Just a cautionary tale.
As with many people the car has had little use. I have been putting the battery on trickle charge once a month.
Did a click and collect trip and the car refused to start for the return journey. Called the AA who checked the battery in and out of the car. Replacement needed.
We have lost Halfords from the local centre so it was a Bosch from the AA.
He emailed me the report, receipt and warranty, but was good enough to warn me of the catch.
Due to the cycling nature of lead acid battery, the warranty has a minimum annual mileage requirement, 5000 miles.
Of course, Covid and lockdown has changed use, I retired just before the first lockdown and had only been using the car for about 9000 miles a year before. I suspect quite a few might get caught.
Just a cautionary tale.
Why only on trickle charge once a month? Everyone I know who has one uses it all the time the car is not being used.
Doing what the dealer advised, wife shielding, but physio wanted her exercising outdoors every other day, she uses a rollator so to avoid the arrogant joggers and senseless pavement cyclists around home we drive 4 miles each way to the cemetery where she could walk in peace. The AA tech agreed trickle should be all that is needed to balance the onboard systems that slowly drain the battery.
Modern battery conditioners can be left on all the time the vehicle is not in use. A lot less hassle and money than a new battery.
Hmm, the problem with idle batteries FLA or AGMs is they sulphate when not in regular use which reduces capacity and cranking amps.
We have a car thats not used much, so I keep it connected to a CTek MX5 charger which charges then maintains the battery once charged.
Be aware that discharge below 10.6 volts generally damages battery capacity. Most car batteries are AGM (Advanced Glass Mat) and should not be charged over 14.4 V most chargers should have an AGM setting for this, check charger output voltage if unsure. Charging above this results in excessive gassing which pops out the relief plugs and the battery eventually dries out.
I’ll have another chat to the dealer.
They’ll probably offer you a CTek with the badge of what ever car you drive on it usually at quite a mark up. Or just get one from Amazon.
Or maybe take a slightly longer route to the park once a week? A four mile journey (same as my commute for the last four and a half years) does a car no good at all. I make sure I do at least one 25 mile journey each week, and so far all is good. My car still has the original (AGM) battery after ten and a half years.
Varta OEM battery? They do seem to have fairly good longevity, one of ours lasted 11 and another 9 years. As you say, a bit of regular use long enough to charge properly helps a lot.
It’s that balance thing, as things are the only way to keep a constant connection is by having the front door open or the cable threaded through the letter box.
To match the warranty condition of 5000 miles a year means 100 miles a week (the odometer reading is on the receipt) so with petrol at the local garage £1.24 a litre, that’s £600+ a year. The battery that died was over four years old.
To add to that, dearly beloved returns to work tomorrow after shielding.
I want her to retire this year, then we have to rethink running two cars…
Im not sure how many times I’ve thought a mini solar panel integrated into the top of the dash would help prolong the lives of batteries? If your car is in the street, then a charger isnt practical and it looks like the T&Cs for the warranty are not worth bothering with due to expense.
I installed an external socket in the porch by the front door and the wire goes through the front wall of the house and plugs into a socket, that is helpfully close by, with a normal 13A plug. You can get waterproof covered external sockets from Screwfix or similar.
My father ran into the same issue, he doesn’t do many miles these days. He had previously had a battery replaced by the AA. The new one failed about 50 miles outside the minimum mileage specified, but sensible discretion was applied and it was replaced again.
With a Ctek you could get a 2.5m extension cable so you could keep the charger in a garage if nearby and run the low voltage to the battery. Their chargers are designed for outdoor use but not sure what IP rating, but would be less nickable comme ca.
The 2 year old lease car went in for a service in December.
One of the ‘advisories’ was they needed the car back to test the battery for 24 hours, it had probably only done 4k that year at that point.
I lost the keys the day it was due to go in and cancelled, am yet to get it tested but the lockdown has clearly affected expected mileage.
I fitted a new battery to my wifes car about 6 weeks ago in the last cold snap. It became a bit sluggish on start up and the fuel gauge became erratic for a few miles after start up.
The battery was original 11 year old Nissan. Her car has only done 23,000 miles, so that’s just over 2,000 per year. The only time it was connected to a charger was just before it was replaced.
So, I don’t believe the requirement to drive 5,000 miles per year and keep the battery charged up.
Sadly, this is what the warranty says -
Where the part sold is a battery, the defect must arise and be reported to us within five (5) years of our fitting of the battery concerned and during that time the vehicle in which we fitted the battery must have an annual mileage of a minimum of 5,000 miles per annum (or the prorata equivalent mileage where the period in question includes a partial year): for all other parts sold the defect must arise and be reported to us within twelve (12) months of our fitting of the relevant part.
Online searches shown more often a minimum of 2000 miles.
I didn’t mean I didn’t believe the terms of your battery warranty. More I didn’t believe the need for a 5000 mile minimum.
However, looking at the economics and a chat with the dealer, I may be covered by his goodwill
I have an elderly car that I don’t drive much and for the first few months of lockdown I pretty much forgot about it. Of course, the battery was stone dead next time I tried to start it up. I took the battery into the shop to see if it would hold a charge. No luck, so I bought a new one.
I was told that about half an hour’s driving a week should be sufficient to keep the battery topped up and to ward off an early demise and, so far (about 8 months later) all is well.