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  • FIRST POST
    • derrick
    • By derrick 9th Dec 16, 3:02 PM
    • 6,872Posts
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    derrick
    How long should a car battery last?
    • #1
    • 9th Dec 16, 3:02 PM
    How long should a car battery last? 9th Dec 16 at 3:02 PM
    Purchased a car battery 30-10-14 for £49 with a 2 year guarantee, it has been alright until 2 weeks ago when after sitting for a week it was flat, got a jump start and did a 30 round trip, then left it on charge for 24 hours.

    It was then showing 12.5 volts not running, started engine,showing charging at 13.5v, turned on rear demister, headlights and 4 speed heater fan, still showing charging at 13.5v.

    Car left for another week then did the checks outlined above in 2nd paragraph with same results.

    However another 7 days later, whilst still not been used the car would not start, (flat battery), and is showing as 9v.

    Called recovery who checked the battery and whilst charging at 13.5 I was told no "charging amps", health "0", "replace", there was nothing said about buying a battery from him, he actually said we don't sell batteries.

    Took car to where I purchased battery, (it is 5 weeks out of warranty),and told nothing they can do. Told them regardless of warranty it should last longer than 2 years, would not budge save to suggest I buy another,(duff?), battery and they would send mine to manufacturer and they may if it is faulty replace, (not likely that would happen even if he actually sent it back, why would he if I buy another one?). Or he would sell me another one for £25 without warranty or receipt, I did not take him up on that one!

    On Wednesday I disconnected the battery and charged it for 24 hours, it was showing fully charged at 13.6v, 24 hours later, today, battery is down to 12.9v.

    Have I got a case to have the battery replaced re SoGA or do batteries with a 2 year warranty only last 2 years and 5 weeks?

    Battery fitted to a 1996 Toyota Carena E 1.6 Petrol

    Battery details :
    PL2024
    12v 60amp
    CCA 480

    The car does not get used regularly and can sit in the garage for 2-3 weeks, but it has been OK for the last 2 years and several years prior to that on the previous battery.

    .
    Last edited by derrick; 09-12-2016 at 3:07 PM.
    Don`t steal - the Government doesn`t like the competition


Page 5
    • Stoke
    • By Stoke 14th Dec 16, 1:19 PM
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    Stoke
    Just letting you know, I successfully recovered an Exide battery that had been fully discharged for over 2 weeks.

    Garbage battery pal. Sorry.
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 14th Dec 16, 1:38 PM
    • 11,000 Posts
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    Strider590
    I know what you are saying, but if I leave it on a timer for 1 hour per week, the charger won't be live for the other 167 hours.

    .
    Originally posted by derrick
    No, but there could be a leakage current that would cause the battery to discharge via the charger. They're not designed to be left connected.


    Just letting you know, I successfully recovered an Exide battery that had been fully discharged for over 2 weeks.

    Garbage battery pal. Sorry.
    Originally posted by Stoke
    I recovered one (a Numax type 015) that was over 8 years old (but had only been used to start a car once) and had been flat for nearly a month, I topped it up with distilled water, charged it and it worked for about two weeks before it had to be replaced.
    Last edited by Strider590; 14-12-2016 at 1:42 PM.
    Having the last word isn't the same as being right.......

    "Never confuse education with intelligence"
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 14th Dec 16, 2:55 PM
    • 24,726 Posts
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    forgotmyname
    Video of battery charging at 1010 a.m. this morning:




    Battery @ 12.5v before starting, this was after it had been disconnected for 1 week with a constant reading of 12.9v. (More info in OP.).

    Went down to 11v whilst starting and was charging at 14.4v at cold, brought up to normal temp still charging at 14.4v.

    Turned on rear demister, 4 speed fan and full beam headlights, (2 minutes 55 secs into video), charging at 13.6v, increased revs, charging @ 14.3v.

    Engine off battery settled to 13v.


    The above suggests to me the alternator is OK.

    .
    Originally posted by derrick
    Thats not a proper test.

    13.6v at idle and 14.3v with raised revs shows its not doing its job as efficiently as it should.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • derrick
    • By derrick 14th Dec 16, 3:14 PM
    • 6,872 Posts
    • 2,240 Thanks
    derrick
    Battery @ 12.5v before starting, this was after it had been disconnected for 1 week with a constant reading of 12.9v. (More info in OP.).

    Went down to 11v whilst starting and was charging at 14.4v at cold, brought up to normal temp still charging at 14.4v.

    Turned on rear demister, 4 speed fan and full beam headlights, (2 minutes 55 secs into video), charging at 13.6v, increased revs, charging @ 14.3v.

    Engine off battery settled to 13v.


    The above suggests to me the alternator is OK..
    Originally posted by derrick


    Thats not a proper test.

    13.6v at idle and 14.3v with raised revs shows its not doing its job as efficiently as it should.
    Originally posted by forgotmyname
    It is charging at 14.4v at idle, it only drops to 13.6 when accessories are turned on, it then increases back to 14.3 when the revs are increased as when actually driving the car, not likely, (or for a long time), that all those accessories would be on at idle.


    .
    Don`t steal - the Government doesn`t like the competition


    • dlm
    • By dlm 14th Dec 16, 4:03 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    dlm
    Firstly, before all the armchair experts start spouting - i'm a auto electrician (amoungst other things)

    Battery brand is BS of the highest order. Around 90% of brands are supplied by the same factory in China. The remaining brands - of which there are 3 or 4 own their own factories. Varta for example build Bosch in Germany, Banner in Spain, and so on. Many other brands including Duracell, are all Asian.

    Warranty on all batteries are also BS - Why? Well, it depends on your supplier if they will cover the cost - but the manufacturer certainly won't! I can show you a photo of a Bosch battery which failed 18 months old and even has a sticker on the battery proclaiming '5 YEAR GUARANTEE' .....Bosch stated (I received emails stating such from Bosch UK) the guarantee is 12 months from CONSTRUCTION at factory in Germany. With warehousing in Germaany, shipping, warehousing, distribution, and waiting at supplier until sold - the 12 month Bosch DO give is long gone!

    If leaving a vehicle for long periods, it is recommended that you buy a battery CONDITIONER -NOT a charger, they are different things. A conditioner will charge, then discharge, and pulse in cycles to keep the plates clean of fur, and to keep the battery cycling between charge and discharge as it would if it was being used. Anything else may overcharge, overheat or otherwise damage the battery long term.

    Alternators will charge properly at 14.5v optimum. Anything less need monitoring as it MAY be a sign of an alternator STARTING to fail. Alts will become erractic as the brushes start to fail, charge rate will change between 14.5, 14.2, 13 even and go back up again....in some cases to well over 14.5, This is early warning of a faulty Alt that will eventually cook the battery by overcharging.

    A battery is flat at 11.5v, drop below this and many regular chargers will not charge properly, espsecially AGM and Gel batteries, In this case, a conditioner or second battery is required to fool the charger into thinking the battery is holding 12v so that it will charge the battery.

    A battery holding 13.5v may still be tired, as this (as in the OP's case) is the SURFACE charge. That is what it holds on the face of things - what you need to start your car is amps (CCA) Lets say your battery is 800 CCA, fully charged but appears flat and dies immediately you sttempt to start. This is the 'DEEP' cycle which has failed. It may only knock out 400CCA instead of 800. So although on the surface it seems charged, it may not be healthy enough to start your car. Some modern cars require a fully charged battery to open the injectors etc, otherwise they crank and not start.

    So to recap.

    Forget brands, save £100's and buy a cheaper battery with a 1 year warranty statuatory as that is all the expensive brands will be anyway. In fact, one of the most expensive brands at over £300 only has a 2 year lifespan, 1 year warranty.

    If leaving for any length of time, use a battery maintenance/conditioner and keep this plugged in. Make sure it has pulse function as some cheaper ones don't. These are not expensive, Aldi do one for £14.

    Therefore, to the OP original question; Batteries will last AT LEAST a year. The rest depends on alternator condition and use of the vehicle. Yes, leaving it would have an impact. moreso during cold spells if no conditioner attached. Buy a cheap replacement, and monitor you alternator. If it fluctuates, replace the alt or brushes/charge relay.
    • Stoke
    • By Stoke 14th Dec 16, 4:46 PM
    • 1,600 Posts
    • 565 Thanks
    Stoke
    Firstly, before all the armchair experts start spouting - i'm a auto electrician (amoungst other things)

    Battery brand is BS of the highest order. Around 90% of brands are supplied by the same factory in China. The remaining brands - of which there are 3 or 4 own their own factories. Varta for example build Bosch in Germany, Banner in Spain, and so on. Many other brands including Duracell, are all Asian.

    Warranty on all batteries are also BS - Why? Well, it depends on your supplier if they will cover the cost - but the manufacturer certainly won't! I can show you a photo of a Bosch battery which failed 18 months old and even has a sticker on the battery proclaiming '5 YEAR GUARANTEE' .....Bosch stated (I received emails stating such from Bosch UK) the guarantee is 12 months from CONSTRUCTION at factory in Germany. With warehousing in Germaany, shipping, warehousing, distribution, and waiting at supplier until sold - the 12 month Bosch DO give is long gone!

    If leaving a vehicle for long periods, it is recommended that you buy a battery CONDITIONER -NOT a charger, they are different things. A conditioner will charge, then discharge, and pulse in cycles to keep the plates clean of fur, and to keep the battery cycling between charge and discharge as it would if it was being used. Anything else may overcharge, overheat or otherwise damage the battery long term.

    Alternators will charge properly at 14.5v optimum. Anything less need monitoring as it MAY be a sign of an alternator STARTING to fail. Alts will become erractic as the brushes start to fail, charge rate will change between 14.5, 14.2, 13 even and go back up again....in some cases to well over 14.5, This is early warning of a faulty Alt that will eventually cook the battery by overcharging.

    A battery is flat at 11.5v, drop below this and many regular chargers will not charge properly, espsecially AGM and Gel batteries, In this case, a conditioner or second battery is required to fool the charger into thinking the battery is holding 12v so that it will charge the battery.

    A battery holding 13.5v may still be tired, as this (as in the OP's case) is the SURFACE charge. That is what it holds on the face of things - what you need to start your car is amps (CCA) Lets say your battery is 800 CCA, fully charged but appears flat and dies immediately you sttempt to start. This is the 'DEEP' cycle which has failed. It may only knock out 400CCA instead of 800. So although on the surface it seems charged, it may not be healthy enough to start your car. Some modern cars require a fully charged battery to open the injectors etc, otherwise they crank and not start.

    So to recap.

    Forget brands, save £100's and buy a cheaper battery with a 1 year warranty statuatory as that is all the expensive brands will be anyway. In fact, one of the most expensive brands at over £300 only has a 2 year lifespan, 1 year warranty.

    If leaving for any length of time, use a battery maintenance/conditioner and keep this plugged in. Make sure it has pulse function as some cheaper ones don't. These are not expensive, Aldi do one for £14.

    Therefore, to the OP original question; Batteries will last AT LEAST a year. The rest depends on alternator condition and use of the vehicle. Yes, leaving it would have an impact. moreso during cold spells if no conditioner attached. Buy a cheap replacement, and monitor you alternator. If it fluctuates, replace the alt or brushes/charge relay.
    Originally posted by dlm
    Auto electrician or not, personal experience suggests you're talking crap.
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 14th Dec 16, 6:34 PM
    • 24,726 Posts
    • 9,808 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    It is charging at 14.4v at idle, it only drops to 13.6 when accessories are turned on, it then increases back to 14.3 when the revs are increased as when actually driving the car, not likely, (or for a long time), that all those accessories would be on at idle.


    .
    Originally posted by derrick
    Wrong again. Voltage dropping when accessories are switched on = something needs looking at.

    Unless your accessories = powering your entire house from it.

    I have a heated windscreen and rear window that automatically switches on if its below 5 degrees C. The windscreen takes almost 60 Amps, the rear window another 15amps + the heater blower and the stereo and the lights etc.. and all this with the engines glowplugs helping to warm it which is another 60 AMPS. Does not drop below 14.4 volts.

    Yours drops to 13.6 with a small percentage of this load.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • arcon5
    • By arcon5 14th Dec 16, 6:46 PM
    • 12,901 Posts
    • 8,148 Thanks
    arcon5
    A battery is flat at 12.2v

    You sure your an auto electrician?
    • derrick
    • By derrick 14th Dec 16, 6:49 PM
    • 6,872 Posts
    • 2,240 Thanks
    derrick
    Wrong again. Voltage dropping when accessories are switched on = something needs looking at.

    Unless your accessories = powering your entire house from it.

    I have a heated windscreen and rear window that automatically switches on if its below 5 degrees C. The windscreen takes almost 60 Amps, the rear window another 15amps + the heater blower and the stereo and the lights etc.. and all this with the engines glowplugs helping to warm it which is another 60 AMPS. Does not drop below 14.4 volts.

    Yours drops to 13.6 with a small percentage of this load.
    Originally posted by forgotmyname

    All that whilst idling?

    Or whilst driving? Which if yes is what mine does!

    .
    Don`t steal - the Government doesn`t like the competition


    • BeenThroughItAll
    • By BeenThroughItAll 14th Dec 16, 8:18 PM
    • 3,932 Posts
    • 3,261 Thanks
    BeenThroughItAll
    All that whilst idling?

    Or whilst driving? Which if yes is what mine does!

    .
    Originally posted by derrick
    As has already been said about a million times. Your alternator is not working properly. If it can't maintain 14+V, even at idle with electrical accessories turned on, then it isn't working properly. Remember dynamos, and how the lights would dim on older cars and brighten up when they were revved? That's the way your alternator is behaving, and it IS NOT RIGHT.
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 15th Dec 16, 2:42 AM
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    forgotmyname
    All that whilst idling?

    Or whilst driving? Which if yes is what mine does!

    .
    Originally posted by derrick
    At idle from a cold start, the instant it starts my heated front and rear screen and blower automatically switch on to clear the screens rapidly.

    It never drops below 14.4v.

    Do you know why it never drops below 14.4v? Because mine works.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 15th Dec 16, 8:35 AM
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    • 6,111 Thanks
    Strider590
    At idle from a cold start, the instant it starts my heated front and rear screen and blower automatically switch on to clear the screens rapidly.

    It never drops below 14.4v.

    Do you know why it never drops below 14.4v? Because mine works.
    Originally posted by forgotmyname
    To be entirely fair, alternators have come a long way since 1996 and so have engine ECUs, the drop he's seeing could easily be down to a drop in RPM at idle combined with a rather pathetic alternator.
    Having the last word isn't the same as being right.......

    "Never confuse education with intelligence"
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 15th Dec 16, 8:43 AM
    • 13,543 Posts
    • 11,931 Thanks
    AdrianC
    To be entirely fair, alternators have come a long way since 1996 and so have engine ECUs, the drop he's seeing could easily be down to a drop in RPM at idle combined with a rather pathetic alternator.
    Originally posted by Strider590
    They've come a fair way in some regards, but a mid-90s car will still have a more-than-adequate alternator, very probably driven by a serp belt, and fully mapped engine management. In good health, there is no reason the charge should be dropping like that.

    The OP is in denial that anything but the battery could be at fault, and until he ceases his ostrich impression, continuing this thread is pointless. He has been told again and again.
    • derrick
    • By derrick 15th Dec 16, 11:19 AM
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    derrick
    Just had the alt checked by a respected local auto electrician, (company been in existence for decades), and am told nothing wrong with alternator.


    Also after putting load on battery says if is OK.

    Also showed my readings to my local mechanic and he also says nothing wrong with alternator.

    Will monitor it over the next few weeks and make a decision, but could be a new battery.

    .
    Don`t steal - the Government doesn`t like the competition


    • Joe Horner
    • By Joe Horner 15th Dec 16, 12:58 PM
    • 3,822 Posts
    • 3,205 Thanks
    Joe Horner
    It is charging at 14.4v at idle, it only drops to 13.6 when accessories are turned on, it then increases back to 14.3 when the revs are increased as when actually driving the car, not likely, (or for a long time), that all those accessories would be on at idle.


    .
    Originally posted by derrick
    But in your original post you said it was charging at 13.5v. So the fact you have substantially different readings now means that the alternator output is inconsistent. Or are you now saying that first post was wrong and we've been advising you all this time based on dud info?

    As Dim explained above (and I suggested by a handy link to the - cheap - solution earlier) erratic output is a good sign of worn alternator brushes. They're a cheap and easy DIY replacement on the Denso alternator that'll be fitted to yours - you can probably even do them with the alternator still in the car depending on how Toyota have shoe-horned it in there.

    As for the people who've told you there's nothing wrong with the alternator, you can't judge brush wear from voltage readings until the thing's almost packed up completely because the fluctuations from poor brush contact are far faster than typical DVMs update. You might be able to spot them as noise on an oscilloscope but you haven't mentioned them hooking one of those up?


    eta: Note that your local auto electrician has said that the alternator AND the battery are ok. Batteries don't really do intermittent faults - they either hold charge or they don't - so that's another hint towards alternators because they DO play up intermittently as they start to fail.
    Last edited by Joe Horner; 15-12-2016 at 1:00 PM.
    • almillar
    • By almillar 15th Dec 16, 1:20 PM
    • 6,777 Posts
    • 2,696 Thanks
    almillar
    So my battery should have lasted more than 25 months?
    You bought a battery with a 24 month guarantee. A longer guaranteed battery would be available, but would cost more.

    You don't want to buy a smart charger, and want to use a timer instead. OK, give it a go. And let us know what battery you buy, and how long it lasts.

    Volts don't start cars, amps do. So whist a 12.2V battery may not be 'flat' it suggests/indicates/raises an alarm that the battery might be a bit weak. So you might be able to listen to the stereo for hours from it, but it mightn't be able to turn the starter.
    • wapow
    • By wapow 16th Dec 16, 12:30 AM
    • 861 Posts
    • 475 Thanks
    wapow
    But that is not what he said!

    .
    Originally posted by derrick

    So ignore the sound advice? Great.Bye
    • MukeshDeshpandey
    • By MukeshDeshpandey 17th Mar 17, 7:37 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    MukeshDeshpandey
    Battery life is depends how much it's warranty of it and second depends how you drive and servicing.
    • Ebe Scrooge
    • By Ebe Scrooge 17th Mar 17, 9:44 AM
    • 3,529 Posts
    • 2,896 Thanks
    Ebe Scrooge
    Battery life is depends how much it's warranty of it and second depends how you drive and servicing.
    Originally posted by MukeshDeshpandey




    Again in English please ? And what the heck impact does a warranty have on the life of a battery ?


    <edit> Ah, I've just seen your user profile. You're an American spammer who owns a website that just happens to sell batteries. Crawl back under your stone please, you muppet.
    Last edited by Ebe Scrooge; 17-03-2017 at 9:46 AM.
    I may not know much about art, but I know what I like.
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 17th Mar 17, 10:26 AM
    • 11,000 Posts
    • 6,111 Thanks
    Strider590
    Again in English please ? And what the heck impact does a warranty have on the life of a battery ?


    <edit> Ah, I've just seen your user profile. You're an American spammer who owns a website that just happens to sell batteries. Crawl back under your stone please, you muppet.
    Originally posted by Ebe Scrooge

    Not American

    Not convinced they're spamming either, they've only made one post. But they are most certainly affiliated with an Indian battery retailer, who have a website hosted in the US.
    They also tried to make generic and slightly misleading statements.

    One could argue that warranty is related to battery life, in that a battery manufacturer will put a longer warranty on a battery they expect to last longer.
    Having the last word isn't the same as being right.......

    "Never confuse education with intelligence"
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