Saturday, November 15, 2014

Voltage Shortage

Over the last three weeks or so, I have been busy fixing and cleaning the interior of the car. As the seats were out for the duration, I thought it best not to be driving around, so the car has been sat idle. As a result, when I came to turn the key, there was a distinct lack of power available.

I'm guessing that the central locking system must put a slight demand on the battery. Just enough that over a period of three weeks without moving, the battery was drained to the point where it can't start the car. Rather than messing about with the starter pack, I thought I would get the battery out of the car and charge it overnight.

Removing the terminals and battery holder, I lifted it out, got it in the house and measured the voltage.

Connecting the voltmeter, I had 12.13 Volts which to me seemed fine, but to be honest, I have no idea what a good voltage should be. Thankfully though, this particular battery was fitted with a magic eye and a quick glance showed that it was mostly red. And as far as I know, red is bad.

Plugging my trusty old battery charger in, the voltage jumped to 13.82 Volts at about 1.4 Amps.

Checking in on the battery as the day passed by, there was little change with the magic eye, but the voltage was steadily climbing, so I thought it best to leave it overnight. Visiting the next day, things were looking a lot better. The magic eye was green and the voltage had jumped up quite a lot.

Switching off the battery charger, the voltage settled at 13.77 volts.

Before putting the battery back in the car, I thought I would give the terminals a quick clean up with a wire brush.

Once back in the car, the engine started with ease and measuring the voltage across the battery with the engine running showed a healthy 14.27 volts.

Not the most exciting post I know, but then again, that's life, sometimes boring stuff just needs to get done, but at least the car starts now. I'm sure that there will be other more exciting things to come soon enough.

After some research on the internet and the failure of a battery in a different car I have, I found the following information regarding the various voltage readings and what they mean:

State of Charge
12.7 – 13.2
0 – 11.9

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