Leaving the C5 X7 for 6 weeks in winter.
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Thread: Leaving the C5 X7 for 6 weeks in winter.

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    Fellow Frogger! tasie C5's Avatar
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    Default Leaving the C5 X7 for 6 weeks in winter.

    Went for a winter break to Cooktown/ Cairns and points south to Brisbane.
    On out return our son picked up the C5 from a friends place in Lonny. She started OK. He went to work for a while and tried to start the car without any response. After several goes the car started. Fortunately on our arrival it started first time. The following morning all was well. We returned home (2 hour drive) and assumed a full charge would result. Next day a short drive to the shops resulted in a no start. RACT was called and diagnosed low battery voltage. This seemed strange as all the functions (lights/locking/etc) all worked.
    So got the biggest battery that would fit in the car and with confidence turned the ignition to start. The same symptoms persisted. My conclusion then was there is a more serious fault. Called the RACT again and Dale the local RACT bloke arrived with his flat tray to take the car to a mechanic. He had done some research after his morning visit as I had told him his new battery remedy had not worked. He did some jiggling around with the ignition switch Then tested the fuses in the engine bay. He found a 25amp fuse blown. This was replaced and the car started.
    He said the fuse was there to protect the electrics from gross under voltage starting usage.
    Conclusion. When leaving the car for a long period in cold weather, isolate the battery.

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    Last edited by tasie C5; 28th July 2017 at 10:01 AM. Reason: fused = fuses

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    I have a C-Tec 0.8 amp multi stage charger which you can genuinely leave on for weeks on end. Worth the money IMO. I got it on special for $49.

    However, when I went to US/France/UK for six weeks and before I had the C-Tec, I put a three stage 4 amp Projecta charger on the 405's battery and used a quality digital timer to come on twice a week for about 90 mins. When we came back, the battery was in top shape.


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    Fellow Frogger! tasie C5's Avatar
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    Thanks for that Stuey.
    The fuse was for the starter motor protection. Don't understand why it blew? The prongs on the fuse showed scorch marks, so it got pretty hot. To a person with limited knowledge of electric circuits its difficult to imagine low voltage doing the damage. I wonder if there is a fault with the starter. Its functioning OK now. Allan

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    UFO
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    Quote Originally Posted by tasie C5 View Post
    Thanks for that Stuey.
    The fuse was for the starter motor protection. Don't understand why it blew? The prongs on the fuse showed scorch marks, so it got pretty hot. To a person with limited knowledge of electric circuits its difficult to imagine low voltage doing the damage. I wonder if there is a fault with the starter. Its functioning OK now. Allan
    It sounds like the fuse is the sacrifice instead of the internals of the starter motor being overly taxed. A fuse is a bucket load cheaper than a starter motor.
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    Fellow Frogger! tasie C5's Avatar
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    You are right UFO but what caused the fuse to blow.

    However, now I have the biggest battery that will fit in the space the car does not always start the first time. When the ignition is turned to start there is a click from the starter solenoid but no starter. After up to 4 goes off she goes, instantly. She also may start first time.
    Is there a remedy for this? Is there a reset procedure after changing a low voltage battery to a new one.
    Allan

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    The battery fitted to the C5 by the factory was 70AH 720A European Norm, Enhanced Flooded (ie an EFB). Starting from very cold can raise the current draw. The attempts may be heating the engine via the glow plugs.

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    Fellow Frogger! tasie C5's Avatar
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    The battery I got was an AC DELCO 70AH 680A.
    I'm not sure what you mean seasink. Do the glow plugs function before the starter turns the motor?
    Because the starter is not functioning at the first attempt with the new battery fitted, what can cause this problem. If I persist in starting the car with this fault, can I cause further problems?
    Allan.

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    Hi Allan,

    My guess is that you will need a new starter. Not what you want to hear.

    The fact that the starter fuse went would be the first sign.

    If i go away for any extended time I leave it trickle charging with one of the c-tek chargers. Not that this is a sure fire way of preventing this scenario. Cars like to be used they get cranky when not used for extended periods.
    Regards,

    Garth.


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    Sounds like you need a new starter. If you are in Hobart with it one day I can check it out. Are you going to the lakes next Saturday?
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    I don't have the glow plug manual for the RHH DW10C motor (Delphi), but I do for the 2.2 HDI (Bosch). For that, the plugs operate as preheaters for 0.5s up to 15s, depending on coolant temperature. Let's say 0.5s for you in non-mountain Tasmania. They are engaged during the cranking phase. After starting they continue on for up to 180s. Postheating stops at 50 deg or 1500 rpm.

    The DV4 motor (Delphi) starts the plugs for 0 to 10s depending on the coolant temperature setting. Postheating is stopped at 2500 rpm.

    I expect that the DW10C would be similar, which means you are getting some preheating before it does fire..

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    Fellow Frogger! tasie C5's Avatar
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    Thanks Gerry. Lakes??? Fishing?? (Hope you are enjoying Tasie).

    Seasink. First thing this morning ( frosty) it started first time. Subsequent starts up to 3 times (not cranking).
    Should I turn the ignition on for a few seconds before engaging the starter like latter day diesels.
    I will heed the advice re. a trickle charger. I have a 4 amp one, I don't know if it senses when the battery is charged fully and stops charging then kicks in as it discharges (trickle charging?).
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    Allan, some of the charger manufacturers pretend theirs can be left on indefinitely, but they can't. My Projecta 4 amp (well, 4300 mA) one is supposed to be like this, but the third stage supposed trickle actually keeps the battery gassing (sort of like boiling, but not) and would eventually harm the battery. It's probably ok like this for a day or so. On saying that, Projecta do make chargers with a more sophisticated charging regime that would be ok. Mine has a trickle mode that uses a pulsed charge, but only fluctuates between something like 13.2v and 14.4v every 10 seconds or so, which is too high IMO.

    The C-Tek (Garth, I knew C-Tec looked wrong!) doesn't make the battery gas off at all (or maybe minimally). Mind you, it is very low in output. I bought it only for its trickle charge capability as I have a honking great 20 amp old school thing that you can almost weld with, the aformentioned Projecta, and the C-Tek. I have built a charge controller circuit I copied from Silicon chip magazine to put in the 20 amper which will be switchable.

    Garth, can I ask - I boost my car's batteries occasionally without disconnecting the battery. Will this cause damage? I always connect the leads first then switch on to avoid sparks (and spikes). A few of our cars only do short journeys so I like to make sure the batteries are kept fully charged.

    Cheers

    Stuey


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    Stuey, what a statement of modern times!! "A few of our cars...."

    We've just left both Scenics for 6-7 weeks for a long trip OS. No precautions taken, no chargers and both started first go on our return.

    The R8 started first go (after manually pumping the carby full of fuel). The 4CV started first go.

    So, all Renaults perfectly well behaved.

    By contrast, the CX had an absolutely dead flat battery - I'd forgotten to disconnect it, despite knowing there's a slight current bleed in there somewhere. Took two days to charge it!!!

    I think the idea of a timer to charge a wee bit periodically is a really good idea. I don't really trust the electronically controlled chargers to be left unchecked for 6 weeks or so.
    JohnW

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    Hi Stuey,

    I charge all my cars these days without disconnecting the battery. I never used to do this but with the C-Tek chargers I believe they are smart enough. I think there is more chance of spiking the cars electrics disconnecting and reconnecting the battery every time you charge it, apart from having to reprogram the radio every time.

    If you look at the C-Tek catalogue there are plenty of accessories to use with it. One of them is a cigarette lighter (the male side) so I guess that is suggesting you can charge it through the cigarette lighter that doesn't involve disconnecting the battery. Trouble is though most cars lighter sockets are only powered with the ignition on or in accessories.

    I may not connect up your 20 amp monster without disconnecting the battery though.

    BTW I don't think it is a glow plug issue, just by the fact that the starter is going click click and not rotating. Glow plugs would be lots of cranking and no starting.
    Regards,

    Garth.


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    Allan, as you say the fuse terminals were quite burnt I would be checking the fuse box contacts and ensuring you have good clean contact with the replacement fuse. There appears to be 6 fuses for the starter the 25amp being F8.



    A question for Seasink/David S/Greg?
    Just to throw the cat among the pigeons it would be interesting to know if the 'Client/Park' shunt fuse could be used when the car is to be laid up for extended periods. This shuts down all non-essential functions to preserve and extend battery condition pre-delivery.



    Cheers
    Chris
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    I have my "non regular" cars fitted with two pin sockets, direct to battery, and just plug the electronically-controlled charger in. Works really well.
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    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by tasie C5 View Post
    Thanks for that Stuey.
    The fuse was for the starter motor protection. Don't understand why it blew? The prongs on the fuse showed scorch marks, so it got pretty hot. To a person with limited knowledge of electric circuits its difficult to imagine low voltage doing the damage. I wonder if there is a fault with the starter. Its functioning OK now. Allan
    Not sure if this is your situation Allan, but an electric motor draws substantially more current when it is stalled, i.e. before it starts moving. So although it is counter intuitive, a lower than designed voltage can result in a much higher sustained high current and hence the blown fuse.

    Hopefully this is what's happened here - and you get many years more service out of your starter motor...

    Cheers,
    Andrew

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    Thanks Garth. I agree about the 20 amp charger. It's about 15 kilos and the size of an arc welder. I'm attached to it though, as I got it from the deceased estate of a friend's Dad, and it was made in WA when things like that happened! Hence the updating with a modern controller circuit (not visibly obvious of course). It also does 6v, so that's how old it is.


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    Thank you all. I'l check all of the fuse contacts GreenBlood. That parking/client thing is interesting. I wonder what it shuts down. Is it something you remove when required.
    It seems from all the comments re. the solenoid clicking with no response from the starter is bad news leading to a possible replacement. However because it's is intermittent and starts as normal sometimes I wonder if there is a fault reset that may cure it. Would a diagnostic computer help to clear whatever faults show up.
    Thanks Andrewj for giving some hope.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    I think the idea of a timer to charge a wee bit periodically is a really good idea. I don't really trust the electronically controlled chargers to be left unchecked for 6 weeks or so.
    Just for info I have, more than once, left my battery on charge for 3 months with one of the electronic chargers. The battery is now five years old and still ok.
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    Regards,

    Garth.


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    Quote Originally Posted by XM Mechanic View Post
    Just for info I have, more than once, left my battery on charge for 3 months with one of the electronic chargers. The battery is now five years old and still ok.
    I'm sure they should be fine. I'm just not game to leave a car plugged in unattended for so long if I'm away. I ought to take the battery out I guess, but it IS a pain in the CX (start by removing the grill....).

    Thanks for sharing the experience of course.

    Cheers
    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by tasie C5 View Post
    Thank you all. I'l check all of the fuse contacts GreenBlood. That parking/client thing is interesting. I wonder what it shuts down. Is it something you remove when required.
    It seems from all the comments re. the solenoid clicking with no response from the starter is bad news leading to a possible replacement. However because it's is intermittent and starts as normal sometimes I wonder if there is a fault reset that may cure it. Would a diagnostic computer help to clear whatever faults show up.
    Thanks Andrewj for giving some hope.
    That is why I have a Lexia in the back of my C5.
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    FWIW I used to use one of those solar panel things on the D when it was parked in the garage in Lilyfield. There was a large north facing window that was near the car and easy to run the cables up and over to the battery. It kept the battery in good nick.

    I have one of those CTek chargers that I now use on the D and even put the direct connectors on. Never had a problem.

    Further, we've had several occasions when we went o/s and the C5 (back on topic) was not started for weeks. Never a problem. Ignition on, wait a couple of secs - VOOM. The C4 is similar.
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    I always wait about 7 secs (square sceen goes off) till i turn the starter.
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