More Problems, Starting this time.

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OwenP
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More Problems, Starting this time.

Post by OwenP » 14 May 2009, 19:14

Well my steaming pi... ahem I mean brillant piece of french design has gone wrong yet again.

Went to nip to tesco tonight and the car wouldn't start. It worked fine about a week ago and has been on the drive since.

More details, turned the key and got some funny noises from the cabin fan system, sounded like the flow directors were grating a bit, got very dim ignition lights and no glow plug lights.

Turned the key the next stage, no turn over, no click, nothing. On letting the key back one stage all the ignition lights came up to ful, but still no glow plug light.

Moving any controls caused the lights to dim, but could still get the cabin fan to run and move.

Going to take the battery out to charge after dinner just in case, any ideas what could be causing this though?

The car is a 405 estate 1.9TD.

Cheers guys.

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 14 May 2009, 22:10

On the face of it Owen, it looks like the battery has failed. A quick check with a voltmeter will reveal all... The symptoms point to a very low voltage coming from it.

This seems to be how batteries go these days. One day all Ok and the next, they've bid a fond farewell...

Before fully condemming the battery, do check all the connections especially the earth to the bodyshell and to the gearbox as well as the battery connections themselves.

The battery may briefly come to life after a charge but it may not last.

Finally, there may be something in the car discharging the battery over time. The gklovebox and boot lights are good starting points for searching out culprits, followed by the alarm.

OwenP
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Post by OwenP » 15 May 2009, 07:51

I have always thought the alarm in this particular car drains the battery more than it should, but have never really had any proof.

Would a failed battery give a different set of problems to a low charge one?

Normally when the battery runs low I do still get a slow turn over.

Will try to borrow a voltmeter from work tonight, what do I need to look for with the meter?

citronut
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Post by citronut » 15 May 2009, 08:42

i have on the odd ocation over the years gone to start a car in the morrning, and found there not to be enough battery to do what its spos to,

topped up the electralight jump start and it would maybe last another 6 months or so,

it might be worth checking you battery's electralight level, but if topping it up only just cover the tops of the plates in each of the cells

regards malcolm

OwenP
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Post by OwenP » 15 May 2009, 18:28

Just had a quick look with the multimeter, battery is reading 9.18V across terminals and from positive to various location on engine/bodywork, couldn't get an Amps reading. So I'm guessing the battery is well and truely dead.

The elecrolyte levels were fine although the electrode I could see were badly discoloured, even compared to the last battery I pronounced dead.

Is it worth checking anything else, i.e. ignition relay/glow plug relay and if so any recommendations on how or do I bite the bullet and get a new battery?

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myglaren
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Post by myglaren » 15 May 2009, 19:06

I'd charge the battery then assuming the car starts drive to a battery vendor/autoelectrician and get the battery and alternator tested. They will load test it which will give a better indication of it's health or lack thereof and also if the alternator output is sufficient.

OwenP
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Post by OwenP » 15 May 2009, 22:09

Will try that unfortunately I only have a fairly slow charger, and I'm not sure if there are any auto electricians up here.

I would hope that the alternator is pretty much ok as it was only replaced about 3 years/ 20000 miles ago.

Might see if a friend can give me a jump start and go from there.

OwenP
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Post by OwenP » 17 May 2009, 17:35

I think the battery has had it.

Got a jump start off a friend tonight and checked the voltages, with the engine running it was about 14.25 Volts, so I'm guessing the alternator is still good.

Engine off still around the 9-10 Volts, turning the ignition on however dropped that to about 7 Volts, and if I tried to start the car I got down to about 4 Volts.

Anybody ever used these guys before: http://www.performancebatteries.co.uk/?

They seem to be recommending an Alphaline battery with a cold crank of 580 (Its a 660 in there at the moment), does that seem reasonable to £50 or should I look for something with a bit more oomph?

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myglaren
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Post by myglaren » 17 May 2009, 19:14

Just looked at mine, used the camera as a notebook but can't find the leads to upload the image but it is a Varta L3 450/720 if that helps.

No idea how old it might be but I sometimes get the feeling that it could do with a bit more ooomph although I never get the spurious electronics weidness that generally accompanies reduced voltage, except when I leave the headlights on for ages with the engine stopped, which is to be expected and soon rights itself.

Had a look on the Varta site and this was as close as I came:
"574 012 068 3132" (battery type 075) - can't link to the search results. £80~£90 (didn't check for terminal type/orientation)

I'm reasonably sure though that the one specified for my Xantia with the same engine was an 068.

There is an option on the site to locate the closest retailer but as long as the specs are right or exceeded slightly you will be OK with alternative makes.

I had a quick look at Tayna Batteries and the choice seems more flexible and comprehensive, prices are no better though.

Easy for me to say perhaps but I would go for the best you can afford, or slightly better.