Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Battery Keeps Going Flat
Ford Owners Club - Ford Forums > Ford Models > Ford Focus Club
Hi can anyone please help me? My ford focus Ghia diesel 57 plate was serviced in September. Since then I have had nothing but problems. A week later all of the electrics went so they took it back and replaced the alternator. I then had trouble starting it as air kept getting in the system so they sealed the oil filter which seemed to sort that problem out. Then it was completely dead starting so they replaced the battery. After a few weeks it took a lot of turning over to get it started and this followed by clicking in the glove box. Then it was completely dead so they took it back and have now returned it with the radio disconnected as they say that it is coming on at night and draining the battery!! That was on Thursday but on Saturday I had trouble starting, clicking in the glove box, the temperature illumination turned into a line not a number and grey smoke poured out of the exhaust. I don't know what to do as the garage say there is nothing wrong with it but it seems to be an electrical fault? surely the smoke is something to do with the oil? This was replaced along with the filter in September so this should not be a problem?

Would really appreciate if anyone can shed light on this problem for me as I am a letting agent and need my car for work so it has really been an issue and I just want it sorted

Thank you
Have you had the glow plugs checked?
Has it been to a ford dealer it is possible for a faulty glow plug relay to flatten the battery im also assuming they fitted a silver calcium battery and not a lead acid battert

Take the battery cover off and make sure that the ring around the electrode is firmly held in and is sat at the bottom of the electrode (top of the battery).


At the top of the electrode (between the top of the ring and the top of the electrode) there should be about a 1mm gap on both positive and negative.


Could be something as simple as that...

Ah bless you for your replies! I didn't need a new battery in the first place as the AA guy said it was fine when it broke down ( one of many more to come!) so I haven't even paid for it yet. It takes a while ticking over before it starts and the smoke bellowing out of the exhaust is a worry? I have owned it since brand new and was fine before the service. It also clicks in the glove compartment when ticking over so all a bit confusing

hmmm, the ticking indicates a low voltage, whats the voltage of the battery when the cars not running?


trust me just because the guy said the battery was ok doesnt mean its not a lead acid battery it must be calcium or silver calcium so as always its best to start at the battery make sure its the correct type a lead acid battery will not charge properly cause many issues electrical mainly so far the majority points to incorrect alternator fitted or a faulty smart charge posibly a broken 3 pin wire on the alternator when they replaced it or the battery no offence but the aa have stuffed a lead acid battery in cars that shouldnt have them before so i wouldnt take there word for it


like arcscot said, make sure you have the correct silver calcium battery especially for a diesel. 


and i'd highly invest in a multimeter so you can get a reading of the battery voltage.


Also check how much oil you actually have in the engine? is it below minimum or overfilled?

Thanks guys. It was serviced in September so assuming the oil is ok. I will check what battery they supplied but I am with you I feel it is the alternator. I have said this to the garage but they assure me they have tested it. I don't know the vault age of the battery when it's not running as I can drive a car but am clueless to the running of them being a woman! Appreciate your input and will talk to the mechanic today and let you know. Mind you they were the ones who disconnected my radio because they said it was coming on at night and draining the battery! Have been taking it back to them as they fitted the alternator and they are a big reputable garage and haven't charged me for the times it has been backwards and forwards. May be time to take it to the ford garage!
Andy H Dibley
Be prepared if you take it to a Ford Garage to really end up paying some money. Sadly though, they are likely to be the ones who will know.

There's a lot of questionable things from your replies though, almost implies the garage your taking it to are fobbing you off.

Sealing an oil filter doesn't help with air getting into the system, unless they meant fuel filter.

Disconnecting a radio is a joke in my opinion. Never ever heard of a radio coming on by its own, let alone leaving you with it disconnected like that.

I would go back to the service receipt they gave you and list exactly what they did to the car. As has been posted, glow plug relays are known to cause battery drain faults, but I'd also be suspecting something on the glow plug rail either not being connected properly or something.

have to agree the radio has a 1 hour mode so it cant come back on on its own unless theres a serios wiring fault it does sound like the garage dont have a clue given the problems started after you took it there ide say that was the case


Check the running battery charge with a multi meter, if its over 14 the alternator is alright, and engine off the battery should read 12.6, im not sure if the alternator on these have the test posts on the unit its self, im sure there is also a way to check the battery voltage with the trip computer, but im not sure how you unlock it on the focus, maybe someone else does then you could let the onboard diagnostics run see if that throws a bone. Good luck.


follow the dash trick as that shows you the reported voltage. Between that and the likes of Torque Pro, I have seen the voltage to be pretty much bang on to what a multimeter shows.

Full Colour Version: Battery Keeps Going Flat
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2015 Invision Power Services, Inc.