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if in doubt...

Member Since 23 Nov 2012
Offline Last Active Mar 22 2013 08:05 AM
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In Topic: How Long Will It Last (Alternator)

08 January 2013 - 10:10 AM

Is indeed a small world on the web.

Yes, Silver Calcium is required for the smart charge system fitted to your car. You may find your battery has had a few too many over voltage charges and its giving it grief.

The principle behind it is simply Ford believed that a battery can be recharged quicker and faster when cold. So the computer in your car takes a measurement of the engine temp, air intake temps and I believe the coolant temp. Working with all this, it decides whether to boost up the output voltage of the alternator. This means sometime the alternator can be hitting the battery with upwards of 15 or so volts. This has been known to cause issues with lead acid batteries, where they'll give up and die or most likely boil over.

The Silver Calcium batteries have a much higher tolerance to this higer voltage and take it far better. This may be why your standard battery is giving your electrickery such a run for its money.

Thats a damn decent price from Ford, so I would bite their hand off for it.

Regards the alternator belt, I would buy one once you've checked the condition of the old one. I had to replace one on my old MK TD lump, but that was because the power steering pump had been leaking and had deteriorated the condition of the driven surfaces. (fooked it!)

Best of luck with your new battery, failing that I guess its time to bite the bullet and hook up a new alternator. At least this way though you're going with the cheapest option first.


sorry about the delayed response (stupid BlackBerrys just arent compatible with this site)

now its finally all beginning to make sense!!! i cant thank you enough for helpin me diagnose this fault, for some reason i knew it was something simple! now lets just hope it lasts another week until payday so i can drive 70 miles a day to and from work (yeah im apprehensive too). the battery will be bought and i will report my progress here and on pistonheads. and i hope i dont have the same alt problem as you did but i reckon its not old enough to cause the squeeling that it has after being fitted in 2010 and only doing 20.000 miles, should i just buy a set of belts and have them done for piece of mind? for now its a battery though and need sort my squint steering wheel and the fact that its vibrating my whole body when i go over 60mph. balancing and alignment will cure this i think

In Topic: How Long Will It Last (Alternator)

07 January 2013 - 04:43 PM

Haha no way! Small world indeed mate! Yeah still having issues, as you would have seen the ongoing problems and jolly to qwik fit. Well things have moved on slightly today, after being on the phone to my local ford dealership I asked 'what is the correct battery for my car' as there have been conflicting statements regarding this, the focus owners guide with the log books etc states clearly 'this car is equipped with lead/calcium battery and no other battery should be used', a ford technician said to me directly that my car has to have the 'silver/calcium' type! So that's that finally cleared up. I currently have a lead/calcium type, one which is too small for my car according to kwik fit, also I said to ford that when I took it to kwik fit the intermittent problem of the dials jumping and all electrics flickering wasn't happeing at that moment so I put the headlights, foglights, both heated screens, radio, air con etc and right on cue all dials danced wildly up and down at which point a bosch multimeter was on my battery terminals and showed a charge of less that 10volts which led the mechanic to believe the alternator was at fault and ready to die, now I told ford this and he said I would get a false reading with the front screen on because it sucks the juice out battery and alt doesn't charge it while its on (that's why it has a cut-off point of 4 mins max). Quote for new silver/calcium battery from ford £68.42 inc VAT, cheapest guaranteed silver/calcium I can find as one on ebay is about £120! Ill go for the new bat and maybe a new set of belts as one is squeeling on cold start ups and hard accelerations. (Mind you alt belt was done 21,000 miles ago, surely its still fine?)

In Topic: How Long Will It Last (Alternator)

07 January 2013 - 08:23 AM

nice one mate! many thanks for your response!

i just bought this car and its been doing my head in with this electrical problem! its my first car and i want it up to scratch!

well i guess ill be buying a battery first but heres where im confused?!?! reading the focus owners guide originally supplied with the car it says 'this car is equipped with a lead/calcium battery and no other battery is to be used', but when i looked about in the forums people are saying 'silver/calcium' are the ones to be used only due to the smart charge system. was there a ford technical service bulletin about this at all?

im also on pistonheads forum discussing this and one guy bought a new bosch found here http://www.eurocarpa...70635&0&cc5_993

says all is good with this battery (for now) so just wondering what battery you got for yours? lead/calcium or silver/calcium.

In Topic: How Long Will It Last (Alternator)

04 January 2013 - 08:39 AM

hi guys, just wondering if you manged to sort this mate?

i have the exact same problems you describe, dimming and flickering lights, almost ready to die under full load with majority of elecs on, dials jumping like crazy and speedometer displaying dashes, engine warning light came on a few times (once for about an hour of driving)

i took mines to kwik fit for a free battery check after a friend had a multimeter on it, seems when i had elecs on inc demist and fog lights on the voltage at battery was down to below 10.1!! kwik fit confirmed pretty much what we thought and said new battery and alternator, although after reading this i feel i could be going down the wrong path and dont want to end up out of pocket (mind you it prob needs done on a 11 year old car anyway), and i had an issue orignally with a belt which tended to squeel on start up and hard acceleration or cold weather, now its pretty much not doing that anymore. strange.

so yeah just asking if you manged to sort this out witha replacement or checking cables etc as i have the time to investigate till payday when i can afford battery and alternator.

oh kwik fit also said the battery on my car is too small, should be in a fiesta or spmething apparently, i just bought this last month and been working solid so havent had time to look at it closely enough, think if i just bought the correct silver calcium would all be okay?Attached File  focusss.jpg   28.86KB   22 downloads