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Battery Charging Help


ZetecShearer1987
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Hi everyone

 

I am at a bit of a loose end with my focus and the ongoing issues im facing.

 

After taking the car to ford, for a check up, they found no fault codes so said nothing was wrong with my car, even though it idles awfully.

 

So with no more help from ford im trying to do my own tests.

 

I have found tonight by using the dashboard diagnostic test that, the car when running will not charge above 13.2v, i took it for a thrash and tried everything to increase the voltage and it wouldnt, the standing volts on my battery struggle to get to 12v and normally hovers around 11.8 and 11.9, by the way its a brand new ford battery and ive also done the battery monitoring reset.

 

 

Also tonight aswell my stop start has stopped working, the button on my centre console has come on and i cant switch it on as it wont let me.

 

Im at a loss now what to do, can anyone help me or advise me what to do. could it be an alternator issue

The whole cabin vibrates at idle

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take it back to ford and tell them its a voltage issue with stop start it wont work if the battery is low which clearly it is the idle will be due to the ecu constantly losing the settings so everytime you start the car its re learning the voltages are well off so its either a smart charge or alternator issue assuming its the right battery for the car

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thanks artscot.

 

ford basically told me its all in my head.

 

Ive had this idle issue for ages, the old battery wouldnt charge above 11.7 after a 3 hour drive and this new genuine for battery wont go much higher.

can a dodgy alternator cause idle issues.

 

also everytime my car turns on the radio goes back to default settings, could that be linked 

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1 hour ago, ZetecShearer1987 said:

also everytime my car turns on the radio goes back to default settings, could that be linked

That stacks up with what Arthur said. Looks like at some point the power bus voltage is dropping right down, or just possibly going too high, and upsetting the PCM & radio.

Note I said Power Bus, not battery. You really need a voltmeter to measure real voltages. With a suspected fault in battery, charge system or wiring, readings from the car can Not be relied on. The power bus will be one of the heavy duty bus bars in the engine bay fuse box (FJB). The earth connections from battery to body and to engine are also suspects.

Check battery connections visually and physically (be very careful using metal tools near the battery!, or on any of the high current buses or connections). Try the battery test below. It can be repeated using the voltage between the FJB power bus and a good earth point on the engine. (Good earth points can be hard to find, may need to sand or file a bit clean. Check you get stable & repeatable readings before testing).

*** Battery Test
Start engine. After recovering from starting (normally under 1 minute), voltage should rise to at least 13v at idle, and with the engine at about 1200rpm, charge voltage should stabilise at 14.0 to 14.6v. This range should be maintained with headlights on or off.

Then turn engine off, monitor battery voltage (at the terminals, direct on the lead battery post itself if possible), turn ignition & headlights on (do not start engine), see how quickly battery drops. It should drop to about 12v quite quickly, then hold, and not go below about 11.5v even after a few minutes.

If battery fades away quickly, it is duff or discharged. Also if charge voltage is too high, either it is duff, or there is a serious problem with the charging system.

*****End

The voltages you have read are clearly very wrong, so the fault is not in your head, it is in the car!

Post results & feedback here. We will help if we can.

 

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I took my car for a voltage test at my local garage this morning. The onboard voltage didn't go above 11.8v when driving.

 

the garage did a test with the car running. 

The battery was only 11.8v charged and the alternator was only emitting 12.2v I think it was. The chap said the car should be up between 13.5 and 14.5 while running at 2000rpm.

He thinks it could be an alternator fault or wiring as its not putting sufficient power out to charge the battery and run the car.

btw the battery is brand new and from a ford main dealer.

T c Harrison's now want to charge more diagnostics to test the voltage even though they've already had it twice and couldn't find any problems with the car.

 

 

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TCH seem to be spending a lot of your money finding the obvious:sad:

All the indications pointed to battery, charge system (alternaltor) or wiring, and you have more or less eliminated battery.

This business of charging (money) for every diagnostic check bugs me no end. For older cars, there are diy packages for diagnostics & maintenance, but the authors of these systems have a job keeping up with changes.

Ford's smart charge may have some advantages, but it is another opportunity for diagnostic charges!

Bah. Rant over (for the moment)

I would advise seeing if a local, independent auto-electrician can be be found who can help, then demand from TCH that they give you a fixed price for the job, or take the car away, and pay only for useful work done, if you can.

The DIY approach is the best, really, but is not easy if you have no experience or equipment.

Best I can think of at present.

Peter.

 

 

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Tc  Harrison's said that the smart charge can vary the charge from the alternator. But to only charge the car at 11.8v seems strange the car starts up and 14.4v comes up and it soons drop down to below 12v the car does run horribly and there's only 11.7v in the battery so you'd think it would put more into the battery

 

He he tested the back of alternator where only 12.2v were coming out. 

 

Posssibly that could be normal due to the smart charge feature but I'm really confused now

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independants dont understand smart charge you nerd ford diagnostics to look at the wave forms .smart charge puts a higher charge into the battery at cold electrolyte temps as it heats up the smart charge will drop the charge accordingly so either the battery is wrong or the battery has a faulty cell or the smart charge isn't doing its job it wont even on a full battery drop from 14.4v right down that quickly 12.2 suggests the alternator has reverted to a normal 12v which it does if it detects a smart charge fault either through a wiring issue or from feedback from the plates in the battery .11.7 v means the car will run bad the ecu isn't getting power to keep its memory having to relearn everytime the key is turned.there is a 10amp fuse in the engine bay fuse box that if blown reverts the alternator to a normal 12v system worth checking as its always over looked

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On 15/06/2016 at 4:00 PM, ZetecShearer1987 said:

the car does run horribly and there's only 11.7v in the battery

he tested the back of alternator where only 12.2v were coming out. 

Posssibly that could be normal due to the smart charge feature but I'm really confused now

11.7v and 12.2v are definitely not normal.

So if TCH can not fix it at within sensible cost & time, they should let you have the car back to find someone who can.

I suspect your battery is flat as a pancake, just enough juice to start the car, and voltage dips cause the rough running.

Edited by Tdci-Peter
Remove incorrect info, re Iantt
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minimum charging rate can be as low as 12.2v depending on state of charge of battery

maximum charging rate can be between 14.5v-14.9v  but can be 15.2v in  refresh phases.

the aim is to have battery at 80% charge, not fully charged.

smart regenerative charging mainly charges when slowing down, so thrashing the is not the optimum way to charge battery.

sounds like a battery monitoring sensor fault to me.or could even be bcm fault.

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I drive home tonight after work and the car felt really good, I pulled up the dashboard diagnostics to check the current charge and was between 13.4 and 14.5 and the car pulled well and didn't wobble at idle like is was gonna stall out. This morning it didn't go above 11.8 and the car felt underpowered and rough at idle.

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First things first, check the battery, not just condition, but correct type. A lead acid battery will not work properly with smart charge, it must be Silver Calcium! Easy to over look.

 

Next, put a meter across the battery. Remember when you remove the smart charge  3 pin plug from the back of the alternator, it reverts to a conventional alternator! If you do not have about 13.8 volts, carry out basic charging system checks and suspect the alternator, its not a smart charge fault. The lowest possible smart charge voltage is set at 13.5v not 12.2 it only charges at 12.2 if there's a smart charge fault and its dropped out ie regulation I no longer possible as a result the heated screen will be deactivated rear window heater and even aircon.when the engine is started the alternator is deactivated to reduce engine torque and is switched on by the pcm after start up.the highest refresh phase voltage I 16v only with a dead battery detected will it provide 18v from the valeo diagnostic manual for ford focus smart charge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 
 

 

 

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On 15/06/2016 at 11:41 PM, ZetecShearer1987 said:

I drive home tonight after work and the car felt really good, ... between 13.4 and 14.5  This morning it didn't go above 11.8 and the car felt underpowered and rough at idle.

Hi,

There is a lot of information in the posts above, mostly saying the same things.

1) Check battery type

2) If you have access to a decent battery charger, use it for at least 4 hours. But do not use a high power (>5 amps) "quick charge" type, nor some old unregulated one. A regulated charger of 3A to 5A would be good. But follow Ford guidlines for charging.

3) How long was the drive home. High revs are no help, normal or gentle driving is fine, it is time that matters. Takes hours to charge a flat battery. 13.4v will not put much charge into it. 14.4v is about the minimum.

4) Sounds like there was not enough charge in it to start in the morning without resetting the PCM & getting the bad idle back.

5) There is a problem with the charging system. Ideally find someone good (Not TCH) to fix it. By now, the battery could be getting poor, they do not like being left flat for long periods. There is a battery test in: Posted yesterday at 11:10 PM

Peter.

 

 

Edited by Tdci-Peter
Remove incorrect info, re Iantt
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theres quite a bit of mis information on here regarding the mk3 smart regen charging combined with stop start function, its not a mk2/2.5 focus!!

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On 16/06/2016 at 6:47 AM, iantt said:

theres quite a bit of mis information on here regarding the mk3 smart regen charging combined with stop start function, its not a mk2/2.5 focus!!

Ian,

Could you give a bit more info?

There is a lot of mystery & unknowns surrounding these smart charge systems,  and more & more people are going to have faults as the cars age a bit.

I tried to simplify things down in my last post. In particular which bits of this are wrong, I do not want to give wrong information.

Hopefully (2: use a decent charger) is still permissible?

(4: PCM reset) is the only explanation we can come up with for the bad idle, unless there is some separate, engine issue?

Any help you can give would be appreciated, by Daniel, I am sure, and by me & others.

Peter.

Edited by Tdci-Peter
Remove incorrect info, re Iantt
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