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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Thank you. Yes, just need to work out the easiest way to remove it! A few different Youtube videos are available so will study those again later.
 

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A quick update after leaving the car for 3 days:

1st attempt:
Ignition pos 1: 11.9v
Ignition pos 2: 11.3v
Cranking: 9.5v (engine took a 4 or 5 secs to start, cranking sped was slowly dropping until it fired up)
Once engine running: 14.0v
11.9V is too low for a fully charged battery - should be 12.6V.
I know the difference is only 0.7V, but this is significant.

I repeat my earlier advice - try connecting a battery charger to see if you can get the battery up to 12.6V.
During lockdown I have been putting a 6A charger on every couple of weeks for about 6 hrs or so. The initial voltage is close to your 11.9V but reaches 12.6V by the time the charger is disconnected. If I start the engine afterwards, the voltage rises rapidly to 14.5V.

It does appear that your battery is not being fully charged between start ups; either you are not driving enough or the alternator is below par.
 

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Yeah; but that cranking voltage is at the battery?

None of the above proves any of the circuit (leads) to and from the battery at all.

You need to connect your multimeter to the solenoid post at the starter, and the neg lead to the starter body. (BE CAREFUL - NOT FUSED, so don't short it out.)

If the voltage is still same as above when cranking = leads and connections all ok. If not = bad connection.

If the fault is intermittent; then likely to be starter commutator. If a few segments are burnt/pitted; if the starter stops on good segments = ok. If it stops on a dirty/pitted one.

Just a thought. Does it do same when car started in Neutral? Unlikely (as should either work or not work; as inhibitor switch that far down the chain that it is likely to be "on or off"; not intermittent); but everyone always starts car in Park. Hence Park start/inhibit switch contact gets worn/used. Neutral switch contacts NEVER gets used/lasts forever. Be good to just eliminate/try to make sure. Next time it "slurs/slow to start" = select neutral. Should be same. But if radically different...........

On a Falcon/Holden here a new starter is $75. Cheap as dirt. I doubt your starter would be that cheap. So I would want to eliminate all else BEFORE shelling out for a starter.

They don't solder lead terminals anymore, they are crimped. If you live in a damp climate, they corrode.

I'd be checking the terminals by the "voltage actually getting to starter" test as above..........
 

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11.9V is too low for a fully charged battery - should be 12.6V.
I know the difference is only 0.7V, but this is significant.

I repeat my earlier advice - try connecting a battery charger to see if you can get the battery up to 12.6V.
During lockdown I have been putting a 6A charger on every couple of weeks for about 6 hrs or so. The initial voltage is close to your 11.9V but reaches 12.6V by the time the charger is disconnected. If I start the engine afterwards, the voltage rises rapidly to 14.5V.

It does appear that your battery is not being fully charged between start ups; either you are not driving enough or the alternator is below par.
Good points.

Just to add to the good advice above. ANY tests assume fully charged battery. If not, inconclusive.

People assume that if they are getting full battery voltage from alt, then "all ok".

I have a battery load tester here (they are dirt cheap these days); but the batteries in our cars are huge, and take a long time to charge.

Many people doing short trips and the like just don't put back in what they take out.

Car alternators aren't optimised for charging the battery; they are optimised to provide a stable, efficient voltage level to run car systems. They run "slightly above that" so as to charge the battery. But people assume that if battery is flat; if "they have 130 amp alternator, will pump that into the battery......." No. It doesn't.

My Stag has a 60 amp ammeter. If the battery is too flat to start the car - I jump it - charges at 60 amps - for a minute. THEN drops to 30. Within two minutes is down to 10. After ten minutes, down to 5. So - putting FIVE amps into a battery too flat to start the car 15 minutes earlier.

Point is - your car is putting out 14 volts. If your battery is half flat; it is STILL only taking about 5 amps - and will take AGES to fully charge.

As DMC says above; the ONLY way to be completely sure is get a good charger and leave it on there for a while. If a smart charger, leave it on there forever (couple of days). If not smart, watch it. I have a 40 amp (pre smart) old bomb proof charger in my garage; but they don't sell those any more, as can boil a battery if not monitored.

A battery the size of ours with a 5 amp charger can take DAYS to charge.
 

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Just to add my 2p worth...

My car is a 2007 CRD. I know that my battery is on its way out, because the dealership noted this on my last service in March of last year.

I had not driven the car since last Thurday. This morning the EVIC showed the following:

Engine off - key in position 1: 10.6V
(Just about managed to start the engine - the voltage dropped to 9.6)

Engine started: voltage climbed to 14.5V

Driving with dipped headlights and rear demister on: 14.4V - 14.6V

Driving with dipped headlights on: 14.8V - 15V
(Very foggy today!)

I drove to the supermarket (around 11 miles) at speeds between 40 and 70mph. Got back in the car after around 30minutes.

Engine off - key in position 1: 12.5V
(Car started straight away)

Car is booked in for a service and MOT at the end of the months. Told garage to get a new battery ready.

A couple of observations I would make:
  • Diesel engines are much more difficult to start in colder weather and take a lot of amps from the battery. To replace the used amps I think it is VERY important not to use the car for very short journeys as the constant charging and discharging will ruin the battery. Also, the alternator (as previously stated) will not have sufficient time to replace the spent charge, therefore the battery will become depleted. Repeatedly starting the car is a very bad idea.
  • The voltage of a battery is only half the story: You may well have a battery that shows a voltage of 12.5V, but, may not have enough amps to cranck the car. A standard multimeter (or the EVIC) will not tell you the whole story. You really need a battery tester. The chrysler service manual suggest a 'Midtronics Battery Tester'.

Hope these obervations help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Wow, thanks everyone, I have learned such a lot from you all about this. I will take on board all the comments and suggestions and will keep you posted.....starting with charging the battery for a couple of days.

I guess we all get to know our own cars' little odd characteristics and with my car, which I bought just over 2 years ago, it has always had an occasional/intermittent slow crank speed, before and after a new battery 1 year ago, but never done it consistently at any particular time. When it cranks slowly, usually the next time it will crank ok, even if that is immediately after the first crank. I will certainly pay more attention to the voltage over the next few weeks to see if there is a pattern with the slow crank occasions.

Thanks again to you all.
 

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A battery the size of ours with a 5 amp charger can take DAYS to charge.
True if the battery is totally exhausted prior to charging - I never let mine get that low;

Extract from Service Manual: Open circuit voltage vs % capacity

"12V............25%
12.6V......... 75%
12.8V..........100%"

Note: Open circuit refers to no load on battery, ie battery disconnected.
It is interesting to note that a 0.8V change can result in a 75% change in capacity.

Although much of this topic has been focussed on the starter motor vs alternator, it sometimes happens that problems can occur in more than one component simultaneously, so this shouldn't be discounted.
 

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True if the battery is totally exhausted prior to charging - I never let mine get that low;

Extract from Service Manual: Open circuit voltage vs % capacity

"12V............25%
12.6V......... 75%
12.8V..........100%"

Note: Open circuit refers to no load on battery, ie battery disconnected.
It is interesting to note that a 0.8V change can result in a 75% change in capacity.

Although much of this topic has been focussed on the starter motor vs alternator, it sometimes happens that problems can occur in more than one component simultaneously, so this shouldn't be discounted.


Exactly. There is a huge difference between a flat battery and a stuffed battery.

The battery voltage is part of it. It varies a bit but the "amount of electrons stored" (current capacity) is the real deal. With very little electrons stored (charge) battery still has 12 volts.

So many people "battery can't be flat; it has 12 volts across it." Ok; go and get 8 AA batteries. Join together. They will measure OVER 12 VOLTS.

Then try starting a car. Now - EVERYONE will say "don't be stupid, THAT is obvious." But then people repeat "car battery should be able to start/has 12 volts." If you have "emptied" your battery to the point where it has the same charge as 8 AA batteries; it will behave like them, ie show 12 volts; hardly any current available.

A "ten mile drive to the shops" is like having a battery charger on for 15 minutes. Again - peoples mind sets.

People would expect a 5 amp battery charger to take AT LEAST overnight - but then "Oh; car MUST have charged the battery - I drove it for an HOUR. WHY expect car alt to charge in one hour when 5 amp charger - leave for 24 hours?

Then the "oh; but it's a 130 amp alternator". Totally irrelevant. Read above about how Stag charges with 60 amp alt. It will charge at max for about 3 minutes. Any more than that would boil battery. After ten minutes; battery voltage is up to system voltage; and battery internal resistance limits it to about 5 amps; ten absolute max.

This is why people with electrical trade knowledge don't explain electric fundamentals. Every "fact" opens another door to a new"fact". AND IT IS BORING. :)

Here, you NEVER explain how electrics actually work in a pub. People have preconceived ideas. They have something they can't fix. You explain. They argue "My mates don't reckon/I have never heard THAT before....." Chances are; if people aren't elecs; there will be a LOT they "haven't heard before."

When I used to teach; I used to have people who just couldn't get it. Different people think different ways.

Fair enough. I used analogies. THAT often worked. Then the boss would say "that's not in the curriculum". I still did anyway.

The biggest problem people have with elec is preconceived ideas that are just "wrong".

You need to make sure your battery is fully charged with a reliable charger. "having driven for a while" won't do it.

Hope you sort it out. You need a full charge to establish a baseline.

Cheers;

KJH
 

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Just to add my 2p worth...

My car is a 2007 CRD. I know that my battery is on its way out, because the dealership noted this on my last service in March of last year.

I had not driven the car since last Thurday. This morning the EVIC showed the following:

Engine off - key in position 1: 10.6V
(Just about managed to start the engine - the voltage dropped to 9.6)

Engine started: voltage climbed to 14.5V

Driving with dipped headlights and rear demister on: 14.4V - 14.6V

Driving with dipped headlights on: 14.8V - 15V
(Very foggy today!)

I drove to the supermarket (around 11 miles) at speeds between 40 and 70mph. Got back in the car after around 30minutes.

Engine off - key in position 1: 12.5V
(Car started straight away)

Car is booked in for a service and MOT at the end of the months. Told garage to get a new battery ready.

A couple of observations I would make:
  • Diesel engines are much more difficult to start in colder weather and take a lot of amps from the battery. To replace the used amps I think it is VERY important not to use the car for very short journeys as the constant charging and discharging will ruin the battery. Also, the alternator (as previously stated) will not have sufficient time to replace the spent charge, therefore the battery will become depleted. Repeatedly starting the car is a very bad idea.
  • The voltage of a battery is only half the story: You may well have a battery that shows a voltage of 12.5V, but, may not have enough amps to cranck the car. A standard multimeter (or the EVIC) will not tell you the whole story. You really need a battery tester. The chrysler service manual suggest a 'Midtronics Battery Tester'.

Hope these obervations help.

Spot on, very helpful info. :)
 

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When I'm not using my Gen 1 I keep it hooked up to a CTEK charger (Link) which holds the battery voltage

I've seen similar in the US from Deltran (Link) which is waterproof
 

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When I'm not using my Gen 1 I keep it hooked up to a CTEK charger (Link) which holds the battery voltage

I've seen similar in the US from Deltran (Link) which is waterproof


Yeah, I have 4 bikes hooked up to those type of "float/maintain" chargers. My old Jag is on one as well.

My other two cars get used enough to be ok..........
 

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I remember the days before sealed batteries became the norm, when you could test for specific gravity and accurately determine the charge state and condition of each cell. I still have the hydrometer - gathering dust in the garage.
 

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I remember the days before sealed batteries became the norm, when you could test for specific gravity and accurately determine the charge state and condition of each cell. I still have the hydrometer - gathering dust in the garage.
Yeah, I have 2, a normal one and a tiny one for bike batteries.

With them you can charge a battery with my 40 amp charger with a thermometer in them, all cells gassing freely - no worries. No one uses chargers like that now; as many new batteries can't vent quick enough. But shouldn't have to...........

I always bought "screw on caps" type whenever I could; but many sizes just can't get now.

The other problem you have is that there is an optimum size for acid/plate ratio. Usually, if you look at truck/4WD batteries, they change directly proportional in case size/CCA. So - look at a 400 CCA battery versus 600 CCA - the 600 will be half as big again.

With many new car batteries; they have a "premium" and then "ultra". Same case with more plates in it. Gives higher CCA within same package; so they can fit under cramped bonnet space. They run hotter/don't really work.

Friends Suzuki SX4. TINY package battery. The premium and ultra are same package; but one 100 CCA higher. First battery lasted 4 years, next one 3 years (3 years was high CCA type). I bought the "premium" one for her. There is space for a larger case battery; but if you don't buy the "listed" battery; they won't give warranty; so for her got "one they recommended without unrealistically high CCA".

I always buy the biggest battery that will go in a holder for my cars. Try and get truck/4x4 battery; but often won't fit in the space. Never buy the "higher CCA in the standard package"; I NEVER get less than 7 years out of a battery. Just had to replace Jaguar battery (and doesn't THAT suck battery dry; and intermittent use (sometimes deployed/left car for 6 months) ) = 13 years old. Large case/intermediate CCA. I bought a standard case/600 CCA for the Stag once (normal 450/500) as was stuck somewhere, lasted a year. (13 months.)

Fortunately, most of the "DIN" batteries (like the one in ours) are huge and quite good. Large CCA MUST have large case (canna change the laws of physics); small ones just don't last. The original battery in mine lasted 9 years.

Lots of gimmicks come and go with batteries. Some genuine advancements, some just gimmicks. Exide here spent millions on gel batteries in the 80's (Torque starter). We had explosions at work with gel on 12/24 volt systems (spikes) and questioned the reps. He gave answers that showed he was a salesman, not a tech. Then they had a few explosions = quietly withdrew them ALL from sale. Gel becoming ok now - in the 80's too early.

Luckily the batteries in ours are pretty good. But be careful with other cars and "800 CCA in size of smokes packet" rubbish.

Like the mate with an XJS jag. Didn't buy a new battery for 6 years. Because he always bought the "highest CCA battery" (650) from one of those "battery roadside service/callout" mobs. 12 month warranty. EVERY battery failed before the 12 months; they replaced it. I'd rather get the "450/500" that just LASTS.

The Century replacement they make here (and in mine now) is a full size (huge) case (DIN type). I expect (hope?) to get 7 or 8 years out of that. We'll see.
 

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Interesting read about batteries -especially the exploding type. I think it must have been in the 80's when a friend of mine experienced such an explosion in his new BMW when driving at high speed down a motorway. Maybe one of those "gel" types?

I also go for the largest battery that will fit into the cradle. My current battery is a Bosch Silver with a 5 yr warranty. Fitted 8 yrs ago, so wondering how much longer it will last. It replaced the original Daimler Chrysler which was only 6 yrs old at the time. I subsequently discovered that the battery was OK, but the alternator was the culprit and only 30k miles on the clock. Fortunately, I didn't dispose of the original battery and kept it for a bench supply in the garage. I put the charger on it infrequently and the voltage never drops below 12.6V.
 

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Interesting read about batteries -especially the exploding type. I think it must have been in the 80's when a friend of mine experienced such an explosion in his new BMW when driving at high speed down a motorway. Maybe one of those "gel" types?

I also go for the largest battery that will fit into the cradle. My current battery is a Bosch Silver with a 5 yr warranty. Fitted 8 yrs ago, so wondering how much longer it will last. It replaced the original Daimler Chrysler which was only 6 yrs old at the time. I subsequently discovered that the battery was OK, but the alternator was the culprit and only 30k miles on the clock. Fortunately, I didn't dispose of the original battery and kept it for a bench supply in the garage. I put the charger on it infrequently and the voltage never drops below 12.6V.
Exactly mate;

Here in the 80's, Exide spent a fortune with the "Torque starter". It was going to "replace all batteries", as "New technology;the future is here" etc etc.

We were skeptical. Defence usually buy the best there is (or at least has to be reliable); and our Oberon submarines at the time had 2 banks of 224 cells of lead acid batteries. Each cell 4 foot high x about 18 inches sq (from memory, had one in the workshop) and just over 500 kgs each. So 442 x 500 KGs = 220 tons of battery cells. Now - the LAST thing you want in a submarine when submerged and "only captive air in the boat" is lead acid batteries, but they had that; as best for the job.

We also said "If Gel batteries are that good; how come we all haven't got elec cars? We had gel batteries at work - they were in a lot of radios. But those radios had very stable power supplies; NONE of the spikes you can get from a car system.

Rep from Exide came to the base. I asked him how they protect from current surge - as I had had two batteries EXPLODE (I mean explode - loud bang, blew radio case like a balloon, acid gel filled the case) in radios. They both exploded the second the boats were started, ie drop from below 24 when starting/up to 28 when alternator started.

He said "cars voltage regulator does that". I said "No; that regulates VOLTAGE. I am concerned that if a car gets a flat battery - jump start - alternator pumps full 60 amps into it = bang."

His answer was ..................................."That's an odd situation/hardly anyone likely to do that......." WHAT THE??????

He changed the subject; boss told me to sit down etc etc; as bosses LOVE any "new toy/you are ruining the fun with tech facts."

They rolled them out; within 2 years all recalled, as some exploded; most just didn't work properly. They vanished from the face of the earth, along with any record/ads/info etc. Technology suited (back then) to uninterupted power for radios etc..... but needed very strict filtering. Telco's still have banks of them for that.

They did the same then with fibreglass mat. That works now. Back then same thing. We all got free batteries from work, as they threw away all the old "screw in top" ones in the work cars and got the new ones. Went back to "old screw in top" ones; as "new" ones all failed within the year/disappeared. Again "miracle" that was "too early".

Meanwhile - one of the quietest, most deadly hunter/killer submarines in the world (Our Oberons; and a multi billion dollar weapon system); was cruising around with same (old lead acid) battery technology......... as I was using in my car; as it was the most reliable. Now - they were old - but full multi billion dollar refit replaced almost ALL the weapons systems; but LEFT the old battery type.......... I wonder why? Because they WORKED and were reliable/known quantity.

So excuse me if I don't "jump at the latest wonder battery because the 17 year old at Supercheap" (or even the Exide rep) says is the "wonder of the future......."

:)
 

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What many people also don't realise is that even when fully charged; your car battery is constantly "charging/discharging" by a very small amount/very rapidly; as it is the "filter" for the alternator.

Any A/C to DC power supply has a rectifier which converts AC to DC. That is ALL a rectifier does. Our cars have that INSIDE the alternator. But any power supply OTHER than a car then has an inductive/capacitive filter to then smooth that to a flat DC level.

The rectified alternator signal may be only one polarity - but it is STILL a "waveform" of 6 peaks (3 phase alternator) and the frequency of the peaks change with RPM (worse/more varied at idle).

That is USELESS for a car. The "up and down" over the peaks is called "ripple" and raises hell with electronics.

If you have a car with an Ammeter and run it with a stuffed battery/no battery; you can SEE the ammeter "trembling".

So - rather than a capacitor to "smooth" the voltage level; they just use the battery. The ripple tries to charge battery, by time it does, low again, and so on........ so you end up with the "mean" (middle value) smoothed signal. Hence why they say "NEVER run car without a battery".

I had something short my Stag battery. Melted it internally. Jumped the car. Was running purely on alternator. Ammeter "trembling".

So that is an often overlooked essential thing your battery does as well.
 

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Was running purely on alternator.
This happened to me last year. Not the CRD, but my 25 yr old Audi A4 1.9TDi. Nothing to do with battery failure, but a broken ignition switch prevented me stopping the engine. Couldn't use the applying brakes/putting in gear trick to stall engine as that doesn't work with an automatic transmission. Tried disconnecting battery, but engine kept running. I later realised that wasn't a good idea, but didn't seem to have any after effects. I drove the car to my local garage and left it there, key stuck in ignition and engine running. I found out that ignition switch failures in VAG vehicles are not uncommon and particularly in Porsches. Still, can't really complain after 25 yrs. Unfortunately, as I drove to the garage, the starter motor tried to engage a few times and eventually packed up, so that had to be replaced as well as the switch. Thankfully, the resulting bill turned out to be much less than I had feared.
 

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I had a similar problem many years ago on a pre-facelift Peugeot 405 with the old 1769 turbo-diesel engine: I still remember switching the car off, taking the key out of the ignition, getting out of the car and thinking "that sounds odd like it's still running" - it was even though the ignition key was in my hand and I'd locked the doors

The way Peugeot had engineered that engine to switch off was through a solenoid that closed shutting off the fuel flow to the injectors. So when that solenoid fails open guess what......

Anyway fortunately in my case it was a manual so I could stall it. Had to do that every journey for a couple of weeks until the dealer could get the replacement part in
 

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Wow, really interesting stories above.

We all have our "fixes" for getting around these things in old cars (Cooper S with pre ignition so have the stall in gear/driving multiple cars/bikes home with no clutch/alligator clip lead to coil when ign switch on old car fails etc........); but with new cars you take for granted that you "don't need these bodgie fixes"; but they are getting old enough now so that you do.

So if my Chrysler decides to"not switch off"; I would have to find the fuel pump fuse I guess. Meanwhile, car idling away in the garage. :p I would never have even started to think of doing that.

When 80's cars became computerised and complicated; I said that in 20 years time; they would be a nightmare. Complication means they are reliable at the time; but when old........ I was told I was "old fashioned".

I predicted there would be a "Gulf" where you have the pre 80's cars where so simple, anyone can get/fix/parts interchangeable etc. Then you would have cars up to 20 years old that nothing has gone wrong with yet. Then there is that "Gulf" from 1985 to early 2000. Old enough for stuff to go wrong/complicated enough for it to have LOTS of it/old enough for people to say "don't bother/too expensive/get a new one."

I have a friend with a 1998 Hyundai Coupe. He LOVES it and really wants to keep it, but I had to look at it as no one interested. EVERYONE he went to "get rid of/not worth it/parts worth more than", so I had a look at it. Managed to narrow it down to two things; one of which WAS the problem; other needs checking.

But cars of that era just VANISH. There are some cars of that era they made millions of = almost none left. Worth $1,000 - bill to fix could be 5 times that. Amazing how something that complex = just disposable.

And we are meant to be saving the planet?????

The two stories above...... if we are going to keep these cars; looks like we (me at least) will have to revise some thinking.

Cheers.
 

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So if my Chrysler decides to"not switch off"; I would have to find the fuel pump fuse I guess.
Fortunately, I've never heard of this problem with a 300C, but quoting Murphy's Law: "If anything can fail, it will".

I remember seeing "Emergency Fuel Cut-Off" flaps on the rear of buses, many years ago. Not sure whether they still have them, but perhaps all vehicles need them.
 
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