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Battery Truth Or Lie ?


Motormouth
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Made a school boy error and ending up leaving my interior lights on in my car for 3 or 4 days, when I tried to start it the car was totally dead. Called the RAC out and they got me started, the RAC bloke told me that as I had left the lights on for so long (3 or 4 days) and the battery would of totally discharged it would be damaged and never the same again. He said it would hold charge but would most likely fail. After which he said he knew somewhere local to get a new battery, in the end I got the new battery (£56) and RAC man fitted it.

Anyway was he telling me a lie about killing the battery and me needing to replace it or is it the truth ? Just worried as a couple of years ago there was a thing on Watch Dog on TV about the RAC making customers get new batteries when they didnt need them.

One other thing after they had replaced the battery, my ESP light came on and stayed on on the dash. Its not a warning light, I pulled over turned the car off waited a minute then restarted and it didnt come back, any idea why it might of come up, linked to changing battery at all.

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I had a similar problem with my S3 a few years ago. Left the interior light on, battery flat, jump started the car and then after about an hour's drive the car went into limp mode. frown.gif Got the car recovered to the dealer - they cleared all the error codes on the ECU and then the car was fine. smile.gif

I wouldn't buy a new battery unless it went flat again on its own accord.

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I did exactly the same thing with my S8 about 6 months ago. Like you, I assumed that I had probably wrecked the battery; lead acid batteries do not like to be deep discharged too often. In the event, I decided that it was time I bought a new battery charger and splashed out on a heavy duty one (which will give out 180 amps for short periods to help start the car). I charged the battery at 8 to 10 amps for 12 hours and it now appears to be perfect. The car sits outside and I often leave it for up to 14 days without using it. It still turns over briskly even after a night below freezing. Probably helps that the S8 has a 95 ampere/hour battery as standard, but it needs that with all the electrical loads of the kit on it. From what I have been told, you can usually get away with flattening the battery 2 or 3 times providing that it has not been left discharged for too long.

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There was an article on Watchdog regarding the RAC recommending batteries be replaced even when they didnt need to be. Seems they get a bonus for any parts they manage to sell at the roadside.

I would say that you "didn't" need a new battery. I flattened the batteries in my van several times when I first got it and I ran ot for another 18 months after that without any issues.

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Thought as much, my instinct at the time was charge the battery and see how it goes. However part me of couldnt risk the hassle it would cause if did end up finally dying and leaving me strandid. It was the orginal battery so it was nearly 4 years old. Oh well at least Ive learnt to make sure I turn it off next time.

After reading the owner manual it did say the ESP could get its knickers in a twist and the light stay on as the ESP can switch itself off. To turn it back on it said do what I actually did, pull over switch the car off and restart it after a bit. it also said if you have to replace the battery or disconect it, that once you reconnect you need to leave you key in position 2 for 1 minute before starting it, not sure if the RAC man did that. One thing I did notice wasnt I didnt need to type the stereo code in after the battery was replaced, I thought you had to, did on my old Ford.

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I agree with what has been said above but also would like to mention that £56 for an Audi battery seems like a very good price. I had to pay £90 for mine from the Stealer. As you say for a 4 years old battery might have been dead and it would not have held charge. Just make sure you check that everything is working ok on the car.

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In defence of the RAC Patrol, he has a valid point..if a battery is left in a discharged state for a long period of time, with a load still trying to draw from it, then there is a strong chance it will never recover properly..you can attach a trickle charger for 48hours or so to see if it will accept a charge, but you can usually tell straight away using an Amp Clamp and Multimeter, if the battery is accepting what the alternator is pushing into it. It's worth noting that an alternator won't return a flat battery to a full state of charge for a long time, if at all.

In my experience of these situations the customer is usually happy to have a new battery fitted to save any future inconvenience, escpecially for £56, with a 3 year warranty!

The ESP was on because of the flat battery, a short road test will put it out as it's the steering angle sensor that needs calibrating, something that the car does on it's own.

The radio didn't need a code because it hadn't been removed from the car

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One thing I forgot to mention, Patrols don't get any bonus in relation to any parts they sell at the roadside znaika.gif

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