Lorry batteries - any experts out there?

the watcher

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I tried to start mine a few days ago to find that it was completely dead, no ignition lights or anything - which is odd because it has sat for a couple of weeks layoff before and started fine. So today my friendly mechanic looked at it and pronounced the battery to be completely dead because it had been shorted out. Apart from deliberately flashing across the contacts to achieve this is there any other way this could have happened without any human intervention? Obviously I don't want it to happen again as I now have to fork out for a new battery (and a padlock for the side locker- just in case)
 

Bounty

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I can't shed any light on it for you, but we have just had the same. Expensive isn't it?!
frown.gif
 

PeterNatt

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Your best bet is to get a commercial auto-electrician to trace what is pulling the current from your battery while your lorry is parked up.

You could also fit a battery isolator switch which would prevent this from happening again and also reduce the chances of your lorry from being stolen.

Batteries on lorries that are only used every few weeks will become damaged through lack of use and lack of charge and I always replace mine once a year to ensure that I can always start mine.
 

gummybear

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I would definately get an isolator switch fitted. Firstly they are a security device as nothing will work on the lorry until the switch is on - therefore it doesnt drain your battery. Our lorry didnt have one, and didnt start, as soon as we got one fitted it was fine. Dont think they are too expensive either.
 

NeilM

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I can't think of anything that would cause a dead short, that would not cause a fire. Having said that the rectifier within the alternator could possibly short the battery, but they normally get burn out long before the battery goes dead flat. Lorry batteries are pretty high current, if you shorted across one with a cable, it would very quickly get too hot to touch and would then melt.

More likely you have suffered a slow drain down, which gets worse the lower the battery gets. I'll not get over technical but most batteries do this.

Fit a new battery and an isolator that should cure both problems.
 

the watcher

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NeilM, I know it was shorted because when we tried to jump start the lorry the battery was fizzing and gassing. However one new battery and isolator switch (with removable key) later normal service is restored.
 

NeilM

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WOW! That sound dramatic. It must have been an internal battery failure then.

I've seen them fur up and die, but never seen a fizzy one, how exciting.
 
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