There often comes interesting instances in your profession which become tough challenges to solve, but over time become interesting case studies. A very well known instance is the automobile industry is the “GM Pontaic allergy to Vanilla Ice cream”. Fairly recently, we at Pitcrew also grappled with an interesting car battery discharging challenge.
One fine day in 2017, Pitcrew (www.pitcrew.co.in) received a call from a customer owning a 10 year old Santro whose car battery was dead and the car wasn’t starting. He wanted to get his vehicle serviced and wanted a thorough check of the car battery. The day and the problem seemed routine, but neither did we know that this will eventually become a case study and will become an interesting story for automobile enthusiasts.
The vehicle was brought to the service station after a jump start. The service was carried out and then the battery testing started. The battery seemed to be working just fine (Both Current and Voltage were normal). With No signs of current leakage from the cars body.
The team reached out to the customer to understand the problem better.
“My daughter uses the car to travel to college. The car seems to work fine Monday to Friday. We don’t use the car over the weekend. Every Monday morning, when we start the car – it just won’t start”
Like every office goer, the car seemed to be having Monday Morning Blues
On further enquiry, the customer informed that this was a recurring problem over the past 6 months. Every Monday, the same routine was followed.
It was all okay and routine for the service advisor. For old car battery this can be a problem and for car battery older than 3 years, we generally advice replacement of battery. Any vehicle which is idle or not used for a few days / weeks normally has starting issues especially when the battery gets older. The advisor asked the customer about the age of the battery?
A new car battery was installed only 3 months back!
Now this was a little puzzling. Still the advisor being an engineer himself believed that since this had been a recurring problem, the battery had gotten discharged multiple times in the past and a jump start was carried out always, so it may be possible that the battery never gets charged to full capacity during normal week driving and hence with little charge left over the weekend, the discharging is okay. The advice to the customer was to get the battery fully charged. The customer also agreed. We charged the battery for 24 hours. Upon charging, we also measured the voltage levels of the battery in various modes like Idle state, engine on, AC on, Full Throttle etc. The voltage levels were just fine. Even at idle conditions there was residual current which was in acceptable limits.
The car delivered back to the customer with our team confident that all issues were resolved.
Monday morning we received a call from the customer. “The Car Battery is dead and it is not starting”
Monday Morning Blues were back!!
Our engineering seemed to have deserted us. Stay in touch as the story unfolds and Pitcrew helps the customer diagnose the problem.
Like the Pitcrew Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pitcrew.service) and get real time update on the next blog on this series.
Contact us @ +91 906 900 6420 / 21 / 22 or download our app (www.pitcrew.co.in/app)