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Nightmare - Major Advice Needed!


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Hi Guys,

OK so I had the car just under a couple of weeks and already having some nightmare problems. I really need some feedback to confirm or reject my knowledge.

When I looked at the car, New Years Eve, the battery was flat. They boost started it, and it worked ok on that battery up until the temperature dropped below 5. All of a sudden the car started being a nightmare, it took longer to turn over, but did turn over. This morning though, the battery was well and truely fluffed. I called out the recovery agent who boost started the car, the engine ran for the best part of an hour (me locking the car with the engine running!) and the battery charged. I bought a replacement (Bosch S4 Silver Calcium) from Euro Car Parts, and replaced the battery this morning.

First start - worked fine, drove 30 miles down the motorway to work.

On driving to work, I come off the slip road, and the stereo switches off and restarts, thought nothing of it but everything else seemed fine.

Second start - drove 30 miles up the motorway back home, and drove down the road to make a visit.

I tested the "Walk me home" lights, and saw they worked, and then left the car for 90 minutes running my errands. 90 minutes later, car is seemingly ok as we sit down, then I turn the key to electrics - Nothing! car is completely black, no lights, no backlights, no life at all. I called the father in law and he brought down my old battery that was running and charging this morning. In the pitch black, I changed the battery, and the car started. Looks like the new battery is dead.

There is no light, life or anything, when I connected the battery to the terminals, there was a tiny fraction of a spark as if there was nothing left to it but a last breathe of life, but the old battery worked fine. So I ran the car for 15 minutes tonight, to give the old battery a lease of life. I have got the old battery in the house to keep warm so it doesnt get killed off.

So, I need to take the battery back, but I want your thoughts... Does it sound like the battery is fecked, or the fact it looked ok, then as I went to turn the car over, all died, pitch black (short of a massive bang, it seemed like it had just blown up). So I will replace the battery tomorrow, but, should I take the car to the garage straight away, tell them its dead, and let them poke around with it under warranty? or should I run the car on the new battery, keeping the old as the more trusted spare?

The alternator on the old battery this morning, was charging at around 14.48 volts, across the positive and ground, so the alternator seems to be doing its job correctly? do we think this is a case of my poor luck and a dead battery, or does anyone think a little more skeptically?

I have two choices now, keep the car, try and get its niggles sorted, and see what I can do, or drive the car at the sales man and tell them I want the kia back. I know which I prefer, and I think it is the Focus, but I dont want to find myself paying money out hand over fist!

If it keeps being a problem and the garage are less than satisfactory, I will be demanding a full refund, and take the keys for my Kia if the car is still there. But what I do in the meantime, is the below... Question is, do you guys think this is the right choice, or would you suggest otherwise?

1) Take the new battery back and get it replaced. A brand new battery dying within 24 hours with almost a "pop" and no life, it could be a faulty battery.

2) drive to work on the old battery, and disconnect the positive lead when I get there to prevent any discharge. then swap the batteries at lunchtime.

3) run the new battery for a few days, trying to replicate my every move today (including the use of the walk me home lights) and see if I can replicate the "pop"

4) Phone the garage and make them aware in the first instance that the car is experiencing difficulties and that I will be bringing it to them next week at the latest, unless something goes awry in the first instance...

5) drive the car and see how it behaves... See if it was just one bad battery, or if there is more lurking behind the scenes!

Appreciate its a long post and all your thoughts are most welcome and appreciated.

A very stressed James...

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Lol it did help, took it back and they replaced it no questions, so i have the old battery in, and new in boot. Going to start by testing the old battery with setting off walk me home lights at lunch, if it's fine will replace battery, otherwise if the battery dies will be taking it back sooner rather than later.

Got to phone the garage and tell them to expect me some point in next 5 days...

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Well, I replaced the battery and its been fine since. Looked like I bought a dough battery!

Next test is when the weather improves marginally, I will be using the get me home lights, and then see if it starts in the morning... I am sure it should be fine this time round!

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I wouldn't say that just because you had a faulty battery that you have a bad car; 1 week after buying my car I found that the battery had gone flat, I phoned the garage that I had bought it from, they came to my house lent me a car and took my car back to the garage, within 5 hours the car was returned with a new battery fitted and the charging system checked, 11 months later and the care has run like clockwork. :) Not all garages are bad and not all cars are bad, just some. <_<

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Thanks for all the (helpful) responses so far guys :D - to be honest, I was a bit more concerned given the nature it went pop!

I replaced the battery with the old and it lived, I took the battery back to EuroCarParts and they replaced it, the car has been fine since!

The only thing to do now is take it back and get them to put a working key / barrel combination on the boot!

I recieved the V5 today and saw 4 former owners :S shouldnt be anything to worry about im sure but will be nice to see the end of the niggles :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

well, Its irritating me again this morning. Its been fine for over a week now, then this morning, put the key in the trip computer was lit, turned to kick the car into life and blackout...

Theres something else here, its weird that the alternator is / was kicking out sufficient charge, so either my choice and trust im Bosch batteries is misplaced or something else is awry.

Taking the car back to the garage, and giving them three days to resolve it, as I need the car back on Thursday for a long weekend, I dont see how it could take longer than that to resolve the issue.

I suppose the next question is warranty based. They offer a three month warranty on Parts and Labour. however, my question is if they fail to resolve the issue, would I be within my rights to get the vehicle diagnosed by say a Ford Dealer / specialist and demand a reimbursement from the dealer...?

If this keeps going I sense a full refund under the sale of goods act...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well it took a while but I am finally starting to trust the car. so.... to start, it worked out that there was a few issues...

1) the battery was loose in the well... The battery was sliding around which meant that

2) the terminals where not overly secured to the battery electrodes in the first place, the battery slid, and this meant that the cables and the connectors where stationary, couldn't really move with it and so ended up slipping off the top of the electrode, with only about 20% contact and this meant it wouldnt charge

3) the reason that the car just blacked out, is because there was insufficient contact with the electrodes, the nut has vibrated loose, and subsequently the cable and its contacts had widened, reducing further the contact, but giving the appearance of being connected... When I got it jump started, the crimps were applied to the contacts and squeezed them against the electrode, applying full connection and it started up, then the vibration started again and killed it again.

The wiring has been sorted, the cables are now secure, the nuts have been well and truely tightened, and I am watching the battery position like a hawk, whilst finding a suitable block of wood sized and/or the appropriate battery slide to keep the battery in place.

I have now had the car back for two weeks, and its working fine! not a single glitch since, and they also found a few small issues that they sorted (wheel bushes replaced).

Finally the only outstanding issue (that I dont fancy paying ford £65 to diagnose and resolve) is the Trip computer light staying permenantly lit up... I am not too worried about it though....

So its come good now!

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