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IanjC211
IanjC211, Technician
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I have use of a car that has been having problems starting

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Hello, I have use of a car that has been having problems starting lately. It was acquired 12 months ago, and almost immediately, the battery died, so a new one was put on. 12 months on, it has had starting problems, but has started with jump starting.
JA: Will the headlights turn on? Is the battery fully charged?
Customer: A couple of times when trying to start there was a lot of clicking, but another couple of times it was just completely dead - no noise. I took it to my local garage, who said it would be the battery, and that they would replace it. I told them that the guy who jumpstarted it for me said it could sound like a starter motor sound, but they dismissed that and said it would just need a new battery. They rang a few hours later to say it was ready, and all they'd done was replace the battery. They didn't say whether they had investigate why the battery needed replacing. When my friend jump started it, he noted that the battery indicator was white, so the middle of the 3 colours - i.e. not dead. I have now had the car back and a week later, it won't start - no noise, completely dead. I haven't tried the headlights, but can go and do that in a bit.
JA: What is the make/model of your car?
Customer: Huundai i10 Hyundai i10 sorry
JA: Are you fixing your vehicle yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Please see above - i took it to a professional mechanic to get fixed. THey replaced the battery. Should they have done any other checks to see if there was a cause behind the battery fading?
JA: Anything else you want the Mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: Erm, I think that's it - thank you - and sorry for the jumbled message!
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.

Hello and welcome to just answer my name is ***** ***** I will be helping you with your issue. The mechanic that replaced your battery has unfortunately not done a full job as they should have done an investigation into why the battery was discharged. The test is called a parasitic battery draw test and for a professional its not a difficult test as the symptoms your vehicle is showing is more likely to be a drain on the battery. Regards Ian.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Hi Ian, many thanks for your reply.
Do you have some advice on how to challenge them in a fair but assertive way? I paid just over £50 for a new battery but had no feedback whatsoever when I picked up the car - they could have done the parasitic draw test for all I know. However, am I right in assuming that it is unlikely they did it if the new battery was flat a week or two later?
The only thing I didn't tell them was that the battery was 12 months old – I didn’t know that it had been replaced a year previously (the car is my mother’s) - although I don't think the age of the battery should make a difference. From what you've said, they should have done the parasitic battery draw test.
Do I have any comeback on having forked out for a new battery if they find that there is a drain on the battery? I find it difficult to be assertive when mechanics know you know very little, and it’s frustrating.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Would a parastic draw test have missed anything that would have drained the battery after 1-2 weeks?

Hello if you would like to speak about this on the phone i am more than happy too or i can give you some more advice on here. Regards Ian

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Hi Ian, I'm happy with your advice here, thank you. If I need to understand more I can ask to ring. Thank you

No problem I would approach the garage that carried out the work by telling them the battery they had fit is now flat again and there should be a warranty on the battery as all the battery's in the past i have supplied and fitted have always had a 2-3 year warranty. Then ask them what diagnostic work was carried out i.e alternator check to see if the vehicle is actually charging the battery while its running and a parasitic draw test to see if there is something active that is slowly draining the battery. if they say they cant remember or are vague about work carried out ask them to look on there system as all work should be documented and will show if they just fit a battery and sent you on your way. Regards Ian.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Ian, that's brilliant, thank you so very much. My invoice just said 'replace & fit battery', so I'm guessing I already know the answer to that. If they say that no diagnostic work was done, am I able to challenge them for fitting and charging me for a new battery without doing diagnostic work? I have no way of knowing if the battery was dud or not.

Happy to have helped i would ask them about the warranty first so you can get a new battery fitted and they should not charge you labour for that. then as you are a returning customer with the same fault as you were in for previously i would ask them for some goodwill on carrying out the two checks the vehicle requires any reputable garage would recognise the mistake made first time round and should help to resolve it. Regards Ian.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** there a chance that they may have replaced the battery unnecessarily? Do alternator problems or other issues that cause a drain on the battery always mean a new battery is needed? I’m just a little bit (maybe more than a little bit!) annoyed that they might have replaced the battery unnecessarily and charged me for the privilege.

Unfortunately this could be the case as there is no mention of a battery test. with the proper equipment a machine will tell them if the battery requires replacing or charging, your old battery could of just needed charging and then the other checks carrying out and the fact these checks were not carried out is the reason you are in this position and would make this clear as they need to resolve this. the other problem is there will be no way of finding out what condition your old battery was actually in as they will have disposed of it.

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Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Ian, you have been absolutely superb with your help and advice - thank you very much indeed. I will let you go, now! I hope you have a good evening. Best wishes.

Happy to have helped have a good evening and thank you.