View Full Version : dead battery woes

02-05-2014, 02:12 PM
Well after not driving our Trekking for a week it wouldn't start. DEAD and I mean DEAD battery. The wife went to start it and after getting nothing
by turning the switch the darn thing would not let the key be removed. WTF. Thank goodness I have a hidden house key or she would have been stranded outside.
I rushed home from work. Thankfully I am self employed. You can't even get it out of park when the battery is dead.
Sure I have the roadside assistance but how the heck were they going to get it out of the garage? Drag it backwards with it in park? Ewwwwww
Thankfully I have a battery charger. 20 minutes of charging and all is well.
But....not being able to get the key out or the car out of gear when the battery is dead is dumb a** engineering.
Why the battery went dead .....stumps me. Parasitic drain somewhere is my best guess.
Lord, the wife's 1971 MGB has an electric clock and sits for months at a time yet it has NEVER pulled the battery down like this.
I have several cars and NONE has just died like this from sitting.
Rant off.....we still love the Trekking and all appears back to normal.
I am going to run a meter on the battery this weekend when I have the time to see how much drain is going on while it sets.

02-05-2014, 03:38 PM
I read that if you leave the car unlocked (which is acceptable in a garage -- or in my case, the country), it will drain the battery. Yes, I agree that there is dumb engineering all around on this car.

My wife's Trekking -- and the 500L loaner given to her -- wouldn't shift out of second gear on top of odd starting issues.

Lil' Jon
02-05-2014, 04:16 PM
Posted this in another thread but my service advisor told me she's replaced 4 batteries on L's in the past few weeks. All were left unlocked in a garage and not driven for a week. Take it to your studio, work will be under warranty.

02-05-2014, 04:56 PM
Thanks! She will start locking it from now on. I will mention this to the dealer at the first scheduled service.
I have to say that roadside assistance is FIRST RATE. They beat me to the gate. They were trying to call my wife.
I had charged the battery by then and took the "L" to pick up some lunch and juice the battery.
I drove up whilst he was using the cellphone. The wife wouldn't answer the strange call number.
I thanked them and wished them well.
The "code" is safe.gr_grin
Again, thanks for the locking tip.
We shall see how it goes from here.
Only problem so far in 2000+ miles with the L , which we love.
0 problems in the Abarth at about 1800+ miles.
Studio has been helpful and friendly....it is South Carolina. Smiling faces and beautiful places.
I have owned a 124 Spyder...for a long time...almost bought another a few years ago.
The good out weighs the bad.
Maybe I'll throw a jump pack in the back till that service happens.

02-05-2014, 10:31 PM
Great attitude and very good to hear roadside assistance is strong. I'll give them a shot the next time something happens -- hopefully never!

02-05-2014, 10:32 PM
This video shows how to check for a abnormal battery drain, I've done it this way for years...



02-06-2014, 06:23 AM
Great! I will hit Radio Shack today.

02-06-2014, 03:11 PM
Keep from getting stranded

PRIORITY START (http://www.prioritystart.com)

I reckon that disables an alarm but so does leaving the car unlocked, I'd guess.

02-06-2014, 05:26 PM
Keep from getting stranded

PRIORITY START (http://www.prioritystart.com)

I reckon that disables an alarm but so does leaving the car unlocked, I'd guess.

Very neat. I think I will get one for an MGB. After the dead battery deal I told my self it
was a good reminder to crank the non daily drivers. The wife' s MGB has a clock. New
battery from last summer. If it wasn't so finely tuned it would have been a no go too.
Pulled the choke, switched on and let the pumps fill the carbs and rrrrrrrr...roar.
It was some slow crank.
The Sprite has a battery disconnect so it was no problem.
I think we will just lock her L.
Again, thanks. That will be the ticket on the B.

02-15-2014, 08:35 AM
Thanks for the tips! The 500L sat parked all last week without being driven.
Doors locked. Started with no problem. Wife is very relived .

02-15-2014, 11:32 AM
In my experience, a lot of new cars are delivered with batteries that are not 100%. The cars either sat around a long time, or maybe were in the showroom and the doors were open, radio played or were driven short distances. The mechanic preps the car and the car starts normally, so they think the battery is OK and the car is delivered. Well now with all the parasitic draws on a new car, that battery gets discharged even more until it dies or sulfates and you only get a short life span out of the battery. There are a lot of cars running around like this on the road. The spec on the 500L that I can find is an ammeter reading in excess of 50 mA is bad.

If a car sits a week (s) at a time, I would get a battery tender. The other thing that disconnects would have control modules having to relearn, and radios and other things having to be reset. Probably not a big deal, but cars can run funky until the computers reset.

02-15-2014, 08:10 PM
They took the car off the truck and removed the wrapper the day we bought it.
They delivered some 30 + miles to the office the next day after service and detailing.
Locking it may be unrelated or just chance but it did stay charged for a week when
locked. I'm too lazy to bust out the meter. I just lock it.

02-15-2014, 09:39 PM
I am not seeing this with my Easy, I am switch off cars so will I not drive 500L for a week or two, the car is unlocked and I even open the doors to get something in or out of car with out starting it.
However, we did get car from dealer about 300 miles away and they had to drive to our local studio. My normal commute is about 2 miles each direction with some stop lights. So I not doing long drives.
I have always kept a trickle charge in garage for battery issues and we have battery jump starters and jumper cables as well. I will pay closer attention next time I swap cars.

02-23-2014, 05:04 PM
Just got back from a 1000 mile trip in the Trekking.
Very nice. Nice ride at 60-80. Vent system was super
with the sunroof . Folded the rear seats for extra packing
and the dog. Tons of room for all. Passing on two lane back
roads was FUN. The slight touch was all that is needed for
smooth downshift to accelerate. Great lights!
We are very happy.

02-24-2014, 02:50 AM
Thank goodness I have a hidden house key or she would have been stranded outside.
How would having the car key stuck in the ignition affect using your house key?

02-24-2014, 08:26 AM
She couldn't separate the house key from the key ring with the ignition key.
I have since made it easy for her to separate the keys with a new key fob and
ring attachment system.