Car battery life - 93eng
Hi
I have a 16 year old Celica with a 5 year old Exide battery (date shown on the battery). I have only had the car for 6 weeks.

Now when I tried to start the car today, the battery was dead although I did a short journey 3 days ago without problem. Questions:
(a) Is the 5 years a normal lifespan for the battery, so therefore I should replace it?
(b) Or should I suspect something else e.g. the alternator?
(c) Also Halfords are selling a replacement battery for £60. Does anyone know where to get a cheaper one in South West London?

Many thanks.
Car battery life - GregSwain
(a) Is the 5 years a normal lifespan for the battery,
so therefore I should replace it?

Yes, some only last as long as 3 years.
(b) Or should I suspect something else e.g. the alternator?

Rare on a 5y/o car, but if the battery accepts charge then it's a possibility. Is the battery light on the dashboard behaving itself?
(c) Also Halfords are selling a replacement battery for £60. Does
anyone know where to get a cheaper one in South West London?

Yes - any independant motor factor. Most fast-fit places that do batteries probably wouldn't even charge £60, and they'd fit it for you!
Car battery life - GregSwain
Oops, didn't read post properly. Alternator failure is perfectly plausible on a 16y/o car.
Car battery life - 93eng
Thanks.
There is a charge indicator on the dashboard and it shows that the battery voltage is below optimal.
Assuming therefore that it is the battery, is it worth charging up with a home charger (which I will also need to buy for half the price of a replacement battery) or should I just go and buy a new battery?
Also does anyone know an independent motor factor in South West London?
Car battery life - piston power
just buy a new battery and ask them to check the chargeing circuit, i buy heavy duty batteries great for winter lights,heated rear screen,fog lights,heater,all switched on for the extra few quid it's worth it, as for a garage have you looked in the yellow pages?? or try your local fast fit place.
Car battery life - bell boy
just buy a new battery and ask them to check the chargeing circuit,
>>>>>>>>>>>>
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
>>>>>>>>>>
i would ask them to check the charging system and see if i needed a new battery that way you dont need to buy both (sorry bigtee just thought i would put it the right way round)

a multimeter at maplins is only a £5 for a basic one you could use one of these to see if alternator is alternating
Car battery life - piston power
oldman, i can't see a 5 year old battery been upto much good unless it is main dealer stuff can you? this battery needs a drop test see if a cell bubbles (thats if you can see into some are sealed!!) and check voltage of a charged battery put headlights on for 10 secs to remove surface charge off battery then test voltage looking for 12.6 average if lower suspect goosed. test with engine off! good luck
Car battery life - defender
bigtee I know of exide batteries still going strong at 40 years use and more with over 5 years use without problems
Car battery life - bell boy
this
battery needs a drop test see if a cell bubbles (thats
if you can see into some are sealed!!)

>>>>>>..
>>>>>>>>>>

i have a drop tester but i bet it has 10 years of dust on it,i never liked them as it is basically a direct short to the battery and every now and then batteries take a dislike to this and explode.........
i much prefer the multimeter full load on electrics approach and with multimeters now being didgytool they are so accurate........ :-)
Car battery life - DP
You can do a very quick and simple (but not exhaustive) test on the charging system by starting the engine, and measuring the voltage directly at the battery terminals with a multimeter.

They do vary, but around 14v is usually pretty healthy. Anything less, and you might be looking at additional repairs (alternator).

Cheers
DP
Car battery life - defender
first check the fan belt is tight and not just driving the alternator enough just to put the light out but not putting a full charge to the battery
Car battery life - John S
Certainly check the alternator first. Many modern batteries seem to last well over 5 years, but by no means all. Worth checking Euro car parts for a battery. They supply Bosch batteries at what look like reasonable prices.

JS
Car battery life - 93eng
Thank you for your numerous answers

From these, I have come to the conclusion that the battery is near its useful life, maybe not quite there but certainly close.
Therefore, it is not worth spending half a new battery's cost to see IF something is wrong. I might as well pay for it now.

The prices that I have seen so far:
Halfords: £60.
Local independent selling Varta: £59.
Local Fast fit selling Exide : £60.
CostCo (on the other side of London): £40.

So its between Halfords and Costco, which will cost me the same if I factor in the journey cost. Ah well.

I might ask for advice again soon to see where I can get a replacement alternator :)
Car battery life - GregSwain
That's all well and good, but this time next week, you might have a flat battery again....especially as your voltage gauge is giving a low reading.

Could try eBay for an alternator, although there's no guarantee it'll be any better than the one you've got. Can get a cheap-ish alternator from Alternator Mart - www.alternatormart.co.uk .

Word of warning though, sit down when they're giving you a price - Japanese alternators aren't cheap compared with Ford/Vauxhall parts. Bought a re-con alternator for my old Sunny, and it cost about £120 just for the part. Luckily fitting an alternator is fairly straight-forward.

Remember that with the engine running, the electrics are operating from the alternator - the battery's really only there to start the car. Plonk a multimeter across the battery - measure voltage with engine off, and then engine on. No difference = knackered alternator.
Car battery life - quizman
It's the battery, Exide are rubbish these days. Get a Bosch from Costco.
Car battery life - yorkiebar
i think i could give you a job quizman if you can identify problems like that so quick and accurate!
Car battery life - quizman
i think i could give you a job quizman if you
can identify problems like that so quick and accurate!



Thanks, farming is a bit difficult these days . I could do with a steady job. I must warn you, having been my own boss for 35 years, I might be a bit difficult to employ!

Having 2 cars, a Landrover, 3 tractors and a combine I am always having trouble with one of them. Nearly every time they will not start, it is the battery. They suddenly die with no warning.

Having said that, recently the combine started to smell very bad. I had just had the aircon gassed up and presumed that this was the problem. I was wrong though, the alternator was over charging and boiled the 8 year old battery. I got the alternator mended for £10, and bought a Varta battery for £95.

Car battery life - sierraman
If it is the alternator,and they are very expensive,it may be better to have the old one rebuilt by an auto electrician,about £30 where I go.Also,if the batttery is not sealed,check it has sufficient ionised water in it.
Car battery life - Altea Ego
Aircon in your Combine.....Gee that is tough

In my day the smell came from the horse...................
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Car battery life - Cliff Pope
Having said that, recently the combine started to smell very bad.
I had just had the aircon gassed up >>


The changing face of modern farming! You mean you have a cab with air conditioning now, not just a metal seat exposed to the elements?
Car battery life - quizman
>>>>The changing face of modern farming! You mean you have a cab with air conditioning now, not just a >>>>metal seat exposed to the elements?



Yes, most combines have aircon these days. My old girl is a 1988 model, F reg. She also has a radio, I listened to the cricket last night, brilliant we won at last.
My previous combine didn't have aircon, it once got up to 130 F in the cab, not very nice, but it is better to be hot than in the dust.
I wish combines had a computer so I could look at Honestjohn, while going up and down the field for 11 hours yesterday.
Car battery life - ffidrac {P}
The prices that I have seen so far:
Halfords: £60.
Local independent selling Varta: £59.
Local Fast fit selling Exide : £60.
CostCo (on the other side of London): £40.

Be aware also of warranty on batteries.
I used to work for a garage that sold batteries with a 5 year warranty.

The cut price place down the road sold another brand (can't remember) that had a 'lifetime' warranty for cheaper than us.

Reading the warrenty small print the lifetime was stated as 2 years.


Car battery life - Roly93
5 years is average for a battery I would think, although I have never had one that only lasted this long.
To check the altrenator is quite simple really, just start the car after dark, turn on the lights, heated rear screen, fan-blower etc (ie several items that will load the electrical system). Now give the engine moderate revs and the lights should brighten as the alternator takes up the load and increases the voltage. If you want to be a bit more sophisticated just do the same but connect a multimeter across the battery and observe the voltage increase to between 14 to 14.5v as you rev from idle. If either of these things occur your alternator is almost certainly okay.
Car battery life - Victorbox
"5 years is average for a battery I would think, although I have never had one that only lasted this long"

Crikey! Of four Delco Freedom batteries (Vauxhall) I've had - all have been well past their 10th birthday before dieing.
Car battery life - GregSwain
Of four Delco Freedom batteries (Vauxhall) I've had - all have
been well past their 10th birthday before dieing.


You've been lucky! We had a Vectra with one of them, and it lasted 5 years.
Car battery life - Roly93
"5 years is average for a battery I would think, although
I have never had one that only lasted this long"
Crikey! Of four Delco Freedom batteries (Vauxhall) I've had - all
have been well past their 10th birthday before dieing.

My post was badly worded, what I meant to say was I had never had a battery that lasted for as short a time as 5 years.
Car battery life - buzbee
Last battery I changed, a couple of months ago, died at 4 Years 9 months. I also had one go at slightly over 5 years. Two different new cars. Both low mileage use.
Car battery life - 93eng
So
Bought the battery from Costco for £40. Battery is a Bosch Asia Silver.
Fitted it today and appears to be better than the old one in that it only needs to crank for 1 second for the engine to go on (the old one always took 2 seconds).
Two further observations:
1. On the old battery, it said ' recharge before Jan01 if not fitted'. So the battery could well be 6 or 7 years old.
2. The battery voltage indicator on the dashboard shows a surge when the engine goes on. So the altenator appears to be ok.

Many thanks for all your replies.
Car battery life - quizman
I knew I was right, gimmie a job.
Battery leaking eletrolyte - hzmonte
I have a 1980 Celica GT. My old Delco battery died after 2 years and I had it replaced last month. Then I found out that there is some white powder accumulated on one of the terminals and some liquid (electrolyte?) leaking from one of the two "covers" on the top of the battery. I took it to the shop yesterday and the technician said that there is some problem with my charging system that charges the battery a bit too much. He said his system has the wiring diagrams of Celicas only from 1988 so he suggested me go to a Toyota dealer. Can I find such wiring diagram on the Internet? Can't he just inspect the alternator - without a so-called wiring diagram?
Battery leaking electrolyte - hzmonte
I don't know when it started, but the voltmeter shows that the voltage often shoots off the scale. After I drive for several miles, the voltage would jump from about 14 to above 18. (The max value in the voltmeter is 18.) The owners manual says "the needle should always indicate between 11 and 16 volts." It would drop back to 14 or so for a few seconds, then go back, then drop for a few seconds, then go back, ...
Battery leaking electrolyte - hzmonte
I have just had my alternator replaced yesterday and so far so good.
Battery leaking electrolyte - quizman
I have just had my alternator replaced yesterday and so far
so good.



How much did the new alternator cost? As I have said before, my combine alternator had a new regulater put on at a cost of £8.94. A new alternator was going to cost £134, so sometimes it pays to get them repared.

I wish cars had ammeters so that we could tell when there is a problem, why don't they?
Battery leaking electrolyte - jc2
Because most people wouldn't have the faintest idea what they are supposed to show-a voltmeter is better.Having said that,in the past,some firm made a clip-on ammeter that could be used for checking.
Battery leaking electrolyte - quizman
OK, why can't we have voltmeters fitted, I don't suppose they would cost much.
 

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