Cars can be Coronavirus casualties too

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Robert T
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Joined: Mon 12 Jun, 2006 11:35
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  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Cheshire

Cars can be Coronavirus casualties too

Post by Robert T » Fri 03 Apr, 2020 18:38

Just thought I'd regale today's tale of woe, in the hope that you are having a better day than me!

Went shopping this morning in the zed, and was waiting for my other half to emerge from the supermarket after what seemed like a very long time. Security guard asked me to move off the pick up area, which I dutifully said I would, turn the key and clickety-clickety-click. Yes, the joyous sound of a flat, but not quite dead battery. Told him what had happened and he wants me to call the AA, which is likely to take at least an hour. So I said, I could walk home and fetch some jump leads, and see if one of my neighbours would give me a hand with a car to jump it from.

Got the leads, no problem, but neighbours all seem to have had the same idea to go shopping today as well, so walk back with the leads hoping the security guard might offer me a jump start. No such luck. So I simply flagged down the first big car that came past, which happened to be a BMW X5. Nice driver happy to help a fellow BMW driver, so we were soon up and running.

Drove to my local BMW specialist, who is of course closed due to Coronavirus, so no option but to drive on round to Halfords and see if they were open. They were, in an ad hoc fashion, with a cashier sat in the doorway and a gofer to get things off the shelves. Finished up with a Yuasa with a 5 year warranty for £122. It is almost identical to the one on the car, and it does have a hydrogen vent (two in fact), and all I had to do is swap which end was plugged.

The fiddliest part was the retaining bracket on the battery, which needed a long extension on my socket set to reach it. The battery was off for a while whilst I found it, and on reconnecting it seemed to run a bit rough for a few minutes. But it has just run fine on the 25 mile round trip to deliver the shopping.

Only issue I have now is to reset the service indicator, as this is now showing Oil Service when it should have 3 green lights, which I will do tomorrow.

So how is this down to Coronavirus. Well, the battery was fine whilst the car was being used every day, but it hasn't moved for 10 days thanks to lockdown, and the short journey to the supermarket wasn't enough to put enough back in to restart the engine. My zed just had her 21st Birthday at the end of March, and although the original battery failed under warranty after around 2 years, the replacement BMW Germany one had been on the car for 19 years! Yes, you read that right, NINETEEN YEARS! No trickle-charger, or any special treatment, just regular driving of the car!

Cheers R.
Arctic Silver '99 Z3 1.9 & Black '59 Frogeye 1275cc
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Juvvajuvva
Joined: Sun 06 Nov, 2016 16:52
Posts: 82

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Cars can be Coronavirus casualties too

Post by Juvvajuvva » Mon 06 Apr, 2020 23:14

I have had to take a Yuasa battery back to Halfords 4, yes 4 times during the 5 year warranty.
Now they are saying they won’t replace it again and I correctly informed them that they don’t have a choice!
The Yuasa batteries are s#!te unless you constantly trickle charge them or charge via the alternator almost daily.
And before someone says they’ve had one for 28 years outside in the snow and it’s fine, I had one on my X5 as well as my Zd’s
and I measured the cranking amps regularly and they were super low.
I have now had all of them recycled and bought alternatives.
Good luck Rob and hopefully you won’t have the same experience.
J

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kruisn
Joined: Sat 22 Oct, 2005 23:28
Posts: 397

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Auckland,New Zealand

Re: Cars can be Coronavirus casualties too

Post by kruisn » Wed 15 Apr, 2020 01:01

I have to agree Robert, my original BMW battery lasted 16 years so I replaced it with a BMW battery again (hoping to get another 15 years :shrug :shrug).
Hope you have got your oil service sorted.
Haven't been able to drive “kruisn” for three weeks now so am getting a bit depressed.
But we may get out of level 4 next week and things should ease up a little.
Don't drink and drive home -
Take the Zd and fly home -

///M_aniac
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  M roadster S50
Location: Belfast

Re: Cars can be Coronavirus casualties too

Post by ///M_aniac » Thu 16 Apr, 2020 19:02

Glad you got the Zed sorted, Robert. Nothing worse for cars and batteries than not being driven. That said, at least you got out in the car - happy birthday to it btw.

Hamish is a casualty of Covid-19 too..... but of a different kind. He’s still locked up since last November about 25 miles from my house. I can’t even look at him. :(
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Robert T
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  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Cheshire

Re: Cars can be Coronavirus casualties too

Post by Robert T » Sat 18 Apr, 2020 17:47

Well a bit disappointing to hear that people have been having trouble with Yuasa batteries. I have to say, that had circumstances been different, I would have ordered one from BMW via my local indy, but he was closed, and even if he had been open, if there had been no stock in the UK, we might also have had problems getting one. My zed is my daily driver, so hopefully I won't run into problems with it suffering a deep discharge and not being able to recover.

I did manage to sort the service lights, thank you kruisn. It took a bit of faffing about to get INPA running under Windows 10 on my old laptop, but I managed it before the laptop battery went flat! LOL. We've just been told we're in lockdown for at least another 3 weeks, so I'm trying to keep the engine running as long as possible when I do take her out, to try and build up charge in the battery rather than depleting it with lots of restarts.

Thanks, Conor. I should really treat her to a birthday wax. She's still got her hardtop on at the moment, but at least she and the frog live at home. I serviced the carb on the frog a few weeks back and cleaned and re-oiled the airfilter, but not had a chance to give it a run yet.

Whilst we're on about batteries and jump starting, has anyone any experience (good or bad) of the new Li-ion jump start packs? I was contemplating buying one, as I often have to jump start the frog if it hasn't been out for a bit, and it is faff having to jump it from the zed. They strike me as being useful as they are so compact, and can be tucked in the car for rescuing others at car shows and weekend trips. However the reviews were very mixed, and a number of people reported that they wouldn't start a car that then jump started fine from another car.

Cheers R.
Arctic Silver '99 Z3 1.9 & Black '59 Frogeye 1275cc
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motco
Joined: Tue 18 Aug, 2009 19:12
Posts: 701

  Z3 roadster 2.2i

Re: Cars can be Coronavirus casualties too

Post by motco » Sun 19 Apr, 2020 09:18

I worked as a manufacturer in the electronic security industry for more than twenty years and Yuasa gel-cell standby batteries batteries were regarded as the gold standard. Obviously standards have become tarnished in the interim!

jsebright
Joined: Sun 02 Sep, 2012 12:04
Posts: 13

  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: North East Somerset

Re: Cars can be Coronavirus casualties too

Post by jsebright » Sat 02 May, 2020 17:28

Robert T wrote:Whilst we're on about batteries and jump starting, has anyone any experience (good or bad) of the new Li-ion jump start packs?.
I was having Z4 battery problems a few years ago and bought a jump starter - about £60 I think. It's like magic, works brilliantly even when the battery is completely flat and is very easy to use. Much easier when helping someone else out to just use that than jump starting. You can do several restarts and the charge indicator remains on 100%.
Mine also has a torch function, usb power out and a laptop charging function with lots of adapters but not one which fits my laptop.

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