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Post by constable on Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:13 am

On 6th Sept 2016 I bought a Lion sealed Leisure battery from a well known auto parts supplier for £97. There was a sign in the shop stating leisure batteries and diesel car batteries had a 3 year warranty period.  Not being sharp enough Idid not photograph the notice so have no proof thereof other than I wrote that fact on the receipt.That battery failed and I returned it to the supplier on 17th July 2018. I was told that all leisure batteries carried only a 2 year warranty and a notice was displayed to that effect.  I argued my case  and eventually the manager said as an act of "Goodwill" he would replace the battery with a " new one" ( now costing £154). but would only give it a 2 month cover.  That battery  HAS NOW ALSO FAILED.  Can any one support my claim as to the warranty period and point me as to how I can get the manufactre date of the current battery, as although obtained in 2018 it could be very old stock or not new when excanged for me.

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Post by Paulmold on Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:32 am

A quick Google shows Lion batteries are made in Korea. As for warranty, RAC give 3 years, eurocarparts also 3 years but suppliers on eBay only give 2 years. Those are all quoted for leisure  batteries. Either way, you returned your first battery within 2 years so can't see what the supplier was arguing. No doubt there will be a manufacturer date code but I have no idea on that.

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Post by -mojo- on Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:06 am

Unfortunately, this is a good example of how flawed the concept of a warranty is. If the documentation that you got with the battery does not state the warranty period, there's not much that you can do. Warranty is not a statutory right, so manufacturers can change their warranty terms as they like - in fact they do not have to give one at all anyway.

I've had recent a example of a "warranty" that is totally meaningless. This was a laptop battery that came with a piece of paper proclaiming that it was covered by a two year warranty. However, it gave no statement of who made it, nor any indication of where to send it to claim under the "warranty"!

Under circumstances like yours, probably the best thing to do is to switch your focus from warranty (an agreement between you and the manufacturer) to your rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 - which is part of the contract between you and the seller. This takes away the need for any discussion about warranty - because it is not linked in any way to warranty.

FWIW, I've never heard anything very good about Lion batteries - it's not a brand I would consider buying, from what I've heard from other buyers.


Last edited by -mojo- on Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Paulmold on Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:13 am

There are some YouTube videos on reading battery date codes, this is just one 

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Post by AllaFEvans on Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:56 pm

I agree with Mojo, we often see failed Lion batteries that rarely make it to two years.
The ones we have cut open, and there has been quite a few of these, show very poor quality construction. Very light weight Starter battery style Plates and one we put through a test achieved just 17 cycles !!!!

Some time ago we were approached to become a Dealer for them and could have bought them at the time for £29 each which gives you an idea of their pedigree. The '110Ah' Lion battery didn't even achieve a rating of 90Ah in our test, let alone the claimed 110Ah.

When our 'Best Budget Buy' Varta LFD90 achieves a real 200 cycles and costs only £105 from Alpha Batteries, you can see why we go to pains to point it how good it is.

The problem with battery warranties is that, almost without exception, they cover only "manufacturing defects" and we have talked to many people who have been unsuccessful in warranty claims. 
Obviously a battery with a serious manufacturing defect is unlikely to deliver enough power to last 5 minutes, so it is easy for unscrupulous battery retailers to use the argument, 
"Well, if it has lasted more than 12 months it can't have had a manufacturing defect, could it? So I am afraid it must have been something you did".
 
The best mid range battery out at the moment, in my opinion, is the Yuasa L36-EFB.
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Post by constable on Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:24 am

Thanks for your suggestions. I contacted the head office of the motor factors from whom I purchased the battery. After looking into my complaint and the fact that their own web site states that ALL Lion batteries are covered for 3 years. They decided in my favour and confirmed that the 3 year warranty applies. Now testing the battery before returning it. Thanks for your advice.

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Post by Molly3 on Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:41 pm

Good result .
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Post by AllaFEvans on Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:06 pm

constable wrote:Thanks for your suggestions. I contacted the head office of the motor factors from whom I purchased the battery. After looking into my complaint and the fact that their own web site states that ALL Lion batteries are covered for 3 years. They decided in my favour and confirmed that the 3 year warranty applies. Now testing the battery before returning it. Thanks for your advice.

You have done well.

Roapro had a lot of warranty claims for batteries, so created the below in their 'Battery' document : -
.
Battery guarantees: 
The design and production of batteries is (in Europe and America at least) extremely sophisticated. Brands such as Banner, Bosch, Exide, Green Power, Varta and Trojan have very stringent quality control processes in place. They also test batteries extensively before they’re made available to buy. As such, manufacturing defects are, certainly among the premium brands, very rare. It’s natural to look for a battery with a good guarantee. But you should always read the small print and this is especially true of batteries. No manufacturer will guarantee their batteries against failure or damage caused by normal wear and tear, lack of maintenance or incorrect charging. As with tyres, a leisure battery’s useful life depends entirely on how it’s used. Use it frequently to power an inverter, don’t bother to check the electrolyte levels and allow it to self-discharge over the winter and a battery can be fit only for scrap within a year or even less. The simple fact is that, if you buy a battery made by a reputable manufacturer (not a label printer), the chances of a battery failing as a result of faulty design or manufacture is almost zero".
 

It dances around the subject but it is quite clear. their warranty is manufacturer defect only, which will usually be evident in the first few months of use.  
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Post by constable on Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:49 am

One thing I have discovered during my investigations is disturbing. All leisure batteries are filled with liquid which can "evaporate". This applies to so called maintenance free batteries that we are unable to top up when necessary. The "good quality" batteries have sponges in the cells to stop this happening.   Learn something every day they say.

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Post by AllaFEvans on Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:37 pm

constable wrote:One thing I have discovered during my investigations is disturbing. All leisure batteries are filled with liquid which can "evaporate". This applies to so called maintenance free batteries that we are unable to top up when necessary. 

Yes agree with most of that, it especially applies to most batteries that use old fashioned technology, but not the best of breed with advanced technology. However, contrary to myth it also applies to Gel and AGM batteries.

If you read any of the manufacturers blurb on Gel and AGM (VRLA) so called 'zero gas' batteries you will see that all the manufacturers give warnings that gas will be given off, and obviously the level drop. 
It is the retailers who perpetrate the myth that they don't gas.
That is why the manufacturers all warn never to install an AGM or Gel battery in a sealed container/box.

The chart below is from a study of thousands of batteries that listed how they failed. 
You will see that  33% of AGM/Gel/VRLA batteries were destroyed by drying out. 
That isn't that they were degraded by losing a little fluid, but that they lost so much fluid the battery was actually destroyed.

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By contrast the Varta LFD90 and Yuasa L36-EFB are wet/flooded batteries that don't lose fluid due to the technology they use. They are not like normal wet batteries, using highly advanced, patented Powerframe or Carbon technology. 
Varta/Bosch claim the LFD/L range has "absolutely zero' fluid loss. Yuasa claim the same for the L36-EFB, although Yuasa still recommend a vent tube is used where available.
 


Note that in the top row of the chart below Banner quote that their AGM's have 'Minimum' fluid loss in 'normal' use, not zero fluid loss. 
If these AGM's are deep discharged and/or long term Float charged, they can lose significant fluid, enough to prematurely terminate the battery. Many AGM's we have cut open have lost significant fluid with the plates exposed and burnt.

The second row down lists 'Low H2O consumption' in their wet acid 'sealed' battery range, which has "absolutely no maintenance possible". Although it loses fluid, just like the AGM/Gel batteries it is physically 'sealed' so you can't do maintenance. You can see it will lose fluid over time which will affect it's life if that construction/technology is used in a Leisure battery.


The bottom row lists the Banner Energy Bull as a high fluid loss battery, but we know that can be topped up, although many owners are surprised by how much it gasses off. The technology used is old fashioned Antimony which is tough (used by many 'deep cyclers' like Trojan and Exide ET650, etc) but high gas rate and high self discharge. 
Never ever use this type of construction battery inside a motorhome without a vent.



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Sorry about the quality of the picture, if you click on it it is slightly better.
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Post by constable on Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:22 am

Thanks for the info. Rather worried though. The old battery on my Devon had no vent tube fitted. The replacement came with no vent tube, in fact I cant see where to fit one on the battery.  I cannot see a hole near the battery to go out through the cab floor. How do I vent a new battery please as it looks as if A.S. do not see it necessary ?

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Post by AllaFEvans on Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:25 am

constable wrote:Thanks for the info. Rather worried though. The old battery on my Devon had no vent tube fitted. The replacement came with no vent tube, in fact I cant see where to fit one on the battery.  I cannot see a hole near the battery to go out through the cab floor. How do I vent a new battery please as it looks as if A.S. do not see it necessary ?
What battery have you bought to install, the exact model number?
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Post by constable on Sat Feb 23, 2019 2:42 pm

My Lion came back from checking yesterday. It was reported to be 55% capacity.  I am replacing it with a Duracel DL100.  which is a flooded battery that can be topped up if necessary.  I have been informed Banner batteries are made by the same company.

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Post by AllaFEvans on Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:58 pm

constable wrote:My Lion came back from checking yesterday. It was reported to be 55% capacity.  I am replacing it with a Duracel DL100.  which is a flooded battery that can be topped up if necessary.  I have been informed Banner batteries are made by the same company.
A battery is regarded as expired by the industry when it drops below 80% capacity, so at 55% capacity your one must have become exhausted quite some time ago?

Like the Banner Energy Bull with which it shares heritage, the Duracell is a very high fluid loss, high gassing battery.

Suggest you check it's fluid levels very regularly, even more frequently if you leave it on permanent Solar Power or Mains EHU, as the batteries use old fashioned Antimony technology which leads to Antimony poisoning of the plates if the battery is constant charged.

We have seen lots of them prematurely failed, and the forums are full of the same. They rarely make it past two years, suffering badly from internal corrosion, sulphation and physical Plate damage.

As we said in an earlier post, "Never ever use this type of construction battery inside a motorhome without a vent".
You must use a vent tube to the outside with the Banner Energy Bull or Duracell DL110 as they gas more than any other battery around. 
A build up of explosive hydrogen and Oxygen is possible. You only need a 4% mix of hydrogen in air to be explosive. Obviously corrosive Acid gas is also an issue with these batteries.


Don't know who advised you buy a Banner or Duracell (typically £130)but they are high fluid loss, high self discharge (self discharges faster than any other modern Leisure battery), very high and prolific internal corrosion, Antimony poisoning prone, Sulphation prone, slow to charge up and Low efficiency. 
Once these are more than about 9 months old, efficiency can be 70% lower than the best. 

I did try and point you in the right direction above, but I am sorry to say these are just about the worst Motorhome batteries you can buy. 
Banner have a new high technology EFB version in the pipe line to address the old batteries failings.


May I suggest you read our battery technology page to see what we have found (by cutting open hundreds of batteries) to be the best Habitation area batteries at the lowest prices, like the Varta LFD90 at £105 - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] -  
We don't sell batteries, so it's independent advice.
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Post by constable on Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:05 pm

Thanks AllaFEvans Spoke to my supplier.He agreed with all your comments and will change mine for a VartaLFD90 next week.

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Post by AllaFEvans on Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:34 am

constable wrote:Thanks AllaFEvans Spoke to my supplier.He agreed with all your comments and will change mine for a VartaLFD90 next week.

Excellent news, the Varta LFD90 really is a sturdy, capable battery, better than it's peers in almost every area, yet only £104 from Alpha Batteries. Remember that new batteries rarely arrive fully charged, so suggest you put it on EHU for 24 hours before you use it.

It doesn't gas off fluid so is safer inside the habitation area than an AGM battery, so you will be ok without a vent tube.
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Post by constable on Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:39 am

Thanks so much for all your advice. AllaFF. You have put my mind at rest.

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Post by AllaFEvans on Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:33 am

constable wrote:Thanks so much for all your advice. AllaFF. You have put my mind at rest.
One other thought, if you have been used to Budget Wet acid batteries like the Lion, then you might not be aware that modern technology batteries have different voltages?
The Wet Acid Varta, and all the modern high technology EFB batteries coming on to the market, have higher resting voltages. This means their whole voltage operation range is also different.
If you look at the chart below a typical conventional battery is fully charged at 12.6v and fully discharged at 11.8v. 
However, the High technology batteries like the Varta LFD/Bosch L ranges sit in the VRLA column and have a 13.0v fully charged voltage and 12.0v full discharged.

All major battery manufacturers recommend a maximum 50% Depth of Discharge as the optimum between Life and usability so whereas you might routinely take a Lion down to 12.1v (50% DOD). For the Varta the minimum is about 12.5v.
Even at 50% DOD, a Varta is almost the same voltage as a fully charged Platinum.

We would suggest that, for optimum life, you regard 12.4v as the maximum you discharge one of these modern batteries. Remember, as always, a State Of Charge (SOC) Voltage is always taken with the battery under no load.
   

15 years ago pretty much all batteries were the same technology, but these days the best wet batteries are so much better than the worst, yet the price difference is small. 


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A pair of Varta's fully charged and rested a few days :

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Post by constable on Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:00 am

Thanks again.  The Lion battery seems to be the same make as the original supplied with the van from new. Mark told me that the leisure batteries were supplied and fitted by mercedes when he answered my question re vent hole.  I say this because the retaining steel bracket is only long enough to fit the Lion and in order to replace it with a Duracell or Varta I had to lengthen it by 5mm.

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