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PalmerM
Hi everyone,

I've got a very strange electrical problem with my 2005 1.6i Focus that's been going on for over 12 months at least has been in and out of 2 different garages and has still not gone away! Would very much appreciated your ideas!


Most common symptom is the Battery warning light coming on for the majority of journeys, not all the time but becoming more frequent. (As a side note When the light is lit the rear or front (can't remember which!) heated window won't come on)

We also, again not all the time, but pretty frequently hear a high pitched buzzing/electrical noise whilst driving.
This buzzing noise will sometimes change, and go from a lower pitch to a higher pitch and then back again in a continuous loop. When it's at the highest pitch of this loop the Handbrake light will flash on and there will be a beeping noise. This will repeat for every 5-10 seconds. When this happens each time just before the handbrake lights flashes there seems to be a power surge, the headlights will get brighter, the noise from the blowers will get louder, as if they've sped up for a second, and if you're trying to accelerate the car seems to lose a bit of power and bog down for a second and then pull again after the light has gone out. I've also noticed that whilst the handbrake is lit for a second the indicators do not work.

Also on a handful of occasions when the car has been in this pattern of beeping every few seconds, all the dials have reset to zero, the speedo and rev counter needles have dropped to zero, and we've had to pull over and restart the car which has solved the problem.

Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks
btmaldon
Is the battery a silver calcium type? These are the only ones Ford recommend to use with the Ford Smart Charge system which your car probably has. An ordinary battery is likely to fry the electrics.
artscot79
got to agree with the above a non calcium battery will overcharge this will result in the extra charge being put into the electrics shouldnt be hard for a garage with some savvy to figure this out theres a few options
1. incorrect battery being overcharged simply check on the battery if its lead acid which is wrong it should be silv er calcium or lead calcium some are called.
2. theres a fault with an earth on the car a check of the earth points and a clean up would show this
3. the alternator is overcharging the battery an alternator test by ford would show this dont use normal garages they dont understand smart charge.

sounds stupid but there are very few garages who know the focus needs a silver calcium battery and will slot in a lead acid one because they dont understand or know about smart charge ive had a garage try it with me when i insisted on the silver calcium and explained why they looked at me like i was stupid
PalmerM
Thanks for the advice guys, it looks like this might be the problem!

Having a bit of conflicting advice getting hold of a silver calcium battery.
Have spoken to Halfords and they say they sell either a calcium battery or a silver battery, and not a silver calcium!

Are they just getting confused or is there a difference?
[url="http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_storeId_10001_catalogId_10151_categoryId_165762_productId_780251_langId_-1?cm_mmc=Shopping-_-Google%20Product%20Search-_-Car%20Care%20%26%20Maintenance%2FCar%20Batteries-_-Bosch%20Silver%20Car%20Battery%20HSB010&source=shopping"]This is the battery I was looking at on their website.[/url]
It just says Bosch Silver, no mention of calcium?

Thanks
artscot79
that shows what utter useless morons they are silver are silver calcium they are made with silver plates on the electrodes
tomo2001
Like this type........

[url="http://www.sandicliffeshop.co.uk/category/Parts/Batteries/Ford_Focus,i.html?gclid=CKuIycqnq7ACFYwQfAodcGJnUA"]http://www.sandicliffeshop.co.uk/category/Parts/Batteries/Ford_Focus,i.html?gclid=CKuIycqnq7ACFYwQfAodcGJnUA[/url]
artscot79
tell halfords muppets to read this from bosch since they dont have a soding clue.really annoys me that these muppets dont know what they are on about they even state on their website they sell silver and calcium batteries they are the same thing just different terminology as bosch explain

[b]What is a lead calcium battery?[/b]
In the drive to market batteries that require no topping up during their life and an extended shelf life, battery manufacturers are moving to lead calcium batteries to meet these needs.
[b]Why is the battery referred to as Silver Calcium? What does the silver do?[/b]
An addition to the calcium in the grid alloys, silver is added to the positive grid. Silver inhibits/reduces corrosion and improves high temperature performance.
[b]Is the calcium battery more vibration resistant?[/b]
Typically they are, but not due to the alloys used, rather due to an improved design and manufacturing process. The battery has a more rigid design, improved weld surface area, much better bonding between plates and strap, wider straps and lugs and stronger intercell welds. These are the result of the use of state of the art equipment.
[b]It is claimed that lead calcium batteries have superior shelf life – is this true?[/b]
Laboratory tests have proven that lead calcium batteries have exceptional shelf life characteristics. A battery needs recharging when it reaches 12.4 V open circuit – hybrid gets there in about 270 days, with the calcium reaching this voltage after 440 days! - 63% longer shelf life before recharge is necessary!
[b]Will the calcium battery last longer? [/b]
One should expect the calcium battery to last longer but as always life is affected by operating conditions and general care.
[b]Do calcium batteries have different performance ratings?[/b]
The range of calcium batteries manufactured for Bosch has been designed to meet the latest Original Equipment requirements. For comparable batteries there is no measurable difference between capacity and cranking ratings of hybrid and calcium batteries.
[b]The charge voltage for lead calcium batteries is higher than that for hybrid – what is the ideal charging voltage for calcium and hybrid batteries?[/b]
The ideal charging voltage for a hybrid battery is 14.4 V and for a calcium battery 14.8 V. However, this does not mean that a calcium battery cannot be fitted in place of a hybrid battery. Tests have shown that the calcium battery will operate at a slightly lower state of charge in the car.
PalmerM
Thanks again for all the help guys, but still having problems even after replacing the battery to the correct type!

The battery being the incorrect type does make sense, as we had a replacement battery fitted on holiday one year, and the these problems developed a few months later.
The only problem we had before the battery was changed was the Battery warning light coming on intermittently, but I suppose that could have been coming on to warn us of the battery beginning to fail?

Since changing the battery to a Bosch Silver Calcium, we're still getting the same issues, perhaps even more frequently!

I've recorded a few videos to show these occuring:
This one is of the most common problem, Handbrake light flashing, car beeping, a momentary drop in power:
[url="http://youtu.be/-2NKzZulsgE"]http://youtu.be/-2NKzZulsgE[/url]

This one is of the rarer problem, but it has become much more frequent since changing the battery!
Speedo drops to zero, and 2 of the lights flash (If I stop the car and restart it, this seems to clear the problem):
[url="http://youtu.be/w1J2dJRtKD0"]http://youtu.be/w1J2dJRtKD0[/url]

These warning lights aren't always flashing, but as said before the battery light is lit at least 90% of the time and we also regularly have a high pitched buzzing noise, that get's higher and then lower, when it's at it's high stage this is when the handbrake light will often flash, and if I've got the headlights on they'll get a bit brighter & then get dimmer again. I've recently noticed that if this is happening and I pull up at the lights, the buzzing noise will stop, but if I rev the engine it will start again. So it seems to be linked to the accelerator for some reason!

Any help massively appreciated, as it's doing my head in!

Could something have been damaged by running the wrong battery for a number of months?

Thanks

Martin
artscot79
the car needs a ford dealer i would suspect the alternator isnt charging correctly use of non calcium batteries has been known to cause electrical issues.everything you describe suggest either alternator or wiring or a faulty dash cluster a gen ford garage is needed


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