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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My new Stepway (july) has had a charging fault for months. Been to the dealers, new battery and still it's running flat. They say charging ok, would show on the dash if it wasn't. It's going back to the dealer after the hols but not sure if it's going to let me down as it seems to be getting worse. I'm at a loss
 

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What do you mean my "running flat". AGM batteries used in start/stop are not charged in the same way as old fashioned flooded batteries and indeed are never fully charged to leave headroom for the smart alternator in braking.

You have an EMM ( Energy Management Module ) doing things behind your back. All to do with reducing emissions.
 

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My new Stepway (july) has had a charging fault for months. Been to the dealers, new battery and still it's running flat. They say charging ok, would show on the dash if it wasn't. It's going back to the dealer after the hols but not sure if it's going to let me down as it seems to be getting worse. I'm at a loss
Put a DC Clamp Meter on the battery lead when the car is not running to see if its drawing excess current.
(A) Many Amps mean something is drawing current from the battery.
Then switch on the headlights and note the current. Start the engine, the current reading should go up meaning the alternator is charging the battery.
Back to (A)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had to take car in last week as I could barely start the engine. A new battery was fitted and i drove it back yesterday. I did a 20 mile run doing 70mph and more. Got home and it said ''Priority Battery Charge''. Today on starting is was showing ''flat battery''. This is nuts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Put a DC Clamp Meter on the battery lead when the car is not running to see if its drawing excess current.
(A) Many Amps mean something is drawing current from the battery.
Then switch on the headlights and note the current. Start the engine, the current reading should go up meaning the alternator is charging the battery.
Back to (A)!
As it's less than 6 months since new you still have the right to reject it and and ask for a refund. As the dealer has had multiple goes at fixing it it might be worth reminding them of this next time it's in. Hopefully that will focus their minds on finding a resolution.
I have had it in only the once, but something to bare in mind
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What do you mean my "running flat". AGM batteries used in start/stop are not charged in the same way as old fashioned flooded batteries and indeed are never fully charged to leave headroom for the smart alternator in braking.

You have an EMM ( Energy Management Module ) doing things behind your back. All to do with reducing emissions.
Is that not a Hybrid
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Put a DC Clamp Meter on the battery lead when the car is not running to see if its drawing excess current.
(A) Many Amps mean something is drawing current from the battery.
Then switch on the headlights and note the current. Start the engine, the current reading should go up meaning the alternator is charging the battery.
Back to (A)!
I don't have a meter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Probably the next thing to do is wait until it fail's, towed in and refuse to have it back. I'm getting cheesed off
 

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Is that not a Hybrid
No unlike conventional alternators, smart alternators can vary the load e.g. reducing the load when accelerating and freewheeling to store energy when braking.

''Priority Battery Charge'' means the start/stop has been disabled to prioritise battery charging. Page 2.14 of the Handbook.

I can find no reference to the message ''flat battery''. A bit of a paradox as how could it display the message with a flat battery.

"Electric Failure DANGER" with red STOP to indicate a charging failure is on Page 1.86.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No unlike conventional alternators, smart alternators can vary the load e.g. reducing the load when accelerating and freewheeling to store energy when braking.

''Priority Battery Charge'' means the start/stop has been disabled to prioritise battery charging. Page 2.14 of the Handbook.

I can find no reference to the message ''flat battery''. A bit of a paradox as how could it display the message with a flat battery.

"Electric Failure DANGER" with red STOP to indicate a charging failure is on Page 1.86.
I forget the term used last week, but the battery was virtualy flat and just turned the engine over. In fact when I opened the door no lights were on the dash, thats how low it was. The term that was used today was ''low battery''. This is a brand new Renault battery, on for 24 hours, the car was driven 20 miles at high speed yesterday, parked in my garage overnight and today like I say it read ''low battery''. I started up and a message came up ''battery charging''. This is past ''priority battery charge'' as it was in a lower state of charge. I have had a number of opinions on here like yourself that this is normal. I have left it and just lived with it in the past because of the opinions on here say that this is ok. I don't know if you think it's normal for a battery to be at a point of failure like last week but I certainly don't. The new battery has solved nothing and can only see things going down hill again. The car at this point is going back to the dealer after hols, if it dosen't fail before hand. After that and still know improvement I may well tell them to keep it. This is a brand new car and I don't know when every time I go to start it what is the state of the battery. I'm losing confidence
 

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It is quite obvious that something is stopping the battery from charging whether it is a control module or the alternator.
I would be putting a meter on the alternator direct and the same meter then on the battery. If the values are different something is wrong in-between the two.
The other possibility is that the controlling current to the alternator is not correct, a wrong value or not even getting there!
Extremely bad show. I would be fuming!
Throw it back at them, demand a courtesy car, don't have it back until they can prove you have a reliable vehicle. Consider getting an auto electrician to visit and check its values and obtain a written report.
 

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Yes I agree something is not right. A good battery should not have lost it's charge overnight. Maybe there is a parasitic load or a fault like the car is not going into sleep mode when left parked.

You could drive a car 20 miles easily, if the battery fitted was well charged as it should have been, without any charging at all.

Hopefully the dealer will get to the bottom of it when you take it back in.

You can get a multi-meter that will serve your purpose for under £10.

A well charged battery should read 12.8 V
Spend most of the time at 12.6 V
In need of a good charging at 12.4 V

So you want to see 12.6 V unless there is a good reason like the lights were left on.

P.S. There should be a battery monitor attached to one of the battery terminals maybe that is duff and feeding false values to the EMM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you Bernard and Daedalus. At last I have some understanding. The charging system is not doing it's job at all, weither it's driving and standing the battery is looseing power. It is not for me to be involved with why this is, that's the job of the dealer. In a way it would be best if the battery failed and so to highlight the problem and will if last week is anything to go by. Such a shame as it's a great car, lovely to drive. See what happens over the hols. Thanks all. Merry Christmas
 

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Just a thought,

If the car is key less, could the acessories have been left on when you think you have turned the engine off. If you normally leave the heater blower on, that could discharge the battery.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Tried the car this morning, battery very low. Rang the dealer for a another car, got nothing and said ring the RAC. Fat lot of good they will be. The last time they couldn't get into the electronics. SOO i've a journey to do tomorrow, almost certain to breakdown then this car will be back at the dealers next week. They can keep it
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It's the 1.0 ltr 90bhp turbo
Got the car running now to charge battery
It almost failed last week
I know it's going to fail me, best it does because I think people are questioning me and I'm somehow responsible for none excistant faults
 

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It's the 1.0 ltr 90bhp turbo
Got the car running now to charge battery
It almost failed last week
I know it's going to fail me, best it does because I think people are questioning me and I'm somehow responsible for none excistant faults
It's not me questioning you sir. Its a process of elimination and it is extremely difficult to help this situation via this format.
As it stands it appears you have a few options.
Get advice from a solicitor or citizens advice.
Get an independent auto electrician to survey the charging circuit and give a report you can take to the dealer.
If it is on finance contact them and inform them that the vehicle is not fit for purpose and the goods are faulty, you are contemplating ceasing payment.
Or go to the dealer and start kicking off in front of punters.
Other than that I'm a bit stuck on what to suggest next.
 
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