How common is a dead battery? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How common is a dead battery?

I've only ever driven one Elise. In fact, I've only ever stood next to two of them. Surprisingly, both cars had dead batteries even though the dealer said "Hmmm...and we just ran them a week ago".

Does the battery on an Elise drain so rapidly or was the dealer just making conversation?
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If the car is new or in good condition, then the drain is the fault of the dealership. Always demand for a new battery or have the current one tested if you buy a car or have one repaired. Or bring a load tester and test it yourself, it's very easy.

Cars that sit around in dealerships almost all have damaged batteries because dealerships don't really give a crap about properly maintaining them. They just charge it up before they sell it. When a buyer drives off, they don't realize the dealership damaged the battery and so it's not surprising complaints about their dead batteries. The same situation when owners bring their cars in for repair. It sits around for weeks without being driven and more often then not the techs do nothing to protect the battery from being overdrawn. If the car won't start, only then will they hook up the charger to ensure the owner can leave. But the owner doesn't know his battery has been damaged. Happen to me many times, which is why I always swap out my good battery with spare.

BTW, manufactures ensure their cars to have low parasitic draw (typically 25-50 milliamps). So if the car is experiencing anything higher than that, there's a problem somewhere in the electrical system.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If the car is new or in good condition, then the drain is the fault of the dealership. Always demand for a new battery or have the current one tested if you buy a car or have one repaired. Or bring a load tester and test it yourself, it's very easy.

Cars that sit around in dealerships almost all have damaged batteries because dealerships don't really give a crap about properly maintaining them. They just charge it up before they sell it. When a buyer drives off, they don't realize the dealership damaged the battery and so it's not surprising complaints about their dead batteries. The same situation when owners bring their cars in for repair. It sits around for weeks without being driven and more often then not the techs do nothing to protect the battery from being overdrawn. If the car won't start, only then will they hook up the charger to ensure the owner can leave. But the owner doesn't know his battery has been damaged. Happen to me many times, which is why I always swap out my good battery with spare.

BTW, manufactures ensure their cars to have low parasitic draw (typically 25-50 milliamps). So if the car is experiencing anything higher than that, there's a problem somewhere in the electrical system.
That's good to know. Both cars were used and I doubt very seriously that the dealership took the time to install/maintain a new battery for each car.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Were the cars new or used?

If they were new Elises at Lotus dealerships, they are probably older models that have been sitting on the showroom floor for quite some time (some out there have been around for over a year now without being sold, that are still 'new' models)- If that is the case, the cars are probably not driven enough to charge the battery and they probably do not have a battery tender on them, so yes, the batteries drain over time, even the large OEM lead acid one. A good dealer should not let this happen though.

If they are used cars, the previous owner like many of us may have installed a lighter battery, like a Braile or a Deka, which has less capacity and will drain far quicker than the OEM battery if not charged. For instance, I have the smallest Braile AGM battery and without using a battery tender, it will not start after only 2 days of sitting.

The current draw isn't any more than any other car out there really.

I have also found though that it can be easy to accidentally hit the interior rear panel light when getting things out of the car and turn it on, which will drain the battery in a day or so. Done this several times.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have found that I cannot go any more then 2 weeks before the OEM battery is too weak to start the engine.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Battery Tenders are a must! Or deactivate the damn alarm. People want to steal it, they'll just pick it up and walk away anyway.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Battery Tenders are a must! Or deactivate the damn alarm. People want to steal it, they'll just pick it up and walk away anyway.
Is there a preferred battery tender/battery combination?
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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2 weeks for me too, then battery dead. I guess alarm system uses a lot of juice.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Guys - is your little red immobiliser light flashing every time you get into the car? Reprogram the alarm to disable that "passive arming" feature and save juice. even better, tap into the 12vdc supply to the alarm module itself, and hook up a switch to enable/disable alarm operation. That will kill 100% of the alarm/immobiliser loads when you switch the system off.. This will buy you time & juice. CTEK makes a great tender/charger, mine is hardwired in my car.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Deltran Battery Tender. 1 amp size for big battery.500ma size for an Odyssey 625/680 or Braille
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:08 AM   #11 (permalink)
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After surgery earlier this year mine sat two months and started right up. After second surgery and another 6 weeks the battery was dead. Stock battery and immobilizer is always activated.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I purchased my Elise in January 2008 and it was an '07 that sat around for a while. I would let my car sit for weeks sometime while I was out of town and it always started. I never had a problem with the battery. About 6 months ago my battery went dead. I purchased a new battery and haven't experienced any problems leaving it sit for extended periods of time. It just seems that after about 4 years the battery wouldn't hold a charge anymore but it was completely fine up until that point.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kloftus1044 View Post
Is there a preferred battery tender/battery combination?
Not really per se.
tho I kinda lean towards the Battery MindR because it has a Desulfate mode.

The simple fact is that most modern cars have alarms and stuff that very slowly drain a battery.
And if left on their own for weeks without re-charging, they will completely drain.
..and then, (from my experience), if left in that condition for an extended period of time (which can be often at a dealership), the battery will never be the same.

So what you end up with is a battery that isn't as good at holding a charge for nearly as long as a new battery, holding a full charge for only a few days instead of a few weeks.

So the dealer might be able to charge it up, and it'll appear fine to someone test driving it, only to be "dead" days later.

The solution is to keep that brand new battery topped-up at all times using a battery tender or similar, and it'll last you many years without going dead.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:57 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I highly recommend to anyone that doesn't drive their car enough to top off their batteries or leaves the car alone for too long (several days) to buy a deep cycle battery. These are designed to be discharged fully (to clarify by fully I don't mean to completely down to 0V but to a level that can't provide a usable charge). Lead acid batteries that are not deep cycle will suffer reduced max charge if left to discharge excessively (below 12v), which can easily happen on most cars left alone for a week or two (depending on size). My Evora's 72AH battery will discharge down to 12.2 in just a week. That means it won't fire up.


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Old 11-11-2012, 07:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Where would u find a deep cycling battery?

Any specific brands?
Any specific stores?
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Any specific brands?
Any specific stores?
plenty of very useful information here:
Battery Choices and Information

No need to repeat it that conversation.

BTW, if you want to fore go all the hassles with potential dead batteries, get a Chimera CBS battery. Lithium batteries are far superior to lead acid batteries and of them LiFePo4 batteries are the safest battery chemistry to date, have an extremely low self-discharge rate. While they are considerably more expensive, they offer low voltage protection circuitry which in the long run will save you the pain and headache dealing with a dead batteries. So I think they are an excellent investment.. Not to mention the Chimera CBS is a work of art. Anyway you can find out more about them here:
Chimera CBS Battery
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:22 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Yea, deactivate immobilizer, its a pain in the ass anyway. Battery tender too.
If someone steals your car they deserve to (not keeping good enough eye on it?), besides, I don't believe it will be too hard to spot for the police.


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Old 11-12-2012, 08:54 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Even with the immobilizer disarmed, the parasitic drain from the alarm, immobilizer, ECU and radio is sufficient to drain the battery within a short time.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:21 AM   #19 (permalink)
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My stock and my year old deep cycling battery will not start the engine after 3-4 days of inactivity.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:06 AM   #20 (permalink)
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My stock and my year old deep cycling battery will not start the engine after 3-4 days of inactivity.
Hmmm. How big is the battery? If it is of a decent size (like 72AH or higher), then it should handle 3-4 days, unless you live in a very cold climate, then all bets are off.

While deep-cycle batteries are are designed to be overdrawn, letting them discharge completely can still damage them (excessive sulfation). If your lead acid battery has ever dropped below 12.0V, it's considered discharged.
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