Author Topic: Non Starter  (Read 1811 times)

Sharon

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Non Starter
« on: August 12, 2019, 07:01:37 PM »
Hi all, from this chain of events can anyone work out what may be the issue?

1) Couple of weeks ago, due to leaving a cig lighter gadget 'on' all night, I woke to a flat battery.
2) After jump starting the car, I went for a short drive, to give the battery some life.
3) Next day (and this time nothing was left 'on' overnight) the battery was flat again.
4) I went to a tyre place and asked them to check the battery for me, they did and the test showed that the battery (it's only 18 months old) was working fine. The guy told me to take the battery out and trickle charge it all night to get a fuller charge.
5) I bought a charger from Halfords and did the above. Stuck it in the car, and it started first time. Great. 
6) The next couple of days all went fine with the car starting with no issues.
7) Yesterday I went out on a VERY long journey, and after all that I fully expected the battery to be finally fully charged, and expected no further issues.
8) Today ....FLAT. Nothing has been left on in the car overnight, so why? Althought its a 2004 car,  It's done around 64k miles so is something failing?
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 07:03:14 PM by Sharon »

sparky Paul

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Re: Non Starter
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2019, 07:07:38 PM »
Get the alternator tested.

Failing that, it's possible you may have a drain somewhere, gradually running the battery down. Battery could even be faulty, testers aren't infallible.

Sharon

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Re: Non Starter
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2019, 07:31:43 PM »
Do Kwik fit - and other battery tyre type places - test alternators? And if its knackered, what sort of cost would a replacement be?

Jocko

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Re: Non Starter
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2019, 08:37:12 PM »
Normally the places that test batteries will check the output from the alternator.
You can get a second hand one on eBay for about 25 - 30.
Personally, I would be looking to the battery being at fault. Can you guarantee it is only 18 months old? Has it got a date stamp on it?
With everything switched off try disconnecting the battery and see if there is a tiny spark as you remove/refit the cable. If there is then there is a drain on the battery. Is the boot light on?
Jazz alternators are extremely reliable hence the cheap price of secondhand ones. No market for them.

culzean

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Re: Non Starter
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2019, 08:41:36 PM »
Do Kwik fit - and other battery tyre type places - test alternators? And if its knackered, what sort of cost would a replacement be?

It only needs a decent voltmeter to see if when engine running at about 2000 revs the voltage across battery 13.8 to 14.2 volts.  As Sparky Paul says the battery testers are not infallible - you may have a relay stuck in that is supplying power to something like heated rear screen, heated mirrors or aircon compressor clutch even with ignition off, or even the light in the boot staying on when tailgate closed due to faulty switch, or even interior cabin courtesy  light where switch left in override position but you would notice that.

 I think the thing left plugged into cigarette lighter socket is a red herring as power is removed from that socket when ignition off ( unless previous owner did some modifications to the supply to it ).
Some people will only consider you an expert if they agree with your point of view or advice,  when you give them advice they don't like they consider you an idiot

Jocko

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Re: Non Starter
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2019, 08:46:42 PM »
Not many people have access to a voltmeter, decent of otherwise. But any garage should have, so if you have a friendly garage nearby, they may very well check it at no cost.

MartinJG

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Re: Non Starter
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2019, 08:46:50 PM »
Get the alternator tested.

Failing that, it's possible you may have a drain somewhere, gradually running the battery down. Battery could even be faulty, testers aren't infallible.

Yes. I know there have been a few incidents of mysterious battery drain over time where the cuplrit was a dodgy earth connection in the boot area, possibly behind the plastic panelling. Sorry I can't be more specific.

Sharon

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Re: Non Starter
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2019, 09:00:43 PM »
Thank you so much for your comments guys.

One thing: - If it is a situation where something sneaky is continually draining the battery overnight, how come its been ok for a few days, but flat again today? I'm just wondering if that fact may point further to the dodgy alternator idea?

Jocko

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Re: Non Starter
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2019, 09:16:45 PM »
Could certainly point to an occasionally sticking relay.

culzean

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Re: Non Starter
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2019, 10:10:10 PM »
Could certainly point to an occasionally sticking relay.

+1

The load drawn by most things controlled by a relay would easily flatten a fully charged battery in less than 8 hours, for example the aircon clutch solenoid will draw over 3 amps, as will heated mirrors, heated screen even more. The  engine and aircon cooling fans also relay controlled, as are headlights but it is obvious if they stay on after ignition key removed..
Some people will only consider you an expert if they agree with your point of view or advice,  when you give them advice they don't like they consider you an idiot

culzean

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Re: Non Starter
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2019, 11:29:33 AM »
You could get one of these or similar, the Ring ones seem to have coloured LED indicator lights which show system voltage pretty accurately with all lights lit it shows 14 volts, certainly accurate enough to show if alternator is charging battery, as a bonus you get extra cigarette lighter socket and a couple of USB charging outlets...

https://www.halfords.com/motoring/car-accessories/interior-car-accessories/halfords-cup-holder-multi-socket
Some people will only consider you an expert if they agree with your point of view or advice,  when you give them advice they don't like they consider you an idiot

Sharon

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Re: Non Starter
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2019, 12:11:32 PM »
Culzean, thanks. Will get one of those. Can you advise best plan to use it ? Should I maybe check the voltage after stopping car and then again an hour later?

culzean

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Re: Non Starter
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2019, 02:07:17 PM »
Culzean, thanks. Will get one of those. Can you advise best plan to use it ? Should I maybe check the voltage after stopping car and then again an hour later?

You can use the lights to show alternator is charging as all 4 lights including the green one will be on,  the lights are RED= low voltage, orange = 12 volts, yellow =  12.5 volts and green = 14 volts.   When all lights on including green are lit you can be sure alternator is pumping out around 14 volts,  after a run when the engine is stopped the green goes out and 3 lights will be on,  sometimes after a while only 2 lights on as battery voltage stabilises.   At least lights are easily visible and give a constant health check on system voltage - if you see the green one on with engine running you know system voltage is high enough to charge battery OK, so after that if you see it drop too quickly you are looking at a dodgy battery or a parasitic load draining power from battery.  We have one in both our cars and very useful for charging phones or running dashcam and  satnav at same time and you can use a normal USB to micro USB lead to charge two phones at same time.
Some people will only consider you an expert if they agree with your point of view or advice,  when you give them advice they don't like they consider you an idiot

Kenneve

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Re: Non Starter
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2019, 02:37:40 PM »
Whilst not directly connected to a Jazz, my daughter recently purchased a 2014 Landrover Discovery 4 which has covered 115k miles. Within 2 days we had a message on the dashboard saying 'Battery Low, please start engine'.
I checked the  battery voltage after a run and found it to be 12.3V, which is way down on the nominal of 12.7V.
Today she called the AA out to check, they found it to be over 50% down on capacity, probably because it was the original battery as fitted when the car was new. They have replaced the battery with a new AGM 100 HA 850CCA battery and all is well, no messages.
It has be said that any modern car contains a whole host of electronics and a low battery can be the cause of many problems.

Sharon

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Re: Non Starter
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2019, 06:02:52 PM »
ok, got one. All lights come on when driving. Red and green when parked up. Will monitor the issue. Thanks Culzean and everyone else with good advice.  ;D

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