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My Mk3 ZS - Battery issues


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OK, so I arrived back from Spain 7pm yesterday (been away for a week). Jumped into my 2011 180bhp Petrol Zetec-S and nipped over to my friends. Was there for half an hour or so, a quick lap of the town and home again. Happy everything was good with the car. 

This morning i unlocked the car as normal, jumped in and pushed the start button. Click, click, click went (I presume a relay). Yes it unlocked the central locking, but no displays fired up so i pushed the car out of the garage and jumped it from my older 02 Focus.

Surprised to find out when I revealed the actual battery that I had no hope of connecting the negative jump lead clamp to the negative terminal as its well under the scuttle panel. Followed the earthing lead to the body earthing point and presumed this would be OK to connect the negative jump lead clamp to.

Fired up the old Focus, let it for 10 minutes charging the newer Focus. Had dash display this time but when i tried the start button all I got was still click, click, click. Jumped out into the old Focus and rev'ed to 3k for a few minutes before jumping back into the newer Focus. Held down the OK button on the steering wheel (either one works, just outputting on a different display) and got it into 'TEST' mode. Checked the battery reading which read 13.9v. Retried starting the newer Focus. Still just click, click, click.. Presumed not enough voltage to start her and called my garage friend down the road.

He turned up a little while later with one of those computer tablet sized battery jump starters. This smaller jump start until had smaller clamps on it and as such clipped onto the batteries negative terminal directly itself.

Engine fired up straight away so I presumed it was maybe a bad connection that i had made on the negative earthing point. He trundled off again and I left the car idling for 10-15 minutes before taking it for a 38 minute drive around our local area. It was a pretty hard drive to be honest as I was miffed loosing my 42.2mpg on the dash readout due to a dead battery. Was something like 32mpg when I got home.

Interestingly whilst driving around one corner near where I live (and this only happened once during the whole journey) I dropped from 4th to 3rd gear. Whilst the clutch was depressed I had a flash of the battery light and what may of been the ABS light flashed on for half a second, but the time I realised I had already let the clutch out and presumably bump started the engine again? It all happened very quickly so I cannot be sure. I drove the rest of the way home a little slower just in case.

Got home, reversed the car back into its spot, pushed the Start button again to switch off the engine and everything went dead again. No dash display, no central locking, nothing.

So I'm after a new battery. My garage friend asked if I had Stop/Start feature and to be honest I didn't think I had. (Never did it for me although I'm aware it can be very problematic) so he asks me do I have a A button with a circle around it next to the rear window heated windscreen. Yes I tell him, apparently confirming that I do have Start/Stop just that I never had it turned on! 

Learnt something new today! Although seemingly I've an more expensive battery and he was aware that the ECU needed to be told that a new battery was installed else it wouldn't charge it? Or some other reason.

So my questions for all of you in the know;

(1) What battery do I need to replace my existing battery. I've read that it needs to be the same voltage or ampage or something to allow the Stop/Start to work? Yes I'm being lazy asking rather than going outside in the dark and trying to get a make/model off of the battery under torch light. If I don't get a reply tonight, yes i'll do that tomorrow morning.

(2) What kinda price am I looking at for this replacement battery? Obviously more than a usual battery I presume?

I'm living in Ireland and will be getting a price from my garage friend, I'm only asking so that then I will have a little knowledge if the price I'm told is a good price or not. If not then i'll source it directly ad he'll just plug in and get the ECU talking to the new battery.

(3) Is there anything else I should be aware of? Again, I presume there probably is!

Thanks for taking the time to read my essay, and I appreciate any help that I'm given. Thanking you in advance.

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Ign on for 10 secs, press rear foglight switch 5 times, press hazzard switch 3 times, wait 10 secs. battery light flashes. Ign off

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Great stuff IanTT, that's good to know..

Attached is a quick pic of my installed battery.

Then I have two choices, any preferences between the two or further suggesting guys?

I notice both the batteries I've pictured are higher amperage than the original. Will I have any ECU issues? I feel I need reassurance please!! (Thanks in advance)





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OK, so I've been researching since those screenshots this morning...

I've come to the conclusion that if the RAC are offering batteries up to 75mA for my vehicle registration (as well as my pictured 65mA battery selections) then it can't be bad.

Seemingly aside from slight voltage spikes and wearing the alternator out a little faster, I cannot see any other ill effects and I'M SURE that would ONLY be the case if an EXCESSIVLY larger battery was installed?

OK, so now I just need to check that the actual battery dimension match up and then i'll go for one of those two pictured batteries.


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I'd go for the Bosch one; as long as the ampage isn't significantly lower or significantly higher then it should be fine.

I note that the cranking power on both of the suggested batteries is higher too! 

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Thanks for your reply iFocus, I was beginning to think everybody was out shopping on the weekend!! 

Living here in Ireland, just off the Atlantic coast its considerably colder than back in Blighty. My research has told me that the CCA is calculated at 0 degrees F, so I personally can't see any harm in a slightly higher CCA.

I've also read that basically all of these batteries are made in the same factories and due to the differences in outputs they are sold as certain manufacturers. Bosch is at the top of one of those lists but I've also read good things for the Yuasa too.

Think i'll probably agree with you on the Bosch, just need to get myself up and dressed and go and check the diameters to make sure it fits before I order it now!!

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Yeah you're right about the CCA (cold cranking amps) it's always better to be a little higher than standard especially in colder climates; although I recently replaced the wife's battery in her i20 and I had to go for a lower CCA as the battery they (Halfords) suggested didn't fit. 

I'd always go for Bosch products over others, probably something to do with brand snobbery? :laugh:

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25 minutes ago, iantt said:

either, whichever has the longer gaurantee.

Good point IanTT.

OK standard battery dimensions are as follows:

27cm Width x 17cm Depth x 18cm Height.

EDIT: Both batteries are identical dimensions (276 x 175 x 175mm) so I presume that's a standard size and my measurements weren't quite as exact.

Bosch has 4 year warranty, Yuasa has 1 year.. Choice made!!

I appreciate your help guys, gonna order one now.

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either will fit, its easy enough to fit, 10mm nuts on clamps. 2 10mm nuts on bracket. a side cover to unclip and remove.

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Appreciate all of your help guys, thanks for all your reassurance. I'll update fitting and any further issues that I encounter once it arrives (probably next Thursday/Friday)

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  • 2 weeks later...

battery arrived last Thursday, I went with the Bosch battery. Very happy with Tanya's service (packaged well, quick delivery etc)

I found this to be a helpful reference before swapping the old battery out (if you can stick the guy's accent!)


So the new battery is now in, oh what a pain in the @ss the battery removal is! 

Interestingly the battery clamp was fitted the other way around so I presume the dealership new the car had battery 'issues' before it was sold to me.

Anyway Stop/Start is working too now (something I was unaware the car had), so thread 'Solved' and thanks for your assistance guys.



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