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The gift that keeps on giving - service ESP warning

Discussion in 'VF Holden Commodore (2013 - 2017)' started by Ron Burgundy, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. blackve76

    blackve76 Well-Known Member

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    Mines a Jan 16 build so battery 3 years old, I broke my left arm bad(surgery screws etc) so being a manual haven't driven it for 3 months started it last weekend for for first time and just started and few alarms went off stability etc. Let it warm up very small drive(left arm has no strength) and charged battery no more fault codes(these modern cars are voltage sensitive)
     
  2. Ron Burgundy

    Ron Burgundy Well-Known Member

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    12.25v this morning before driving...
     
  3. Philmecrackun

    Philmecrackun Member

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    A mate that works in NRMA told me on some vehicles (VW's) that the computer needs to be told a new battery has been installed as it programs the alternator to charge less as it is a new one, as it senses the battery is getting older it charges more, not sure with Holden.
     
  4. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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    I’ve previously scanned through the PDF version of the VF workshop manual and not found any reference or step to program the system to identify a new battery has been installed.

    As is, the BCM software looks after the charge function but this software can be updated by Holden as it pleases. Who knows if such a feature to identify a newly installed battery hasn’t been added post the 2014? date of the PDF that I have.

    Guess you could ask your NRMA mate specifically about Holden battery replacement and whether some programming is required? I’d be interested in knowing the answer :)
     
  5. immortality

    immortality Home of the smoky breakfast Bacon! Staff Member

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    That does sound a bit low, what is the voltage once running?
     
  6. 07GTS

    07GTS Well-Known Member

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    because of the tuning i do with my own vehicle every time i flash a tune in it resets the data and has to learn so if im doing a flash every drive it always charges around 15v till it learns from a couple hour drive, or i found if u disconnect battery and charge battery whilst disconnected to full then connect it and start/drive it will learn almost instantly that its full charged and seems better, but either way it shouldnt matter it will do what it needs to do anywhere from 12.8 to 15v charging is within its charging sequence dependent on battery load/charge, if it does charge above or below a set voltage outside its programs expected voltage u will get a warning
     
  7. Ron Burgundy

    Ron Burgundy Well-Known Member

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    Jumps up to 14-15v from memory..
     
  8. Murdoch

    Murdoch Active Member

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    do yourself a favor mate.
    Buy a $5 ELM Bluetooth connector.
    Buy torque app (Android one is what I use)
    Import GM PIDS for free.

    The above will tell you any issues. If ESP has come up, it will have a code in there.
    Least then you can tell Holden what the issue is and get to fix, instead of relying/trusting them.

    The above app will also allow you to monitor oil and fuel pressures. Oil and trans temps. O2 outputs, spark advance, KR, inlet temps, etc.
    Will also tell you if you are getting faulty injectors like so many are. The app allows you to show injector misfire counts on a historic basis, but also instantaneously too.
    Great info at hand, for the price of a beer at the local.
     
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  9. wetwork65

    wetwork65 A wet business

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    Got me thinking and tested my older car this morning.
    My SV6 is 12.2 V in the morning before start up. Jan 2014 build and no errors (so far).
    Display shows 14.9 V continuously whilst driving which gives me some concern.
     
  10. Ron Burgundy

    Ron Burgundy Well-Known Member

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    Nrma did the test. No errors logged
     
  11. chrisp

    chrisp Active Member

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    It’ll jump up to about 15.5V for a short time. Calcium batteries (as used in the VE and VF) are prone to acid stratification (where the water and acid tend to seperate water to the top, and acid to the bottom). To counteract the stratification, the charging system is programmed to periodically gas the battery to agitate the acid/water mixture.

    As an aside: This is also why you shouldn’t use a sealed battery in these vehicles. Sealed batteries are not designed to be ‘gassed’ and won’t tolerate it well. It’ll shorten the life of the battery and vent corrosive fumes in to the boot). The converse is true too - don’t use a calcium battery in a vehicle designed to use a sealed (VRLA) battery as it’ll suffer acid stratification and shorten its life. It is best to stick to the battery type that matches the vehicle’s charging system.
     
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  12. Ron Burgundy

    Ron Burgundy Well-Known Member

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    Mine is stock AcDelco
    When it’s due to be replaced i will probably get the same from Holden
     
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  13. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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    The VF workshop manual has a clear definition of how the charging is controlled. It’s not odd for a battery to be at 12.6v and when the car is started for the voltage to go to 15v.

    I do agree stay with same battery chemistry that the manufacturer installed else you are asking for problems.
     
  14. abuch47

    abuch47 Active Member

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    optima is a no go then?
     
  15. chrisp

    chrisp Active Member

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    Optima are good batteries - spiral wound cells which were originally developed by ‘Gates’ and have a fantastic current delivery capacity (due to low internal impedance), but I wouldn’t use them in a VE or VF as the charging system isn’t compatible.
     
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  16. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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    The VF workshop manual states the system will go into sulfation mode if the battery voltage is less than 13.2v for 45 minutes or system voltage is less than 12.56 volts. The process is for the BMC to enter charge mode for 2 to 3 minutes before determining what to mode to go into as a next step, dependant on voltage measurements.

    The thing is, sulfation mode will cause battery gassing as the alternator is told to pump high current levels into the battery. This is not good for sealed batteries as mentioned. Optimat batteries are sealed so shouldn’t be used for this reason.

    @chrisp is correct.

    Thing I don’t quite understand is that sulfation will expel gas (Hydrogen & Oxygen) out the vent pipe. In older batteries you could easily access the cells to fill up the lost H & O with distilled water but that seems not the case on our VF’s.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
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  17. chrisp

    chrisp Active Member

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    I haven’t read the VF manual on the charging system so I can’t be sure of the terminology used by Holden. However, sulphation occurs when the battery is discharged. This doesn’t produce gas.

    The gas (or gassing) occurs during charging when the voltage exceeds 2.45V per cell (or 14.7V for a “12 V” battery and, as you have pointed out, this results in water loss as the gas is essentially disassociated water.

    The basis for a ‘low maintenance’ or a ‘maintenance free’ battery is to limit the water loss and contain (as much as possible) the water in the battery. These batteries tend to be ‘sealed’ (but they still have vents to release any excessive pressure if they are over charged). It is critical that the charging voltage is limited to below the gassing voltage (14.7V) to prevent the battery from venting and drying out (and shortening its life).

    Some sealed batteries can be topped up but shouldn’t require it if they are treated properly. Some, such as AGM batteries, would be very difficult to top up in the field as the acid is contained in an ‘absorbent glass mat’ separator which looks and feels a bit like damp cardboard. It is difficult to add the water in away that it will mix uniformly throughout the battery.

    So called calcium batteries (which are lead-acid batteries with some calcium added) are essentially a different approach to making a long-life battery. The calcium additive reduces the water loss of the battery, but makes it prone to acid stratification. The charging system needs to periodically condition the battery by doing a short gassing charge, but not do it too often as it will dry the battery out and negate the benefit of the calcium.

    Batteries and their charging methods are optimised so that the water loss is so low that the battery is likely to wear out before it dries out.
     
  18. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @chrisp, I know a sulfation chemical reaction occurs within a battery and causes white crap on the plates which short them out and kill the battery with no gassing involved. This process is called sulfation.

    I probably should have been a little clearer I meant sulphation mode as it’s called in the manual, in a somewhat inaccurate way, and why periodic fluid loss doesn’t occur (being that sulfation mode is simply a heavy charge for 2 to 3 minutes causing gassing and used to mix the stratified acid as you’ve stated).

    Holden’s sulfation mode is very different to the sulfation modes that some smart float chargers perform by pulsing AC volts through a battery to remove the sulfation deposits and thus restore a partly dead battery.

    Typical for different companies to use similar terms to define very different things o_O

    But thanks for clearing up that the Holden battery is sealed and can’t be topped up even though the battery is periodically gassed and some fluid loss may occur since Holden has provided a vent tube to get rid of the excess pressure the gassing causes.
     
  19. Anthony121

    Anthony121 Well-Known Member

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    Will you blame Holden for sealing the battery? The battery manufacturer would design and make the battery for the automotive manufacturer.

    My VE was still on the original battery after 6 years. Two times it was flat in the time I had the car but I put it down to one of the modules not turning off.

    My first VF was sold after 4 years still with original battery. both car unable to add fluid and never really looked at the battery in the rear only to make sure they were not leaking. I saw better than the old type battery you need to top up.
     
  20. HarryHoudini

    HarryHoudini Active Member

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    My 2012 VE is the same but can drop to 11.8/11.9 if not driven for a a Month or so.
    Mine is also on 14.9 v continuously when driving,even on 4 hr+ trips.

    I posted in the other thread,i fitted a new battery last year, it took about a week to settle in before all the 'check charging system' etc warnings disappeared and the centre LCD screen stopped turning off.
     

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