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Completely flat engine battery
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userDaves
Posted: 27 July 2020 6:03 PM
Subject: Completely flat engine battery
 
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Location: Sheringham 2014 AutoSleeper Symbol


My 2014 A/S Symbol has been unused but permanently hooked up since lock down. Went to check things out and the vehicle battery is completely dead....like 0.00 volts!! The Leisure battery appears fine. It has the EC500 PSU which I thought would keep both batteries in optimal condition. What’s gone wrong and how can I get the battery up to 12v? It’s currently disconnected and on a standard battery charger. However, the charger shows charging at 0 Amps!
usercolin
Posted: 27 July 2020 6:13 PM
Subject: RE: Completely flat engine battery
 


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I think you have to select the correct mode to charge the vehicle battery, so maybe that's been changed to leisure only. If it's been like that since March I would guess battery is kaput.
userDaves
Posted: 27 July 2020 6:33 PM
Subject: RE: Completely flat engine battery
 
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Thanks Colin. Page 7-20 Section 3.4 of the manual basically says “The EC500 has a Smart charge facility that monitors both leisure and vehicle batteries.......to maintain them at an optimal level”. There is the usual battery change over switch but perhaps naively I thought the EC500 would be Smart enough to do that for me!
I’ll post again when I’ve sorted things out but look forward to more replies.
Daves
userNinian
Posted: 27 July 2020 6:52 PM
Subject: RE: Completely flat engine battery
 
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Hi, If you turn the EC500 off at the panel, i.e. No lights on and then push and hold the top and bottom arrows together you'll enter an internal menu that displays how its set up. You can then scroll through the menu using the up and down arrows until you see the relevant info that you want. You can change as required.

I'm assuming you have the EC480 control panel.

Edited by Ninian 2020-07-27 6:55 PM
userAlanb
Posted: 27 July 2020 7:06 PM
Subject: RE: Completely flat engine battery
 
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Given the zero charge current, the prognosis for the starter battery is negative.

I too would expect the control unit to look after the starter battery without intervention.

I am tempted to speculate that this may be a remedial facility to the original spec, with added spin.
userbuddy
Posted: 27 July 2020 7:29 PM
Subject: RE: Completely flat engine battery
 
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I think that the ECU500 must be left with the power down button in the on position, if not , only the leisure will be charged when solar is fitted and maybe it is the same on EHU. It is also possible that the smart system is not correctly set to charge both batteries. If you go to the Sargent electrical website this information can be found under Manuals>System user manuals>Smart charging (if you do not have this information already)

Edited by buddy 2020-07-27 7:43 PM
userDaves
Posted: 27 July 2020 9:52 PM
Subject: RE: Completely flat engine battery
 
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Location: Sheringham 2014 AutoSleeper Symbol


Many thanks, I’ll give that a go and repost
userDaves
Posted: 27 July 2020 9:53 PM
Subject: RE: Completely flat engine battery
 
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Location: Sheringham 2014 AutoSleeper Symbol


Many thanks.
userDaves
Posted: 27 July 2020 9:56 PM
Subject: RE: Completely flat engine battery
 
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Thanks buddy. Could you possibly send a link to that info. Cheers Daves
userKeithl
Posted: 27 July 2020 10:01 PM
Subject: RE: Completely flat engine battery
 


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buddy - 2020-07-27 7:29 PM
If you go to the Sargent electrical website this information can be found under Manuals>System user manuals>Smart charging (if you do not have this information already)


Daves - 2020-07-27 9:56 PM

Thanks buddy. Could you possibly send a link to that info. Cheers Daves


It is here... https://sargentltd.co.uk/tech-support/article/22/download/372

And the Sargent website is here... https://sargentltd.co.uk/tech-support/article/System-User-Manuals/22

Keith.
userbuddy
Posted: 27 July 2020 11:29 PM
Subject: RE: Completely flat engine battery
 
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Thanks for doing that Keith.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 28 July 2020 8:40 AM
Subject: RE: Completely flat engine battery
 


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Daves - 2020-07-27 6:03 PM

... What’s gone wrong and how can I get the battery up to 12v? It’s currently disconnected and on a standard battery charger. However, the charger shows charging at 0 Amps!


There is a good deal of on-line advice about reviving a completely dead vehicle battery and this 2014 forum discussion may be of interest

https://forums.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/Motorhomes/Motorhome-Matters/Brand-New-Battery-Dead-/33939/

If a multimeter reading of your starter-battery shows zero volts, it’s understandable that a common-or-garden battery-charger won’t recharge it. (What battery-charger are you using, and are you certain it is in working order?)

As Alanb has said, things don’t look good, but you might try taking the battery to a local battery specialist to see if they can resurrect it. But even if they can, I wouldn’t be confident it would remain healthy in the longer term.

(I note that you bought your 2014 Symbol in September 2018. If the starter-battery is the original, it will now be 6 years old and may just have died of old age. 6 years isn’t a bad lifespan for a motorhome’s starter-battery and - if the battery is that age and wont revive - you would probably have been looking for a replacement soon anyway.)
userDaves
Posted: 28 July 2020 11:03 AM
Subject: RE: Completely flat engine battery
 
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Thanks for that Derek. I’ll see if my local garage can resurrect it but I’m inclined not to trust it. I’m sure it’s the original battery so will end up with a new one anyway. Cheers, DaveS
userDaves
Posted: 28 July 2020 6:08 PM
Subject: RE: Completely flat engine battery
 
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Location: Sheringham 2014 AutoSleeper Symbol


Here you go!....... https://youtu.be/gMPuzmhYCQc
This seems to be working. Removed the vehicle battery and connected it to a an old slave I keep topped up. Vehicle battery now up to 11.55V and responding to the (non-smart) charger. Hope it will achieve 13+ volts to put it back in the van. Hope the Sargent Smart charger then keeps it ok.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 29 July 2020 1:34 PM
Subject: RE: Completely flat engine battery
 


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I’m unsure of what your "Vehicle battery now up to 11.55V and responding to the (non-smart) charger” means.

If you are using a voltmeter to take a voltage reading (at the battery’s terminals) while the battery is being charged and the reading is 11.55V, then your battery charger is not working properly (something I queried earlier in this thread).

To effectively recharge a 12V vehicle battery, the battery charger will need to apply a voltage in excess of 14V. A ‘smart’ charger will assess the battery’s charge-state and adjust the voltage accordingly, eventually - when (or if) the battery reaches full-charge - reducing the voltage from above 14V to (say) 13.8V to maintain that charge, or ceasing charging completely.

http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/how-does-a-charger-work.php

Once charging ceases and the battery has been allowed to ‘rest’ for an appropriate period of time, a new good quality wet-acid battery (disconnected from any load) may show a voltage reading at its terminals of 13V (or a little higher) but I’d be amazed if your Symbol’s 6-years-old battery could achieve an ‘at rest’ 13V, particularly given the trauma that it has been subjected to.
userDaves
Posted: 29 July 2020 5:43 PM
Subject: RE: Completely flat engine battery
 
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Location: Sheringham 2014 AutoSleeper Symbol


Thanks Derek
The charger is a CB15 analogue charger that I bought when I lived in Cyprus 15 yrs ago. Here’s a link.
https://www.ronda.lv/welding/params/category/69493/item/410774/
The symbol vehicle battery is still on charge and the charger appears to be putting out 14.5v at 2A.
Did you see the YouTube videoI I posted? That’s how I got the dead battery to accept any charge at all.
I’m not saying the engine battery will be absolutely fine and I may not trust it at 6yrs old, but it was an interesting exercise anyway. I’ll put it back on the van, hook up, check the EC480 Settings, leave the lights on for a while until it goes below 12.4v and see if the PX300 Sargant Smart charger kicks in to recharge it, Cheers, DaveS
userAlanb
Posted: 29 July 2020 5:47 PM
Subject: RE: Completely flat engine battery
 
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The capacity of battery in Ahr, and its internal resistance are also important.

In order to regain confidence in the battery, I suggest that given an acceptable outcome for the voltage after standing for 24 hours, the battery is replaced in the vehicle, and left connected for several days. At the end of this time, the battery must still be able to start the engine without struggling.

My own experience with a battery that had been completely discharged, was that the battery life was severely shortened.

Alan
userDaves
Posted: 29 July 2020 6:34 PM
Subject: RE: Completely flat engine battery
 
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Posts: 42
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Location: Sheringham 2014 AutoSleeper Symbol


Thanks Alan, I’m pragmatic about the outcome. Cheers, DaveS
userwitzend
Posted: 3 August 2020 5:46 PM
Subject: RE: Completely flat engine battery
 


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You can keep the new one charged with a setup like this used it my self for years transfers charge from leisure batterys to engine battery.
http://www.motts.org/BRIDGING%20FUSE.htm
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