Failed to start after 2 weeks sat idle - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Failed to start after 2 weeks sat idle

Hi Guys,

I've been away for a fortnight with work - came back to my lovely TI SW for a quick blast on saturday morning, and the battery had gone flat on me! I have a 30mile commute, so prior to going away it had had a decent amount of running so it should have been fully charged.

Ended up calling out the AA - got it started no problems, and a decent run around has charged the battery fine, but I'm not particularly impressed... My wife's Honda Jazz (!) sat for the whole month of December, including under all that snow, and worked first time when she came to it.

Going on holiday in a couple of months, and the plan was to park up at Gatwick - I'm not sure I fancy the idea of needing to get the AA out again when we've just landed. Mrs (and Junior) Cheesemaster will KILL me!

What length of time do you reckon it SHOULD be able to sit inactive for?

Oh yeah - it's a 10 plate with 8k on the clock, so the battery really shouldn't be on the way out!! (And AA-man said it was charging fine)
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Presumably there is a constant draw on the battery. Modern cars are worse for this with various gizmos fitted. It could be worth checking to see if you have a dodgy circuit that is drawing too much. I believe it's usually faulty stereos that draw too much.

You could always put a charge pack in the boot to jump start yourself at the airport in case it doesn't start up. Or park up and disconect the battery in the carpark.

Last edited by Chuffy; 21-02-11 at 11:23.
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A fully charged battery in good condition should be no problem in restarting a car after 2-3 weeks.

Either the battery is faulty or there is an excessive residual current draw assuming the alternator is actually charging.

Is the car still under warranty? I would guess it needs checking by the dealer first. Has any non-standard electrical items been fitted since the car was new (upgraded sterio etc.)?

The dealer should check the battery condition both for charge and current capacity under load in case some cells are faulty. If they replace the battery they may ask you to contribute say 30%-50% cost as they normally class the battery as a use/wear related item.

A dealer should also check for current draw with all systems dormant after say 20-30 minutes.

If you have a multi-meter you could do some current draw checks yourself. The current reading (inserting the meter in line with the earth strap) should be taken after at least 20mins of everything being de-activated to be certain. Systems will still be cycling down soon after the last switch-off.

Make sure any bonnet, boot and door switches are in the 'closed' position and everything is 'off'.

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My TI will not start after two weeks idle. I now disconnect the battery using the quick release on the neg terminal. My opinion is that the alarm drain current is too large for the size of battery fitted.
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The alarm takes some current, also I noticed that during the very cold weather, there was a sensor area by the rearview mirror where the water had not frozen, so that was taking current as wellwhen I replaced the battery I put a slightly higher spec, and it now starts just fine
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Hi Guys,
I have just returned from a two week holiday and had the same problem with my 10 plate, 159 and when in for its first service a couple of days ago, asked the service manager about this and he said that it was acceptable for the battery to be flat after the car sitting idle for a fortnight, well I don't find that acceptable, what rubbish that you pay 25,000 for a car and the battery goes flat within two weeks.
When leaving car at the airport, there is no need for the alarm to be on, cctv is everywhere, does anyone know how to lock the doors and deactivate the alarm or just not put the alarm on.
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Isn't it a bit odd that the alarm is draining the main battery in such a short time? The alarm should have it's own battery for the very reason that a thief may disconnect the main battery! Most aftermarket alarms charge up themselves and can cope with long periods of inactivity so whats going on with Alfa's?
As has been said elsewhere put your multimeter between the earth post of the battery and the terminal to see the current draw, don't try to start the car with this arrangement, best case will blow a fuse, worst case will melt your meter leads onto your hands if you're holding on!!
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It's not surprising when you look at all the systems that
remain active, the short journeys people take
and the fake "sealed" batteries that we no longer
check and top up.

It only takes one cell to go due to low electrolyte
levels and the battery is toast.

The only way to avoid this is to check
the level on all cells. The red/green float
indicator is only on 1 of the cells.
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Dealer traced issue to upod lead

I had this problem with my brera. It was traced to a 3rd party ipod adaptor cable I was using (ie not usb into the blue&me rather a lead into back of radio). Once removed my car sits for a month or so and has done for three years with no problems and the car is now 5 or 6 yrs old
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The boss had a similar problem with her CRV. She phoned me one day in February saying it wouldn't start and she couldn't get home from work - she decided it was cause she had left the lights on.
She has a 20 mile round trip to work, mainly in traffic.
Well, she was driving with the heated seat on at full and the aircon at Hi (because she's one of these people who doesn't believe that it works properly if you just set it to a temp).
Even though she was doing a 20 mile journey, she was draining the battery more than charging it. Once the car was jump started I told her to switch the heated seat off, or at least only use it for a couple of minutes, and to turn the aircon to around 20C, keeping it on full auto.
I still don't think she believes me, but she is a little more careful about the high-drain electrics on the car.

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