MatraSport Forum

Each model => Espace => Topic started by: José V. Gavilá on March 14, 2005, 09:46:22 pm

Title: Dead battery :-(
Post by: José V. Gavilá on March 14, 2005, 09:46:22 pm

Well, today my Espace has refused to start. In fact, it has refused to even light the instrument panel!. I have immediately suspected of a bad battery and, in fact, upon measuring it, voltage was just 10V. I had not left any light on and it was just fine last day (Friday) I used it so I suspect of the common shorted cell problem...

So today I have arrived late to work (as all my cars are stored in series and Espace was the first one :( !). Thanks God my XM has worked fine after a month or so stopped and I have been able to go work, if a bit late (1 1/2 hours: first take out battery from Astra. Then take out battery from Espace. Fight with the frozen connector. Replace with Astra battery. Take it out garage. Take XM out. Park Espace)

Curious thing is that battery seemed like a very recent unit (perhaps 2 years old or less) and from a recognized brand (here in Spain at least). Trying to get it out the car, I have found that one of the battery connectors was seized so badly that only way to remove it has been by breaking it. Nice...

So I have bought a new battery and ordered an spare battery connector from Renault.

Well, I hope problems will stop soon as I have the Espace about a month and just 700km! :-[



Title: Re:Dead battery :-(
Post by: Jensen on March 15, 2005, 10:34:48 am
 :D Hola! Jose.

Sad to hear about your battery problem. But even in sunny Spain, the temperature has been way below the freezing point during the last two weeks, i know because im a pilot, and have been flying morning flights into both Madrid, Barcelona and Malaga, during the last two weeks.

Frost is hard to a week battery, so maybee you should try with a semi-traction battery, its`s a combination of a normal start-up battery and a traction battery, (some of the cells are tube shaped, to provide longer duration and continous use) they are more tough in the winter time.

 Right now i have a normal start-up battery in my J63, and the winter in Denmark, has been quiet cold for a month now, with temperatures below -20 celcius/centigrade during the night.

 Where in Spain do you live?

 Muy buenos!

Title: Re:Dead battery :-(
Post by: Will Falconer on March 15, 2005, 01:15:45 pm
Hi Jose

It's quite normal for modern batteries to fail very suddenly after about 2 years. The one in my Espace also failed without warning.

Regards  Will

Title: Re:Dead battery :-(
Post by: Anders Dinsen on March 16, 2005, 12:40:04 pm
Jensen knows about batteries, he has driven an electric mini car with lead-acid batteries in Danish weather :-)

Which reminds me that I must replace the rear hatch handle on my '87 Espace - it's the only entrance to the car with a normal lock, but the lock is broken or I have the wrong key, so if the battery fails, I can't even charge the battery, because the handle to open the hatch is inside the car, and the doors unlock electrically. Hmm...

Title: Re:Dead battery :-(
Post by: José V. Gavilá on March 16, 2005, 12:49:46 pm
Thank you for all your replies!. Well, it seems battery was about a year old so I will do some checkings today on the dead battery as I want to be sure my diagnostics was right (i.e. one shorted cell). I will use a battery densimeter and will check all cells. One should be very low if it is shorted.

I will let you know what I find.

Best regards,


Title: Re:Dead battery :-(
Post by: José V. Gavilá on March 18, 2005, 12:38:24 pm
Well, yesterday I had some time to check dead battery, using a densimeter. Starting from positive pole, I measured specific gravity of each cell. Cells 1 to 5 were just fine (close to 1.30), with good electrolyte level so I was a bit worried... until cell #6  (Murphy at its best :D!) showed no indication, which means it was completely discharged (it should have an internal short, as I suspected). So, well, battery is gone.

Then I took out the battery plastic tray (with some difficulty, as you need to partially dismantle battery support) and found a lot of acid-induced corrossion :(. Good thing is that, despite its terrible looks, it was just affecting surface and, once neutralized with baking soda (a great hint!) and rinsed with clear water, results were good enough. I then sprayed some oil to stop a possible oxidation.

I also replaced broken battery connector (it was broken when getting out bad battery, because former owner did not use any grease and was literally soldered to the battery!). I used a non-original one because local Renault agent was closed yesterday (but they told me the day before they will be open!!!)

I had no time to put new battery and will do today... with just the time to do that and take the car for a short trip, full of family people... let's hope all works fine!