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Battery Issues

T

TimboG

Messages
27
Location
Leeds
Vehicle
T5 HighTop
Hi all . It’s ages since I last posted but I have had a converted T5 for nearly a year now and don’t use it every day . I gave it a long run to Cardiff ( 250 miles ) and back this weekend and had a look at how much the battery has charged . It started up at 14 but pretty quickly ( with inside lights only on ) dropped to 9. It was a new leisure battery last year . Is this bad news ? Are there any remedial steps I can make ?
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
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Messages
16,702
Location
Vale of Glamorgan
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Hi all . It’s ages since I last posted but I have had a converted T5 for nearly a year now and don’t use it every day . I gave it a long run to Cardiff ( 250 miles ) and back this weekend and had a look at how much the battery has charged . It started up at 14 but pretty quickly ( with inside lights only on ) dropped to 9. It was a new leisure battery last year . Is this bad news ? Are there any remedial steps I can make ?
It doesn't sound good. A fully charged Leisure battery should show about 12.9V when 100% charged 30mins after all charging has stopped, car/mains.

So what was the voltage when you started the journey?
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
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Messages
16,702
Location
Vale of Glamorgan
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T5 SE 180 4Motion
I think around 8 .
Sounds as if the Battery is knackered, pardon the expression. 12v automotive batteries should not go below 10.5v for prolonged periods. That's why VW state that the California should be connected to the Mains for 12-24hrs monthly to ensure this doesn't happen or driven regularly or have a working Solar power system.
You might be able to gain some functionality by charging for 3 - 4 days using a Smart charger, such as a Ctek or similar that can charge and condition a battery but you are looking to replace the battery if you plan on camping without a Mains hookup.
 
T

TimboG

Messages
27
Location
Leeds
Vehicle
T5 HighTop
Sounds as if the Battery is knackered, pardon the expression. 12v automotive batteries should not go below 10.5v for prolonged periods. That's why VW state that the California should be connected to the Mains for 12-24hrs monthly to ensure this doesn't happen or driven regularly or have a working Solar power system.
You might be able to gain some functionality by charging for 3 - 4 days using a Smart charger, such as a Ctek or similar that can charge and condition a battery but you are looking to replace the battery if you plan on camping without a Mains hookup.
Sounds as if the Battery is knackered, pardon the expression. 12v automotive batteries should not go below 10.5v for prolonged periods. That's why VW state that the California should be connected to the Mains for 12-24hrs monthly to ensure this doesn't happen or driven regularly or have a working Solar power system.
You might be able to gain some functionality by charging for 3 - 4 days using a Smart charger, such as a Ctek or similar that can charge and condition a battery but you are looking to replace the battery if you plan on camping without a Mains hookup.
Thanks so much . I do have a fancy charger so will try and see what happens. Not great news but my fault essentially. Having said that we never go anywhere without mains . How much would a new one cost fitted do you think ?
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
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Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
16,702
Location
Vale of Glamorgan
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Thanks so much . I do have a fancy charger so will try and see what happens. Not great news but my fault essentially. Having said that we never go anywhere without mains . How much would a new one cost fitted do you think ?
Give it a go first. If you are on mains it should be OK for a while but not last if without.
Smart charging may help for a while.
You have a conversion so the battery size, amps, and the physical dimensions may be different to the Californias but for the California., about £160 or so.

 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
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Messages
16,702
Location
Vale of Glamorgan
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T5 SE 180 4Motion
Some mains chargers fitted by converters are unable to charge the Leisure Battery if the voltage drops too low - that's why I suggested a smart charger to start with.
 
T

TimboG

Messages
27
Location
Leeds
Vehicle
T5 HighTop
That is ruined I'm afraid, you might find it gets very hot if you try and charge it. AGM batteries are toast if that are left for any period of time below 10.6 volts.
I will give it a go with the smart charger and see if it can be salvaged . The trouble is they don’t tell you this at the time . Will report back but thanks so much .
 
T

TimboG

Messages
27
Location
Leeds
Vehicle
T5 HighTop
One thing i am unsure about is whether the battery automatically charges when we are travelling ? Im pretty sure it does but just wondered if i need to press any of the switches on my unit. You wilkl detect im a total novice !
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
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Messages
16,702
Location
Vale of Glamorgan
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
One thing i am unsure about is whether the battery automatically charges when we are travelling ? Im pretty sure it does but just wondered if i need to press any of the switches on my unit. You wilkl detect im a total novice !
Normally there is a Split Charge relay that allows the alternator to charge both the engine and leisure battery system. If you have a Leisure circuit voltage display then this should show a voltage of between 14 - 14.6 or thereabouts shortly after engine start. The voltage might tend to drop towards 13-13.5v during a longish trip as the Leisure battery becomes fully charged, say about 100miles or so.
If the base vehicle has BlueMotion Regenerative Braking, most VW vans since 2010 do ( optional extra initially now all vehicles have it ) then this will only charge the Leisure Battery to 80% or so, hence regular mains charging or a Solar panel or a DC - DC battery charger in place of the simpler/cheaper Split Charge Relay.
 
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