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Car battery died on the road. After a while it restarted. What to do next?

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Hello all,

My car temporarily stalled on the road today for about 20 minutes I think because the battery was drained (I think could be wrong).

 

I accidentally left an inside light on and was using the radio, light air conditioner etc for 1.5hrs.

 

The car eventually started once I turned all non-essential electronics off and left the engine on and then I drove home.

 

Can anyone advice what to do next?

 

The car was driving fine for the 45min journey afterwards.

 

Shall I leave the car on for a while?

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Probably best to have the battery tested for a damaged cell, most tyre/battery suppliers will do this. And maybe visit a Toyota dealer and explain what happened and have them check the car. Both will cost, but probably worth it.

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Hello there and all reading,

Thanks for the reply, I will get it checked.

When I breaked during a minor traffic jam and then tried to accelerate again it wouldn't go forward.

I tried switching gears, reversing a little and nothing worked.

Then I turned off all the lights except the headlights and the hazard lights. Then I switched the engine off.

After about 5 minutes I restarted the car and it was OK again and went forward as normal.

And I drived for about 45mins after to get home.

Does this indicate any specific problem?

 

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It's possible the battery is just old, and weak, and 1.5 hrs is quite a load on it. 45 min should be sufficient to charge for the car to start tomorrow., if the car was driven with minimum electricity usage, no radio, lights etc.

You have to remember all those things are putting a load on the battery. When starting the car,  all appliances should be turned off so all the power can go to the started, atleast that's how i was tought.  IF you have a multimeter, you can check the battery voltage,  dont do it after it was driven, but maybe 1 hr later.  You can use this to get some idea of battery state

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Thanks,

This car is now 10 years old (08 reg).

It's been fantastically reliable and never had any issues in the two years I have driven it, this the first issue I have had.

Hopefully it will not be too expensive when I take it to a garage.

Does this sound like a transmission problem maybe?

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Invest in a battery charger so you can keep the battery maintained. I fully recharge the battery before winter and beginning of spring, never had a power issue in over 10 years.

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Do you think it's just a car battery issue?

Hopefully it is!

Will find out from the garage tomorrow. Hopefully not expensive :sad:

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9 hours ago, TAuris said:

Invest in a battery charger so you can keep the battery maintained. I fully recharge the battery before winter and beginning of spring, never had a power issue in over 10 years.

What sort of battery charger did you purchase. I understand as the 12v battery is an AGM 12v it cannot be connected to just any charger. 

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Pretty unlikely to be a transmission problem, although it could still be something as minor as a dirty battery terminal. (Are you getting any red charging lights on the dashboard, BTW?)

But on balance, the odds are on a  kn@ckered old battery which really shouldn't cost a lot to replace. At ten years I'd imagine that it's already had one replacement - even the factory-fitted ones don't often last much more than six, and the cheapos from Kwik-Fit will probably only last for four or five at most.

If you get the choice, pay the extra for silver or gold quality batteries. If you decide to change it yourself, I've had very good home delivery service from Tayna. The advantage is convenience and cost saving. The disadvantage is that you've then got to take your old battery to the recycling centre :sad:

 

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8 hours ago, Catlover said:

What sort of battery charger did you purchase. I understand as the 12v battery is an AGM 12v it cannot be connected to just any charger. 

The one on sale atm at Lidl has a mode for AGM batteries (unless they have changed it significantly). It's a 4A charger iirc so not the fastest in the world but they are hard to beat for value at ~£14.

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Has anyone else had this problem?

Wondering what the solution was?

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You drained the battery with 1.5hrs of usage, which is quite a lot, especially if it's a few yrs old. Problem is probably that you tried to start the car with electronics on, and your battery was low on power. You drove, battery recharged, and that's it.

Pretty normal, had it couple of times on my old car, once i had my hazards on, and i was starting the car, hazards went on, car went haywire because of sudden drop of power, and ECU reset itself and did a test. Turned them off, start the car, drive away, then just did a longer drive to recharge the battery.

Just test it with a multimeter to know where you are at, you probably recharged it by now. If battery is low, replace before next winter starts.

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I just measured the battery terminal voltage on my Auris (8yr old inc battery) and got 12.33V. This is after having stood for 72 hours at around 6C on average (garaged). For curiosity I connected an old style charger of only a couple of amps capacity to see how well it would accept any charge and was rather surprised to see the voltage rise to 15V after only a minute or so. That implies the battery was already fairly well charged.

A good 'try at home' test is to switch on headlights and heated window for several minutes while monitoring the battery voltage. A healthy battery should have no problem supporting this load for a considerable time (a couple of hours for a brand new fully charged battery but I wouldn't recommend you go that far). If it holds up for 10 minutes or so without the voltage heading south then the battery shouldn't be causing any problems when driving/starting.

A ten or fifteen minute discharge like this should also put a full load on the alternator when you start up and the battery accepts the full output of the alternator. Don't be alarmed if the vehicle starts and then stalls as the ECU won't be expecting the additional load of the alternator in those first few seconds of running. Just restart and keep the revs up a little for 30 seconds or so. All should be normal after that and the battery should soon regain the lost charge.  

 

    

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You measured the battery while on the charger?  In that case the 15v is normal, on alternator it would show around 14.4 to 15v while it's charging it.

When you charge the battery, you should leave it to sit a few hours to get an accurate reading, doing it so after 1 minute will just give you false reading saying it's fully charged, even on almost unusable ones.

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I was monitoring the voltage on charge to see how quickly it climbed from the 12.33V rest state. This old charger would take it considerably over 15V if left.

Seeing 15V wasn't a surprise, it was the fact it reached that within a minute or so while drawing little current. That indicates a fully charged battery which was a little unexpected with it having sat for 72 hours.  

Typically if you take even a little charge from a good battery then it will draw considerable current when placed on charge for a short while. Just long enough to replace the lost charge, then the current will reduce rapidly. That didn't seem to occur here. The central locking had been used a couple of times and there would also be a little self discharge from standing. The battery behaved as though it were fully charged.

At 8yr old it still seems to perform well, although its likely the internal resistance of the battery has increased somewhat in that time which would partially account for the effect I noticed.

I did similar to our old Corolla last winter (it sees minimal mileage and can stand a week without use) and recall a reading of 12.17 volts (so low charge state) and here the same charger took a couple of hours for the voltage on charge to rise toward 15V. 

      

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