Toping up the battery

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Post by Molly3 on Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:35 pm

Melb.  Thanks for info  i topped up the battery this morning  as you say a bit of a FAFF  .but  has  to he done .
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Post by inspiredron on Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:20 pm

glyne lock wrote:Ron
 I take it your vent tube vented through the floor as it should to out side your van.
on the new vans now the caps are nearly all covered over
Correct - a small tube through a snug hole in the floor - as it should be.

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Post by MelB on Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:01 pm

Hi Molly3. Thank you for your reply, happy I could help. Sorry I didn't reply earlier but been away and missed your post.
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:15 pm

Just check my second leisure battery which operates the electric beds. It has no vent tube, the positions where you would expect the vent plugs to be is not perforated and is totally sealed , Lucas LL22MF 75 AH.

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Post by glyne lock on Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:28 pm

Pete l
as you have said this lucas battery is fully sealed
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Post by inspiredron on Sat Mar 28, 2020 12:59 pm

Sorry to be so late in responding to this. I have only just got round to looking at my vehicle battery again. 
It sounds the same as Molly's. I had not remembered very well from last time I looked. The cell caps are not covered by labels and have a large cross slot for removal. 5 of them are covered - 1 by the negative each connection, 1 or maybe 2 by the retaining clamp, 3 or maybe 2 by a massive connection plate bolted to the positive terminal, leaving just 1 accessible. I removed that one and the electrolyte is covering the separators.
My battery is approaching EIGHT years old and has only failed to start once - I presume after our first winter with this van. My Hymer did not need EHU over winter so I didn't plug in the A/S. Consequently vehicle battery cell to about 5V. I was lucky it recovered  up!.  However it now never goes up above 12.6v after a good charge so I guess that one cell is slightly damaged or maybe low on electrolyte.
It sounds from Molly's post that I can safely remove the main connections but she has a solar panel which wod keep some voltage to the vehicle computers.
Has anybody without a solar panel replaced battery and did they lose any ECU functionality apart fro Radio stations/code?
PS There is a properly installed and connected vent tube.

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Post by glyne lock on Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:42 pm

Inspiredrone
Do you want to replace your battery
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Post by inspiredron on Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:33 pm

Not at present! It is looking quite unlikely that the van will be used until autumn at the earliest. It would be daft to replace it now.
I asked the question for 2 reasons:
1. At 8 years old the existing battery could die at any time.and I could need to replace it quickly.
2:. If a single cell is low on electrolyte then topping up could see an extra couple of years' life and reversion to full 12.8V, though that is probably unlikely.
I find it more comfortable to be prepared rather than to rush around when the inevitable happens. And if I have already removed the battery connections to top up I know how easy/difficult it is to replace the battery. AND, I can happily buy a non sealed replacement knowing that I can care for it.

BTW The leisure battery is a sealed no maintenance battery and has also lasted since spring 2012😃😃

In days of yore and before multiple ECU"s controlling everything on cars you simply had to make sure you knew the code for the radio. Now I read all manner of things like Turn on ignition, open driver's window, turn sidelights on for 10 seconds then scratch your bottom - in order to regain functionality!  I jest of course but my concern is a serious one - twenty minutes without any power could see the various on board systems needing to be reset - hence my question.


Last edited by inspiredron on Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:36 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Correcting auto-correct!)

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Post by glyne lock on Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:46 pm

I explained in a post before that in the trade we fit a jump pack to the connection under the bonnet this saves any problems as you keep the power you can use jump leads and a good battery. This is how I train staff so we have no come backs with customers hope this helps yourself and others
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Post by inspiredron on Sat Mar 28, 2020 4:14 pm

Understood and that is great if you have a jump pack. But most of us don"t.
What I do have, however, - and you have made me remember it + is a 12v 7Ah battery that is from our house alarm - recently replaced but still serviceble. I can charge that up fully before use, having checked tha it twill run a small bulb for an hour or two. I had forgotten the jump point under the bonnet and that avoids disturbing the "jump" by accident while driving the vehicle battery connections.
Any idea of the level of "all off" vehicle battery drain on these vehicles?

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Post by rogerblack on Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:29 pm

If you don't have a jump pack (I do!) then would connecting a charger to the vehicle terminals work?

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Post by Roopert on Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:51 pm

rogerblack wrote:If you don't have a jump pack (I do!) then would connecting a charger to the vehicle terminals work?

You have to be very careful when attempting something like this. As well as (obviously) supplying power to the vehicle, the battery is also in effect a fairly substantial voltage regulator. Without it in-circuit you may find that a charger will take the voltage of the vehicle's electrical system too high, damaging control modules.

Some chargers have a "supply only" mode - which actually regulates the output to 12V or thereabouts, and that should be safe. Otherwise I wouldn't risk it, personally.
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Post by glyne lock on Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:04 pm

Before you had jump points we used a small battery plugged into cigaret socket so a house alarm battery  will  work fine as I said you can just use jump leads to a car etc
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Post by inspiredron on Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:53 pm

A Lidl or Aldi intelligent battery charger would not work as an alternative power supply. They need to be able to "see" a battery in order to output anything. They won't even work if your battery voltage is down too much (10V?).
Thanks for your confirmation of my idea of using the NP12 -7 from a house alarm, Glyn. It:s a bit more convenient than jump leads to the car in my circumstances. Can't use cigar lighter or accessory socket on modern Peugeot as they are only live with ignition on.


Last edited by inspiredron on Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:54 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Auto- correct again!)

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Post by rogerblack on Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:02 pm

Good point, Ron, same would probably apply to my CTEK chargers.
If you have a Batterymaster fitted that would do it, as I found out once when trying to remove power from the engine electronics only to find them still live until I disconnected it too.

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Post by Suppersready on Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:28 pm

On my infrequently used Jeep Wrangler TJ I have umbilicals from a smart charger within the garage ... never had a problem.
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