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Old 7th April 2011, 15:11   #31
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Default Re: Road Side Stalling

I too think there's a problem with the alternator.I too had problems with the battery when the alternator failed . this happens normally when we drive in the night with Head lights on.
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Old 7th April 2011, 15:43   #32
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Default Re: Road Side Stalling

Thanks All for your comments and suggestion; truly appreciate the same.
I can very well conclude that post 2.5 Years living with Old Battery is a risk unless and otherwise checked regularly. Atleast this is the case for Sealed Batteries where a hrdrometer cannot be inserted.
@ MODS I guess its time to close this thread.
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Old 7th April 2011, 16:34   #33
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Default Re: Road Side Stalling

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
On the other hand, inspecting the alternator is not a big thing and if you have a multimeter, it's a DIY job. First check the voltage across the battery when engine is off (should be >= 12 V as it's a new battery). Now start the engine and then check the voltage across the battery (should be > 13 V). This is what I'd been told by an electrician; essentially on starting the engine, the voltage across the battery should increase (to > 13 V) if the alternator is working properly and charging the battery.
In my case, the voltage across the battery showed 12V while engine off and ~14V while engine ON.

This is exactly same for my old (dead) battery and my new battery. The only difference being the old battery couldn't start the engine.

No symptoms at all. I think sp gravity, as soumobakshi mentioned is the culprit.
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Old 7th April 2011, 17:40   #34
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Default Re: Road Side Stalling

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Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
In my case, the voltage across the battery showed 12V while engine off and ~14V while engine ON.

This is exactly same for my old (dead) battery and my new battery. The only difference being the old battery couldn't start the engine.

No symptoms at all. I think sp gravity, as soumobakshi mentioned is the culprit.
Yup, specific gravity checks to ascertain the state of the battery and voltage checks for the alternator.
Though I still believe that batteries are a play of luck!
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Old 7th April 2011, 22:55   #35
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Default Re: Road Side Stalling

I would like to share something similar that happened with my Optra 1.8 a few weeks ago. It turned out to be quiet interesting and its been 4 weeks since the incident and its still not entirely over.

I went through a very similar situation as soumobakshi. Was doing the shopping round, i had visited 3-4 shops earlier. The car started without any hesitation on all those occasions. Not even a slight hint that the battery is about to go.

For the last time i come back to the car and turn on the ignition, still no sign of battery trouble, the lights on the dash come on, ICE starts playing, blower starts (since i had not turned it off while switching off the ignition) I crank the engine, the starter motor engages, the sound that the motor makes was normal and felt powerful (i know how the starter sounds when the battery is weak), and i expected the engine to start, but no, all of a sudden complete silence, every light, ICE, blower all are completely dead.

I switch off the ignition, then turn it back on, nothing. After 2-3 minutes i again turn on ignition, this time lights on the dash come on. i try to crank, immediately everything shuts off, no sound from the starter motor at all. I thought the starter motor has jammed and was fearing that it might burn out since it must be drawing a lot of current. (It had happened with our Premier Padmini many years ago. I'm sure modern cars must have found a solution so that such a situation never occurs)

I pop open the bonnet, to check for loose terminals, fuse box, burning smell etc but everything looks normal. I disconnect the positive terminal immediately as i was fearing a jammed motor . But since no sparks flew while disconnecting or reconnecting i was at ease that the motor is fine. After a while, I go back home call the 24 hr helpline, and come back to the car with a multimeter, the battery shows 12.9V I was surprised, hence thought there is no good contact between the connectors and the terminals hence I cleaned them and reconnected them but to no avail, as soon as i crank the engine the lights on the dash go off again.

Finally I checked the battery voltage while cranking, it was down to 1.8V. this is when it dawned upon me that the battery is the culprit. The battery had given up, without a single indication of impending failure. I must have cranked the engine almost 7-8 times that day itself, and the battery felt normal throughout. But for the last time, it gave up without any warning. This was the first time I saw a battery detoriate so drastically.

With much effort i get the car back to my usual parking space. (Thanks to the 24 hr helpline)

Now starts the hunt for a new battery. I check the warranty card of my battery, it was a Amaron Pro with a 24+24 month warranty, and I had used the battery for 33 months, so it turned out to a 47% discount on the price of a new one. Called AMCARE helpline to let them know. The number was unreachable that whole night. The next day i could get the call to connect only to hear that a local representative will visit within 24 hours. Thankfully someone from Amaron visits my place within 5 hours of the call with a service battery. He checked the old battery and confirmed it by checking the sp. gr. that most of the cells had brown coloured water, indicating shedding of active material. But it turns out the service battery does not fit. A few phone calls later it is confirmed that Amaron no longer makes batteries that fit in the Optra. So i am back to square one.

Searched on the Internet for batteries that fit the Optra but could not find the info on any of the manufacturers websites. Thus called up the A$$. It turns out ACDelco is the only brand that makes batteries for the Optra which requires a 12V 55Ah D23R battery. Even new cars come with the same. Called up the ACDelco dealer, and indeed they have a 65 Ah in the required size, thus placed an order. But the battery is not in stock, neither do they have a service battery in that size. I made myself clear that I wont accept a battery that is more than 2-3 months old. Two days later the dealer comes with a service battery (which strangely was brand new, i guess from a older stock) and i breath easy since i can use my car again. It has been 4 weeks on the service battery. The dealer has not been able to deliver me a fresh battery yet.

One more interesting thing, since my earlier battery was a 55Ah and this one is 65Ah, i feel the car cranks more freely than ever before, the starter motor can turn the engine more easily. In fact last week I accidentally cranked the engine when the car was in first gear without pressing the clutch (It had never happened with me before, but we all make mistakes. Don't we?) Our parking has this smooth concrete finish, as soon as i cranked the engine, the car started moving forward with a mild squeal from the tyres and the engine also started along with that, i immediately pressed the clutch, cursing myself wondering how could i do such a thing. But later when i thought about it, I realised the the starter motor had enough juice being supplied by the battery that it could turn the engine plus the additional torque required to break traction and jerk the car forward from a standstill. I dont know how much the earlier battery was but the ACDelco is rated at 550CCA. (interestingly the starter motor fuse is rated at 30A)

Woohoo this has been a long one , I just let it out. felt nice, hope you guys liked reading it.

Regards

IMP.
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Old 7th April 2011, 23:06   #36
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Default Re: Road Side Stalling

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMP View Post

I went through a very similar situation as soumobakshi. Was doing the shopping round, i had visited 3-4 shops earlier. The car started without any hesitation on all those occasions. Not even a slight hint that the battery is about to go.

I must have cranked the engine almost 7-8 times that day itself, and the battery felt normal throughout. But for the last time, it gave up without any warning. This was the first time I saw a battery detoriate so drastically.
Your unfortunate experience firms up my belief. An old battery can just die with warning. Wonder if anything different can be done on this issue.
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Old 8th April 2011, 10:34   #37
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Default Re: Road Side Stalling

@ IMP The experience that i had was very similar with what you had experienced.
I guess you can try with Exide as they have batteries for most Indian Cars even though the same is not mentioned in the Website and OEM's do not recommend (strangely). In my case as well they said that the DIN 60 Battery is not available from the market and have to be ordered through the dealer, however on enquiring with Exide dealers got to know that the same is not readily available but they can get it when ordered.

It can be safely concluded that post 30 months ( in my case it was 37 months) battery are known to go kaput; so be safe and keep checking your car battery religiously to ensure that you do not get stalled in the middle of nowhere!

EDIT : Thanks to MODS for this birthday Gift in promoting me from a Newbie to a Bhpian!!

Last edited by soumobakshi : 8th April 2011 at 10:42. Reason: Late Realization of my changed membership status
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