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Elyctrical Woes

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Bravus, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. Went to start the Bandit yesterday morning and it wouldn't turn over at all. Dash lights came on dim and dimmed further when the starter button was pushed. OK, sounds like a low battery, though nothing was left on so there's no good reason for it.

    (Weirdly, daughter's car which shares a garage with my bike also had a flat battery the same morning - local EMP strike? ;))

    Stuck it on the charger overnight and this morning it will turn over maybe half a turn, not enough to catch, then just go to rapid clicking of the solenoid. Lights are a lot brighter than they were... but no joy.

    Best guess is just a shagged battery, but it had a new one not all that long ago (if I check back through this forum I can probably find an accurate date!) Any other ideas?
  2. Hmm, OK, the 'Instant electrodeath' thread that chronicled my past battery issues was November 2008, so 2 years ago. You'd think a battery would last a bit longer than that, but I guess it's not terrible.

    Will wait for the wisdom of the forum (I have a class for a few hours anyway) and maybe pick up a new battery this arvo if that seems to be the consensus.
  3. what charger do you have. Stick ten amps into it for an hour or two.
  4. Charger is fairly cheapo, but will see what can be done.

    The other thought I had was to push-start it, but I was scared of pushing it all the way to the bottom of the hill and it still not starting... and then I'd have to push it up the hill again in Brisbane summer!

    Might try that, but if the battery is truly dead I'd better make sure I also park at the top of a hill wherever I go!
  5. If it's truly dead you wont be able to ride it. It may start but will then die soon after.
  6. Battery is shagged mate.
    I bought a brand new gel battery for the bimmer 2 years ago now and it lasted 6 months.
    If a gel type goes flat they are a prick to recharge and maintain as they die off quickly.
    Ringwood mob changed it free of charge with an AGM type battery which is amazing.
  7. Definitely sounds like a dead battery. Two years is a bit short but within the bounds of possibility. The Bandit is an oldish design of Suzuki too, which probably doesn't help.

    I had the gel battery in the R11 dead flat on at least two occasions (once when I got it and again, from standing, about 18 months later. Both times I revived it with my el-cheapo, old tech buzz box and it seemed quite happy. It was getting towards the end of its life when the bike was written off and certainly wouldn't have done another winter, but it appeared to be the OEM fitment and therefore 8 years old so I'm prepared to cut it some slack.

    Maybe I was just lucky.
  8. An idea on how you use the bike will help Bravus, certain types of behaviour can lead to short battery life. I tend to agree with Smee that the battery is stuffed.
    - Short commutes lots of starts and stops.
    - Medium commutes every day?
    - Long levels of no use then long rides or short rides.
  9. When you get these symptoms always clean and tighten your terminal connections. I find more often then not it is this rather than the battery itself.

    On a side note I had the battery go flat on the family forrester on the weekend. The first thing that pissed me off was that it was possible to go flat on the interior light overnight.

    The second thing is the interior light has a mind of its own. there is no way of forcing it off without locking the car.

    The last thing was I couldn't get the car into neutral with a flat battery. I wanted to push the car back to try and jump it off the bike. Stupid designers thinking too much and not enough at the same time.
  10. It's about a 15 km commute each way, I think, and it typically just does that and then sits idle for the weekend. Occasional day running errands where it'll do 100 km in a day, occasional longer rides. Certainly the kind of conditions that could challenge a battery. I'll tinker a tad more with charging and the terminals and such but I'm pretty much resigned to replacing the battery.
  11. Oh, it's garaged at home but out in the weather at work, so has certainly been rained on a fair bit recently.
  12. Jump start the bike and then put a multimeter across the battery.

    13.5V or better would indicate that the charging system is ok and your battery is 'probably' had it

    12v or less would point to a regulator or other charging system problem.
  13. Also, take the battery out and give it a good thump on a bench, you know, hold it 6 inches off the bench and then thump it down. This will break up any crystaline deposits that may have caused internal shorting across a few plates. After a few thumps, put it on charge for a few hours and see what you get.
  14. I've never heard of this. But I'm going to give it a bash when the time comes.
  15. So am I. Knowing my luck, I'll end up with a load of detached plates swimming about at the bottom of the cells, but if it's goosed anyway........
  16. Righto, pulled it out and (not having a wooden workbench and thinking the concrete garage floor might be a bit harsh) dropped it on the grass a couple of times. Stuck it on the charger, even though the 'fully charged' light is already showing, and will leave it there for a couple of hours. In the mean time I'll have to see if I can dig up my multimeter. ;)
  17. If it's showing fully charged after only a short time, that adds to my suspicion that it's stuffed.
  18. +1 to PatB, fast charge time is generally a sign of reduced capacity due to sulfation.
  19. Yeah, will pick up a new 'un tomorrow morning.
  20. Unfortunately Bravus the Start then 15 min ride is not good for the battery it probably won't be reaching full charge on a trip like that. You may want to think about investing in a trickle charger you can leave connected to the bike. It will certainly improve your battery life.