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Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Audi
Satisfied Customers: 22745
Experience:  BEng hons Mech engineering, in auto industry 22 years
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I've been having a recurring problem with new batteries

Customer Question

Hi, I've been having a recurring problem with new batteries where my car will not start. It gradually dies after being parked somewhere, never stalls while driving. It's happened under all different conditions- different seasons and with or without lights on, or phone charging or not charging in 12V port. Each time I jump it, drive it for 15-20 min and it's fine. This past time I got the message ESP fault when restarting. I read that the ESP needs to function first before the engine can turn over. Initially each time this happens the car lights turn on and flicker making a flicker noise then eventually everything is dead- no lights or sounds. My husband thinks it's because I'm constantly driving the car for only bet short distances daily when I pick my son up from school and drop him off (not even a mile away). Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I have an Audi A3 2009.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Audi
Expert:  Matt replied 2 years ago.
Hello this sounds like the battery may not being chargedI'd first check the easy things like is the boot light or any other interior light staying on then check that the main battery connections are tight and in good condition also check the earth strap to the engine / gearbox. Next I'd check the current drain aspect, the best way to find what circuit is causing the excessive currant drain is to fit a current sensing multimeter in series with the positive battery lead on the car and the battery, or use a current clamp meter on the battery positive cable. A typical current drain with everything off and un-alarmed should be around 0.05Amp and if its higher than this remove a fuse and re-measure, if measurement doesn't change then replace the fuse and remove the next. Onceyou've isolated the circuit with the excessive drain check the wiringconnections and plugs to components and the wiring harness that runs by theengine bay fuse box - the wiring harness chaffs / rubs through and gets damaged- but its not always easy to see so be careful when checking.. Also check that the alternator is actually charging the battery in the car by taking a battery voltage reading with the engine off then another with the engine running. The 2nd reading should be higher than the 1st and climbing steadily. And also check that the alternator is secure to the engine as this provides the ground for the charging circuit and make sure that the engine / gearbox earth strap is secure and the contacts are clean and bright. if the alternator appears not to be working - take it to a electrical specialist and ask them to test it as sometimes you can replace just the diode pack and this will repair the alternator without requiring replacement And one last thingis – how old is the battery? – As even good quality ones need replacing every 5 years and faulty battery just won’t hold a charge
Expert:  Matt replied 2 years ago.


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