battery advice - wemyss
My Vectra TDI wouldn?t start this morning. The dashlights were dim and the engine wouldn?t even try to turn over. After a good run yesterday in daylight it should have been well charged up.
I put it on charge and it took a good 5 amps for the first half hour and eventually settled to 2 amp.
After about 5 hours reconnected and the result was exactly the same with little life in the battery.
Its back on the battery charger now at the same steady 2 amps.
This is a Vauxhall freedom maintenance free battery rated at 70Ah R.C 125 minutes.
It is now 4 year 11 months old which seems a bit early to me for sudden death.
I don?t imagine these batteries carry a 5 year warranty on a new car so it looks likely that I will have to buy a new battery tomorrow. I recall someone on this site saying that Unipart batteries carry a lifetime warranty.
Do all batteries of the same amp hour have the same external dimensions?. I ask this not only because of the battery carrier but also because they have a jacket fitted around the battery exactly to this size on the Vectra.
Also is it worth gaining access to the filler plugs which I imagine are beneath the big Vauxhall sticker on the top, topping up and trying to charge again.
Any advice please.

battery advice - Dynamic Dave
Also is it worth gaining access to the filler plugs which I
imagine are beneath the big Vauxhall sticker on the top,
topping up and trying to charge again.

From what I've been told, there is a reservior of liquid under the label that tops up the battery cells as and when required. Over a period of time this reservior obviously dries up and no longer tops up the battery. So, yes it might be worth a try. What have you got to lose?

On a separate note, are all the connections clean and tight?
What happens if you put the lights on and then try and start the car? Do the lights stay bright, or dim down? If the former, then you have a bad connection, ie poor engine earth connection; if the latter, then it's either a failed battery or poor earthing to the bodywork.
battery advice - wemyss
Will try that with the headlights in the morning Dave.
Judging by the way the panel lights were dim when I first turned the ignition on this morning the battery seemed flat.
The connections to it were good as I checked that when reconnecting but didn't look at the the body earth.
battery advice - Richard Hall
Almost five years for a modern battery is pretty good going. 'Maintenance free' is just marketing-speak for 'designed so you can't top up the electrolyte, so it dies more quickly and we can sell you another one'.

Sorry, feeling a bit cynical this evening. I would change the battery as a first step, before starting to look for more obscure causes.

Richard Hall
battery advice - Doc
Alvin, before you think about a new battery, get it tested.
Most accessory shops will test both it and the alternator for free.
battery advice - Ian D
Just under 5 years is about the normal time a battery expires, and if you have put it on charge and the charge current does not go below 2 amps then it is dead as a dodo and needs replacing... a good battery if left on trickle charge for a long time (12-24 hours) should drop to less than 0.5 amp, ideally to 0 amp, yours is definitely a gonner.
battery advice - wemyss
Thanks lads, yes I guess youre right that its a gonner. Its still on two amps and as you say it should be down to next to nothing now.
Will get it tested tomorrow, i think the alternator should be OK as there has been no indication on the panel lamps to suggest otherwise.
Fortunate for it to happen on the drive I suppose instead of two hundred miles away.
battery advice - RogerL
You must've been unlucky. I've found that AC Delco (Vauxhall) maintenance-free batteries last ten years without any problems. In fact they're so good I also use them in my caravan instead of expensive leisure batteries.
battery advice - wemyss
Bought my new battery today from Pentagon Vauxhall at Burton.
They tested my old one for me and it showed a cell down.
Cost just over £80.00.
Could have bought another make at the same 70Ah for about £12.00 less but the dimensions were different. On the Vectra the tray is made to exaxtly fit the AC Delco and also the fuse box fits on to the retaining bracket. Very little room around it so I decided the possibility that something not fitting was worth the extra money.
battery advice - Andrew-T
alvin - I don't think you had a chance with this one. Batteries really need to be checked and topped up every few months, and I believe Freedom batteries make this impossible. Even if the electrolyte level doesn't drop, if a cell goes there is only one cure - new battery.
battery advice - Dynamic Dave
Bought my new battery today from Pentagon Vauxhall at Burton.

Alvin, keep the receipt handy. Unless things have changed, the battery will have a 3 yr guarantee with it.
battery advice - Simon
So then Alvin, being a Burton man myself I assume you live somewhere in the vicinity of Burton-on-Trent?

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