New battery for the Punto.

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New battery for the Punto.

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I've posted somewhere else on the forum about the starting problems my older boy has been having with his Punto - 2012 1.4 Punto easy - which we have convinced ourselves is down to it's nearly 9 year old, original fitment, battery. Unfortunately it's a stop/start so needs an EFB or AGM type battery. The AGM is reputed to be the better option but when I looked at prices i quickly decided it was going to be an EFB. The present occupant is an EFB anyway, so that'll do me. I did a lot of research (better part of a day on and off the laptop) and found the Tanya people, who someone on here recommended to me, were going to be my best bet. However I thought I'd try Kenny at the garage just to see what he could do for me.

No problem said he, I'll do you a good quality one for around the £80 all in. By now I'd got a bit fed up with looking and I trust him as he's been good to me in the past so I said OK.

I've just been round to pick it up and I'm quite impressed. At first I was slightly alarmed because I'd never heard of the brand - Omnicraft - and I thought "Oh dear, silly boy Jock" but it turns out it's a Ford product (made in Germany it says on the label and they have a very big plant at Cologne don't they?) : https://www.autobiz.ie/garage/ford-introduces-all-makes-omnicraft-battery-programme So I'm feeling very happy now. I do notice an "order date" of July 2020, don't know if that's when it was commissioned? Anyway bought and paid for now so? Kenny tells me he uses them all the time and has no issues with them.

Here's some shots of the labeling on the actual battery which is sitting on the garage floor getting a top up to full charge on the CTEK before I fit it tomorrow morning. - raining and very wet out there just now. :

P1090555.JPG

P1090553.JPG

As would be expected the charger went straight through the diagnostic light and on up to the final charging light very quickly so indicating the battery to be in good condition and virtually fully charged. I'm not expecting the top up to take long at all. In fact It could be fitted exactly as supplied and I'm sure there would be no problem but it's going to do it no harm to start it's service life completely fully charged. And the price I hear you all asking? £70 plus VAT so £84 all in. I'm delighted with that. The old battery was a 63Ah capacity jobbie with a max cranking amperage of 450 amps. this new one is very slightly down on capacity at 60Ah but that's so small as to make no never mind. Interestingly the cranking amps is vastly superior at 560! that poor wee starter motor is going to feel positively bullied! Going to be interesting to see if the stop/start, which has never worked in all the 3 odd years he's owned it, now starts working! If it does I'll have to show him how to turn it off!
 
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Nice bright morning so off I went to swap over those batteries. I though it was all off when I reached my boy's road end as the Cabling guys were digging up everything in sight and had the road blocked with an enormous grab lorry into which they were loading all the spoil. They were very nice guys and moved the truck to let me through.

As I pulled up outside the boy's house the sun suddenly disappeared and, within a couple of minutes, it was snowing lightly - unbelievable! I decided that "well, I'm here, just get on with it boy!" Luckily by the time I had the tool bag out and the bonnet up on the Punto it had stopped and shortly the sun came out again, still pretty nippy temperaturewise though!

I had been meaning to take a picture or two for your entertainment, then I realized I'd forgotten the camera! Sorry folks. However you've not really missed anything, it's so simple anyone could do it. Take a look at Andy's "Punto how to" on changing a Punto battery if you're feeling deprived: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0l8RUi4BRs&t=286s His is a diesel I think? on the petrol engined versions there is even more room to reach the nut (13mm socket and extension bar needed) which holds the battery clamp in place (can't believe I still managed to drop it though - luckily it landed right on top of the gearchange housing on the gearbox so was simple to retrieve!)

I decided to try removing the battery terminals without doing anything about maintaining a voltage supply - in case the radio code is lost - As you may know it's not unusual for radio codes to be lost when a battery is disconnected but I've read on the forum and been told by others that the Fiat's radios have their codes embedded in the body control ecu so, as long as you retain the original fit radio all's well. So, I unscrewed first the negative terminal clamping nut and pulled the terminal off the post, then the positive one (10mm socket or spanner needed) and removed it from the battery post too. Always take the negative one off first before going anywhere near the positive. This is because if the negative terminal is disconnected you can't complete a circuit if you touch one end of the spanner your using on the positive terminal to earth by mistake. For the same reason it's not a bad idea not to wear rings and metal strap watches. We'll not mention that I also managed to drop the plastic flappy thing which protects the positive terminal down behind the N/S headlight!

Very simple now to just lift the battery out, give the tray a wee sweep out to get rid of the leaves etc. I was pleased to see no signs of corrosion at all and the tray looked very nice and clean. Then lift the new one in making sure it's bottom lug is properly located in the battery tray. Reconnect the terminals with a good smear of anti corrosion paste, or just vaseline, and secure the clamp with it's strap which goes over the top of the battery and we're done.

Now for the big moment, give the ignition key a twist. Yup, she fires right up! Radio? yup, all working. Oh look, stop start is now available - it's never worked since he bought it! Finally I stuck my head under the front bumper to see if the "poxy" rusted sump has started leaking yet. Yippee! although very Poxy/pimply looking it's not actually leaking yet. Kenny has offered to put one on for us for around £160 including the price of the sump with me supplying a new filter and oil which I find quite an attractive idea if it has to be done before the warm weather comes back. If it lasts 'till things warm up a bit I'll probably do it myself as he will sell me a sump for the same price I can buy one from S4p (tells me he keeps them in stock all the time because they do so many of them!) Kenny's advice is to always drop the exhaust manifold off as you've got to split the exhaust away under the sump anyway and it makes the job much easier without the front part of the exhaust getting in the way. Hang on, what's that on the ground by the N/S wheel? Hurrah, It's the "flappy" thing off the battery!

So all is well. I can now also admit that I have previously dislodged the leads I've had connected to Becky, our Panda, on a previous occasion when I had her battery disconnected and her radio didn't loose it's code either. So I am now convinced you don't need to worry about loosing your radio if you disconnect your battery terminals for any reason.

One wee question. The lug on the bottom edge of the battery nearest the wing tucks in under the edge of the battery tray and the clamp on the other side bears down on the lug on the other side of the battery so when the nut is tightened the battery is secured in place (I've seen this securing method on many applications) The Fiat however also has a strap which goes over the top of the battery. Although I've had Fiat batteries off before I've never really thought much about this strap, just put the clamp back and tightened the nut. I noticed this time though that with the new battery secured in place the strap is just very slightly loose. I've measured the new and old batteries and the new one is just a tad less tall than the old one, mostly because of the top cover being very slightly different on the new battery. It was so damned cold I just left it like that - the battery is well secured by the bottom lugs - but I'm just wondering if the strap is adjustable in length? I did have a quick look but didn't persevere due to the fact I'd lost all the feeling in my fingers by then and I just wanted to get home and get warmed up. - Didn't go into my boy's house for distancing reasons of course.
 
Hi Jock,
Glad you enjoyed that little job in the fresh air-brrr

The strap is not adjustable. I like to think of them as there to stop people losing the battery clamp.

If the loose strap irritates find a nice piece of timber to pack it out slightly.

Cheers
Jack
 
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Much different to this Jock ?

This is my 2012..

Was the 'ford' one you fitted dimensionally identical to the 'Italian one'?

EDIT.. pretty sure thats the panda
(Photos taken during lockdown ..
For somebodys thread)
Here's the old one - sitting in the wee washing up bowl:

P1090556.JPG

- looks just the same as yours? Ours didn't have the red cover on the positive terminal but a plastic flappy thing which stays in place with two prongs which fit into those two holes beside the terminal. Negative terminal is exposed like yours with the exact same battery sensor.

I actually put my steel tape measure against them both before I removed the old one, Length and width were definitely identical, spot on. Height I wouldn't absolutely swear to as the battery tray was slightly getting in the way of me getting the right angled end of the measure against the very bottom of the battery tray. However any difference is absolutely minimal. I suspect the height of the battery to the top of the main case is identical but the bit that sticks up on the top, which looks pretty much the same, might be just infinitesimally different (either not just quite so high, or maybe, same height but just very slightly less wide) By eye it all looks pretty much the same and the strap is not "slack" - as in you can get a finger under it. It's slack as in you can just get it to skid back and forwards on the top of the battery by about half an inch. Slack is probably not a good word to describe it, not quite rigidly tight might give a better idea? If you were going to pack it you'd be talking about a small bit of thick cardboard, not a thin piece of wood, if you get my meaning? Next time I'm going over there - which may not be soon due to the Covid - I'll try to remember to get a picture of it for you.

Thanks for the "heads up" on the strap Jack, I'm not as stupid as I thought I was! Now that I know it's not adjustable it can just jolly well stay as it is! You certainly couldn't describe it as "flapping".

The only thing that's slightly annoying me is that I forgot to put my voltmeter across the terminals after starting it just to check alternator output. However I did do that a couple of weeks or so ago when I went up and gave him a jump start at the start of his "troubles" and it was showing a very healthy 14.5 volts (or there abouts) so although I'm annoyed with myself for forgetting to do this I'll be very unlucky if the alternator has failed between then and now. (The multimeter is in the glovebox so I don't forget to take it next time I'm going though.)

Perhaps of interest also is that I did try starting the car, before disconnecting anything, with the old battery still in place and it didn't even think of turning over. It just clicked it's relays and sent the dash needles back to zero. When I got home, just out of interest, I put the old battery on charge with the CTEK to see what it would do. I was expecting it to sit on the diagnostic light for a while and then light up the exclamation mark light to indicate a duff battery or maybe, if it thought it could do something with it, it would sit pulsing the diagnostic light to indicate it was attempting to break down sulphation. But no, I was surprised that it spent only a very short time on the diagnostic light and didn't pulse it at all. It then cycled rapidly through all the remaining lights right up to the final "bulk charge" light where it stopped. Ok I thought, Lets leave you and see what happens and I went off to warm myself up in a hot shower. Once out of the shower and dressed - maybe a half hour or less - I went back to look at it and it was indicating the green "charging completed" light, so I don't know for how long it was actually on charge but it must have been of very short duration. My best guess would be that it's got severe sulphation over a lot of it's plate surfaces but still has enough surface in a reactive state to allow the charging current to flow. However because so much plate area is unreactive it's behaving, in effect, like a very small battery which is why it charged up so quickly. Anyway, whatever, It's all academic now as it's had it's chance, been replaced by a "young pretender" and is going to be dropped off at Kenny's on Monday to join the other "retired oldies".
 
By the way fellas, Charlie, Jack and all, sorry if I sound as if I'm telling you how to "suck eggs" when I go on about stuff like "take the negative terminal off first" etc. I do realize you guys know all this stuff but I'm also aware that probably many other people reading this don't have our mechanical background and so may find it interesting to know the reasons as to why we do certain things?
 
By the way fellas, Charlie, Jack and all, sorry if I sound as if I'm telling you how to "suck eggs" when I go on about stuff like "take the negative terminal off first" etc. I do realize you guys know all this stuff but I'm also aware that probably many other people reading this don't have our mechanical background and so may find it interesting to know the reasons as to why we do certain things?
Hi Jock , I enjoy reading a well written description of how it's done(-:
I hope that people who don't know there is an order of work learn from your description of battery replacement.

Plus I enjoy learning new things , never know where I will learn something new.

Thinking of battery changing and you having Honda's in your family would you like to remind readers where to have the ignition key when disconnecting/ reconnecting any vehicle battery?

Best wishes

Jack

Oh and yes to flat battery appearing to charge to fully charged rapidly indicating it's no longer serviceable.
 
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Hi Jock , I enjoy reading a well written description of how it's done(-:
I hope that people who don't know there is an order of work learn from your description of battery replacement.

Plus I enjoy learning new things , never know where I will learn something new.

Thinking of battery changing and you having Honda's in your family would you like to remind readers where to have the ignition key when disconnecting/ reconnecting any vehicle battery?

Best wishes

Jack

Oh and yes to flat battery appearing to charge to fully charged rapidly indicating it's no longer serviceable.
Thanks for the kind words Jack.

So true too about always find something new to find out about. One of the best things about interacting with people here on our forum.

Learning never stops and it's a large part of what makes life "fun". I'm not a person of strong religious conviction, although my mother was which I'm sure probably influenced me. On the other hand I find a lot of religious topics very interesting. As I've got older I find I'm fearing death less and less and almost find myself looking forward to finding out if the answer to "everything" really is 42? just hope it doesn't involve a lot of pain getting there!

And oh yes, Honda key fobs and battery disconnection. As you obviously know the remote key fob must be nowhere near the car, and certainly NOT in the ignition, when connecting or disconnecting the battery. They are renowned for corrupting the immobilizer encryption if you do and a quite expensive visit to your local main agent will ensue so he can sort it all out on his dealer computer! I'm not sure how many others behave like this but I now make a habit of leaving all keys on the workbench at the top end of my garage when I'm not actually running an engine - after, of course, first opening the drivers door window for easy access. It has the advantage too that I don't so often forget where I've left the keys!
 
Thanks for the plug jock, I'm glad the video was useful, even if it's just to know that tools you'd need.

Interestingly the cranking amps is vastly superior at 560! that poor wee starter motor is going to feel positively bullied!

Interestingly the Battery that came out of my diesel, fitted by fiat was a 570CCAmp battery, the new battery was 700CCA which seems to be a massive difference and to say the starter motor would feel "bullied" is a perfectly apt description of my experiance of starting the car since the new battery was fitted. it turns the car over like a car with no cam belt it really has made a massive difference to the power on starting.
I wonder if this is an indication of how the stop start batteries have improved in the last 10 years since these cars where first build and stop start technology and batteries where still developing.

I also wanted to let you know (since the discussion we had) that the stop start does indeed now work on my punto, my normal drive to work is about 30 miles down an A road onto a dual carriage way, via a round about and then off another round about into work, So in that 30 miles I never really stop, But today when driving back from the shops I got stuck at some temporary traffic lights on a back road and to my suprise the engine died, which I had completely forgotten the car did, the big circular stop start logo appeared on the dash which reminded me in a moment that this wasn't the car breaking down. Sadly a bit further down the road a similar thing happened and the stop start didn't work and neither did any message saying stop stat unavailable appear, reminding me that Fiat Stop Start is simply the worst.
 
Thanks for the plug jock, I'm glad the video was useful, even if it's just to know that tools you'd need.

Interestingly the Battery that came out of my diesel, fitted by fiat was a 570CCAmp battery, the new battery was 700CCA which seems to be a massive difference and to say the starter motor would feel "bullied" is a perfectly apt description of my experiance of starting the car since the new battery was fitted. it turns the car over like a car with no cam belt it really has made a massive difference to the power on starting.
I wonder if this is an indication of how the stop start batteries have improved in the last 10 years since these cars where first build and stop start technology and batteries where still developing.

I also wanted to let you know (since the discussion we had) that the stop start does indeed now work on my punto,

You're welcome Andy, it's a good video. My heart bleeds for you about the wee bit of verdigris on that positive clamp, Just the sort of thing I would miss because my mind was on the "main task" - and just the sort of thing my students delighted in picking me up on!

Interesting about these greatly increased potential current flows the newer batteries seem able to produce. I notice the capacity figures remain very much the same and I suppose that's very much a function of plate size/surface area which, if you are going to increase capacity you need to build a bigger battery or use thinner more fragile plates? I would guess that the increased ability to deliver current is due to improvements in plate design/materials which probably enables much lower internal cell resistance without everything heating up so much as to cause damage to the plates when under a heavy current drain? There's a lot of interesting stuff here: https://batteryworld.varta-automotive.com/en-gb/car-battery-type-agm-efb I'm still in the process of reading and digesting, might even download it I think.
 
For the same reason it's not a bad idea not to wear rings and metal strap watches.

Ha ha. That reminds me of a colleague when I worked in vehicle electronics design. There was a complete body electrical wiring rig for development work, powered from a battery rather than a 12V power supply. My colleague managed to short the battery through his metal watch strap. I don't remember any lasting damage, but he never did that again.
 
Ha ha. That reminds me of a colleague when I worked in vehicle electronics design. There was a complete body electrical wiring rig for development work, powered from a battery rather than a 12V power supply. My colleague managed to short the battery through his metal watch strap. I don't remember any lasting damage, but he never did that again.

There used to be (can’t find it at the moment) a often used picture of a severed hand with a metal watch strap laying on top of a 12v lead acid battery. I think it may have been a bit over the top but I’ve seen where people have lost fingers because of shorting out rings.

Appreciate on a shorted battery you’ll get the cold crank output. On a decent battery like the ones in diesel cars you could see 3 times the output you’d get from a normal domestic socket
 
I was brought up around this kind of thing.. so dont do 'tom foolery'

But.. it didnt stop me.. in my earliest fiat owning days..

From going out one sunday evening to adjust the timing on the 127.. by slacking its distributor.

In the dark I fumbled the 13mm spanner (127's had a bonnet that stood vertical over the headlights)
Thought .. I've now got to crawl about on the damp drive to retrieve that..

I didnt think that for long -
It had landed across the alternator.. and was glowing cherry..!!

Aaahh.. thankfully the Braided earth strap vaporised and it all died..

Lesson learned :eek:
 
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Yes, there is an amazing amount of power stored both in your battery and fuel tank but because they appear so benign when "behaving" themselves people tend to forget and ignore the dangers. When I was a lot younger I took a lot of chances, especially where fuel was concerned. Luckily I've only really had one fire which was quickly dealt with because I've always had two or three extinguishers in my garage but since that I've paid a lot more attention to this sort of thing. Sad though that so many of us have to learn the lesson by experience - ever was the human experience thus though!

Talking about the injuries that can result from wearing jewelry, About 40 years ago, when I worked in the wee country garage out in Dalkeith we heard of an accident that had happened in another wee garage down the road. Do you remember the old four post ramps which had big screwed rods inside their posts? the ramp went up and down because the platform had large "nuts" at each corner which the rotating rods caused to ride up and down so the platform went up or down. At the top of each pillar the end of the rod projected out by about an inch or so. Apparently this ramp had been up in the air and this poor chap had been up on the platform for some reason. He needed to look under the car so instead of letting the ramp down, getting off it and putting it up in the air again he decided to just jump down. The story goes that he had his hand on the top of the pillar as he jumped and his wedding ring hooked over the projecting end of the screw which then amputated his ring finger as the weight of his descending body pulled on it. The really grizzly bit is that, apparently, the tendons were pulled out with it to dangle like strings from the top of the pillar! Although I didn't see it happen my imagination paints a pretty vivid picture in my mind which makes me feel slightly queezy even asi think about it right now!

On a more cheerful subject, I found it interesting to read in the Battery World/Varta link I posted above that they recommend using an EFB to replace the older type lead acid batteries. I wonder if they are that much more useful or long lived in a non stop start application, especially when you look at the price difference?
 
Oh and yes to flat battery appearing to charge to fully charged rapidly indicating it's no longer serviceable.

My Optimate charger is great for doing that test its only a 1 amp trickle but does some pretty solid tests on the battery condition. If a flat battery does accept charge then goes green after an hour or three, its pretty obviously well down on charge capacity.

I had on that started the car fine when parked on level ground but went flat when parked on a hill. The battery case was full of sludge and capacity was almost non-existent.
 
Amps are drawn not supplied so as long as voltage is correct the starter motor will draw as many amps as it is capable of, fitting a more powerful battery will allow the battery to sustain the high amps for longer than a lower power/older battery but you can't actually bully your starter motor, more likely it bullies the older battery that isn't capable of supplying the amps.

I fitted an AGM to my 2013 Punto after the 6 year old EFB wouldn't S/S under any conditions. My commute was a mere 9 miles in S/S traffic and it would cut in every time I stopped even in such short journeys for days on end. Agree Fiat's S/S does kinda suck but an AGM battery does help it along.
 
Amps are drawn not supplied so as long as voltage is correct the starter motor will draw as many amps as it is capable of, fitting a more powerful battery will allow the battery to sustain the high amps for longer than a lower power/older battery but you can't actually bully your starter motor, more likely it bullies the older battery that isn't capable of supplying the amps.

Touche Didge. I think you are basically (why do I use that naff word?) correct in that a battery with a larger Ah rating, for any given circuit, will sustain output for longer. However, in relation to current draw (draw indeed being the relevant factor) and therefore magnetic flux in the motor and so torque produced. The voltage - given we are talking about a fully charged battery to start with - will be the same, no? But if you consider the circuit as a whole - so pos terminal through the solenoid to the starter armature and field windings then back to the battery via earth and the battery internals. If we take the staring point that there are no unexpected resistance points due to poor connections etc then would not a more efficient battery cell construction with less internal resistance lower the total circuit resistance and so enable more current to flow? More current would mean greater magnetic flux and so more "bullying" power? Although I'll agree I'm making a pretty academic argument here as the difference would not be great.

I suppose the point I'm making is that, given the battery is in good condition, potential difference (voltage) is a function of battery state of charge whereas current flow (amperage) is a function of all the various components in the circuit. So if you lower the resistance of any of the component parts, including the battery which will have a measurable internal resistance which will be more significant at high current flow rates, then you must get greater current flow - N'est ce pas? Or is my "pugglt" auld brain missing something? After all, I'm only an old grease monkey so be gentle with me.
 
My understanding matches Didges.

Standard battery on my Mazda was 330 CCA (Factory Mazda batteries are crap). Replaced with a heavy duty battery for the diesel rated at 660 cca.

It clearly fires/turns faster but that is compared to a 7 year old battery it's likely same as it ever was new.

Mainly did it so when I was sitting stereo on waiting I'd have no concerns about getting the car to fire regardless pretty much of how long I'd sat.

Apparently it is a different situation on stop start batteries though as they obviously monitor battery condition and will be more bothered you'd imagine. My car is dumb as rocks...in a good way.

Appears to work on the punto but I'd bet something more modern would grumble.
 
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The low internal resistance LFP lithium weighing 0.85kg that I but on the BMW 1200 swung the starter harder than the 5kg Odyssey lead acid that I removed. The 14AH Odyssey was rated at 500 amps blah blah but the 4AH LFP had more clout where it was needed and cost £65 instead of £105. The Odyssey went to a friend who could make better use of it than I could.
The snag with LFPs is poor cold performance. They dont go flat like lead acids they just dont deliver. I think the long run we will see them with internal heaters (to warm the cells) for cold starts.
I tried the LFP on the Panda. It cold started the engine just fine (4 x 375cc pots are easier that two 600cc) but more surprisingly the power steering was perfectly happy. Sadly (as said) they have not yet sorted the cold start issues.
 
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