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Magenta

Budding Enthusiast
  • Content count

    468
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Magenta

  • Rank
    Serial Poster

Contact Methods

  • First Name
    Alan

Profile Information

  • Gender*
    Male
  • Ford Model
    Fiesta Mk7 Titanium 1.4 Auto - Marello
  • Ford Year
    2009
  • UK/Ireland Location
    Worcestershire
  • Annual Mileage
    0 to 5000
  • Interests
    Classic Cars
    General Automotive
  1. I've checked my plug-in LED voltmeter against a value measured with a Fluke meter under various conditions and it is within 0.1 volt which seems good enough. On start up,( after recovering from the initial volt drop on starting which can go as low as 10.8 volts) it will initially show about 14 volts for a couple of minutes then dies back to about 13 volts during normal driving. This seems fairly normal to me. However, after being left overnight, say, the 'standing' voltage is usually only around 12.2 volts which seems a bit low. When the AA tested it after a completely dead battery, the alternator was pushing out a massive 30 amps momentarily which proved that the alternator was healthy (the Ford dealer still changed the alternator !). It has become such a long standing problem (6 years)that as well as trickle charging the battery about once a week, I have bought a 'jump starter'to carry around in the boot as backup! Alan
  2. That's interesting re your friends usage. I regularly do several short trips (2-3 miles) during a single day which I assume is causing the problem but I still think a modern car should be able to cope as it has an alternator (as opposed to the old dynamo !) output and modern electronics. The car was checked for a current drain and it was ok. A staff member at another make (VW) franchise commented that for every time you start the engine, it takes around 8 miles to replace the energy used. This sounds common sense to me. How do cars with start/stop technology cope ? What is even more surprising is that my problem can still occur during the summer with little or no headlight use and warmish temperatures. I can't wait for yet another winter ! As I said, the battery was changed by the Ford dealer right at the end of the warranty period (although I am not convinced it was a new one). I even try to avoid using the lights,heated screen etc. I see all the newer cars with daylight running lights on (admittedly they are LED) and assume that their alternator must cope. A.
  3. This is the one persistent problem I have had on my 59 plate Fiesta since new ! OK so I do a lot of short journeys but surely if everything was working ok it should last more than a week ? Battery will suddenly go flat without warning. Several AA call outs while under warranty diagnosed the battery so the dealer changed the alternator ! After more AA call outs, the dealer changed the battery. Car is now seven years old and I still get the problem. I charge the battery every week to keep the problem at bay. Surely I shouldn't have to do that ? I have a digital voltmeter in the power socket to keep my eye on the battery voltage. I have come to the conclusion that Ford skimped on the size of the battery (43AH) and it is not up to the type of use I give the car. If and when I change the battery I will get the largest that will fit, maybe the size fitted the the diesel models. Alan
  4. Thanks for those suggestions. The hydraulic fluid level looks ok although it is very black. The Mondeo had a new steering rack and pump a couple of years ago so I would hope that they used clean fluid. They did make a mess of the job as it lost all the fluid a few days later whilst the car was in Scotland and my son drove back to the midlands with hardly any steering ! I'm now a big fan of electrically assisted steering (as on my Fiesta) as you can imagine !
  5. My son's 2006 Mondeo estate has horrible steering when cold. It feels a little 'sticky' in the straighta head position until the engine warms up then its fine. Anyone have any ideas how to improve it ? It has done 116,000 miles and is a 2L diesel.
  6. Hi, the feeling of any clicks etc. from the steering on mine (which also happens to be an automatic, although I don't think that is connected) have been cured by the dealer lubricating the steering column somewhere. Hope this helps. Alan
  7. Seems a logical thing to do but as amatter of interest, how do you clear the fault codes ?
  8. I have bought a solar panel from Maplins for £9.99 as suggested by FOCA. At that price it's worth giving it a try. Thanks.
  9. Thanks, that is all interesting advice. I like the idea of the solar trickle charging, I have seen these but the problem is the car is usually in the garage this time of the year (not so much in the summer and is also handy to hook up the charger) so I'm not sure how much light it would get. In the last few days I also had considered upgrading the battery size as you suggest. It seems a sensible move. When I called the AA out (at least twice) to this problem, they clipped a current detector on the battery lead to test for current drain and the result was a negligable reading, not enought to cause a problem. The same meter also showed a healthy input to the flat battery from the alternator (30 amps at the time I think). As an ex electrical engineer, I do have what we used to call clamp meters for measuring AC current but does anyone know where can I get a device such as the AA used for clamping on to DC cables ? I don't really want to start disconnecting the battery cables. Harking back to the days of dynamos, we used to use centre-zero ammeters on the dash and you could see which way the current was flowing which was great ! Not so easy with an alternator but I do accept that an alternator system is far superior. I have considered trickle charging via the power outlet in the car so that I don't have to keep lifting the bonnet - can anyone see a problem with this (my battery charger has only about 5 amps output).
  10. The only light that stays on for a while is the amber 'locked' light and that goes out after about 2 minutes. You are dead right that current drawn on each start up has to go back in somehow but It does seem odd that in such a modern car that short trips run the battery down so quickly. I have had many classic cars even back in the days of dynamos (remember them ?) and one in particular used to stand unused for months on end but would usually still start. In fact, I did have this problem once with my previous mk 7 Fiesta (a diesel) but it only let me down once on a snowy day and we jumped into the VW Beetle to go out and it started after standing for months ! Significantly, I believe the diesel models have a larger battery for the extra torque needed to turn these engines. In my opinion, 43ah in the petrol engined Fiesta is skimping a little. I will continue to monitor and trickle charge my battery and thanks for all your advice.
  11. Hi, The battery is a standard Ford branded 'sealed' low maintenace with only a small vent hole. It is described as 'Silver Calcium' but I suspect it is a lead acid gel type. The specification is: 43 ampere hour, 390 cca (which is probably the max short term current value), Ford Finis 1672940, Part 8G9N-10655-LA, 12v 65. The letters after the 65 are blurred but could be R6. As I said this was the replacement fitted by the Ford dealer and has a hand written 'Tested Dec 2012' sticker on it. I have checked all the visible connections I can reach and they tight and in good nick.
  12. Thanks, I suspect you are on the right track. The car is used regularly but perhaps not every single day but only (usually) for very short trips of 2-3 miles so I suspect the clue is there. I was just surprised at how soon the battery seems to run down, almost as if I was running on battery alone but the alternator test seems to indicate it is ok. My late mother in law used to have this problem for the same reason but the battery would only go flat after six or nine months. I am a retired electrical engineer and did work on battery technology for some years during one period so I know a little about it but it is still a puzzle..
  13. I wonder if any auto-electricians out there have any ideas on this irritating problem I have had pretty well throughout the four-year life of my Fiesta ? I have had a succession of battery failures, going either almost or completely flat, usually overnight for no obvious reason. Each time they checked, the AA proved there was a good output from the alternator and there was no current drain. The Ford dealer subsequently changed first the alternator and then the battery under warranty (although I am not convinced that the battery they fitted was a new one). I eventually put the problem down to the frequent very short journeys I do and fitted an LED voltmeter plugged in to the power socket to monitor the battery voltage. Usually, the voltmeter shows about 12.2 volts static and after start up and sometimes goes up to 14 v settling down to around 13.0 - 13.2 whilst driving. I have taken to putting it on trickle charge every few weeks which I think should not be necessary. The battery failed again only last week which was quite inconvenient. What has prompted this particular post is that while out yesterday, I noticed that the voltage dropped to only 11 volts with no lights or heated screen on which quite concerned me. To see how low it would drop with a load, I switched on both heated screens, half expecting the engine to cut out but to my surprise it actually rose to 13.2 and stayed there after I switched the screens off. When I got home I kept the engine running and double checked the reading across the battery with my Fluke testmeter and it showed a normal 13.2 - 13,5v, confirming the LED reading inside the car. The car has only done 17,000 miles in four years. Anyone have any ideas ?
  14. I have always made it a habit of waiting say at least 30 secs before driving off, even in a petrol engined car to give the oil time to start circulating (time enough to put your seat belt on etc!). I also always drive gently for the first mile or so in very cold weather. i don't believe in putting full load onto a cold engine. I am not, however, suggesting that you let the engine idle for a long time before driving off as this just makes the engine take longer to reach operating temperature.
  15. My previous 2009 Fiesta was a diesel (my first diesel too) and had no glowplug light and no mention of waiting before starting in the handbook.