Flat battery this morning

The Ciderfarian

Free Member
Sep 9, 2014
12
1
Somewhere in France
Funster No
33,268
MH
c class
Exp
I'm a newbie
Just spent last night in Biscarrosse-plage and jolly nice it was too. However, this morning as i went to nip to the shops I discovered I had a flat battery. had a look around to see if i had left anything on but all looked clear.
Luckily a very nice young german surf dude got the van started (autotrail cheyenne) with his jump leads. He put a meter across the battery and thought the alternator was good.
I thought i should head off home as I had no confidence the problem wouldn't return, not that there has been a recurring problem.
When I reached home after a 3 hour drive, I parked up, switched off the engine and tried again. It Started! However, when I went to move it an hour later, flat as a proverbial pancake.
Not being of a mechanical mind does this suggest,
a) the battery is no good and needs replacing
b) something more sinister like the alternator packing in
Would be grateful for any help.
 

Brisey

LIFE MEMBER
Sep 4, 2007
8,115
17,531
Sutton on Sea
Funster No
223
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 2003
I am not an expert by any means, but I think that you need a new battery.
 

irnbru

LIFE MEMBER
Jun 27, 2013
9,610
17,325
Glasgow
Funster No
26,684
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
4 yrs
If you are in the AA call them and they will test your battery for free.
 
Jun 1, 2013
3,030
3,289
Surrey
Funster No
26,287
MH
Sundance 630L
Exp
Since 2010
If there is charge coming down from the alternator, easy to see with a meter the volts go over 12. I trust the chap who tested it. I would say it's new battery time. Sounds like your alternator is fine.
The fact that you drove it a fair way, and it started after this, but after being allowed to go cold with no charge, sounds like the battery simply isn't holding charge anymore.
 
Jul 29, 2012
2,750
4,378
Lost in La Mancha, Spain
Funster No
22,171
MH
Benimar, Mileo 290i
Exp
Not long enough, but a little common sense helps..........
Before getting a new battery get yourself a good 4 or more stage charger and put it on charge and see if the charger can recover the battery (battery sulfation).
 

magicsurfbus

Free Member
Oct 11, 2010
4,685
10,474
NW England
Funster No
14,057
MH
Bessacarr Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 1997
12v cigarette socket voltmeter

I have one in the dashboard and one in a habitation socket to keep tabs on battery state. Not much to pay for peace of mind.

With keys in ignition before starting the engine you should see 12v+ if your engine battery's healthy.

With engine running and no other drain on the battery (ie heater, lights, fridge) you should see 14v+ if your alternator's healthy.
 

Bobby22

Free Member
Dec 15, 2013
1,546
6,422
Scotland
Funster No
29,386
MH
Rapido 680ff
Exp
since 2013
Just spent last night in Biscarrosse-plage and jolly nice it was too. However, this morning as i went to nip to the shops I discovered I had a flat battery. had a look around to see if i had left anything on but all looked clear.
Luckily a very nice young german surf dude got the van started (autotrail cheyenne) with his jump leads. He put a meter across the battery and thought the alternator was good.
I thought i should head off home as I had no confidence the problem wouldn't return, not that there has been a recurring problem.
When I reached home after a 3 hour drive, I parked up, switched off the engine and tried again. It Started! However, when I went to move it an hour later, flat as a proverbial pancake.
Not being of a mechanical mind does this suggest,
a) the battery is no good and needs replacing
b) something more sinister like the alternator packing in
Would be grateful for any help.
If your alternator was faulty you would not have been able to drive for 3 hours like that. Either your battery is not holding a charge or there is a massive drain on it.
It must have charged for you to start the van after your 3 hr journey.
So i would guess the battery or a drain on your battery could be the problem.

To check your battery put your headlights on full beam and see what you get....if the brightness your lights looks ok, then your battery could be fine.

You, on the other hand, could have a problem with your starter motor. Long shot but your starter could be shorting with the armature bush being worn and massively reducing the power for starting.
I had this problem (intermittently) for a while on a car until the AA finally diagnosed it for me.
 
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