Amethyst battery problems - help please

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by Eonod on Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:44 pm

Our Ford Transit Amethyst van, acquired July 2015, has sat unused on the drive over winter.
The van has a roof mounted solar panel, which has been set to the leisure battery all the time.
I have had a trickle charger solar panel plugged into the cigar socket keeping the engine battery topped up.
I noticed mid week the immobilizer (flashing red dash light) had stopped working.
On investigating, I have found the trickle charger solar panel has gone faulty, which means the engine battery is now almost totally flat.
Checked the engine battery today and its under 2 volts.
As the van is new to us, we are still learning about it, so a little unsure how to proceed and resolve this.
I can't connect up my smart charger for some strange reason, to the remote connection points (not recognizing battery), so at a loss as how to charge the engine battery.
I have switched the roof solar panel to the engine battery in the hope it might bring it back, which I doubt.
I know there is an on-board charger that works through the mains … Would plugging the van into the mains help?
Failing that, I assume the battery will need changing, which would have to be done it situ ... by me.
YouTube says the battery is under passenger seat and is accessible on its removal ... Is this correct?
If this is required ... Anyone able to advise of possible issues / problems?
Thanks in advance.
avatar
Eonod
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 25
Joined : 2015-06-19
Location : South West
Auto-Sleeper : Amethyst
Vehicle Year : 2002

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by mattpc on Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:16 pm

I had exactly the same problem with a trickle charger solar panel. I bought it on ebay, connected it up, thought I was doing something sensible. In one week it drained the battery! Absolutely useless. I was then worried there was a problem with the battery or van. There was not. Since then I've always just tried to unplug the battery if not using the van for a period of time and also removed the engine battery entirely sometimes to charge it at home. Much safer it would seem. Autosleeper do seem to move the location of their batteries around. Both leisure and engine battery are under the bonnet on my van but other owners of the same model report that the battery is under a seat or something..
avatar
mattpc
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 69
Joined : 2014-11-16
Location : Manchester
Auto-Sleeper : Clubman 2.0 LPG
Vehicle Year : 1992

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by mattpc on Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:19 pm

In answer to your actual question however... If it were me, I'd find the location of the battery, take the battery out, charge the battery on the slowest charge setting I could find for a few days. Some people seem to suggest charging for 12 hours, leaving for 12 hours, charging for 12 hours etc very slowly to bring back a flat battery. It has sometimes worked for me. Certainly it's worth giving a go before forking out for a new battery.
avatar
mattpc
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 69
Joined : 2014-11-16
Location : Manchester
Auto-Sleeper : Clubman 2.0 LPG
Vehicle Year : 1992

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by -mojo- on Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:23 pm

It's not uncommon for a smart charger not to want to charge a battery that is that flat. If you can find/borrow an older "conventional" battery charger you are likely to find that this will bring the battery voltage up enough in half an hour for the smart charger to then work on it. You should expect to replace it though - batteries taken that low never fully recover in my experience.

I would NOT try to use the van's built-in charger to try to recharge it. It would ~probably~ be Ok, but charging a dead flat battery is the hardest thing that it will have done in a while, so I would not risk it - it will be expensive to replace if it goes pop.

As the van is relatively new to you it's possible that you have left something powered on which the solar panel could not keep up with - or it's possible that the existing battery is just too old and has had enough...
avatar
-mojo-
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 3566
Joined : 2012-08-04
Location : Southeast
Auto-Sleeper : Trooper
Vehicle Year : 2006

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by Eonod on Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:25 pm

mattpc wrote:I had exactly the same problem with a trickle charger solar panel. I bought it on ebay, connected it up, thought I was doing something sensible. In one week it drained the battery! Absolutely useless. I was then worried there was a problem with the battery or van. There was not. Since then I've always just tried to unplug the battery if not using the van for a period of time and also removed the engine battery entirely sometimes to charge it at home. Much safer it would seem. Autosleeper do seem to move the location of their batteries around. Both leisure and engine battery are under the bonnet on my van but other owners of the same model report that the battery is under a seat or something..

Thanks for your reply mattpc.
Unfortunately, I can't see any batteries under the bonnet, so they must be somewhere else think_smiley_46
avatar
Eonod
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 25
Joined : 2015-06-19
Location : South West
Auto-Sleeper : Amethyst
Vehicle Year : 2002

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by Eonod on Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:32 pm

-mojo- wrote:It's not uncommon for a smart charger not to want to charge a battery that is that flat. If you can find/borrow an older "conventional" battery charger you are likely to find that this will bring the battery voltage up enough in half an hour for the smart charger to then work on it. You should expect to replace it though - batteries taken that low never fully recover in my experience.

I would NOT try to use the van's built-in charger to try to recharge it. It would ~probably~ be Ok, but charging a dead flat battery is the hardest thing that it will have done in a while, so I would not risk it - it will be expensive to replace if it goes pop.

As the van is relatively new to you it's possible that you have left something powered on which the solar panel could not keep up with - or it's possible that the existing battery is just too old and has had enough...

Thanks mojo for your reply.
I have a conventional charger ... somewhere, I just can't find it at the moment.
When I find it I will give it a try, in-situ.
If no good then I will locate and isolate the battery and attempt to charge again.
If that fails, then I will have to organize a new battery so_sad
avatar
Eonod
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 25
Joined : 2015-06-19
Location : South West
Auto-Sleeper : Amethyst
Vehicle Year : 2002

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by kaspian on Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:08 am

Hi Eonod, I totally agree with the others, if a battery has been flattened that much , smart chargers do not want to charge even although they are supposed to slowly raise the voltage until normal charging resumes. I have recovered a battery that was down around 4v using a 35 year old Halfords charger with conventional step down transformer as opposed to the now more common switch mode power  supplies. A couple of hours on the conventional charger raise the voltage enough for the smart charger to start normal recovery. Perhaps I was lucky but that battery  gave good service for another 4 years! If I remember the batteries on a Transit are under the cab seats and I would remove the battery to attempt recharge. Just remember that you will have a starter battery and probably a leisure battery sometimes known as an aux .  battery by Ford. Easy to check which one you find as apart from the battery having 2v output the engine battery will have heavy leads connected to supply current for starter motor whereas aux/ leisure battery connection leads are usually much thinner.
          You may find that something has been left on that caused the drain down in the first place or a faulty solar panel without a diode to stop reverse current flow powering the panel when dark. Small panels give out so little current that even a modest drain would easily outstrip their output. In short it is always worth having a go but be prepared to replace .....

kaspian
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 219
Joined : 2015-09-27
Location : ayrshire - Burns country
Auto-Sleeper : kemerton
Vehicle Year : 2014

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by dbroada on Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:23 am

just looked at your Avatar and can confirm that the battery on my Mk 6 transit is under the driver's seat.

My van is not an A/S so may well be wired very differently but I can get to the battery terminals by moving the seat forwards and I can then recharge the battery using a charger plugged into a wall socket and the van plugged into the mains. Having failed to locate my smart charger I am using an old Halfords one, or at least I will be in a day or two.

_________________
Dave
avatar
dbroada
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 1446
Joined : 2015-10-25
Location : Surrey
Auto-Sleeper : Nuevo EK (Fiat)
Vehicle Year : 2016

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by Eonod on Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:00 pm

kaspian wrote:Hi Eonod, I totally agree with the others, if a battery has been flattened that much , smart chargers do not want to charge even although they are supposed to slowly raise the voltage until normal charging resumes. I have recovered a battery that was down around 4v using a 35 year old Halfords charger with conventional step down transformer as opposed to the now more common switch mode power  supplies. A couple of hours on the conventional charger raise the voltage enough for the smart charger to start normal recovery. Perhaps I was lucky but that battery  gave good service for another 4 years! If I remember the batteries on a Transit are under the cab seats and I would remove the battery to attempt recharge. Just remember that you will have a starter battery and probably a leisure battery sometimes known as an aux .  battery by Ford. Easy to check which one you find as apart from the battery having 2v output the engine battery will have heavy leads connected to supply current for starter motor whereas aux/ leisure battery connection leads are usually much thinner.
          You may find that something has been left on that caused the drain down in the first place or a faulty solar panel without a diode to stop reverse current flow powering the panel when dark. Small panels give out so little current that even a modest drain would easily outstrip their output. In short it is always worth having a go but be prepared to replace .....

Not been able to find my old conventional charger.
The passenger seat has a safe under it, so the batteries must be under the drivers seat but can't see them.
Unfortunately, I have a small problem, in that the van is parked in a very small enclosed area and I can't open the drivers door, been using the passengers door to get in and out, so any dismantling will have to be done from inside.
Youtube shows the seats being taken out through the door, to get access.
So I have decided to risk it and use the on-board charger and try to get some life back into the battery.
The Van is now plugged into the mains and the flashing dash light is now flashing, so power must be getting to the engine battery.
I will now just wait and hope the voltage goes up twiddle_thumbs


Last edited by Eonod on Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
avatar
Eonod
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 25
Joined : 2015-06-19
Location : South West
Auto-Sleeper : Amethyst
Vehicle Year : 2002

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by Eonod on Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:02 pm

dbroada wrote:just looked at your Avatar and can confirm that the battery on my Mk 6 transit is under the driver's seat.

My van is not an A/S so may well be wired very differently but I can get to the battery terminals by moving the seat forwards and I can then recharge the battery using a charger plugged into a wall socket and the van plugged into the mains. Having failed to locate my smart charger I am using an old Halfords one, or at least I will be in a day or two.
dbroada thanks for checking smile!
avatar
Eonod
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 25
Joined : 2015-06-19
Location : South West
Auto-Sleeper : Amethyst
Vehicle Year : 2002

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by dbroada on Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:34 pm

Eonod wrote:
dbroada wrote:just looked at your Avatar and can confirm that the battery on my Mk 6 transit is under the driver's seat.
dbroada thanks for checking smile!
I didn't have to check. I've done it quite recently and will have to do it again soon too. snigger

_________________
Dave
avatar
dbroada
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 1446
Joined : 2015-10-25
Location : Surrey
Auto-Sleeper : Nuevo EK (Fiat)
Vehicle Year : 2016

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by Dougrdf on Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:59 am

If your battery has been allowed to go flat like it sounds then I doubt if it shall be reliable in future because they just don't like it. 

However, and as others have said, 'smart' chargers aren't that clever in these situations. Many years ago, I read of a chap who worked for the GPO and his job was to maintain all the battery banks that were used for standby in case of a power cut at the phone exchange. He used to charge dead flat batteries with a conventional battery chrger, but, also had a 12v headlight bulb wired across at the same time, thus making the battery work, just like it would do in a car with the lights on when driving.

I have a lawn tractor mower with a motor cycle type battery in it and that too went complete flat last winter as I forgot to leave it on its trickle charger. I used the not-recommended conventional charger plus a 12v side lamp bulb wired across and after some 16 hours of slow charging, it accepted it and has been problem free since. New batteries are some 60 quid so this old boys trick worked for me!
avatar
Dougrdf
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 47
Joined : 2014-10-04
Location : Kent Weald
Auto-Sleeper : Symphony
Vehicle Year : 1996

View user profile http://www.classicpinballs.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by Eonod on Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:28 pm

Battery has been charging for just over 24 hours and now has 8 volts showing.
I will leave for another 24 hours, it may or may not go up a bit more, I will then try my smart charger, as suggested.
Still work in progress but many thanks to the forum members for your advice  up!

PS: On a separate note, my vans independently powered CCTV camera power-pack decided to fry its self this morning, all sorted now.
It seem things electrical (around me) have it in for me at the moment  confused0
avatar
Eonod
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 25
Joined : 2015-06-19
Location : South West
Auto-Sleeper : Amethyst
Vehicle Year : 2002

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by -mojo- on Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:11 pm

Eonod wrote:Battery has been charging for just over 24 hours and now has 8 volts showing.

IMO that indicates that it is completely and utterly shagged.
avatar
-mojo-
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 3566
Joined : 2012-08-04
Location : Southeast
Auto-Sleeper : Trooper
Vehicle Year : 2006

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by Eonod on Sat Apr 02, 2016 3:54 pm

The engine battery has now been replaced, as it was totally knackered.
Both batteries (in my van) are located under the drivers seat.
The leisure battery at the front and the engine battery towards the back.
No need to remove the seat, just pushing the seat forwards and removing the battery compartment cover gives easy access to the engine battery.
The replacement battery was slightly bigger (by 5mm) and I had to modify the holding bracket but all snug now.
I have a new solar panel charger on the dash and will keep a close eye on it.
If I get any further trouble with the engine battery going flat then I will change my tactics and simply disconnect the engine battery when the van is parked up over the winter month's.
Now I know where it is and how easy it is to get to, its not a problem :)
Many thanks for the help and feedback  up!
avatar
Eonod
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 25
Joined : 2015-06-19
Location : South West
Auto-Sleeper : Amethyst
Vehicle Year : 2002

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by Eonod on Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:56 am

Seems I'm still have battery problems with my van.
Thought it wise to check this morning and found the leisure battery has gone totally flat, the new engine battery is down to 12.6 volts, so I have some serious electrical drain problems.
Disconnected the engine battery (for now and will charge it back up).
Hoping the solar panel will recover the leisure battery (as it was fine before) but I still don't know what's causing the power drain problems.
I was under the impression the engine and habitation were separate, so surprised the drain has changed circuits confused0
Its been suggested that it may be internal lights, alarm, or central locking but it's going to take time to eliminate them one at a time.
Anyone have any other suggestions regarding likely causes?
Thanks in advance.
avatar
Eonod
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 25
Joined : 2015-06-19
Location : South West
Auto-Sleeper : Amethyst
Vehicle Year : 2002

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by -mojo- on Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:45 pm

Eonod wrote:the new engine battery is down to 12.6 volts

Assuming that it's doing nothing and is receiving no charge, that's almost exactly right. It doesn't suggest (to me) any problem at all with the engine battery.

In this situation, using a multimeter in line with the leisure battery is the only reasonably quick way to go. You will see immediately whether you have a drain and, by removing fuses, you should be able to narrow it down to a single circuit in a few minutes.
avatar
-mojo-
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 3566
Joined : 2012-08-04
Location : Southeast
Auto-Sleeper : Trooper
Vehicle Year : 2006

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by Eonod on Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:55 pm

I have had a 12v power pack plugged into the cigar lighter socket of the van for the last 48 hours.
The pack started off at 13v and is now 12.8v.
I'm not electrically minded but this (to me) seems to imply there is some drain but is marginal and I assume normal.
I managed to get the leisure battery up to 8 volts (with an ordinary 12v charger) I then attached my smart charger and it "saw the battery", so I have had it charging for the last 48 hours.
The battery is now at 13.1 volts.
The smart charger has still not shut down, so I will leave it for another 24 hours.
It will then either have shut down or will still be going.
I plan to then disconnect the leisure battery from the smart charger and put the engine battery on charge, just to top it up.
The leisure battery will then be left standing for 48 hours, it will either stay charged or go flat.
If it goes flat then I will know I need another battery.
If it stays charged then I will put it back in and check for drains at the fuses, as suggested.
Further checks, will be needed to ensure there is no unexplained drop in voltage while connected and left standing.
If there is a drain then it should show up on one of the above checks.
I am at a loss as to why both batteries have gone down, unless it's because I was assuming the solar panels would keep them topped up and they didn't.
Not sure there is much more I can do confused3
avatar
Eonod
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 25
Joined : 2015-06-19
Location : South West
Auto-Sleeper : Amethyst
Vehicle Year : 2002

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by daisy mae on Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:53 pm

Surely the best thing is to run the van all year round, if only every couple of weeks or so in the winter, when you have fully charged batteries of course.


I couldn`t disconnect my battery as I would lose the alarm and wouldn`t be covered by my insurance. I have in the past usually bought new batteries /battery when I have changed vehicles.


Good luck hope it is sorted soon and you can get" living "with your van and to enjoy it.


Last edited by daisy mae on Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:55 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : word missed out)
avatar
daisy mae
Donator
Donator

Female

Posts : 4164
Joined : 2013-02-03
Location : Leicestershire
Auto-Sleeper : Anniversary Clubman
Vehicle Year : Oct. 2003 VW 2.5 TDI

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by dbroada on Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:13 am

-mojo- wrote:In this situation, using a multimeter in line with the leisure battery is the only reasonably quick way to go. You will see immediately whether you have a drain and, by removing fuses, you should be able to narrow it down to a single circuit in a few minutes.
I would do what -mojo- has suggested, but make sure your multimeter has a 10A current circuit.

_________________
Dave
avatar
dbroada
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 1446
Joined : 2015-10-25
Location : Surrey
Auto-Sleeper : Nuevo EK (Fiat)
Vehicle Year : 2016

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by Eonod on Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:08 pm

The leisure battery is refusing to fully charge, via the smart charger, it simply stays in a charging state.
The new engine battery is now charged and is showing fully charged on the smart charger, so the smart charger is working ok.
I hate to admit it but I think the leisure battery is on it last legs.
I think I now need a new leisure battery as well :(

There is no details on the leisure battery, to identify what amp hour it is.
Of hand, does anyone know what it should be?
avatar
Eonod
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 25
Joined : 2015-06-19
Location : South West
Auto-Sleeper : Amethyst
Vehicle Year : 2002

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by PLOUGHLIN on Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:16 pm

The highest that will fit the space available.

_________________
Peter L
avatar
PLOUGHLIN
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 1873
Joined : 2014-06-24
Location : NORTH HERTS
Auto-Sleeper : MB Gloucester
Vehicle Year : 2011

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by meanchris on Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:57 pm

PLOUGHLIN wrote:The highest that will fit the space available.

In fact, how big is it, we could make an educated guess at what size (Ah) you currently have? A 110Ah battery will be significantly bigger than a 70Ah.

meanchris
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 1860
Joined : 2013-08-10
Location : North West
Auto-Sleeper : None
Vehicle Year : N/A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by njr001 on Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:36 pm

In your initial post you say that your solar regulator/ charge controller is set to charge your leisure battery only, once you sort your battery charging problems it may be better to set your solar regulator to split the charge between both batteries if you are able to do it. Alternatively fit a Battery Master or similar which will top up your vehicle battery once the leisure battery is charged.

njr001
Member
Member

Posts : 28
Joined : 2012-01-13
Location : Herts
Auto-Sleeper : Symbol
Vehicle Year : 2009

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Amethyst battery problems - help please

Post by Elidor on Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:25 pm

Hi to Eonod and others, I have a 2004 Ford Transit Amethyst and had similar battery drainage problems. I found that over the winter months in storage the main engine battery drained badly due mainly to the standard security locking plus an additional Abacus security system being active. I now disconnect the main battery and rely on mechanical locking of the doors plus additional non-electric anti-theft devices. I note the reference to voiding insurance cover but there are effective non-electric anti-theft/disabling measures that can be used. My batteries (main and habitation) are also located under the drivers seat. The main is reasonably easy to access but the other requires seat removal. I now carry the necessary sockets in "Amy" to be able to remove the seat at any time. There are only four nuts holding the seat down, but it is heavy and slightly awkward doing it solo. The previous owner of my motorhome has fitted an extra habitation battery in series with the original, the extra one is located under the nearside long seat/bed, is securely fastened and vents any gases to the exterior. Someone did a top job. Hope this is of some help.
avatar
Elidor
New Member
New Member

Male

Posts : 2
Joined : 2015-10-28
Location : Hampshire
Auto-Sleeper : Amethyst
Vehicle Year : 2004

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum