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solar charger

I've just been out to the car again and the battery is 11.62 volts just too little to turn over. Not used it for 2 weeks apart from 4 very short runs by the wife, so I half expected it.

I understand the solar battery chargers don't work via the cigarette lighter as it isn't active when the key is out. Is there a good place to run a couple of wires through the bulkhead to put on a permanent connection, which I can disconnect inside the car, say in the glovebox?

The car is parked on the street so there's no other option.

thanks

Jonnym
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You might want to consider investing in a new battery. 2 weeks is a short time to discharge in.
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The battery is fine and holding charge. Its a relatively comon complaint about the 159, there are a few threads on this forum.

Mine usually last quite abit longer, but with a few very short journeys it understandable.

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There should be a permanent live to the stereo that you can splice into.

The solar chargers do work, but the bigger you can get the better really. The one I had was 2W output, and to be honest it was marginal... A 4W or 8W would be a better bet, especially in winter when there is less sun and the days are shorter.

Maplins ususally have a good selection.
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I had wonderd about the stereo or interior lights live. I might just buy a booster battery pack if not. Thanks for the info.

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If you know you are not going to use it for a bit you could lock it with the mechanical key.
This leaves the alarm system and sensors deactivated so the battery doesn't drain as quickly.
Downside is obviously no active alarm.
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Just a personal comment and I understand it may be a common complaint for the 159 but 11.62 volts is more than acceptable for a battery in working condition. Holding its charge may not be the issue and the cold crankng capacity of the battery may be less than ideal. For the battery to be failing to start the car in cold conditions the voltage must be dropping to something like 9.5v or 10.5v under load as 10.8v is normally the minimum acceptable battery voltage for cold starts.

Find out your current battery's Ah rating and cold cranking/low temperature current capacity and consider the a new battery (Bosch or Varta) either larger if it will fit or with improved specifications if possible (Bosch S6 or S5).

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I have just run a couple of wires up through the speaker grille on the rear parcel shelf, my solar charger then just plugs / unplugs and only leaves 2-3" cable showing
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I have just run a couple of wires up through the speaker grille on the rear parcel shelf, my solar charger then just plugs / unplugs and only leaves 2-3" cable showing
Nice idea...but I have a Sports wagon.
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Originally Posted by Sunbar View Post
Just a personal comment and I understand it may be a common complaint for the 159 but 11.62 volts is more than acceptable for a battery in working condition. Holding its charge may not be the issue and the cold crankng capacity of the battery may be less than ideal. For the battery to be failing to start the car in cold conditions the voltage must be dropping to something like 9.5v or 10.5v under load as 10.8v is normally the minimum acceptable battery voltage for cold starts.

Find out your current battery's Ah rating and cold cranking/low temperature current capacity and consider the a new battery (Bosch or Varta) either larger if it will fit or with improved specifications if possible (Bosch S6 or S5).
Its a 2 year old bosch battery on it. My alternator fried a month or so ago and the battery in at the time was not charging past 12 volts and not recovering well. So as luck would have it I had kept the battery from my old car (on a conditioner)which I had recently replaced. It was slightly better rated than the one I had removed. However looking at the recommended battery for my car it is slightly under size.

It wasn't 11v under load but recovery. I agree if the battery were a bit bigger that it would have coped better, but our car is used for a lot of very short journeys in between which its left to stand for a couple of weeks, then once every couple of months it gets taken on high mileage journeys. So I don't think just a big battery would be the answer.

Sorry for the mistakes typing on my phone.

Jonnym

Last edited by jonnym; 18-11-12 at 12:48.
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Originally Posted by 159SWQ43.2 View Post
If you know you are not going to use it for a bit you could lock it with the mechanical key.
This leaves the alarm system and sensors deactivated so the battery doesn't drain as quickly.
Downside is obviously no active alarm.
Now this could be the answer! I was wondering how to disable the alarm, I hadn't though of that.

thanks

Jonnym

Last edited by jonnym; 18-11-12 at 12:49.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunbar View Post
Just a personal comment and I understand it may be a common complaint for the 159 but 11.62 volts is more than acceptable for a battery in working condition. Holding its charge may not be the issue and the cold crankng capacity of the battery may be less than ideal. For the battery to be failing to start the car in cold conditions the voltage must be dropping to something like 9.5v or 10.5v under load as 10.8v is normally the minimum acceptable battery voltage for cold starts.

Find out your current battery's Ah rating and cold cranking/low temperature current capacity and consider the a new battery (Bosch or Varta) either larger if it will fit or with improved specifications if possible (Bosch S6 or S5).
This is such an inaccurate post. It is far too general. My wifes Punto battery failed while still giving a resting voltage of 12. 5v. There are different factors that dictate what is acceptabe for different cars and what dictates a battery is dead..

There is no way 11.62v would start my Gtv which is why so many owners have suffered from non starting cars when there car was fitted with an after market head unit (battery drain)

Best to fit and isolating terminal if leaving the car for long periods and add a solar charger - if you have the stereo code!

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Last edited by Mitch916; 18-11-12 at 15:10.
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I have just run a couple of wires up through the speaker grille on the rear parcel shelf, my solar charger then just plugs / unplugs and only leaves 2-3" cable showing
Hi Andy665
I also have a SW. Where did you connect the wires to in the boot to get the 12V feed ?
Tx
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Hi Andy665
I also have a SW. Where did you connect the wires to in the boot to get the 12V feed ?
Tx
I don't think he has a SW as he has a parcel shelf.

I wonder if the lighter socket in the boot of the SW is also turned off with key removal? I will check later.


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This is such an inaccurate post. It is far too general. My wifes Punto battery failed while still giving a resting voltage of 12. 5v. There are different factors that dictate what is acceptabe for different cars and what dictates a battery is dead..

There is no way 11.62v would start my Gtv which is why so many owners have suffered from non starting cars when there car was fitted with an after market head unit (battery drain)

Best to fit and isolating terminal if leaving the car for long periods and add a solar charger - if you have the stereo code!
No way would 11.6v start mine I doubt anything under 12v has a hope in hell. The cold cranking might be slightly to low on my battery. Its one of the recommended batteries on eurocarparts however the battery manufacturer indicates to the contrary.

Although 11.62 volts is more than acceptable for a battery in working condition it doesn't have any baring on turning the car over. I've put the battery back on the conditioner for 2 days and its holding 13.3 volts so all good there, still have the discharge problem however.

I'm guessing I would need the radio code if the car were unplugged for a period of time rather than the addition of the solar charger. I do have the code....somewhere. Trying to get the wife to open the bonnet to use the isolator is another matter

thanks

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It isn't really the voltage that makes the car crank it is the current...

The voltage is often just an indication of the state of the battery or the charge it is holding.

If a battery was pushing out only 10v it would still start the car if it was producing enough current to go with it.
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Your solar charger will work through the lighter sockets when the key is not in the ignition. The key removal prevents the draw of power in the normal manner. The ECU will do that. However the charging system works on tha fact that your vehicle is negatively earthed to the battery. Hence the charge of electrons to the battery run from negative rail to positive ( unlike current that runs positive to negative). Note therefore that your charger must be disconnected when the vehicle is started or running...the diodes within the circuit will hold off for so long, but the charger and ecu might not like it for long.
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The charger won't work on the lighter socket because removing the key breaks the connection between the socket and the battery.
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It breaks the connection only in terms of it electonically isolates it. It doesn't mechanically isolate the circuit in the way a purpose heavy duty isolator switch does. It merely prevents current being drawn from it when the key is not in the ignition, as i said ecu and diode stuff ensure that. As the socket is negatively earthed however, you can still use the socket if you are inputting a "charger" as you are not drawing a current through the socket.
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It breaks the connection only in terms of it electonically isolates it. It doesn't mechanically isolate the circuit in the way a purpose heavy duty isolator switch does. It merely prevents current being drawn from it when the key is not in the ignition, as i said ecu and diode stuff ensure that. As the socket is negatively earthed however, you can still use the socket if you are inputting a "charger" as you are not drawing a current through the socket.
So your saying a solar charger will still work. Thanks for the info.

I will go back to looking more seriously. It would be good to find how much is being drawn from the car while its parked up, that way the appropriate solar charger can be bought.

While getting one at around 2-8w would be best they tend to get large and as it will have to stay in the car and survive buggys etc being put in the boot, then the smaller the better.

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Guess its relatively easy to check. Undo the battery, stick a bulb between the battery leads then use an old charger in the lighter connected to a battery. Should be definitive.

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I have just run a couple of wires up through the speaker grille on the rear parcel shelf, my solar charger then just plugs / unplugs and only leaves 2-3" cable showing
Andy what did you connect the wires to?

Thanks

Jon
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I've just been poking around in the boot. The SportsWagon have a fuse box in one of the side pockets. Theres a big meaty live cable in there, if I piggy back that and earth to the bolts above with an inline fuse would that be suitable for a solar charger?

I've had the meter on it and it appears to be permanently live.

Thanks for any help

Jon
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FYI, it's the same in the saloon. The cable is for the Bose amplifier I think.
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