Sign in to follow this  
MJNewton

Battery Flattening (2013 Ecoboost Fiesta)

Recommended Posts

Whilst a flat battery during a pandemic lockdown is not at all surprising, it's happened three times now on my wife's 2013 1L Ecoboost Fiesta which doesn't seem at all right. 

I am charging the battery as we speak and, once complete, will be taking parasitic current measurements as the obvious first step towards finding out if there's anything amiss on that front.

In the meantime, is anyone aware of common culprits on this model that I should be looking at first if the current draw is high? Additionally, are there any particular behaviours I need to be aware of in terms of, for example, it being normal for current draw to be high for x minutes after locking due to y doing z?

I ran a cursory code scan one time it happened and found some:

===PCM DTC P0562:1C-2C===
Code: P0562 - System Voltage Low
Additional Fault Symptom:
 - Circuit Voltage Out Of Range
Status: 
 - DTC Maturing - Intermittent at Time of Request
===IPC DTC B10EA:00-48===
Code: B10EA - Positive temperature coefficient heater
Status: 
 - Previously Set DTC - Not Present at Time of Request
 - Malfunction Indicator Lamp is Off for this DTC
 - Test not complete
===DDM DTC B1166:15-68===
Code: B1166 - Right Front Puddle Lamp Output
Additional Fault Symptom:
 - Circuit Short To battery Or Open
Status: 
 - Previously Set DTC - Not Present at Time of Request

The 'System Voltage Low' code is unsurprising, and I'm inclined to consider the other two as red herrings given they were historical and not obviously related to flattening batteries (the puddle lights work just fine by the way) but thought I'd post them anyway in case anyone thinks otherwise!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One  question, how old is the battery?, if that's from 2013 too then it would not be surprising.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, as far as we're aware (only had a car a few years) it's still on its original battery. Even so, we tend to do fairly well with batteries - perhaps our usage patterns are sympathetic to giving long life. That said, I certainly couldn't rule that out. I just don't want to risk buying a new one only to find the issue persists, but getting the battery tested is certainly something I'd do ordinarily but I'm trying to DIY for the time being what with all that's going on.

I did wonder if the first time it ran flat was down to lack of use, and that in completely draining it might've damaged itself further leading to subsequent issues?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Updated to add: Thinking rationally about this; maybe it simply a case of an old battery... We've often remarked that Start-Stop rarely kicks in and whilst I am aware of the various parameters that have to be true for this to happen, and that resetting the battery monitor often gets things working again, maybe these were early warning signs and the lockdown just finished it off! I'll do the current test anyway and, finger's crossed, it'll come back fine hence a new battery (£80-£100 by the looks of things) will sort it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can fit a battery voltage monitor to the cigarette lighter. It will keep you informed of what the voltage is so you can check if the battery is starting to go low.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Obviously it depends a bit on usage and environmental conditions but I would suggest a 7 year old battery is coming to the end of it's life. Couple that with the long standing times with the current Covid situation and I'd guess that's the likely problem. I had a 10 year old battery once that I limped along with, had to charge it every two days despite doing a 30 mile trip each day.

Eventually they just don't hold the charge.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Blatto said:

Eventually they just don't hold the charge.

Yes, last battery I had to replace was on one of my Mrs's cars - it was 9 years old by then and not holding a charge for long. She'd only done 33,000 in it so it rarely got a decent charge, plus it was a diesel, so I think that was pretty good going!😀

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7 years good going , i replace mine every 3 years whatever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still haven't got round to measuring the current draw but the responses have been really reassuring as a failing battery is arguably going to be the easiest problem to fix. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get it tested, you'll know exactly what condition the battery is in then, if it looses current unter the test then replace it, if not then you have an electrical issue with the car, it could be a short circuit somewhere or a bad earth. Alternator can become faulty and drain the battery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm... the plot thickens..

I've just connected up my multimeter and, with the ignition off and the car unlocked, the parasitic current draw is around 6A. High but then there's probably a fair number of different modules sitting there powered up ready to go. If I lock the car it then drops to 0.2A after a few seconds. Higher than I thought it would/should be but then it wouldn't surprise me if there are still some things active that will eventually go to sleep so I'll check back in half an hour or so.

However, I also noticed that every 10 seconds or the so the parasitic current draw jumps up to ~2.5A for around 20 seconds and then reverts back to 0.2A. Simultaneously with this increase the screen illuminates and a 'Traction Control Off' message appears for a few seconds before then disappearing and the screen going off again. What's that all about?!

I am wondering (hoping!) that it is me disconnecting the battery to wire in my multimeter that has caused this - perhaps I need to go through an ignition cycle to reset this oddity. It has got me worried though, not only that this could well be the cause of my flat batteries if it keeps waking up every 10 seconds to report this fact but also that it could point to an issue with traction control!

I'll go back out in half an hour and see what it's upto. I'll also reconnect the battery back up without the meter and go for a quick spin (not literally given the circumstances!) and see how it behaves afterwards when locked up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, MJNewton said:

and go for a quick spin (not literally given the circumstances

It's ok you can go out for half an hour to check your eyesight is up to scratch 😂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you unlock the car there are various systems that power up so I'm unconvinced your current meter readings are relevant to solving the problem. Also on shutdown of the Ecoboost engine there is an electric water pump which runs for a while even after you lock the car and walk away. Going back to the original issue you raised. I've had the same problem with a car which sat idle for a couple of weeks because I couldn't drive following surgery. The battery went flat and each time I charged it I'd find it had died again later the same day or by the following morning at the latest. The car was less than four years old and it was a well known good brand of battery. When a car battery that's more  than a few years old looses charge down to a certain level (for example the car is left idle for weeks) you end up with a situation where the battery can't recover and hold charge. From my own experience I believe a new battery will solve your problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit of an update, and a positive one at that...

It seems that when connecting a previously-disconnected battery there must be a few things that need to get initialised before everything settles down properly. A bypassed the meter (as it is limited to 20A and didn't want to risk surging over that) and cycled the ignition - this 'cured' the Traction Control message and prevented the periodic 2.5A wakeup. Furthermore, after 10 minutes or so after the car being locked the parasitic current draw as 10-20mA which is within the limit (25mA) of what is expected for the Fiesta (and seemingly nearly all Fords according the TSB I found) so, as you've all suggested, it really does seem merely to be a failing battery issue.

Quote

When you unlock the car there are various systems that power up so I'm unconvinced your current meter readings are relevant to solving the problem

The only reason I made that measurement was because we often leave the car unlocked and so I just wanted to check that if there was a significant current draw in an unlocked state it would eventually subside and not persist.

Quote

[...] on shutdown of the Ecoboost engine there is an electric water pump which runs for a while even after you lock the car and walk away

In this instance I hadn't driven the car though and so the temperature threshold wouldn't have been met to trigger the pump, but I appreciate it being mentioned anyway.

Thanks everyone - will get a new battery (found one for a decent price online which just happens to be a place not far from me) and we should be sorted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to add: I was pleased to find that our radio settings all remained following the battery reconnect ion... but what was really disappointing was the reminder that the time/date doesn't get automatically set. It could source a time signal from GPS, FM RDS or DAB so it really shouldn't be necessary. First world problems eh? :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To follow up and close this off, you were all spot on - I replaced the battery and all now appears well.

Incidentally, the battery shop (which was literally their name!) said their turnover has been four times what it normally is due to the accelerated death of ageing batteries during lockdown. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this