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VF battery voltage

Discussion in 'VF Holden Commodore (2013 - 2017)' started by surfermv, Sep 29, 2016.

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  1. surfermv

    surfermv New Member

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    Hi, bought a VF evoke sportwagon (2014) a couple of weeks ago, it's an ex-fleet (rms), 18 months old and has 99,000km. Drove it back to Sydney from the dealer in Albury and that night the radio stations reset. Didn't think anything of it until three days later the car displays 'check battery charging system' as battery voltage was low and it went into power saving mode. Took it to Holden dealer for warranty fix and was told to get a new battery. Got a new battery and three days later, my voltage is showing 12.3 again. Take it back to service centre and told the terminals were just dirty. It's been three days again and I have watched the voltage drop from 14.5 to 12.6 while driving along. Is there such thing as an intermittent alternator fault that would cause this? Is the Holden service centre fobbing me off until the 100,000km is reached?? Any advice or is it ok to sit at 12.6v?
     
  2. 07GTS

    07GTS Well-Known Member

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    the charging is controlled by the ecu/bcm and if u go on a drive and it dosnt need to charge it will drop to around 13v or if it does need to charge it may sit up at 15v anywhere in there is normal, if there is no fault code then id say is fine but if it senses something is not right it will bring up a code
     
  3. Adza75

    Adza75 Active Member

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    It's a variable charge that it uses. I've seen mine sit at 12.6v on a long drive, highest I've seen is 14.8v.
     
  4. surfermv

    surfermv New Member

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    Hey guys, thanks for the info. It seems to be settled on 12.3 for a couple of days now, so I will hang out and see if a code appears. I prob wouldn't be aware of the problem if it wasn't for the dash display!
     
  5. Smashfist

    Smashfist Active Member

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    It should be north of 14v on a cold start then settle back down to between 12.2 and 15v depending on how charged your battery is. If it's new and charged then it will sit in low 12's as the higher charge rate is not required.
     
  6. HarryHoudini

    HarryHoudini Member

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    Can anyone on here that owns a VE ,Series 11,recommend a battery.The amount of misinformation, disinformation and just plain rubbish on the Net. is amazing. I've been told the computer charging system is fussy and needs a Calcium Battery,Auto Stores and Battery Shops say that's rubbish.
    Back story is i have only owned the 2012 Wagon for a few Months,it looks like it had the original battery in it as i found it,after garaging it for a Week, with a Flat Battery. Fitted a Repco(Yuasa-Century made in Korea) and it seems to be continually charging at 14.8v for the last Month i had it in the car,that includes 200k trips.Changed Cig. Lighter Voltmeters but both read at 14.8v.
    Local ACDelco agent said the VE doesn't like the Repco batteries and to fit the AC recommended model,but he would say that of course,so not sure what to do.
    Any help appreciated.
     
  7. chrisp

    chrisp Active Member

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    I’m not sure about the VE but assuming that it is the same as the VF, you need to use the battery recommended by the manufacturer as the charging system is set up a particular way.

    The VF uses a type of lead-acid battery that contains calcium as an additive. These batteries supposedly give good life but these is a catch. The calcium causes acid stratification where the acid in the electrolyte tends to sink to the bottom of the battery. To solve the acid stratification, the charging system is designed to periodically ‘gass’ the battery occasionally to remix the acid. It does this by raising the battery voltage to a gassing point. This is why you will occasionally see battery voltages north of 15V. These battery will produce a small amount of very corrosive and explosive gas that needs to be vented to the outside of the car.

    If the battery is replaced with a conventional sealed lead acid (SLA), the 15V-plus charging voltages experienced in the VF will cause it to gas. SLA batteries are not designed to be gassed so they don’t have venting tubes etc. They do however have safety pressure releases that will vent the battery in abnormal situations - such as being overcharged to too higher a voltage (anything over 14.7V will probably cause a SLA to vent). These batteries will probably vent at some point in a VF (and VE?) and vent in to the inside of the car. Not ideal at all!

    The short answer is the use the battery recommended by the manufacturer.
     
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  8. gossie

    gossie Well-Known Member

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    I have the appropriate ENIRGI 3000 on my VE. Google is your friend, as it was mine.
     
  9. BlackVXGTS

    BlackVXGTS Well-Known Member

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    You can use a SuperCharge Gold Plus MF66H (MIA), CCA 750, RC 154 mins. Good price and Australian made.
     
  10. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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    Sounds plausable but gassing always results in loss of water from the battery which requires the battery to be topped up with distilled water. But I thought that the OEM battery was sealed and thus unable to be topped up?

    So, without some Holden supplied technical info about the method the BCM uses to maintain battery charge state and what impact this has on user maintenance, if any, we just don’t know. Perfect place for such BCM technical info would be the workshop manual while maintenance requirements should also be stated in the user manual.

    Seems Holden may be happy with misinformation so they can sell genuine batteries :eek:
     
  11. chrisp

    chrisp Active Member

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    True - gassing does result in water loss. ‘Maintenance free’ and ‘sealed’ batteries are designed such that the water loss is at a lower enough rate that the battery will probably be at It’s end of life before it dries out.

    I’ve been trying to find some reliable specifications and technical data on calcium batteries but information is quite sketchy. However, the calcium additive does seem to elevate the gassing voltage by about 0.5V. A typical Lead-acid battery will start to gass at about 14.7V (but it is temperature dependent). So, it seems (based on sketchy information) that a calcium battery will start to gass at 15.2V or thereabouts.

    It also seems that the batteries used in the VE/VF are sealed flooded batteries, and not AGM (where the acid is held in a sponge like separator and there is no free liquid as such). I’d guess that the calcium battery has a fair bit of water in it and thus it would be able to tolerate a bit of gassing. I’m not sure of what the ‘recombination reaction’ reaction is in the calcium battery, but the specification sheets seem to imply that they can handle a bit of gassing quite well (but maybe that is due to the extra water, as well as the gassing voltage being somewhat higher?).

    I certainly wouldn’t recommend using a (non-calcium) AGM battery in a VE/VF where the charging voltage does exceed 14.7V at times. The higher charging voltage will dry out the AGM type battery and shorten it’s life.

    I’m also wondering if the battery used in the VE/VF actually has a vent tube - I now suspect not, but can anyone confirm? It would be a little disappointing to find out that the battery is venting in to the inside of the car.

    It’d also be interesting to know if there is any options in the car’s charging system for it to be set to match other battery types.
     
  12. HarryHoudini

    HarryHoudini Member

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    Thanks for all the replies,i forgot i was in the VF section.

    On my Wagon the Repco Battery accepts the standard Holden vent tube that exits just behind the rear passenger side wheel.
    Many BMW models have to have their computer reset with a new Battery,local Holden Dealer told me there is no options to alter the cars charging system.He said the urban myth originated from early 2007/8 VE's that had a software update to correct faults in the charging system.
     
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  13. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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    Just adding some more food for thought.

    I believe it's a requirement that when batteries are placed within the body space itself, they must be encapsulated in a sealed container which is vented externally if the battery is of the wet plate serviceable type. Alternatively, if the battery is a sealed non serviceable type, it is sufficient for an external venting tube to be attached to the battery and plumbed to the outside.

    All this is for safety reasons as you don't want a battery that vents what is in effect a potentially exlosive hydrogen gas into a sealed cabin space.

    And batteries do vent hydrogen when gassing due to overcharging... It can make for a big boom when gassing into a seaeld boot where relays and other bits of electric sparky things live o_O

    As such, i'd also stick with Holdens recommendations and use a calcium battery but also ensure the (sometimes bozo) staff at the likes of supercheap and such actually supply a correct battery with a vent outlet and connect it to the little tube that should live in your VF boot.

    [edited to add, if batteries float your boat, batteryuniversity has all the information you need]
     
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