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    I don't know if it's the cold, or the fact I'm hardly driving it, but my car battery keeps dying, well about 3 times now.

    It usually does it when I start the engine. But yesterday, I drove about 15 mins, then stalled when parking ( don't think it appreciated trying to reverse uphill on ice), and it died. I couldn't start it again for about 10 mins and had to move the car just off the handbrake.

    Is it safe to drive it today? I don't want it to cut out half way through central london where I'd really cause problems.
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    I wouldnt drive it for now if i were you. But i seriously would think about getting a new battery.
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    The cold doesn't help battery life but the fact that you drove for 15 minutes and it still couldn't start the car after that makes me think it's not charging properly. Sounds like it's time for a new one. I wouldn't drive it with an almost dead battery.
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    Okay thanks guys. I'll take it to Kwikfit in the morning for a battery check
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    Ring before you set off, they're not guaranteed to be open tomorrow.
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    Have you been doing lots of short journeys? If so the battery may not have been given enough chance to charge. The cold won't help, and it's also worth checking the electrolyte levels if it's not a sealed battery. I'd be inclined to whack it on a battery charger if you've got one and take it from there (if not a decent length drive would be a good alternative). If the battery warning light comes on when you turn the ignition on but goes off when the engine starts then you won't cut out whilst driving - the alternator will keep running the car even if the battery's flat (that's why you can jump start a car then disconnect the leads).
    If you take it to Kwik Fit then there's a 90% chance they'll tell you the battery's knackered, even if it's not at the end of it's life - I wouldn't trust them with my car if I could avoid it!
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    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    Have you been doing lots of short journeys? If so the battery may not have been given enough chance to charge. The cold won't help, and it's also worth checking the electrolyte levels if it's not a sealed battery. I'd be inclined to whack it on a battery charger if you've got one and take it from there (if not a decent length drive would be a good alternative). If the battery warning light comes on when you turn the ignition on but goes off when the engine starts then you won't cut out whilst driving - the alternator will keep running the car even if the battery's flat (that's why you can jump start a car then disconnect the leads).
    If you take it to Kwik Fit then there's a 90% chance they'll tell you the battery's knackered, even if it's not at the end of it's life - I wouldn't trust them with my car if I could avoid it!
    I've mostly been doing short journeys when I worked, about 8 miles each way, but as I lost my job 2 weeks ago, I haven't used it. I've started it a couple of times and left it running for 5 mins to check its working - 2 times it conked out straight away but started again when i next tried the ignition. The only time it's really been a problem was yesterday when it just wouldn't start for 10 minutes after stalling. I know nothing about cars btw. I haven't noticed the battery light at all. There are either normal lights, or no lights at all when it conks out.

    I was going to drive up to North London from south, so about 45 min - 1 hour journey, but I didn't want it to cut out half way there.

    I know Kwik-fit do a free battery check, but yeah, for a new battery it's going to cost £65 there.
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    im getting the same on my bike, the cold brings out the weaknesses in batteries. it sounds like yours in its way out, id start carrying jump leads until the battery is replaced (amusing kwick fit say it needs to be replaced)
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    batts can die pretty abruptly and just stop holding charge - had a similar thing happen to me last winter... That car was 10 years old and still on the factory batery btw. I got a jump start to drive to the supermarket and the battery was too flat to restart the engine. engine had been running 15 minutes - no lights or heavy accessories (like screen heater) running. new battery and the car went for another 18 months before it totally died (so no problem with the charging)

    OTOH the car before that did develop a fault in the charging circuit - the symptom there was the headlights going dim after 40+ mins driving at night (no dashboard warning light btw)... the itself battery was still pretty healthy and would recover enough to start the engine if you left it a few hours - I just couldn't drive at night (because of the headlights) till I had a new alternator.

    If it's an oldish car you might just want a cheap replacement battery to save a bit of money.

    Worth seeing if you've got the radio code handy cos you might need to re-enter that after changing a flat battery.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    batts can die pretty abruptly and just stop holding charge - had a similar thing happen to me last winter... That car was 10 years old and still on the factory batery btw. I got a jump start to drive to the supermarket and the battery was too flat to restart the engine. engine had been running 15 minutes - no lights or heavy accessories (like screen heater) running. new battery and the car went for another 18 months before it totally died (so no problem with the charging)

    OTOH the car before that did develop a fault in the charging circuit - the symptom there was the headlights going dim after 40+ mins driving at night (no dashboard warning light btw)... the itself battery was still pretty healthy and would recover enough to start the engine if you left it a few hours - I just couldn't drive at night (because of the headlights) till I had a new alternator.

    If it's an oldish car you might just want a cheap replacement battery to save a bit of money.

    Worth seeing if you've got the radio code handy cos you might need to re-enter that after changing a flat battery.
    Thanks. Yeah I got the code on me, had a panic when it first happened, but luckily the first owner had written it in the manual. It's an old car, W plate so 2000, but it's been hardly used - 30k mileage. I'll see if I can get my hands on a cheap battery and see if that works. Thanks for the help.
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    FWIW the independant car battery dealer in my town is cheaper than chains like quickfit... tbh he's more honest too quickfit are imo pretty likely to try selling you a top price batt that'll last another 10 years when it'd be a miracle if the car was going to last that long really.
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    (Original post by Zebrastripes)
    I've mostly been doing short journeys when I worked, about 8 miles each way, but as I lost my job 2 weeks ago, I haven't used it. I've started it a couple of times and left it running for 5 mins to check its working - 2 times it conked out straight away but started again when i next tried the ignition. The only time it's really been a problem was yesterday when it just wouldn't start for 10 minutes after stalling. I know nothing about cars btw. I haven't noticed the battery light at all. There are either normal lights, or no lights at all when it conks out.

    I was going to drive up to North London from south, so about 45 min - 1 hour journey, but I didn't want it to cut out half way there.

    I know Kwik-fit do a free battery check, but yeah, for a new battery it's going to cost £65 there.
    Doesn't sound much like a battery fault to be honest. If the engine's cutting out there's another fault - the battery may or may not be dead. Also a battery won't recover it's charge spontaneously, so leaving it shouldn't solve anything. What happens when you it won't start? Does it turn over, and not start, does it try and turn over but not have enough power, does it not do anything?
    As far as taking it to Kwik Fit's concerned, I'd be more inclined to just buy the new battery - they'll almost certainly sell you a new battery or something else, so may as well buy one somewhere cheaper. Think my brother's 206 battery was about £30 a couple of years ago at ECP. Altenatively, do you own a multimeter or ar you a member of a breakdown service? They'll normally do battery diagnoses.
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    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    Doesn't sound much like a battery fault to be honest. If the engine's cutting out there's another fault - the battery may or may not be dead. Also a battery won't recover it's charge spontaneously, so leaving it shouldn't solve anything. What happens when you it won't start? Does it turn over, and not start, does it try and turn over but not have enough power, does it not do anything?
    As far as taking it to Kwik Fit's concerned, I'd be more inclined to just buy the new battery - they'll almost certainly sell you a new battery or something else, so may as well buy one somewhere cheaper. Think my brother's 206 battery was about £30 a couple of years ago at ECP. Altenatively, do you own a multimeter or ar you a member of a breakdown service? They'll normally do battery diagnoses.
    First two times this happened, the lights on the dash lit up, then when straight out. But the engine started the second time I did the ignition. Yesterday, I stalled, and tried to start it up but nothing happened, no lights, no engine sounds.

    Yeah I've searched online, most have them for £30-50 for a new battery, whereas Kwikfit were quoting £65 on their website.

    Yup I have a multimeter, no idea how to use it though, no instructions with it.
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    (Original post by Zebrastripes)
    First two times this happened, the lights on the dash lit up, then when straight out. But the engine started the second time I did the ignition. Yesterday, I stalled, and tried to start it up but nothing happened, no lights, no engine sounds.

    Yeah I've searched online, most have them for £30-50 for a new battery, whereas Kwikfit were quoting £65 on their website.

    Yup I have a multimeter, no idea how to use it though, no instructions with it.
    So the lights don't light up on the dashboard either, then trying again sometimes makes the car start? That's not a flat battery but could be a poor connection in the ignition barrel (or somewhere else in the system). I can tell you how to use a multimeter to check the battery and alternator are working properly, but I don't think that's the problem. When the car's not started and then later it does, does the engine turn over strongly or is it quite weak and struggling?
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    I'd have a look at the battery then the alternator and check its working fine. After that work your way from the battery to the spark plugs?
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    Can you explain how leaving the car for 10 mins allows you to start it again? (unless you used jump leads or a charger?)
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    (Original post by motorsportUK)
    Can you explain how leaving the car for 10 mins allows you to start it again? (unless you used jump leads or a charger?)
    Maybe it's not the battery, I know nothing about cars. I took it to Kwik Fit as everywhere was closed yesterday, they realed off things I didn't understand and told me to come back on Wednesday. So I'll take it to a local garage tomorrow.
    But I drove it to north london and back yesterday/today and it was fine. Maybe it was just dying because it hadn't been driven in a few weeks.

    Thanks to everyone who helped
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    (Original post by Zebrastripes)
    Maybe it's not the battery, I know nothing about cars. I took it to Kwik Fit as everywhere was closed yesterday, they realed off things I didn't understand and told me to come back on Wednesday. So I'll take it to a local garage tomorrow.
    But I drove it to north london and back yesterday/today and it was fine. Maybe it was just dying because it hadn't been driven in a few weeks.

    Thanks to everyone who helped
    Sorry if I seemed short I was just trying to establish facts to help you out

    Once a battery is flat it can only been recharged via a charger,jumping it,or via the alternator (car needs to run for this). Or you can bump start the car.

    If the car cut out and restarted the battery is fine otherwise the car would not have restarted, did any fault lights come up on the dash? what car is it? are you running any extra electrical stuff like a CD player that has been installed?

    It could be a number of things I would take it to a reliable garage (not kwik fit) and get a proper diagnoses done although if its an intermittent fault it might be hard to pick up!
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    My Landrover is a diesel so once it's going it will happily chug along with no battery (you won't have any leccy items working mind). I just bought a Bosch battery for £125 seems to do the trick
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    I wouldn't drive it. Call someone about getting a new battery ASAP.
 
 
 
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