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FIAMM Battery replacement

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greenkit View Drop Down
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    Posted: 21 Jun 2018 at 7:41pm
I have a 4 month old 1.2 petrol Tekna that failed to start a couple of days back, after sitting overnight. The usual symptoms of a low battery: resolved by a charge, followed by normal starting. I had the car at the dealer's today: it's a 25 mile trip so the battery was well up when tested, and it passed with an advisory charge that was carried out. A 'start-up' fault had been logged, but no other problems flagged and they will not replace the battery due to Nissan's policy. Does anyone know what the 'fail' CCA/terminal-voltage thresholds are? The end result is that I'm back home waiting for a repeat performance. Second time around for all this too, in that I had the same problem with the last Qashqai, a 2015 diesel. Obviously a bad mistake buying another one: I won't be repeating.

For peace of mind I'm prepared to buy a new battery, but not a Fiamm one. The dealer doesn't supply any other type, and expressed concern that fitting anything other than Fiamm may invalidate the vehicle's warranty(!). Not helpful at-all.

I've contacted Nissan, but I'd appreciate any comments from here. Thanks...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G5 BOY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2018 at 12:56pm
Hi

Ah - the old FIAMM cr@p batteries Angry.  Others here have had the same - including me.  They are well known for failing - just ask the RAC...!!

Had my last 2014 Qashqai (another 1.2 petrol Tekna) FIAMM battery replaced by Nissan.

Looked under my bonnet on the new one and YES they are still using them - some folks will never learn. Clown

Contact Nissan Customer Services and complain.  Tempting you fit another make, but I guess that would invalidate your warranty - regarding any connected fault at least.

Keep us posted.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greenkit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2018 at 8:38pm
I also had a horrific deja-vu when I saw the Fiamm battery: should have known what was ahead. I had 14 months between battery failures on the two Qashqai vehicles. I spoke with Customer Services (CS) today: very black & white, and wouldn't budge on supplying a new battery. The man I talked with insisted it tested 'good', yet couldn't offer any reason why it had failed to start the car 24 hours earlier. I must have lived too long, as this is a mentality I don't understand. However, some snippets I did glean from the conversation:

Firstly, installing a 'better' battery from the likes of Bosch or Varta (these manufacturers were quoted) does not invalidate any future warranty claims. The battery must be of identical rating of course. The same applies to servicing by a VAT-registered garage outside the dealer network, and the fitting of non-Nissan parts provided they are of equal quality to the originals. I have asked for this info to be confirmed by email, so will see what comes. If you need to get one, any battery as fitted by the RAC is Nissan-approved. What they do fit; anyone care to have a look and let us know? CS advised definitely calling the RAC next time the fault shows up: they can provide a test report that at least gives backup to any claim of ill-performance. Don't charge the battery yourself and expect Nissan to believe what you tell them: my interpretation, not his direct wording.

There's no-one 'technical' at Customer Services, maybe not a surprise, so asking anything on these lines is a waste of time. To quote: '....our technical expertise lies within the dealer network...' Must say this is not something I've noticed.

The man at CS didn't seem at-all concerned that our new car had failed less than 4 months into ownership.

Late this afternoon the dealer emailed to say that they will cover a 'Nissan' replacement battery, because I'm a 'valued customer'. The battery I had last year had no manufacturer's label attached, just a paper strip stating its capacity and CCA. Wonder if Nissan are second-sourcing for replacements?

I'm in two minds whether to take the dealership up on its offer as my intention is now to get rid of this car early in 2019. Maybe better to walk away, buy a decent replacement battery from outside and rid myself of this noxious and inflexible car builder asap? I can do without all the hassle of being a Nissan owner, and dread having other issues that will have to be fought out on similar lines to this one. And, it has been a fight, a stressful and distinctly unpleasant experience that I could have done without.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greenkit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2018 at 1:39pm
A further update. Went to the car this morning and guess what: no start. Rang the RAC who attended promptly, did a battery test that indicated a replacement was necessary. A new battery was duly fitted: it's got a Nissan label, but there's no real indication of who the manufacturer is. I was told that Nissan is now fitting Exide batteries to 2018 vehicles.

The RAC man was knowledgeable and willing to share details of what he was doing: the whole operation was carried out very efficiently. It's a disappointment that Nissan wasn't as cooperative in the light of evidence I provided, but they just lost a customer and had to pay for an RAC callout into the bargain. Short-sighted or what?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G5 BOY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2018 at 7:22pm
All useful to know - thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Red Rooster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2018 at 11:36pm
Ha. Came back to car in car park this afternoon and guess what....no start. A lot of flickering on the dash display but thats all. I knew I was going to have this problem sometime as I have a Fiamm battery, but not nearly 2 years old. Anyway phoned RAC, he turns up done all his tests etc ,battery only had 10 volts.Put on new Nissan battery and Bob's your uncle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gloucester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2018 at 8:57am
I'm not convinced it's entirely the fault of the battery. A 66 car is way beyond the original date when there was allegedly a batch of faulty batteries.

I honestly think the charging system is at fault not putting enough charge into the battery in the first place - and hence the reason my car wouldn't stop/start even after a new Nissan battery.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GelJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2018 at 12:08pm
I wonder if sister models such as X Trail are having same grief?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dark_cobra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2018 at 3:04pm
We've had starting issues with our car in cold weather with said battery and its a 17 plate. So agree if batteries have meant to have been sorted then there is something else underlying.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greenkit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2018 at 8:52pm
Some more info on battery assessment from the J11 Service Manual: the threshold voltage for performing a charge is 12.35V. Nissan recommends a constant-voltage charge at 15V maximum until the input falls to 4A. After this, capacity is checked by applying a nominal 300A load test; the manual does not indicate the duration of this discharge, likely set automatically by the test gear (but it won’t be long….). The battery fails if it can’t maintain 10V at the terminals. The man I spoke with at the dealer’s appeared to know nothing about a load test, relying purely on terminal voltage: this is far from the full story about capacity.

The comments about charging are interesting. I monitored the power-socket voltage with a DVM for a while after my new battery was fitted, and it is quite a bit different from an old-fashioned alternator/controller. The battery now holds a steady 12.4-12.5V after the car sits overnight and prior to start-up: it then charges to 14.2V on a sampled basis, with intermediate float levels as required, depending on load such as the blower, etc. I only had a couple of days to check the old battery before it gave up the ghost entirely, but the best ‘resting’ voltage I saw was 12.2V, falling visibly as I watched to 11-point-something. My car has been fine since the new battery was fitted. Oddly enough, the ‘range to empty’ display now works as it should: it didn’t before, reading low by maybe 30-40%. Compared to the previous car, a diesel on which I had a similar fault, I had no ‘stop-start’ fault indication this time: perhaps this sensitivity has been taken out in the firmware?

My impression is that the J11’s charging system / voltage control is on the edge of performing satisfactorily, and depends heavily on a good battery characteristic. If the Nissan unit now fitted gives up while I still have the car, I’ll buy a decent-make alternative. I think a permanent voltmeter would also be a useful investment, for easy long-term monitoring. For reference with the new battery, I measured the terminal voltage during start-up with a digital storage ‘scope: the minimum I saw was 9.6V as cranking started, and the whole start-up took 0.68s.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chrisw99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2018 at 11:45am
If you go into the hidden system menu and select running system state, you can see the voltage as measured at the terminals and drive around watching it.  (hidden menu - press and hold the SETUP button and rotate the right knob clockwise-counter clockwise-clockwise)

After an overnight, it's usually 12.2 to 12.4.    After startup it goes up to 14.85 for the first 15-20 minutes of driving, then it drops to 13 something.   From this point, START/STOP can work.

After each START/STOP, it shoots back to 14 something for a brief period before then dropping to 12.something.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greenkit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2018 at 9:16pm
The hidden system display is very useful: I did read (on another Qashqai forum) that the value returned can be questionable on accuracy, so I did a quick test with my car idling / charging. The values found were:

Across the battery terminals with a lab DVM (cal. better than 0.1V): 14.20V

At the front power socket, same DVM: 14.12V

Dash panel 'power supply': 14.50V.

I can see there being a small difference between the raw battery voltage and what appears further down the loom(s) because of voltage drop in the main fuses / current sensor / wiring. The discrepancy between the DVM and dash display might just be a calibration issue in the car, but it would be interesting to hear from anyone else who has made the measurement.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chrisw99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jul 2018 at 1:33pm
Originally posted by greenkit greenkit wrote:

The hidden system display is very useful: I did read (on another Qashqai forum) that the value returned can be questionable on accuracy, so I did a quick test with my car idling / charging. The values found were:

Across the battery terminals with a lab DVM (cal. better than 0.1V): 14.20V

At the front power socket, same DVM: 14.12V

Dash panel 'power supply': 14.50V.

I can see there being a small difference between the raw battery voltage and what appears further down the loom(s) because of voltage drop in the main fuses / current sensor / wiring. The discrepancy between the DVM and dash display might just be a calibration issue in the car, but it would be interesting to hear from anyone else who has made the measurement.

That's interesting, thanks.   So it's reading 0.3V higher when it's up there.

How about when it's lower?  Can you do the same test after an overnight, when the ignition is on but before you start the engine?   Mine reads about 12.2 - 12.3 on the dash panel, so I'm worried that really means it's 11.9 - 12.2 which is quite low for a car battery (I'm on a newer battery now which replaced the FIAMM)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greenkit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jul 2018 at 8:57pm
Just checked as the car hadn't been started today: the DVM at the power socket gave 12.3/12.4, the car's display again read about 0.3V higher, so it's consistent. Your car's internal voltmeter may well be more accurate than mine, but it might be worth using a reasonable digital meter as an additional check. Ultimately, as long as you have good starting performance all should be good. In my previous Qashqai I ran a Nissan battery with no further problems after the Fiamm died. IIRC the 'resting' voltage was mostly around 12.4V, but I should have taken more careful notes. Maybe some others on here will report their findings?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chrisw99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2018 at 9:29am
I read somewhere else that the usual rule of thumb that if the battery is less than 12.5 or less means its bad doesn't apply to START/STOP batteries which tend to be left at a lower voltage.

My car starts fine and the START/STOP functionality works well, so I'm not too worried.

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