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I own an Aston Martin Vantage V8 stationed at Mallorca, which I use when on vacation.

Last year, the car had a new high quality battery replacement. The car is plugged into a charger when parked in between my visits, typically standing still for a month on average.

Today, I arrived to a completely dead battery. Ten hours of charging made no difference at all and a replacement instantly cured the problem. I have several times had the car parked unused for three weeks without plugging it into a charger with no trouble.

Do you have any clue what could have caused this? In my opinion, a high quality battery used every month and charged in between should last longer than a year. I am a tiny bit uncertain that the negative clip was properly attached to the frame - there is a plastic cap to indicate a positive pole connection, but the negative goes anywhere. Could the charger discharge the battery if only connected properly to the positive pole?

  • I would like to add that we successfully jump started the car prior to charging the battery and ultimately replacing it. While the engine was on, we turned off all electric consumers possible, but instrument lighting still flickered and the engine was running rough and was hicking and was running unstable rpm when applying constant but non-idle throttle. After keeping the engine on for 30 minutes and then turning it off, restarting on battery power was impossible. – Martin Steen Andersen Aug 29 '19 at 17:20
  • I assume the old battery was already traded back to the dealer? Inspection of the old battery is warranted. I suspect looking in the caps, you will find no water at all. Or visual crusting on the plates (owing to run-dry covered up by the maintenance staff adding water far too late). You hardly need to slice the battery up, that will suffice. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Aug 29 '19 at 18:28
  • Also, don't run any car with a known dead battery. The battery serves an important role. Anytime you run a car with one system known broken, you overstress other systems and can cause wear or damage. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Aug 29 '19 at 18:33
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Any auto battery used monthly and competently charged in-between should last 4-8 years depending on conditions. This is halfway between a daily automotive use (where that is true) and less-than-once-yearly emergency-power use (where that is also true).

If the technology is lead-acid, age in years will be the single most important factor, and there will be little performance difference between a common run-of-the-mill Exide and a "quality" car battery, whatever that is. (Gold-plated cell interconnects? Corinthian leather plate spacers?)

Now it is possible to get other chemistries of battery such as nickel or lithium based. These require different charging curves and are not compatible with lead-acid chargers. For instance a 9-cell nickel pack will be destroyed if placed on a lead-acid charger; a 10-cell nickel pack will simply undercharge, which doesn't harm it. Lithium packs are even more feisty given their fiery failure modes; they absolutely require internal protective circuits to shield the battery from overcharge or undercharge.

Not every charger is equal

And the market is so flooded with cheap junk that it's really hard to find a good one. I suspect what happened is your staff bought what was readily available on the marketplace that claimed to be a "good one" (don't they all), slapped it on there, and expected the charger and the battery to "just get along". The charger was not a proper 3-stage charger, or didn't know how to shut off at the end of stage 3, and so it cheerfully overcharged the battery to its eventual doom.

This is so common that I assume this is what happened.

I gather no one was adding or checking water routinely; otherwise by month 3 they would be noticing the battery was using an awful lot of water and that would prompt them to take a hard look at the standby charger.

If this is an alt-technology battery like lithium, then it was either misapplied (9-cell nickel) or is a piece of junk.

If you want to leave a charger on 24x7, you need to use a charger capable of the task. Note this brand isn't even offered on Amazon; they mainly trade to industry, which has no tolerance for cheap junk that doesn't work.

If your car has battery-draining gremlins, fix them

You have to have a zero tolerance policy toward electrical problems that drain the battery when the key is in the "off" position. Your car should be able to sit 1 month uncharged and start right up. My car has sat 6 months uncharged and started (with a tiny bit of complaining) on a 3 year old battery.

The very fact you are putting the car on a charger for monthly gaps is itself a problem. When you allow a problem to fester, it has a domino effect of causing other problems - like you put it on a charger, the battery cooks out, you then drive it around with no functioning battery and burn something else out... The dominoes fall one-by-one.

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If your car is drawing too much power while off (short in the circuit somewhere) then the car charger will shut off to protect you from a potential fire hazard.

You have to remember that whatever load is placed on a trickle charger would draw power from that trickle charger. It is a safety feature for the trickle charger to shut off if there is a excessive load detected to prevent itself from catching on fire.

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Most cars today have alarm systems which drain the battery when left for some time. Find out how much current yours is drawing from the battery. Lead acid batteries car batteries hate being deep cycled. I.e. drained to a very low charge and then charged again. Leisure batteries are designed for this purpose. They can be deep cycled. When I found a friends car battery flat for some time it never recovered. Putting on a new battery and not using it meant he had to keep the battery disconnected until he needed it. I have several cars and all the batteries are disconnected and kept charged, no problem.

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Battery drains are pains in the ass..theres 1k possible things..but indeed I concur at work we have a vantage but its batter will start the car after 3 months(just...,)but triggered the alarm too..so it was low..

As mentioned too..FIX IT ..dont waste money on repairs..and fix the cause..its expensive but get it diagnosed ..it takes hours and days..sometimes to find..but replacing batteries so not the fix..

Is anything aftermarket fitted? We regularly dealt with BMW 3 series using parrot hands free kits draining batteries(they pull of a non x relief circuit-not protected by the auto battery saving function of the electrical system..)..

Hope this information is useful..but do get this checked and fixed..

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Not a comprehensive answer, but battery chargers employ different methodologies in charging. A old school transformer battery charger, plugged in all the time, could overcharge and dry your battery out, leading to premature failure. If that happened, you might be able to add distilled water to the electrolyte.

When leaving a charger continuously connected, you might want to insure that you are using a "smart" charger. Generally they will sense the battery state, and not charge when the battery in fully charged.

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