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2004 1.8TDci - battery questions ...... - robert

I have a 2004 TDci Focus with 36k on the clock. Our mileage has now dropped dramatically - with the car only being used twice a week for short runs - and then once a month for a 300 mile "dash in a day".

It still starts 1st time - but is becoming increasingly "reluctant" & I understand why this is - so am seeking your views on various ways of trickle charging the battery whilst its parked up - various devices are available. I have access to a garage - so could also place the battery on charge for long periods - although don't really want to have to charge the battery in the "normal way" unless I can avoid it.

How long to Ford batteries last, @ 4 years should I be thinking about a new one?

Thanks in anticipation.


Edited by Dynamic Dave on 05/01/2009 at 18:35

2004 1.8TDci Focus TDci - battery questions ...... - jc2
My current Ford battery is now nine years old but definitely cranking more slowly.Only used about once a fortnight but then for 20miles+;diesel by the way.
2004 1.8TDci Focus TDci - battery questions ...... - MikeTorque
You could buy a Portable 12V Jump Starter that recharges from your car cigarette lighter socket whilst driving, or from the AC mains, cost around £20.

Otherwise a new battery will hold its charge better than a 4+ year old battery and hence be able to take the hits if shorter journeys better. Personally I'd recommend this option, especially as we're having a cold winter for a change.

Edited by MikeTorque on 05/01/2009 at 21:51

2004 1.8TDci Focus TDci - battery questions ...... - mikej
The original Ford/Motorcraft battery in my old 1999 1.8i petrol Focus lasted over 8 years/81k miles - my car was used pretty much daily for most of the time I had it, although my daily commute (which accounted for the majority of journeys) was only around 6 miles each way.

I replaced the OEM Ford battery (which had a starting power of just less than 400 amps) with the recommended Halfords Calcium battery which was rated at 500 amps.

This implied to me that the OEM battery was a bit on the low side in terms of start-up power. The new battery certainly made the central locking sound a lot less sliggish !

Not sure how batteries in diesel cars compare with their petrol equivalents but if you decide to replace your battery, there is some info on this forum regarding the recommended use of calcium over standard lead acid batteries in modern Fords.
2004 1.8TDci Focus TDci - battery questions ...... - Simon
I think its the usage of the car that will create the problems rather than the condition of any battery - new or old. How short are the short runs? In my experience if you are only doing a handful of miles a week then you are always going to be consuming more battery power through starting and drain whilst standing than you ever are going to put back in it during those few miles. You need a trickle charger or something similar.
2004 1.8TDci Focus TDci - battery questions ...... - kiss (keep it simple)
If you are at all concerned it is time for a new battery. The recent cold weather will have made a difference, especially if the car stands for a couple of days. See how it goes when the weather warms up a bit, you might find it returns to normal.
2004 1.8TDci Focus TDci - battery questions ...... - robert
Hi all,

Many thanks for all your helpful replies. Its interesting that after using the car or a couple of days this week that its certainly got easier to start. In thinking about it I suspect that the problem is the battery drain caused by the (locked) car drawing current to operate the clock, alarm C/L receiver etc. All this adds up and over a period of a week or more would cause significant capacity drain from the battery.

I'm therefore going to leave the car unlocked in the garage and also get one of those solar rechargers to add a small constant trickle charge (the garage has a window).

Hopefully the combination of these will make things easier all round - we will see in another week or so's time.


2004 1.8TDci Focus TDci - battery questions ...... - Pugugly
Do you keep i in a garage or have you got access to an external power point ? The solution would be to put it on an "optimiser" type smart charger.
2004 1.8TDci Focus TDci - battery questions ...... - L'escargot
I'm therefore going to leave the car unlocked in the garage ...........

I didn't realise that leaving a car locked consumed electricity. I'll remember that in future if ever starting gets sluggish.
2004 1.8TDci Focus TDci - battery questions ...... - Pugugly
The alarm L'escargot !

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