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Story of Punto's sudden battery death

Discussion in 'Engine Compartment' started by RaviHegde, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. OCTANE

    OCTANE Amatore

    Messages:
    75
    Cochin
    Does this mean if I switch off the complete ac system/compressor manually just before switching the car off it will prevent any battery drain? And in case the relay has failed wouldn't the ac work even while using the fans only? I am planning for a long trip in my linea and this issue has caught my attention. Is there any way to prevent this issue and is there a chance that a long drive would trigger this issue?:confused:
    1 person likes this.
  2. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    2,998
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    It's not everyday that such a problem happens. The Lineas or Puntos are not plagued by these problems. There is a reasonable doubt that it could have been better designed to circumvent a relay acting up on it's own. Please be tension free and carry on your trip. And AC switch must be switched off anyways, irrespective of relay problem or not. For safety if you can arrange keep some spare Fuses in handy for headlights etc. Eitherways if you are not a DIYer you will need some mechanic's assistance. As regards relays there are a few of those, but do not worry on that count. You will always find ways to get your car running an back home safe to check for trivial issues.
    1 person likes this.
  3. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    Messages:
    299
    Karnataka
    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    Though I have ordered a relay from Kits-n-spares, I continued search for a snap-in replacement because I have to fall back in case my experiment fails.

    This relay connector is called "4 pin Micro ISO connector". For technically oriented connector details are available in page 2 of this document: http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/21918.pdf.

    In india we can buy it online from 99rpm: 100% Authentic spare parts See FIAT Palio Body control relay. Look for part No. 46520411 on that page which costs Rs. 391. That is the replacement relay.

    --------
    Mods: I replied to the first message I posted thinking it will get appended at the end of it. But, it moved to the end of the whole discussion thread. Is there some way to append it to the end of first message?
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  4. Ganges

    Ganges Esperto

    Messages:
    3,119
    Driver Seat _/
    :
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Thanks Ravi for such deep technical info.
    i faced this issue of tak tak noise from AC when my battery was dead, but after reading your thread opened my eyes for such kind off design.
    i feel definitely their might be a reason "why ac relay should work when AC is switched off and why it is required during ignition".
    i have observed one thing, mine being emo pack.
    Scenario :- When car was running with AC ON and unfortunately if the engine is stopped due to unknown reason and now if ,when ignition is given the car starts with AC ON.Please check.This might be the reason why relay is required to always be active considering the load drawn.In this case also i will say this is bad design,why on the earth AC should switch ON automatically reading the last time activity of AC control ?
    Also i have observed, even though the AC starts automatically after the ignition,it is not at its best in performance wise,one has to switch AC OFF once and then switch it ON again.

    Either, AC relay working theory should be changed or AC should not switch ON automatically .i.e. reading last time activity of AC control.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  5. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    Messages:
    299
    Karnataka
    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    Problem solved

    I had mentioned about my weekend trip in my first post. It became a "highly memorable" trip because of the comments I had to hear about Fiat, the person who decided to buy Fiat (that's me - others wanted India's best selling brand and model). I decided it is too much, I must try to recover some of my lost reputation! I was few tens of kms away from Hubli at that time. I know there is a Fiat service station in Hubli. I thought of checking with them about spare part availability and get it if available. I googled Manickbaug Fiat number and dialled it. Person told service station is in BDK and gave that number. Later I realized number I called was probably the Fiat sales, not the service station. Service station is at "Bhairi Devara Koppa" (that is B.D.K) on Hubli Dharwad road. Receptionist at BDK gave me a cell phone number for spare parts. That turned out to be a person on leave. He gave another number. That was the spare parts guy. When I read out the part number from the old relay he told there is no such part number in Fiat catalog. He connected me to a SA. SA enquired about the symptoms etc. and then gave me the advice - "Gaadi ille tagombarri. Yella check maadi sari madonri." (Bring the car here. Will check everything and fix it.) So, no way other than driving some extra distance, continuing listening to some more comments. I decided to take that risk.

    Manickbaug Fiat service station is next to a Dargah at BDK on Hubli Dharwad road. Since I went from Hubli side I had to cross over to the other side of the road. Oncoming traffic did not care about my effort of crossing over, they just kept driving without giving a damn to the right turn indicator. Only when I started slowly moving to right they stopped. I think that is how one has to drive in Hubli. I decided to behave like "Hublians" when I am in Hubli :)

    First building in front of the gate is the Fiat section. Spare parts department is on the left side of that building. I went there and gave the old relay cover to the guy sitting there. I asked him to tell me (a) availability (b) price. He screamed "Reeelaaay" upon seeing the cover and disappeared in between the shelves holding spare part bins. He came back after a while with a relay in his hand matching the pin layout and ampere rating. He told he is not sure whether that is the exact part because part number does not match. Because of that he is not willing to lookup the price of the part in his hand - he has lookup the price in his computer, why waste so much work. Such lazy fellows they have employed! He suggested me to check with SA. I went to the SA in the service bay area. He saw the part in the spare parts department and told most probably that is what it is, but not sure until a mechanic tries it and confirms it. He suggested me to defer billing it until the mechanic checks it because they will not be able to refund the amount after they bill it (thank you Fiat, you have great policies and people implementing it!). He told me to wait for some time as his mechanics are busy (I could see them walking around, running around, chatting etc.) attending to other cars. How long will it take to plug-in a relay and see whether it works or not? I got fed up of waiting and asked the spare part guy to bill it if it is less than 500 Rs. He told Rs. 391. I told him bill it, I don't care whether it works or not. [Reason behind the decision: We are happy burning that kind of money for a pizza filled with high fat artery clogging stuff, why not for this?] He looked at me like an alien and went forward with billing. After clicking for some time he just walked away! I wanted for another 15 minutes. It was too much to wait for one tiny relay. I went into the main building. I saw this guy sitting next to a printer fiddling with it. Apparently the printer is centralized in the main building. Spare part guy has to click "print" and then run to the main building to pick up the printed invoices. He gave me the invoice after couple of minutes. I went to the cash counter with the bill. Guy there announced "No credit card payment until elections are over. Phone is playing the election message as soon as we lift the receiver. Card payment terminal is not working because of that." Completed the transaction by paying cash. By that time the spare parts guy had given the relay to a mechanic who had disappeared somewhere. It took 5 minutes to trace him. He was waiting for me near the cash counter! Any way, he plugged in the relay with his golden hands and ... the AC came back to life :)

    I bought the relay in spite of it being from the Fiat spare parts department because it is not the "no brand" or "no name" relay like the Fiat OEM relay. This relay is made by Omron. I thought it may be better than the OEM relay.

    relay-cover.jpg

    This is Omron relay B047 E, part No. 46520411 / 232008 (not sure last number is 6 or 8, hard to read because of the moulding problem). You will find many references to a 20A relay used even in high end cars and bikes if you search for part No. 46520411. So it may not be of all that bad quality is what I thought.

    Fear of dead battery has got me already. Therefore today morning I decided to open the relay and see whether I can keep this relay for long term or use it only temporarily. In a way, I wanted to find out what is the "peace of mind index" of this relay :) Opening the relay was not easy as the relay cover has locking latches on all 4 sides. I love it - it is indication of good quality. With lot of effort I was successful in opeining it. As soon as the relay internals emerged out of the cover I was sure it is "the relay" I was loooking for. See the construction - it is a high quality relay. A relay should have a spring holding back the connector leaf in position as this relay has. Compared to this OEM relay has no such thing, it uses the connection leaf itself as spring (hence the pathetic and catastrophic failure). If you notice carefully you will see the resistor deep inside has 5 rings on it. That is an indication of a low tolerance (high quality) resistor. Only difference between OEM and this relay is the resistor value - this is a different resistor. Sorry, I could not read the value because it is embedded deep inside. Measured across the coil terminals it showed 10 ohms less than the OEM relay. OEM relay resistance is 84 ohms approx (103 ohms coil with a 560 ohms resistance in parallel). This relay resistance is 74 ohms approx. Not a problem because the relay works well with the car electrical circuit. Looked deep inside (you may not be able to see that clearly in the pictures) its switch over connection points are high quality too. I believe this relay will last longer and very likely will not kill the battery when it fails. Peace of mind index = 90% (I give it a 10% chance of failure because Mr. Murphy may bless the relay any time!). Therefore I have decided to leave this relay in the fuse box until it gives up. My experiment with the relay I ordered from Kits-n-spares can wait.

    relay-01.jpg

    relay-02.jpg
    5 people like this.
  6. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    2,998
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    :nicethread
    Now we know what to ask for and why. Thanks again Ravi Hegde for sharing this experience on a draining issue. ;) Lets hope for the best. As you said the relay does look very promising. Very well explained.:up Please update the thread again to update how well the relay is working.
    2 people like this.
  7. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    Messages:
    299
    Karnataka
    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    Omron relay has been doing good for last one week. Therefore I conclude Omron replacement relay is a good quality one with solid construction. Go for it!
  8. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    2,998
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    Ok great, now lets see how it performs in long term like 6 months to a year and further.. :)
  9. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    Messages:
    299
    Karnataka
    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    Battery status after 2 weeks

    I had charged the dead battery using my inverter. Though it restored the battery to working condition, battery status indicator (almost all manufacturers have some kind of battery status indicator on the more expensive models) did not turn green. When I called Amaron service, service guy checked the battery and told acid density is slightly low, but it is ok. I thought this battery will never come back to fully healthy condition. But it gave me a surprise when I checked it yesterday. Indicator had turned green :D It took around 500+ kms drive for the battery to come back to healthy condition. I think it needed long floating charge to come back to healthy state. I am a fairly happy owner of Punto now :)
    4 people like this.
  10. bhai

    bhai Esperto

    Messages:
    1,181
    Ahmednagar
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    Amron take long recharge time. While exide has quick recharge.

    Charging system of Amron is such a way that it takes long running to recharge a battery.
    Due to long recharge time life of Amron battery is more as compared to Exide.
    That's why Amron dares to give 4 year warrantee.

    If you have frequent start-stop then it is better to stay with Exide.
    But due to long recharge time Amron can't supply proper voltage & Ampere to car & bike with modern engines having sensors & ECU.

    Tried 2 brand new Amron for my P220 Fi. Amron is not suitable to Fuel injected Pulsar.

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