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1987 Turbo Diesel - Flat battery - vixinfrance
Hi all, I am currently living in France, and still hanging onto my old (1987) Citroen BX Turbo Diesel. Living in the Alps, but it usually performs remarkably well in the cold. This is the second time though this year that we've had a flat battery, first was probably due to extreme cold and that we hadn't given the car a good run for a while. Unfortunately this time lights were left on (wasn't me!).

Tried to jump start it today with jump leads using our VW Caravelle Diesel Turbo, but after many attempts it just wasn't charging. My partner reckons the VW battery not giving enough charge, perhaps as it is diesel - diesel. Could this be right? Would a petrol car have a higher charge?

Excuse my niavety, I am blonde :) but very practical and want to find a solution without having to pay yet another 100 Euros for a guy to turn up with a charger. Or should we buy a battery charger?

Any advice welcome, thank-you.

(subject line amended to include year)

Edited by Webmaster on 18/03/2008 at 19:40

1987 Turbo Diesel - Flat battery - thomp1983
the vw should have plenty of power to start it. id check the quality of your jump leads and make sure they are connected up securely, then run the vw and leave it running at about 2k rpm for about 10 minutes, then try and start the bx see if it helps.

1987 Turbo Diesel - Flat battery - Peter.N.
If the BX battery has been allowed to stand flat for any length of time its probably died, you will need a new one. Its unlikely that your jump leads will pass enough current from the VW to start without the assistance of the battery in the BX.
1987 Turbo Diesel - Flat battery - oldnotbold
Agreed - the BX battery is totally dead, and beyond redemption.
1987 Turbo Diesel - Flat battery - Screwloose

If the battery was drained totally flat; it will take hours of charging, particularly if it's cold, to even wake it up again.

Normal cheap jump leads won't pass enough current to start a car on their own without something in the battery to help them.

Either remove the battery and get it charged off the vehicle; or borrow some [literally] heavy jump leads to get it started and then leave it ticking-over for a few hours with the bonnet shut.
Still problems starting after flat battery - vixinfrance
Left lights on and flattened battery. Tried jump starting but think the current in the other battery wasn't enough (330A)? Didn't work - nor via portable charger with up to 1200A. Some of you helpfully pointed out that if the battery was completely flat it wouldn't work either way.

I have just installed a brand new battery and lights go on fine/windows work etc. But the yellow sign with a coil on the dashboard just goes out straight away with a dull clicking noise when I turn the ignition. The engine turns over but won't fire. I think my friend (who left the lights on in the first place!) tried too many times when attempting the jumpstart and something is now broken (starter motor?) - because the light was on for the usual few seconds before turning the key yesterday.

Any help most welcome - I am at the mercy of French garages! If anyone has an idea of what might be wrong and knows roughly how much time it should take to fix with a new/salvaged part (£££s???) that would be even better.

Thank you!!!!
Still problems starting after flat battery - Screwloose

It wasn't a battery size issue; it was a jump-lead size problem. Always a pain if a battery is totally flat and all the current has to come from outside - as opposed to the more normal "just needs a little bit more."

For some odd reason, the glow-plug relay now thinks that the engine is hot and won't activate the glow-plugs?? Do you know where the glow-relay box [possibly blue?] is and do you feel happy bridging it?

If so; I'll give you the method.

[P.S. If a kindly mod could attach to existing thread....?] {Done - DD}

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 20/03/2008 at 19:10

Still problems starting after flat battery - vixinfrance
Thanks Screwloose, this is very helpful. I don't think this is something I'd be comfortable doing as at the moment the car is parked illegally in a ski resort, so we will probably have to get it towed to garage tomorrow. If it was in my front drive, then I'd have the time to give this a go, but the local police will tow it if we don't get it shifted (it has been parked in a 10-minute maximum space for four days!!!). AT least we know what our garage man will hopefully say, and won't con us....thanks and will let you know how it goes! vix
Still problems starting after flat battery - Screwloose

As a desperate last try; attach the jump-leads to give the new battery a bit more oomph and give it a spray of Easi-start [ether] diesel starting spray into the air intake.

Most garages in cold areas will sell it. Might be called all sorts [Wurth Rapid-start is a continental version] but it's all the same stuff.

Once it's running and warm; things may sort themselves - with a bit of luck....
Still problems starting after flat battery - igglypiggly
Easi spray will kill your engine as it's Methanol/Ethanol mix. Get the battery off the car and charge it for a good 24hrs if your charger allows don't use the 1hr ones they simply don't put in the same power a good 24hr charge. Another idea is do you have a hill? if so get in the car roll it down the hill till the car starts then drive it for a good 2hrs or let it stand for a good hour running on idle. If the battery is still dead then it either needs topping up (getting harder with sealed batteries) or is dead Any good garage will be able to check your battery for say 30Euros (I had one checked in Brugge recently) make sure your battery is 065 think that's a Euro standard.

Shot in the dark here have you had the alternator checked? maybe it's at fault and not the battery also get all the Earth straps checked 9times out of 10 it's either the alternator or the earth straps need removing and cleaning quick job

Edited by igglypiggly on 07/04/2008 at 22:11

Still problems starting after flat battery - Screwloose
Easi spray will kill your engine as it's Methanol/Ethanol mix.

A very confident statement - care to explain exactly how? I've used a few dozen cans in my time and the workshop isn't littered with dead engines......

Value my car