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Ford Fiesta Titanium 2019 Model - battery failure/drainage


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I note that entries are all around 2015, but I bought a demo car (7.5k miles) last September, just 1 year old. Everything was fine until just after the cold snap late Dercember. At the beginning of January, battery was flat and so I couldn't start the car. Used Ford Assist to charge battery and on advice dove for about 45 minutes.  Because of Lockdown, the car hasn't been used much and again in early February I couldn't even unlock the car and again Ford Assist charged the battery up. This time I went to my dealer (where I bought the car) and like everyone else's experience was told that everything was OK, but I need to drive the car every 2-3 days!!! This week it has happend again after not driving the car for 7 days, doors unlocked but mirrors did not unfolds and the console was blank - again the Assist recharged the battery and the car is again with the dealer;  should report back to me later today.

From what I have read, it seems that if it is not the boot lock/light or bluetooth or my keyfob then it is a software issue related to the Console in some way. I will be very interested in what the dealership tells me this time.

Will follow on as I know more ...

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Update - the Ford dealership have, it seems, woken up and have told me that there are a number of software updates that need to be applied, which they arein the act of  installing. I should get the car back on Monday and then we'll see whether that is all that needs to be done. It has taken three sessions with my car for them to reach this conclusion!

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Have to admit that due to lack of use thanks to lockdown I’ve taken to attaching a CTEK charger to my Fiesta every week or every other week. I’m lucky that I have a driveway where I can do this, and a top-up charge that usually lasts between 3.5-4hrs just gives me some peace of mind. 

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Well just collected my car - apparently 3 software updates were applied;  let's see whether it resolves this issue. One thing that has changed is the console - looks completely different! I am sure that I will get used to it!

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On 3/12/2021 at 2:57 PM, Tcal said:

I note that entries are all around 2015, but I bought a demo car (7.5k miles) last September, just 1 year old. Everything was fine until just after the cold snap late Dercember. At the beginning of January, battery was flat and so I couldn't start the car. Used Ford Assist to charge battery and on advice dove for about 45 minutes.  Because of Lockdown, the car hasn't been used much and again in early February I couldn't even unlock the car and again Ford Assist charged the battery up. This time I went to my dealer (where I bought the car) and like everyone else's experience was told that everything was OK, but I need to drive the car every 2-3 days!!! This week it has happend again after not driving the car for 7 days, doors unlocked but mirrors did not unfolds and the console was blank - again the Assist recharged the battery and the car is again with the dealer;  should report back to me later today.

From what I have read, it seems that if it is not the boot lock/light or bluetooth or my keyfob then it is a software issue related to the Console in some way. I will be very interested in what the dealership tells me this time.

Will follow on as I know more ...

Sounds like the dealer has no idea.

You should be able to leave your car for at least 2 weeks without driving it . Manufacturers usally refer to this as standby time Landrover had a standby time of 42 days (or they did when i used to deal with them) providing the car battery is in a good state and you have not added equipment like a crash camera connected to the perm supply.

Also the dealer should be changing your battery for nothing as it has most likey gone below 10volts which is a big no no for a lead acid / glass mat battery as they just dont like it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Follow-up.

Last drove car (about 18m, 40 mins - just for battery's sake) last Monday 29th March - today (2nd April) managed to open car but battery would not start the car again;  also apparently another software update in process! So problem remains. AA started car, I left it running for 45 minutes and drove for 45 minutes (24m) - plan to return to garage tomorrow morning.

Totally exasperated.

The AA driver told me that the automatic engine switch off would not work when there was insufficient charge in my battery. So, at the end of today's run, I parked, left the engine running and disengaged the gear. The engine would not shutdown which suggests that there was still insuffient charge.

I can't believe that one cannot leave a car for 2-3 weeks and not be able to start it (I have done this before with previous cars, including Ford ones when holidaying abroad), never mind 3 or 4 days!

Is this a general problem or one that is mainly that of my specific car? Anyone know? I see a letter to the CEO of Ford UK being written very soon!

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3 hours ago, Tcal said:

Is this a general problem or one that is mainly that of my specific car? Anyone know? I see a letter to the CEO of Ford UK being written very soon!

It's a general problem affecting all models. Just scroll down a bit to find dozens of posts reporting exactly the same problems. Dealers seem to be particularly "unaware" and unwilling to help at the moment.

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A lot of the problems we are seeing as dealers at the moment are the batteries failing but all of our battery testers saying they're fine and recharge them. Trying to get batteries done under warranty at the moment is like getting blood out of a stone, so I think dealers are reluctant to throw a battery at it as they can get charged up to 10x the amount for a incorrect claim. 

Not that this helps you mind but I do believe your battery has well and truly had it. 

Anyone bothered doing a battery drain test on it? And I mean a proper one not done through a computer.

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I posted this in the thread "Expected current draw when car is a sleep" Fiesta forum a couple of weeks back. It might help explain the problems people are having with newer models that they didn't have with trusty old bangers.

Hi David, I can understand that your car might not want to start after 2 or 3 weeks. The battery will need to have at least 65% of its capacity left in order to have enough power to start the engine. So if we assume that due to the age of the battery and how well it was charged when you parked up, plus the cold weather recently then your 65Ah battery may be a lot less than you think - say perhaps only 90% which is about 58.5Ah.

Then if we say the battery needs to be 65% of that to have a fair chance of starting the car than would mean you would need 38Ah left. So if we take the 58Ah we started with and subtract the 38Ah that we need to start the engine then that means you afford to use 20Ah on standby which is about 8 days. Forgive me if I've got the maths wrong, but I'm sure you can get the idea that after just over a week of doing nothing your car might not have enough left in the battery to start

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1 hour ago, unofix said:

I posted this in the thread "Expected current draw when car is a sleep" Fiesta forum a couple of weeks back. It might help explain the problems people are having with newer models that they didn't have with trusty old bangers.

Hi David, I can understand that your car might not want to start after 2 or 3 weeks. The battery will need to have at least 65% of its capacity left in order to have enough power to start the engine. So if we assume that due to the age of the battery and how well it was charged when you parked up, plus the cold weather recently then your 65Ah battery may be a lot less than you think - say perhaps only 90% which is about 58.5Ah.

Then if we say the battery needs to be 65% of that to have a fair chance of starting the car than would mean you would need 38Ah left. So if we take the 58Ah we started with and subtract the 38Ah that we need to start the engine then that means you afford to use 20Ah on standby which is about 8 days. Forgive me if I've got the maths wrong, but I'm sure you can get the idea that after just over a week of doing nothing your car might not have enough left in the battery to start

That's rubbish, and works out at a current draw over 100mA. I parked my car up at the airport last March for 15 days and had no trouble starting up when I returned. Somebody needs to try harder next time they fob us off.

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Thank you for your expert opinion, and yes that was based on a standby current of 100mA, which as it happens is not so different to my car which sits at about 85mA, I won't bore with the details why because it might overload your mind. 

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9 hours ago, unofix said:

Thank you for your expert opinion, and yes that was based on a standby current of 100mA, which as it happens is not so different to my car which sits at about 85mA, I won't bore with the details why because it might overload your mind. 

I was referring to the note you quoted, and wrongly assumed it was a note you had been sent from your dealer, not information you had personally provided. Sorry for that. My previous Astra had even more electronic toys than I have now. I left that parked at Manchester for 15 days in January, had to literally hack ice away from the doors to get in, fired up first time no problem. I left it at Heathrow for 31 days in October, got back, fired up first time no problem. I find it very difficult to accept that the problems people are experiencing are normal. We could do with a definitive statement as to the expected current draw when all modules are properly sleeping.

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12 hours ago, unofix said:

65Ah battery may be a lot less than you think - say perhaps only 90% which is about 58.5Ah.

It is even worse on the Manual/Petrol cars. My Manual/Petrol Titanium came factory fitted with a 60/600 battery. I have seen that the Automatics and probably the Diesels have 65/650 ones.

@MasterTechTip, sorry to bug you but do you know roughly what Parasitic Draw Ford allow as being acceptable on the latest generation of cars, one hour after shutting down with the Alarm on and the Bonnet catch triggered?

 I haven't had severe problems with mine yet, probably because I use it at least 5 days a week but it still loses some charge despite the TCU being updated over the air at least 3 times including the early March one.

 I have not actually measured the current draw yet but intend to do so before my 2 year service.    

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Hi Waggy, "Peace 🙂" the figures I used were based on measuments taken from actual vehicles, one of them mine with a load of 85mA due to it being fitted with a tracker and an old style dashcam with parking crash detection (hence always on). For the purpose of the explanation I used 100mA as it was easy for me to work out in my head. The true value based on an average of the vehicles I've meausured should have been 64mA. Which would probably give about 2 weeks on standby.

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Hi Tizer, I don't know the official Ford standby current drain but from what I've seen so far it is about 64mA on average. I'm sure Ford would say its less, but then Electric vehicles do 999 miles between charges don't they ? 🤣

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@Tizerhi the official spec is no more than 0.05 amps after allowing the car to shut down for 40 mins. Make sure keys are away from the vehicle as the keyless system may still pick them up.

The TCUs are a pain at the moment and get stuck trying to update so end up constantly looping... This could be a potential battery drain. 

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Thanks for that and the tip about keeping the keys away, I would never have given that a thought if you had not said so. 

 

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Hi MasterTechTip, is that 50mA the standby current for all Ford vehicles ? So far I've not come across one that low other than pre-2000 models. Also does that include the current drain with the full alarm system set including the ultrasonic sensors.

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Hi Luke, using a standard Fluke digital multimeter on the mA range. Disconnecting normally the negative terminal of the battery (on odd occasions the positive terminal if it was easier). I leave the bonnet open and then lock the car. Next disconnect battery lead and insert the meter is serries. after about 30 to 40 mins the current drops quite suddenly as I assume the systems go to sleep. Maybe I should be waiting longer to see if it drops further but time is normally against me.

11mA seems so very low I'm surprised that the alarm system can function, and not forgetting that cars with modems will still use some power for them. I've not checked any for months but I've got an Ecosport with a random battery fault to look at tomorrow. I will let you know what I find

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Yeah that's the way I do it, I see why you disconnect the negative if you own an EcoSport 😂. I only ever disconnect the positive terminal as I'm not sure if the battery monitoring sensor can interfere with readings. 

Only other thing to make sure is if the keys are more than 1.5 meters away from the car. 

I believe the modules almost "pulse" to wake themselves up to do a quick check and then shut down again. I've watched readings before be around 17ma and then jump up to 40+ma for a few seconds and then drop again. 

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The Ecosport is my daughters, she drove home on Wednesday a distance of 12 miles with no problems. On Thursday afternoon the car refused to start, showing all the signs of a flat battery. Engine would not turn over and headlights not bright. I told her to leave it and I would look at on Friday which I kind of did. I got in pushed the button for ignition, all seemed normal. I then put my foot on the brake (its an auto) and pressed to start and it did with out any problem !!

So its with me tomorrow while I take a proper look at it. Will connect ForScan and see if there is any DTC, and also will check battery drain.

You make a good point about the keys, not something I had considered and I probably normally have them in my pocket

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66 Reg, 1500 Auto Titanuim - I think. The battery has already been replaced by the first owner, either that or Ford have started fitting Halfords batteries as standard 😄

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