Car battery preservation

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18 Dec 2009 00:00 by degato34 Star rating in West Yorkshire (God'.... 33 posts Send private message

I live in the UK but have a holiday home in Spain and come here about every 8 weeks for up to 3 weeks. I own a 2007 Fiat Punto and when I return to the UK I leave it in a private underground car park. Frequently when I return I find that the battery is almost flat. Usually I try to charge it up before I leave but sometimes this isn't possible.

The battery has been checked twice by the garage and found to be ok. The problem of the low battery is probably because it is only used for short journeys and never gets fully charged.

Someone suggested to me that it would be better to disconnect the battery as there is a constant drain on it, even though it does not have a fitted alarm. Probably the central locking and imobilser can cause this.

Does anyone know the answer? I would be gtrateful to hear.


This message was last edited by degato34 on 18/12/2009.

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18 Dec 2009 16:47 by EOS Team Star rating in In Spain of course!. 4017 posts Send private message

EOS Team´s avatar

Something is obviously draining the battery slowly, although after 3 weeks it shouldn't really lose its charge.  If the battery is not faulty then disconnecting it should do the trick.

Otherwise, check to make sure the battery has enough water in it.  If not top it up with distilled water.

You could possibly have an earthing problem which is causing the battery to lose charge more rapidly that is normal.

If its an old battery you may need to replace.

Try disconnecting if first after your next trip and see what happens.



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18 Dec 2009 17:52 by degato34 Star rating in West Yorkshire (God'.... 33 posts Send private message


     Thanks for your prompt reply Justin. I go home tomorrow but I've put the charger on and I intent to disconnect the earth lead when I park it up.  (the lead has a quick release clip) Hope that this will do the trick.  Regards, John

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18 Dec 2009 18:57 by davethetaller Star rating. 28 posts Send private message

Just a quick reminder,  that on most cars, if you disconnect the battery, you will not have any radio upon re.connection.

The code for the radio,  to fire it up again, is usually written in the back of the service book.

Or, of course, check with your dealer first.

Hope that helps...Dave.

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18 Dec 2009 20:04 by degato34 Star rating in West Yorkshire (God'.... 33 posts Send private message


      Many thanks for this advice Dave

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18 Dec 2009 20:40 by degato34 Star rating in West Yorkshire (God'.... 33 posts Send private message

Hi Dave

On thinking about it, I have disconnected the battery before now to charge it whilst it was on the car. There was no problem with the radio when I reconnected. Could this have been because it was on charge?

Could it be that it would possibly lose the code when disconnected for say 10 weeks?

Regards, John


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18 Dec 2009 20:59 by Marksfish Star rating in Vera, Almeria. 2565 posts Send private message

Marksfish´s avatar

There is a device you can buy to avoid too much discharge (remember that your car's clock will still be using power, etc).  Once it gets to a certain voltage, it will automatically disconnect the battery. Can't remember what it is called, but my Dad has them on his classic cars, so i'll try to find out.


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18 Dec 2009 22:44 by Joe1949 Star rating in Manchester. 61 posts Send private message

ME TOO ..........I just spent 6 weeks in Murcia and as usual my 2003 Fiat Punto  had what would appear to be a flat battery.

I also had the battery checked and its OK .I put it on charge for an hour & it starts but after a quick trip to the petrol station its dead as a dodo again. Even jump leads won't work then until I get a bit of a spark off the terminals.

There is a red steering wheel shape symbol lit up on the dashboard and whilst that is on it is as though the battery is discharging.

As soon as the engine has been run for a couple of hours and really warmed up then the icon goes off.

I suspect the electrics are damp .

As I am back in Spain for another 6 weeks soon I intend to try disconnecting the battery ,spray the electrics with WD40.

Any other ideas would be helpful..


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19 Dec 2009 10:45 by Jimbothescot Star rating in Urcal,Huercal Overa,.... 41 posts Send private message

For anyone who leaves the car outside for a long time,then I have a friend who has a small solar charger which is left sitting on the dashboard and it`s connected to the battery to keep it on trickle charge.

I`m not sure where he bought it,but it works for him.




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19 Dec 2009 10:57 by degato34 Star rating in West Yorkshire (God'.... 33 posts Send private message

Thanks Jimbo.

The solar charger will not work for me as I park in an underground car park, but thanks for the thought. Regards & Merry Christmas.


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19 Dec 2009 11:37 by kev2006n Star rating in Sussex and Playa Fla.... 343 posts Send private message

 I've seen the solar powered battery charger in Maplin at a special price of £9.99. Kevin

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19 Dec 2009 13:11 by Norm de Plume Star rating in North Tenerife and L.... 162 posts Send private message

I use an ordinary trickle charger - obtainable from Amazon for c.£9.00

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19 Dec 2009 14:03 by bluesky01 Star rating. 18 posts Send private message

Halfords seem to have a car battery charger.

It only costs £19.99 and you can find it on their website.

I hope this helps.


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21 Dec 2009 14:40 by solwayiceman Star rating in Scotland. 50 posts Send private message

Hi just to help with battery probs if cars battery is more than 4 years old forget rechargeing you are just wasting your money as it is most likely to be knackered. Modern batterys have only a life span of 3 years at most. I however always disconect both terminals of the battery to be safe if leaving for a while,that way you can be sure that it will not discharge while on the car. Always write down the code of the radio before disconecting battery. Hope that helps you Ex AA Patrol.


This message was last edited by solwayiceman on 21/12/2009.

This message was last edited by solwayiceman on 21/12/2009.

You know it makes sense. GJC

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21 Dec 2009 20:07 by degato34 Star rating in West Yorkshire (God'.... 33 posts Send private message

Thanks for your interest in my query.

I'm back in the UK now, having returned Saturday evening, (It's blinking freezing)it should be

I disconnected the earth lead before I left and have the code for the radio. The battery is only two years old on a new car, so, fingers crossed, it should start ok when I get back at the beginning of March.

I'll keep a note of your contact name, if you don't mind, as it strikes me you could be very helpful.

Regards, John

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21 Dec 2009 21:36 by Marksfish Star rating in Vera, Almeria. 2565 posts Send private message

Marksfish´s avatar

This device disconnects current to your vehicle whilst allowing a small trickle for radios, etc. Only £9 on Amazon.


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