Time to replace the battery? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 12 Old 24-03-13 Thread Starter
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Time to replace the battery?

Had to call out the roadside recovery people yesterday (Saturday) as my 156 1.9 16v JTD wouldn't start - the dashboard barely lit up when I turned the key.

The guy clipped on a battery booster thingumy and it fired into life on the first turn of the key. He tested the alternator which was showing a steady 13.98 (I forget what units), but wasn't able to test the battery.

Looking through the receipts I was given when I bought the car the battery was replaced about 3.5 years ago, and it's a Schnapp Energy Gold (I can't see the model number).

I'd done 2 short trips on Tues evening, then the car had sat doing nothing till Saturday and I did 2 more short trips on Saturday, it was as I next tried to start it, that night, that it died. So it'd not had a decent run to charge the battery back up and when used I'd obviously been using all the heating/demisting.

Had I just not given it chance to properly charge and this was a one off, or is it the start of things to come and I'll likely be left stranded again???

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If you have a charger, take it out and charge it properly (which will take over a day...).
That may get you by for a while, but an old battery in cold weather combined with very short trips won't be helping. Even a good battery will struggle after a while.
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Most places that sell batteries will also have a discharge tester, if you go down with it charged up they should give an honest opinion.
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Thanks for that, I think I'll see how it is over the next few days and go from there.
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4 short runs shouldn't deplete the battery... you should be able to do at least 15 consecutive starts with a properly charged battry, which is more than the starter motor will endure.

So yes, the battery is on it's way out. What car batteries (SLI) don't like is deep discharging, it's best to get the highest capacity battery that'll fit so you don't drain it more than 3-ish% after a start. If the battery has been left to get low while the car was for sale I wouldn't be surprised you only got 3 years out of it...

If you constantly drive for a few minutes only consider an alternative mode of transportation, maybe something that helps with your health aswell Allow for 30 minutes running time per start attempt on a diesel to recharge the battery. In summer, during daytime etc it won't need as much, but in winter, after dark etc 30 minutes is barely enough
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecnarfi View Post
Thanks for that, I think I'll see how it is over the next few days and go from there.
If it still hasn't been charged up, it will obviously begin to struggle again.
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(Post Link) post #7 of 12 Old 25-03-13 Thread Starter
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Quote:
If the battery has been left to get low while the car was for sale I wouldn't be surprised you only got 3 years out of it...
I've owned the car for the last 2 years so it's not that, although I often don't use it through the week so it does stand unused for days on end.
Quote:
If you constantly drive for a few minutes only consider an alternative mode of transportation, maybe something that helps with your health aswell
I usually give it a good run when I use it, so this was an unusual series of events which is why I wondered if it was to be expected.
After the bloke got me started again I took it for a 40min spin down the dual carriageway to hopefully get it charged up again.

Quote:
If you have a charger, take it out and charge it properly (which will take over a day...).
Quote:
If it still hasn't been charged up, it will obviously begin to struggle again.
I used to have one but lent it out years ago and haven't seen it since...

I need to nip out tonight so will see how it behaves, if it's struggling (or dead) I'll order a replacement.

Thanks again for the comments.

Last edited by ecnarfi; 25-03-13 at 09:11.
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(Post Link) post #8 of 12 Old 25-03-13 Thread Starter
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Just tried to start it and it's dead... Well I guess that answers that question then...
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Alfa 156 2.5 V6

Buy ALFA ROMEO 156 1.9 2004 car batteries online and save | Buy Parts By

Cheapest batteries I found so far. Personally I would spend a few quid extra and get the silver top.

£81.00 inc next day deliver for the 140bhp/115bhp silver top
£72.00 inc next day delivery for the 140bhp/115bhp blue top.

They deliver using Yodel. I have had two off them in the last 2 weeks, 1 blue top for the Fiat diesel and 1 silver top for the 156 V6. Can't fault the price or service.

Both delivered on time, well packaged, correct and less than half the price of Hellfords.
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(Post Link) post #10 of 12 Old 25-03-13 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion but unfortunately I need it ASAP as I've a long drive tomorrow night.

Will pick one up tomorrow morning from Euro Car Parts - with the 20% off code they're pretty competitive.

I see they have 2 different 5yr Silver top Bosch batteries;
Bosch Battery (S5 Battery 027 5 Year Guarantee)
and
Bosch Battery (S5 Battery 100 (74Ah) 5 Year Guarantee)

Is it worth getting the more expensive/powerful one, or will the cheaper one be fine?
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It's always worth it to get the biggest one that'll fit. Like I mentioned before, car batteries don't like discharging, something the big one only does a fraction of the smaller one while starting.
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It sounds like your battery lives in a state of permanent low-ish charge, if you don't use the car for days on end and then only for a short trip. If the charge is low, the acid in the battery starts to attack the lead plates, making them thin and brittle.. so they're more likely to break off (you "lose" one of the cells.. so your battery won't have the full 12 volts (nearer 13).. more like 10.5.

You can give the beast a boost by sticking a charger on it for a few hours on the weekend.. even an hour or two will be useful.

You can also get Battery Aid tablets. They don't prevent the plates being damaged but they dissolve any lead sulphate in your battery. When the plates get eaten by the acid, it produces lead sulphate which falls to the bottom of the battery. If the level gets too high it shorts out the plates in the cell, so you get less cranking power (amps) from that cell. By dissolving the suplate, you can keep the battery running for longer.. but it's usually time to start saving for a new battery..


Ralf S.

No bullets for Chaingun..
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