of lights that tell you how charging is progressing or if charging has failed due to a duff battery.
     
  6. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Edited- inacurate, just seen your van
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
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  7. Philcott

    Philcott Read Only Funster

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    Oh dear - is that good or bad? :Eek!:
     
  8. Philcott

    Philcott Read Only Funster

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    Wildman, the c -tech seems to be working properly as all the lights come on in succession as the instruction book shows. Will get MWD to take it out next time he comes over and give what you suggest a go.
    Thanks everyone.
     
  9. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    No, not at all, I was referring to Roger's post regarding switching from leisure to cab battery charging. Most vans these days, this is not required. I then saw yours and realised its an FFB, a fine van by all accounts but I presume its slightly older? and therefore Roger may be right in how the charging system works.




    Here's my guess. If your alternator packed up, it's not impossible that you have also destroyed your cab battery. I would suggest the RAC carry out a load test on it.

    However without seing the van its difficult to assess what sort of charging system you have in place.
     
  10. Philcott

    Philcott Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Hagnap - she is an old lady! 1991 fiat Ducato 2.5turbo. Slow noisy, but she gets where she's going - as long as I can get her started.:BigGrin:

    Both you and Wildman have suggested similar, so it gives me a starting point. Thanks again folks.
     
  11. Wildbill

    Wildbill Funster

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    Wat to do is go to scrap yard you can get usable battery's from there and cheep put it in van and see Wat happens if it goes flat van problem if it stays charged battery problem.
    just a pity i didn't live nearer.

    but do think you should think of a boat the way it's raining:BigGrin:
     
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  12. Philcott

    Philcott Read Only Funster

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    I thought about a boat, but not enough canals for where I wanted to go, so settled for a motorhome! :BigGrin: Think I need to do a re-think with all this rain!

    Thanks for your idea!
     
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  13. rangitira

    rangitira Funster

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    Sounds like your main Battery is clegged, suggest you get it checked :thumb:
     
  14. Philcott

    Philcott Read Only Funster

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    thanks - I think that is going to be the best starting point! Hope it's not! The pocket book's only got moths in it now! :Laughing:
     
  15. Philcott

    Philcott Read Only Funster

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    Update - my vehicle battery is holding it's charge no problem.

    Seem to get a flat vehicle battery when I plug in the EHU! :Eek!:

    Another question - I have an imobiliser switch under the bonnet - a red key type that you turn and can then take out. Would that isolate the vehicle battery at all? Am wondering if that is an option until such time as I can find the fault!
     
  16. Wildbill

    Wildbill Funster

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    think that will do it why don't you com to the race met even just for one day or two we can have a look at the van and maybe fix the problem:BigGrin:
     
  17. Philcott

    Philcott Read Only Funster

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    Bill - so wish I could, but the logistics of finding anyone to look after about 50 birds in 10 lots of pens, at such short notice is well nigh impossibleb! But thank you for your enthusiasm. :BigGrin:

    I am sure we will catch up somewhere along the line over the next year!
     
  18. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    It is not uncommon for a battery to fail after an alternator fails. This is due to the charge from the alternator when failing, will fluctuate between too high and too low before failing. This can blow or damage a few cells.

    The best way to check these is with a tester which only cost a few pounds - this will advise you of any cells that may be worse for wear. If they all come up green and OK, then the battery will be fine.

    The van obviously has a drain problem, due to the fact someone has fitted an isolator switch, rather than addressing the drain.

    Common drain points include after market stereos - so if one of these is fitted, pop it out and disconnect it and see if this makes a difference.

    If you want to maintain both batteries, then you can use one C-TEK connected to the engine battery, and just plug it into the a mains socket in the van whilst on EHU.

    If your battery is shot, let me know and I can get one dispatched next day on funster rates!:thumb:
     
  19. Philcott

    Philcott Read Only Funster

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    Thank you Rainbow Chasers, but my battery is now holding it's charge - it goes flat when I plug in the EHU. My son is bringing up a test meter tomorrow so with a bit of luck will find something somewhere that is causing the problem

    Many thanks to everyone for their input - it's much appreciated. :Smile:
     
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