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  1. #1
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    Default Calcium car battery problems

    After leaving the doors open after cleaning my VZ Commodre Berlina, the battery went flat. Ok, called out the AA and he said due to the age of the car,7 years, it would be a good idea to replace the battery. He run a test that appeared to confirm that, and offered to sell me one direct from the back of his wagon. Said a calcium one would be the best option. After a price was quoted, I declined as I could get a better price through my employer. I subsequently did just that and was happy with the result. That was until around 3 months passed when we started getting some total electrical shut downs, this always only occurred when the car was at idle, eg: at the lights and just feeding the power to move off. We put the car into the local Holden dealer, where a check of the log showed nothing. They ran some further checks that showed nothing and a road test in an attempt to get the fault to appear was unsuccessful. All this cost me a small fortune. The fault continued to happen at random, so went back to the dealer where the battery was purchased. They checked the charging system as well as the battery. The only possible explanation they came up with was that the positive terminal clamp may have been a bit loose. They replaced the battery under warranty with a new calcium as before, made sure all was tight and said they would send the old one away for testing and would advise me if they found anything. Heard nothing. All was fine until a couple of weeks ago when the same thing started happening again. Battery would be around 9 months old. I have checked the terminal clamps, all is fine. It has never faulted at highway speeds, only at rest and idling. I was advised at the time of purchase that I would need to fully charge it once a year. I have a suitable charger, but have not yet done that. Could this be a voltage drop problem due to the air con, radio, cooling fan and whatever else needs power at the same time? Am at my wits end and almost ready to revert to conventional lead/acid battery. Anyone out there have any ideas? As we are leaving for holiday tomorrow, I will not have the chance to acknowledge any replies but will attempt to update if there is any thing to add in the New Year.
    Thanks in anticipation,
    Rny.
    I know what I know, I don't know what I don't know.

  2. #2
    Awaiting Enlightenment R2x1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calcium car battery problems

    If you go to a real (conventional) battery, you will probably stop having this unconventional behaviour of your battery. Calcium batteries are not always a useful product, they appear to need exotic charging techniques. It is not particularly good economics if you have to get a fresh new car to revitalise a second-hand battery.
    Calcium batteries and trouble often go hand in hand after 6 ~ 12 months or so.
    Entropy is not what
    it used to be.



  3. #3
    In a 1920s time warp Terry Porritt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calcium car battery problems

    I just Googled calcium batteries and it seems that many people experience your type of problem. It seems the typical alternator charging voltage may not be quite high enough for calcium batteries, but there also seem to be conflicting opinions on this.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Calcium car battery problems

    Thanks guys, you have confirmed my suspicions, its still under warranty, so looks like a trip back to the retailer.
    Rny
    I know what I know, I don't know what I don't know.

  5. #5
    tweakedgeek tweak'e's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calcium car battery problems

    you need to use the type of battery the car came out with.
    calcium battery cars have different charging voltage and need different chargers. these days its easy enough to get a (mains powered) charger that you can select battery type.
    Tweak it till it breaks

  6. #6
    Mixed Member
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    Default Re: Calcium car battery problems

    I've also had the unexpected dying of a calcium battery but eventually traced the cause to a slightly corroded terminal which wasn't absolutely tight. But there have been other problems in other vehicles such as my dear old mum's car.

    Only have old school chargers which calcium laughs at.

    I've decided to go back to lead-acid in future. Simple and reliable.

    Dominion Electrical have given me superb service in recent times so I'm now sticking with them.

  7. #7
    Mixed Member
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    Default Re: Calcium car battery problems

    Just curious - had a quick look on TM. Are calcium battery chargers $300 - $550?

  8. #8
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calcium car battery problems

    When the engine is idling the alternator voltage can be a bit lower, maybe that's something to do with it. I'd never heard of calcium batteries before though so I really don't know anything about them.
    As Tweak'e said you should use the type of battery the car was designed for so that it's charging system will be suitable.

    One problem conventional lead acid cells have is if you run them too flat (by say leaving the doors open) it seriously reduces their lifespan. It only takes once or twice to wreck them if they are totally discharged.
    Car batteries are designed for crank currents over short periods not deep cycle duties.
    i7 6700K, 16Gb DDR4RAM, 512GB M.2 SSD, Gigabyte GTX980

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Calcium car battery problems

    Bugger it. It just done it again while in the city, flashed my lights at some moron who pulled out in front of me, and everything shut down. I was able to coast to the side of the road, brakes and power steering still worked just. Able to re-start fine. Now heading back into battery retailer. Thanks for your comments.

    Rny.
    I know what I know, I don't know what I don't know.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Calcium car battery problems

    New Lead/acid battery, fingers crossed, that's the end of that. While I probably could have claimed the replacement under warranty, I decided to hang on to it for my caravan LED lighting. Got a fair deal on the replacement.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all PC Forum members.
    Rny.
    I know what I know, I don't know what I don't know.

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