Can anyone recommend a good starter battery ?

Jun 22, 2014
472
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Rotherham
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32,070
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5 Years
It looks like my starter battery is goosed , the monitor panel above the habitation door was reading 2.5 volts yesterday despite being on and off hook up regularly in the last few months ( not left on permanently) . I connected my CTEK smart charger to it which has a reconditioning phase as part of its 8 ? Step charging / maintaining process. It went onto the conditioning part for a second and then up to step 4 which is stated in the instructions as ‘ Ready to start ‘ . I’ve left it on overnight and will check again today but I’m aware that it’s likely to be too late to save given it’s low voltage.
OR ... I had a situation with our previous van where the control panel had a day off and I removed and re set it which cured the problem. If charging doesn’t help , that’ll be a possible next step , I’m wondering if an out of kilter panel could send a message to the cab battery / starting system to fool it into thinking it’s kippered when it might not be ?
So to my original question , does anyone know what model battery is required for a 2015 Fiat Ducato ? It’s on an Autotrail Apache 700. It’s 80 ah but I don’t know what cold cranking amps it is .
 
Aug 11, 2016
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Give it a good 24 charge before you bin it. Mine took that long but did recover.
 
Dec 2, 2019
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You have to piggy back with another battery when voltage is that low. Once starts charging you can remove the good battery. The charger disconnects prematurely without actually charging it. The voltage is to low for the charger to recognise it.

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OP
Apache
Jun 22, 2014
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32,070
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5 Years
You have to piggy back with another battery when voltage is that low. Once starts charging you can remove the good battery. The charger disconnects prematurely without actually charging it. The voltage is to low for the charger to recognise it.
So when you say piggy back do you mean connect as if using jump leads ie; positive to positive ? And which battery do you connect the charger to then , the good one or the flat one ?
Thanks for your input by the way .
 

Emmit

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Aug 14, 2009
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Good advice.
What you are doing by that is fooling the charger into thinking things aren't as bad as 2.5 volts.
 
Dec 2, 2019
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So when you say piggy back do you mean connect as if using jump leads ie; positive to positive ? And which battery do you connect the charger to then , the good one or the flat one ?
Thanks for your input by the way .
Yes, put the two batteries in parallel plus to plus and minus to minus, with some normal wire 1,5 or 2,5mm. The connect the charger to the battery that needs charging. Once it starts charging, 10, 15 mins , remove one link from the helping battery and see what happens. If voltage collapses, leave it a bit longer. If voltage stays, then remove the helping battery, it’s done it’s job.

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OP
Apache
Jun 22, 2014
472
605
Rotherham
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32,070
MH
Coach built
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5 Years
Yes, put the two batteries in parallel plus to plus and minus to minus, with some normal wire 1,5 or 2,5mm. The connect the charger to the battery that needs charging. Once it starts charging, 10, 15 mins , remove one link from the helping battery and see what happens. If voltage collapses, leave it a bit longer. If voltage stays, then remove the helping battery, it’s done it’s job.
Thank you. My next problem is the charger has no voltage readout and I have disconnected the earth from the battery because I wasn’t sure if I might upset all the other electronics. It doesn’t have stop/start which I believe might be a problem in this scenario ,
 
Dec 23, 2014
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You appear to have an AT. Mine was fitted with a Sargent smart charger so why not just leave the EHU on at all times. It should not be a problem. I hope your battery recovers. If not I have found that the 017 or 019 size Enduroline from Tayna are quite good.
 
Dec 2, 2019
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You appear to have an AT. Mine was fitted with a Sargent smart charger so why not just leave the EHU on at all times. It should not be a problem. I hope your battery recovers. If not I have found that the 017 or 019 size Enduroline from Tayna are quite good.
I don’t know about Sargent, but any smart charger has a protection for low voltage. Some can pick up from as low as 8v. If the charger can’t see a voltage above the threshold if thinks there is nothing connected ( in case of simple smart) or, it will run a test and thinking is faulty ( advanced smart). Now if Sargent is equipped with such smart charger, you can leave it on ehu for years, it will not charge a 3v battery. You will have to manually fool the charger with a piggy back, use a old dum charger or replace the battery. Also bringing a battery up from such a low voltage, there is no guarantee that battery will be any good any length of time. For a temporary work around it’s worth a shut.

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OP
Apache
Jun 22, 2014
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5 Years
Dorset Driver - I would leave it plugged in all the time if it was up to me , but it is stored on my father in law’s garden ( on a concrete base ) and no matter how often we have the discussion I cannot persuade him to leave it on ( “ using my electric here this is “ ) I’ve even offered to pay him for the electricity but still he keeps turning the EHU off !
In normal times the solar panel keeps things topped up but of course we’ve had very little sun and snow on the panel for a while now which I hadn’t taken into consideration .
 
OP
Apache
Jun 22, 2014
472
605
Rotherham
Funster No
32,070
MH
Coach built
Exp
5 Years
Raul - It is a Sargent unit which is supposed to be smart , and to be be fair it usually copes well. My CTEK is smart and seems to have detected enough charge to make it work although when I looked about an hour ago it was showing a fault so I’ve restarted it again. A multimeter across the battery shows 11.9 volts which is an improvement so we’ll see how it goes in the next few hours. My suspicion is that it will ‘ fault again ‘ so better get my wallet warmed up 😀
 
Dec 23, 2014
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I don’t know about Sargent, but any smart charger has a protection for low voltage. Some can pick up from as low as 8v. If the charger can’t see a voltage above the threshold if thinks there is nothing connected ( in case of simple smart) or, it will run a test and thinking is faulty ( advanced smart). Now if Sargent is equipped with such smart charger, you can leave it on ehu for years, it will not charge a 3v battery. You will have to manually fool the charger with a piggy back, use a old dum charger or replace the battery. Also bringing a battery up from such a low voltage, there is no guarantee that battery will be any good any length of time. For a temporary work around it’s worth a shut.
I agree. I was referring to the OP's comment about switching it on and off in the first place, not just leaving it on. However, he has answered this with his note about his FiL unhelpfully keeping switching off. My guess is a very dead battery and a costly replacement.

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Dec 23, 2014
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Raul - It is a Sargent unit which is supposed to be smart , and to be be fair it usually copes well. My CTEK is smart and seems to have detected enough charge to make it work although when I looked about an hour ago it was showing a fault so I’ve restarted it again. A multimeter across the battery shows 11.9 volts which is an improvement so we’ll see how it goes in the next few hours. My suspicion is that it will ‘ fault again ‘ so better get my wallet warmed up 😀
Apache. I suggest you just leave the CTEK to get on with it for at least 24 hours untouched. It needs time. Ignore the fault warning if the battery is dead you can't do it further harm. I'm assuming the battery is safely off the van now.
 
OP
Apache
Jun 22, 2014
472
605
Rotherham
Funster No
32,070
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Coach built
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5 Years
Apache. I suggest you just leave the CTEK to get on with it for at least 24 hours untouched. It needs time. Ignore the fault warning if the battery is dead you can't do it further harm. I'm assuming the battery is safely off the van now.
No it’s still in it’s hole but the earth is disconnected .
You appear to have an AT. Mine was fitted with a Sargent smart charger so why not just leave the EHU on at all times. It should not be a problem. I hope your battery recovers. If not I have found that the 017 or 019 size Enduroline from Tayna are quite good.
Thanks for the suggestion . I have looked at their website and what appears to be a suitable replacement is coming in at £89.95 plus about £10 delivery. That’s a long way off the £143 from Eurocarparts for a Bosch . And as you are probably aware it has a 4 year warranty which is the same as the Bosch .
 
Dec 23, 2014
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No it’s still in it’s hole but the earth is disconnected .

Thanks for the suggestion . I have looked at their website and what appears to be a suitable replacement is coming in at £89.95 plus about £10 delivery. That’s a long way off the £143 from Eurocarparts for a Bosch . And as you are probably aware it has a 4 year warranty which is the same as the Bosch .
Apache. Do be careful there are different types (Standard, EFB and AGM) and prices. Have a look at these links:

Tayna 017
Tayna 019

You will find a very wide variation in price for the different types.

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Oct 12, 2009
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Just an aside to the OP's problem, which seems to be a more frequently occurring one with modern batteries giving shorter lives, may I ask why we cannot buy new batteries now with longer lasting potential? I know the life is connected to the thickness of the plates, at least in a lead acid battery and therefore the weight of the battery.

It is difficult to find that information. Are there any starter, or even hab, batteries that will really last as long as my starter battery which is the one I inherited nearly 12 years ago and goodness knows how old it was then. My garage said 4-5 years ago that if it is that old and therefore probably a good build, then do not replace it till it fails. It is still there and cranking OK in these very cold conditions - maybe a few more turns needed but I put that down to the very cold engine oil.

Surely there is some battery manufacturer who still builds good ones, but which one?

Geoff
 
Dec 2, 2019
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Good point, usually thickness of plates reflects in weight. A 100ah lead of ALL types is in the region of 30-33kg. Any less, short cycle life, any more will be long life 10 year plus design life. Long life usually are not starters, but, I did had 9 years out of a original fitted battery by manufacturer. Replacements are not the same for some reason.
 
Jul 18, 2009
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I have just replaced a couple of Car batteries with Korean made Hankook. Problem with a lot of these Varta/Bosch/Mercedes Generic batteries I have used, just don't seem to last. I have a pallet of 10 waiting to go to the scrap yard. All Varta type. None lasted more than 4 years.

My Yuasa Motorhome starter battery is more than 6 years old. I dont think its of the VARTA factory.

I do have a 11 year old Trojan wet cell thats still going strong. Along with 2 Trojan Gel that I use as leisure and they are still going strong,.

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OP
Apache
Jun 22, 2014
472
605
Rotherham
Funster No
32,070
MH
Coach built
Exp
5 Years
Update

after leaving the CTEK on for a few days we are now on the ‘ fully charged -float ) setting which is stage seven so I’ve disconnected the charger and put a meter across the battery . 12.99 volts. So it’s now all connected back up and on EHU . Here’s hoping the battery is ok now .
 
Oct 29, 2016
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Motor Homing 4 years, caravan previously
Update

after leaving the CTEK on for a few days we are now on the ‘ fully charged -float ) setting which is stage seven so I’ve disconnected the charger and put a meter across the battery . 12.99 volts. So it’s now all connected back up and on EHU . Here’s hoping the battery is ok now .
Just out of interest is your CTEK charger The MXS 5.0? or the MXS 10.0
I have had the MXS 5.0 for a few years now, keeping my classic car battery topped up (on permanently) I also use it to charge up a spare leisure battery used in the workshop for a 12 volt source. Its great seeing the various states of charge being established, and then the recon float state, whereupon it settles.
I would put my faith every day in The CTEK apposed to the standard Seargent PSU charger for general use.
Hope you battery maintains its charge over time now, keep us posted.
LES
 
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