Can we talk about batteries ....

37 posts / 0 new
Last post
SLR No.77
SLR No.77's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 11 min ago
Joined: 17/04/2014
Can we talk about batteries ....

My previous Caterham (140bhp Supersport) was a couple of years old when I bought it, then 9 years later when it went to its new owner it was only on it's second Banner battery, easily 6 years plus per battery and no reason to criticise the Banner.

When I bought my current car (200bhp SLR) in 2007 it had already been fitted with an Odyssey PC545 and after not too long I replaced it with the same. I gradually decided it wasn't big enough, slow cranking, regular failures etc., and subsequently I fitted a bigger Odyssey PC680 which was initially more reliable.

This however didn't last too long before needing replacing, so I fitted a second PC680, then a third early last year.

And this is where my blood is starting to boil .... 18 months on and I'm having issues again, first failure being the morning of The Big Picnic a week ago, then again this morning. This latest Odyssey, until last night had never seen a trickle charger, no parasitic loads present, yet it now won't crank fast enough to achieve starting.  After the failure last weekend I bought a Ctek charger that has an AGM mode but I'm beginning to think I've wasted more money. Jump starting the Caterham from our 1400cc Audi Q3 works fine, which just happens to be fitted with an o/e AGM battery but physically around 4 times the size of the Odyssey. Looking back it seems I get around 18 months of good starting, then another 18 months of struggles, then I replace with another Odyssey, hardly a good advert for going down the Odyssey route.

So would it be a retrograde step to swap back to a Banner? What has been other owners experiences of long tern use of the Banner with higher powered engines? 

Stu.

paul richards
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 1 hour ago
Joined: 17/04/2014

Stuart

I have had 3 Banner batteries plus the original over 22 years. This relates to each lasting an average of 7 years as the latest one is only 6 months old.  As you know I also had a starting problem at the Big Picnic which was disappointing bearing in mind the battery is only 6 months old. 

Car now has 200+ bhp. When I got home it started with my power pack no problem. I therefore suspected the battery or alternator. Checked both with a multimeter and they were fine. I dismantled the battery contacts and despite the fact they looked clean there was a tiny bit of white powder when I disconnected the earth lead. Cleaned the tarnished lead and all was fine. I therefore took the opportunity to clean all the contacts and reassembled using Contralube. Just completed around 600 miles touring Scotland and no problems. 
My advice - go with a Banner. They seem to be at least half the price of these fancy batteries. 

Paul Richards

LADS Joint AR  Drink

I thought 2020 was the year that was going to give me all I wanted. It turned out to be the year to make me appreciate what I've got.

K7 VCT
K7 VCT's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 17 min ago
Joined: 17/04/2014

Banners get a lot of bad press.

I had my first 7 for 8 years,  it was 11 years old when I sold it,still on it original battery. 

Current 7 is 7 years old and original battery,  yep it's a banner.

Look after it, it will last.

Car is always isolated on red key and put on a ctek 0.8a conditioner for weeks at a time, keep an eye on battery fluid levels regularly 

Orange is my new black

Ballistic orange Premier Power F160 +

Nick Bassett
Nick Bassett's picture
Online
Last seen: 1 min 47 sec ago
Joined: 17/04/2014

My Superlight R runs a standard Banner battery - no problems as such. 

It's coming up to 5 years old and have noticed that leaving it on trickle charge, the final green light CTEK charger doesn't light up no matter how long it's attached, so I suspect it'll need a new battery for next year. I'll be SORN-ing it from November so will start 2023 with a new battery.

Only maintenance I do on the battery is check the levels once a year and top up if necessary - usually only requiring very small amounts.

Bolter, bolter, full power...

Superlight R # 81

Instagram: superlight_r_81

rgrigsby
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 17/04/2014

Hi Stu, I've been running a PC680 on my 2.3l 250bhp Duractec for 10+ years. I have replaced it once but as it turns out the failure was caused by a faulty alternator which killed the battery.

Is it worth checking the rest of the electrical system and alternator to make sure something else isn't causing an issue?

I generally don't keep my car on a trickle charger but do have one for use over winter.

 

Dave Hardcastle
Dave Hardcastle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 22 hours 58 min ago
Joined: 01/08/2015

You're far more patient than I am. I would have been back to Banner a few batteries ago Yes

SLR No.77
SLR No.77's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 11 min ago
Joined: 17/04/2014

That's a really good point Dave!  After I got the car started yesterday it didn't falter all day, which is either helpful or not depending upon how I view it. I think I'll start by giving the battery connections a good clean as Paul suggests and add a little dielectric grease, it certainly can't do any harm.

When i bought the car 15 years ago it was about as reliable as a broken clock, since then I've focussed heavily on its  reliability but the battery is the one aspect remaining that periodically gets the better of me, very frustrating.

Caterham and Lotus Seven Club Leadership Team Member

The register for all numbered limited-edition Caterhams ....... www.thecaterhamregister.net ...... www.instagram.com/thecaterhamregister

TomB
Online
Last seen: 12 sec ago
Joined: 17/04/2014

I've got a Redtop of some sort - its been bullet proof.  I really like the idea of having a fully sealed battery rather than all that nasty acid sloshing around just above passengers feet.  My banner leaked somehow and marked the ali floor, it would have made a mess of a pair of legs! There's that all important weight saving too Thumb Up         

SLR No.77
SLR No.77's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 11 min ago
Joined: 17/04/2014

A quick Google suggests a PC680 is just 900g lighter than the Banner!

Caterham and Lotus Seven Club Leadership Team Member

The register for all numbered limited-edition Caterhams ....... www.thecaterhamregister.net ...... www.instagram.com/thecaterhamregister

John Vine
John Vine's picture
Offline
Last seen: 22 hours 50 min ago
Joined: 17/04/2014

I've had very good service from the Banners on my 2008 R400D.  The one supplied with the kit lasted over six years.  Its replacement lasted over seven, although it was definitely getting sluggish by then.  I'm now on my third, fitted in March this year.  They've all been hooked up to an Accumate when not in use, and I check electrolyte levels regularly.  I see no reason to use an alternative brand.

JV

7 wonders of th...
Offline
Last seen: 57 min 14 sec ago
Joined: 17/04/2014

Li-on - no shortage of cranking capacity, they don't like trickle loads but I keep mine on a dedicated charger which gives it 2  hours a day.

Weight 1300g