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Auto Electrician in Bristol: recommendations please

  • Thread starter theoldmancunian
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theoldmancunian

theoldmancunian

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T5 SE 140
Can anyone recommend a reliable/good auto electrician in or around Bristol with experience of working on Calis?

Our T5 has developed a fault with the additional battery charging system, leading to the battery under the passenger seat becoming seriously hot and giving out acidic fumes. (I gather other people may have had this experience.) The additional battery system has been looked at by VW on a number of occasions and I've spent quite a bit of money with them (replacing batteries, the control panel etc.) but it's not been right for a couple of years and appears now to be quite dangerous.

Any advice/recommendations would be very welcome.
 
Loz

Loz

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Is your issue charging with the alternator or when on hookup?
As the second battery is is only charged with a relay from the alternator so gets the same charge current as the starter battery, are the batteries of the same type?

Are you far away from me? .. in berkeley?
 
theoldmancunian

theoldmancunian

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Is your issue charging with the alternator or when on hookup?
As the second battery is is only charged with a relay from the alternator so gets the same charge current as the starter battery, are the batteries of the same type?

Are you far away from me? .. in berkeley?

Apologies for not replying sooner, but I've been lost in the world of VW repairs. I'm beginning to feel a certain amount of despair, having forked out over £1500 over the last two years on various 'solutions' none of which have solved the problem of the leisure batteries losing charge too quickly. (These solutions have included replacing both batteries and the control panel - an expensive piece of kit!)

- According to an independent auto electrician the prime leisure battery (under the seat) was the problem and could be replaced under warranty. The charging system was itself, according to him, functioning as it should.
- VW in Bristol now want to test the inverter ... and if it's not that, they then want to check all the wiring.

I can't help but wonder whether these exhaustive tests shouldn't have been carried out sooner .... there seem to be a number of posts on this forum from members experiencing not dissimilar problems with the leisure batteries. It makes you wonder whether VW service departments take time to find out about commonly reported problems.
 
Loz

Loz

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Apologies for not replying sooner, but I've been lost in the world of VW repairs. I'm beginning to feel a certain amount of despair, having forked out over £1500 over the last two years on various 'solutions' none of which have solved the problem of the leisure batteries losing charge too quickly. (These solutions have included replacing both batteries and the control panel - an expensive piece of kit!)

- According to an independent auto electrician the prime leisure battery (under the seat) was the problem and could be replaced under warranty. The charging system was itself, according to him, functioning as it should.
- VW in Bristol now want to test the inverter ... and if it's not that, they then want to check all the wiring.

I can't help but wonder whether these exhaustive tests shouldn't have been carried out sooner .... there seem to be a number of posts on this forum from members experiencing not dissimilar problems with the leisure batteries. It makes you wonder whether VW service departments take time to find out about commonly reported problems.
Sorry, was there a question there?
 
VW Guru

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T6 Ocean 204
Apologies for not replying sooner, but I've been lost in the world of VW repairs. I'm beginning to feel a certain amount of despair, having forked out over £1500 over the last two years on various 'solutions' none of which have solved the problem of the leisure batteries losing charge too quickly. (These solutions have included replacing both batteries and the control panel - an expensive piece of kit!)

- According to an independent auto electrician the prime leisure battery (under the seat) was the problem and could be replaced under warranty. The charging system was itself, according to him, functioning as it should.
- VW in Bristol now want to test the inverter ... and if it's not that, they then want to check all the wiring.

I can't help but wonder whether these exhaustive tests shouldn't have been carried out sooner .... there seem to be a number of posts on this forum from members experiencing not dissimilar problems with the leisure batteries. It makes you wonder whether VW service departments take time to find out about commonly reported problems.

Hi so I’ve just read your thread and I’m intrigued so as @Loz has asked when does your over heating battery problem occur when on hook up or charging from the alternator? Battery’s will only over heat if the charge current is to high or they have an internal short other than that they are stable especially as they should be AGM battery’s. When you say they are discharging to fast what loads are you putting on them and what is your expectation of the length of time the battery’s should perform effectively?
 
theoldmancunian

theoldmancunian

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T5 SE 140
OK, to be specific: there are two issues, probably connected but I don't have the understanding to know how:

1) with no load on the batteries at all they will discharge from 100% to c.50% within 24 hours (according to the control panel) and to 0% within three-to-four days. When I say no load, I mean with no use of the fridge/lights/roof etc.

2) the over-heating of the front leisure battery is a new development and occurred after the van was hooked up at a campsite for c.30hrs., and then again after being driven for c.5hrs.
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

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OK, to be specific: there are two issues, probably connected but I don't have the understanding to know how:

1) with no load on the batteries at all they will discharge from 100% to c.50% within 24 hours (according to the control panel) and to 0% within three-to-four days. When I say no load, I mean with no use of the fridge/lights/roof etc.

2) the over-heating of the front leisure battery is a new development and occurred after the van was hooked up at a campsite for c.30hrs., and then again after being driven for c.5hrs.
You talk about the Leisure battery under the front seat, what about the one under the rear wardrobe?
Does that get warm as well?
If it does Not get warm is the 50/75 amp Cube fuse on the Red +tve pole OK?
When were BOTH batteries changed and are they the same type?
 
Loz

Loz

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An overheating battery may indicate an internal failure(short) so if one gets hot and the other is being charged (see WG's post fuse battery point above) and is not hot then I would suggest it need changing.
 
theoldmancunian

theoldmancunian

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T5 SE 140
You talk about the Leisure battery under the front seat, what about the one under the rear wardrobe?
Does that get warm as well?
If it does Not get warm is the 50/75 amp Cube fuse on the Red +tve pole OK?
When were BOTH batteries changed and are they the same type?

The one in the wardrobe is fine. It stays cool and has been checked out. Both were replaced (by a VW dealer) just under two years ago - both VW-branded Vater batteries, I believe.

I've only just learned about the Cube fuse. Definitely something that needs checking. The van is currently with VW (having the inverter checked). I'll ask about the fuse when they re-open after the Bank Holiday. (If it's not the inverter, they're talking about checking all (and I mean ALL) the wiring in the van, which fills me with dread re the hours/costs involved in that!)
 
VW Guru

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T6 Ocean 204
So if a battery is dropping that much charge then there is either a high current draw from a consumer or a dead cell inside the battery. From what you say I would suspect that you have a high current draw from an unknown source this may well be the inverter if that is what your dealer is suggesting to look at if as you say there is no other component switched on. If the component has been pulling a high current for a long time then it is more than likely that this has caused the consequential failure of your new battery’s and why they are now starting to over heat as they would have begun to calcify. You will need to get the route cause diagnosed and I’m afraid to say you will need another new battery. Once a battery has been over heating that battery has had it’s day.

There are some good auto electricians but they are few and far between there are also some good van centers and some good master technicians. The amount you have spent on your California the problem should have been fixed by now. Be careful who you take your vehicle to its a complex pirce of machinery. Don’t waste any more money on people with no idea of how the electrics work on your California.
 
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