Help Please Low Battery Warning - Battery About to Go?

Beanhead

Registered User
Hi all,

Started the car this afternoon and for the first time since owning last summer, it stuttered before starting (no warnings), but did start up.

Thought it was strange so pulled up in a car park just down the road, stopped, restarted and low and behold I get a 'Low Battery' alert in the centre dash stating I need to drive for 30 mins to recharge battery; warning sign went off immediately.

Idled for a bit and then did a long drive for a while before pulling back home.

Restarted and no more error and started normally.

However, reading topics on here, is this a sign the batteries about to go? Or just not driving or cold weather?

(Just starting to snow and dash temp had ice symbol and +2.5C)

Due to the lockdown I'm not driving more than once a week (literally to the shop and back for my weekly shop) and then it just sits there. Having bought the car last summer I also don't know how old the battery is.

My understanding is I can't just disconnet and reconnect new one either, but it requires VCDS coding?

I live in an apartment with a communcal parking so I can't connect to a recharge device and at the back of my mind is the fear the alarm starts going off if it gets too low.

Is it worth biting the bullet and taking it a specialist to get it changed? Or do I just ride it out and drive a bit more regularly?

Thanks,

Beans
 

rum4mo

Registered User
It certainly is a horrible situation to get into, but with the current movement restrictions this is bound to be happening to many people, and in your situation not too many ways to resolve it.

Ideally you would find a friend that could allow you to park on their driveway and recharge the battery, maybe once every 14 days - if not, I'd be buying some form of starter pack and keeping it charged and take it to the car and use it every time you start the car to minimise the drain on that battery - lots of battery based ones and small compact capacitor based ones are available, replacing that battery might also help you survive until movement restrictions are eased, but it might not be necessary, and any new battery should get some form of re-coding to that car.

Edit:- by the way what age is your car and which model, maybe check if it has an AGM battery or an EFB battery.

Another Edit:- put it this way, I run a 2011 S4 with an AGM battery that is still in okay condition, my wife has a 2015 VW Polo 1.2TSI with an EFB battery and we always keep the cars garaged, and I re-connect a CTEK charger-maintenance unit to both cars as soon as they are back in the garage while we are under the current lockdown conditions - I aim to keep these batteries in as good condition as possible and these cars fit to start and restart while out shopping, maybe some will say overkill, that that is my choice.
 
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JohnS3

Registered User
Ive also seen the low battery it will charge while driving warning. I checked my battery with VCDS and the AH capacity was down to 30, way short of what it should be. The battery is 7 years old though.

re battery coding the recommendation is to change the battery serial number by 1 digit. New batteries apparently dont come with BEM codes.

The CTEK charger is a great idea and I bought one to keep the new battery topped up. Far cheaper than another new battery
 

Beanhead

Registered User
Thank you both!

Was on edge overnight as was more worried the alarm would activate, especially with me parking in a communal area.

I do indeed have a friend nearby, it sounds like a CTEK charger would be a good shout. Do you mind me asking?

Is it via the engine +/- points you use the CTEK charger and is it safe to use on an AGM battery? (Assume that's the big one's in the Audi A4's).

Thanks
 

JohnS3

Registered User
You can charge via the jump terminals under the bonnet on direct on the battery. The CTEK MXS5 (about £70) has an AGM mode.
 

jdp1962

Grumpy Old Man
You can charge via the jump terminals under the bonnet on direct on the battery. The CTEK MXS5 (about £70) has an AGM mode.
I've taken the plunge and ordered a CTEK MXS5
 

rum4mo

Registered User
You can charge via the jump terminals under the bonnet on direct on the battery. The CTEK MXS5 (about £70) has an AGM mode.

The remote jumping points under the bonnet have always worked for me with my CTEK chargers, currently an MSX5 connected to the S4 - and these chargers can withstand a power outage quite happily by switching back on at the start of the charging program, that has been checked/tested in the past and again on Sunday night! Actually I'd never worry about leaving these CTEK chargers on a car for a very long time, I do check them every couple of days though.

Edit:- actually just because it suits the layout in my garage, I have a mounting bracket and a charging lead extension on the CTEK MSX5 that I use on my S4 almost full time, on the older CTEK charger/tester that I use on my wife's Polo due to lockdown etc, I just have a rubber sheath cover for it as it stops the charger slipping about when placed on the lock carrier area or any other area under the bonnet.(scatter cash maybe!)
 
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PenttisHSR

Registered User
Am I right in recalling that all of the 12V sockets in the car are ignition-live rather than permanent live?

Yes, but it's simple to make the cigarette lighter socket a permanent live by looping a feed in the fusebox.
I used this guide several years ago.......... https://www.audizine.com/forum/show...tivate-your-12V-socket-so-that-it-s-always-on
I then use this to connect my charger (maypole - same as ctek but cheaper) using a cigarette lighter plug.
Works perfectly, thin wire traps in the door rubber fine.
 

audiwaterpump

Registered User
Hi all,

Started the car this afternoon and for the first time since owning last summer, it stuttered before starting (no warnings), but did start up.

Thought it was strange so pulled up in a car park just down the road, stopped, restarted and low and behold I get a 'Low Battery' alert in the centre dash stating I need to drive for 30 mins to recharge battery; warning sign went off immediately.

Idled for a bit and then did a long drive for a while before pulling back home.

Restarted and no more error and started normally.

However, reading topics on here, is this a sign the batteries about to go? Or just not driving or cold weather?

(Just starting to snow and dash temp had ice symbol and +2.5C)

Due to the lockdown I'm not driving more than once a week (literally to the shop and back for my weekly shop) and then it just sits there. Having bought the car last summer I also don't know how old the battery is.

My understanding is I can't just disconnet and reconnect new one either, but it requires VCDS coding?

I live in an apartment with a communcal parking so I can't connect to a recharge device and at the back of my mind is the fear the alarm starts going off if it gets too low.

Is it worth biting the bullet and taking it a specialist to get it changed? Or do I just ride it out and drive a bit more regularly?

Thanks,

Beans
Can you make your cigarette lighter permanently live, and connect a solar trickle charger into the cigarette lighter.
Has anyone ever done this?
 

rum4mo

Registered User
Can you make your cigarette lighter permanently live, and connect a solar trickle charger into the cigarette lighter.
Has anyone ever done this?

Or, even better, leave the ciggy lighter socket as it and buy a solar charger that comes with a diagnostic port connector - as long as you don't already used a physical port blocker for security purposes.

Halfords for one sell a couple that come with connector, if I was buying one I'd go for the higher output version to save disappointment - a friend did that after his original battery (EFB) died on his 2017 A6 TDI, it was my suggestion as he does not use that car much - though he could have fitted an external power socket to his shed and ran a cable to the car and used a CTEK charger-maintenance unit, but the free power appealed to him!
 

audiwaterpump

Registered User
Or, even better, leave the ciggy lighter socket as it and buy a solar charger that comes with a diagnostic port connector - as long as you don't already used a physical port blocker for security purposes.

Halfords for one sell a couple that come with connector, if I was buying one I'd go for the higher output version to save disappointment - a friend did that after his original battery (EFB) died on his 2017 A6 TDI, it was my suggestion as he does not use that car much - though he could have fitted an external power socket to his shed and ran a cable to the car and used a CTEK charger-maintenance unit, but the free power appealed to him!
That's a great idea as well.
And good for the OP as they no access to 240V power supply due to a communal parking area.
 
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