leisure battery exploded ?

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leisure battery exploded ?

Post by triclops on Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:14 pm

Well I needed to get the rear springs re-tempered and the spring people don't take them off any more. So I thought I would use the local garage about 500 yards away, and with the van getting on a bit I thought this could be a big bill if they struggle to get them off. So I book it in for first thing Wednesday morning and on Sunday I go to a friend of mine that has a car wash & a tyre bay, and asked if I could borrow his wheel nut removing gun and a jack to which he said yes no problem. I took my own axle stands as they don't use them to change wheels and I proceeded to clean and lubricate all the shackle and U bolts, and then with the help of his trusty wheel nut gun I loosened all the nuts and then nipped them all up again - so easy with the right tools! Then I sprayed every thing with WD40 - I was well pleased with myself.
So Wednesday morning I took it in 8.30 on the dot - they had already said they didn't want it in for long as it was taking up a lot of work space. I had spoken to the spring place on Friday and they said if I can get the springs to them ASAP they would try and get them done for later the same day or first thing next morning. So I told the garage to ring me as soon as they had got them off and I would take them straight up to the spring workshop. So sitting at home like a coiled spring waiting for their call, and waiting for their call, and waiting for their call - so by 1pm I'm thinking its taking a long time. So I go down and ask how they are doing - and with a sharp intake of breath he said that the mechanic is struggling to get the first one off. I said "What!! you must be having a laugh, all the bolts were loosened off. What's his problem? Are you just stretching the job out so its going to cost me a small fortune? If so I can't afford it - 4 1/2 hours and he has not got one off, I could have had them both off in that time myself!" So he said "OK - you take the other side off then!" So much to his surprise over I went - still having the tools and sockets in the van from Sunday - and I got stuck in. The mechanic working on the van was Polish and didn't understand much English but OK with signs - I undid all the bolts on the drivers side and just needed a lift to knock and lift it out. When I went to the passenger side he was trying to burn the Ubolt nuts off with a gas welding torch with a small nozzle. I said to him "What the censored!  are you doing!!" he said they won't come off. So I said "Saw through the Ubold and knock them off". So he came back with the angle grinder - with grinding disk not cutting disk - there were sparks everywhere. I heard a bang and just thought it was the springs making the noise as they came off.
So 2nd spring off and loaded into the car but by this time it was too late and the springs are now in the queue for Monday - so I return to the garage to explain they won't be back tiill late Monday or Tuesday. Then I noticed water dripping from under the van - I said I hope that's not my water tank, and put my hand in it to taste it. YAK!! - its battery acid. I climb inside and the leisure battery under the seat has exploded big time - acid everywhere! So I wash everything down with cold water and dry it off and it does not look good, but with no battery there's no lights. I will have to see what damage is caused when I take the springs back and get it out into the day light.
So watch this space for further info censored! censored! censored!   Jeff
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Re: leisure battery exploded ?

Post by dandywarhol on Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:43 pm

Sounds like the grinding disc sparks caught the battery fumes - is there a battery breather vent leading to the van underside?

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Re: leisure battery exploded ?

Post by triclops on Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:27 pm

Yes, the breather pipe comes out between the gas locker and the water tank and that is my theory as well - but I have not discussed this with the garage yet. I will wait till the springs are ready and go back and see what they have to say regarding that and his Bill. Thinking about it, we were all rather lucky because there are 2 LPG tanks just over the axle for the engine - it doesn't bear thinking about! I took the gas bottles out of the locker - which is directly underneath the leisure battery - before taking it in, the acid leaked into the gas locker and there are acid burns on the carpets so I don't know how I stand with all this ??
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Re: leisure battery exploded ?

Post by Peter Brown on Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:51 pm

I know you have a lot of other things on your mind at the moment but if at all possible it would be good to post a photo of your battery damage on the forum in due course to help members see what can happen.

Peter

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Re: leisure battery exploded ?

Post by andygump on Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:08 pm

Hi  Jejj




What a nightmare, I think you have been extremely tolerant with this bunch of  chancers.
I hope it all turns out ok for you, you deserve it to.


All the best

Andy. up!


Last edited by andygump on Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: leisure battery exploded ?

Post by triclops on Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:44 pm

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Re: leisure battery exploded ?

Post by Peter Brown on Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:50 pm

Thanks Jeff - Viewing this should end some peoples complacency re gassing batteries!!!!

Peter

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Re: leisure battery exploded ?

Post by triclops on Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:08 pm

Thats all it takes one little spark   So always switch off chargers on any Battery before taking the clips off

Jeff
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Re: leisure battery exploded ?

Post by mikethebike on Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:24 pm

Hi, A few  things come to mind.
As you had loosened and checked all the connections earlier,why was he using a gas appliance?
Was the battery being charged at the same time?
i would not expect a large venting when not being used.
Could there be another cause?
regards
puzzled Mike
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Re: leisure battery exploded ?

Post by roli on Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:43 pm

I am editing the posts and will put it in the Factsheet Section - it is an example of where the lack of care has made one of our members suffer and we dont want this post to get "lost" in the forum. Will be on in the next 24 hrs time permitting

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Re: leisure battery exploded ?

Post by triclops on Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:35 pm

Hi Guys & Gals,
Well after a week of waiting for the springs to be finished I returned them to the garage - and he promptly said "You have got no chance to have your van sorted till the following week" 
I said "Well if you can't do it, I will - because I need to get all the acid cleaned up. I soaked it all with water when it happened, so as not to damage anything else."
He said "Please yourself, but we have no time."
So my grandson Matt said he would help and we got stuck into it, and rebuilt it the same day - and then took the van home. I said to the owner of the garage that I would be in touch to sort out the bill later.
On inspection the rear carpet from the cab to the cooking area was melted in a few places from the acid, so I took it all out. We gave all the timber under the seats where the battery had been a real good cleaning out with bicarbonate of soda - which we were told would neutralise the acid. We removed the bits of plastic that were left over from removing the battery, and other pieces which were stuck into the bottom of the seat timbers. Since the clean up I have rewired most of the leisure battery harness and the blown split charge relay, replaced the battery and fitted a battery box, all the electrics are up and running perfectly now and the carpets are being replaced later this week. I phoned the garage and said "What are we sorting out regarding what I owe you for your mess, and what you owe me for the damage to the van"
He just said "The van has been stored here for over a week so we will call it a draw"
So what ever my repair bill comes to, what I didn't pay for the garage work and the storage will more than cover it! So if anyone is getting work done my advise is - check the place out first!
The Summit garage in Heywood I used is only 1/4 mile from my home so it was convenient, and only removing the springs and refitting them should not have been such a big job as I had already loosened everything.
Silly me - I will know next time not to trust anyone, especially ones with new foreign workers. I told him I would not let them fix my daughters pram, never mind anybodies cars - and this is a M.O.T garage as well, makes you think!
Anyway she will be back on the road very shortly and hope to see some of you around some time on sites or rallies. Keep on touring.
Cheers all - Jeff
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Re: leisure battery exploded ?

Post by dandywarhol on Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:45 pm

Is this the place? They're a member of the Good Garage Scheme - I'd be inclined to let the Scheme know of your experience - that's why the Scheme is in existence. I deplore shoddy workmanship and unscrupulous garages - of course, every story has 3 sides to it but it sounds to me you've had the censored!  end of the stick!

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Re: leisure battery exploded ?

Post by mikethebike on Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:39 pm

Hi Triclops, i think you came off second best with that garage.
Maybe its hard to prove the battery explosion.
I would have wanted to negotiate. I know your labour was not costed, but it was a lot of work + parts.
Good honest garage is worth the extra mile and it looks like you will have to go a few miles further.!
Hope you have many days in the van to forget about this episode.
best regards

Mike
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Re: leisure battery exploded ?

Post by Jaytee on Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:40 am

Wow, what a story and definitely made me more aware of battery dangers. I must admit I had become complacent.
Garages scare the hell out of me and I only use them when I absolutely have to I.e. heavy work or no time. I am an engineer by trade so do virtually all my own stuff.
I can honestly hand on heart say (and prove if necessary) that I have never ever had work done at a garage where I have not had to finish it off properly myself or find that they have damaged something else while doing the work. 
Nightmare.

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Re: leisure battery exploded ?

Post by triclops on Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:56 pm

That is the correct place, but its not Brimart Motors anymore its called Paul Anthony Van Sales now. Brimart used to be the car sales and service centre and they went bust. Paul Megson is still the MD there, but there is only one mechanic plus this new polish "so called mechanic" and 1 MOT tester - so not sure if they are still in the good garage scheme or not. If they are I think they should be re-checked!
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