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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all :)

My wife’s ‘15 plate Zoe is due for a service in the next month and we’ve received an eye-watering quote from the dealer we bought it from (second hand last October) of £352!!

According to the dealer:

“Service say your next service will be about £352, this includes the service (£75), brake fluid change (£59) and a 12v battery change (£228).“

Does the 12V battery really need to be changed after only 3 years? Surely with such little drain and no starter motor / engine to turn over it should last ages?

If it does need to be changed surely it’s something I can source / install myself for well under half their quoted cost?

Many thanks for your advice,

David :) ... on behalf of wife Steffi ;)
 

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had an R240, got an R90, might get a ZE50
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Battery is an 012. Bought a Varna 012 for £50 from Tayna, for my Panda.
12v batteries do not last well on Zoen, my belief is the telecommunications software was to blame, which has now been fixed.
If car is used regularly, not necessarily for long journeys, the battery should be OK.
 

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Based on other replies on this forum battery replacement is not a requirement to maintain your warrenty so can be skipped.

However it should be noted if you get a Check Electrical system warning down the line it’s likely the 12v battery is dying and needs replacement.

If it was me I’d skip replacing it in the service and replace it when it starts to die. All they’d need to do in the service is give the battery a heath check with the “toaster” to make sure it’s ok.

You should be able to find a number of threads in the Zoe sub forum by searching 12v battery or similar.
 

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12v is merely an advisory item, I didn't have mine changed because my 12v is fine.

I don't believe its the telematics that causes low 12v issues, in fact when you remotely activate heating etc the dc-dc to often kicks in to top up the 12v. What kills the 12v is people who do very short trips (ironically what most folk is the ideal trip for an EV) as the dc-dc doesn't get a chance to charge the 12v adequately.
 

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12v battery change (£228).“
Goodness gracious is the battery made of gold???? Buy one from Halfords and put it in yourself (if it's needed). I'm not sure they need to change the brake fluid either. Find another dealer, this one ain't to be trusted. I agree with @Sandy the battery is advisory and it's the short trips that cause harm.
 

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had an R240, got an R90, might get a ZE50
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It’s long periods of discharge that will deep cycle the battery that cause damage. Small journeys are fine, but the more the better. 12v charges as soon as the doors are opened.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow thanks for the quick and detailed replies everyone, much appreciated! :)

I'll ask that they don't replace the battery and that I'll replace it myself if I start getting 'electrical system' errors.

@Neilew – Re: the brake fluid, is there somewhere which states when this needs to be changed if you don't think it's due for a change yet?

My wife uses the car 3-5 times a week to do a 10 mile commute (each way). From the sounds of it this is quite a good usage pattern to ensure the 12V battery keeps topped up?

Thanks again for all your replies :D

David
 

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Unless the schedule has been updated (this was posted here some time ago) it is 4 years for the brake fluid.
 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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I'll ask that they don't replace the battery and that I'll replace it myself if I start getting 'electrical system' errors.
Please don't. There is no guarantee at all that it will fail graciously. But yes (thanks @StinkyPete ) mine is in without a problem for 4.5 years now. I do check now and then though.

My advice is:-
WHEN you replace, get a Varta c22 and do it yourself;
to check IF you need to replace, either follow the 3 years, or have any decent garage check it with their "toaster".

150+ quid saved.
 

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Speak, Eevee!
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As I've recently experienced, a 'check electrical system' error is not necessarily the battery. Probably a case of, it's advisable to get it checked properly (especially if it doesn't go away)
 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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^that^. It's often the 12 volt battery (as it's complaining about the 12 volt bus), but there are more things that can fail.

The 12 volt battery is an ICE "starter" battery, which is not ideal for an EV. However, a true thick plate battery would be much more expensive and much harder to get hold of. So it's an (IMHO reasonable) compromise to use these car batteries. This is in essence the reason for the 3 year replacement.
 

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My advice is:-
WHEN you replace, get a Varta c22 and do it yourself;
to check IF you need to replace, either follow the 3 years, or have any decent garage check it with their "toaster".

150+ quid saved.
Is there any problem with just disconnecting, removing and replacing in the normal (ICE) way? I would assume you need to wait until the car goes to "sleep" first?

Any problem with losing radio codes etc?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the ongoing discussion everyone, it makes really useful reading!

So on balance it seems the safest thing to do is replace the 12V battery every 3 years but to do it oneself? Is there any harm in leaving it another year, particularly if the car does get used regularly.

This 12V battery 'toaster' that people have been mentioning – is it this?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/KATSU-Tools-452107-Battery-Charging/dp/B01F98LUMO

If so I may as well get one myself so I can check the health of the battery myself rather than relying on going to a garage.

Is a battery's ability to hold its voltage under a 100A load a good indication of its general health? I would have thought in a Zoe it never sees more than a few amps of load, and hence a battery that suffers under a 100A load may still have plenty of life left in it for use in a low-draw application like the Zoe?

My only slight concern is the table @Mo1 posted states that replacing the 12V battery has to be 'observed' for warranties to be maintained. The '15 plate car still has another year of warranty left, so I wouldn't want not replacing the 12V battery now to invalidate the warranty should something happen in the next year ...

Replace it now and be done with it?

Not sure why they want to replace the brake fluid if that's only recommend for every 4th year though ...

Many thanks for your help everyone :)

David
 

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Discussion Starter #18

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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Yup, those are toasters. Much cheaper than I thought.

Is there any problem with just disconnecting, removing and replacing in the normal (ICE) way? I would assume you need to wait until the car goes to "sleep" first?

Any problem with losing radio codes etc?
Going from memory (it's been a while), there were no problems at all, except (heee!!) a "Check Electrical System", that went away after a while. I don't remember loosing things like radio stations.
 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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Is a battery's ability to hold its voltage under a 100A load a good indication of its general health? I would have thought in a Zoe it never sees more than a few amps of load, and hence a battery that suffers under a 100A load may still have plenty of life left in it for use in a low-draw application like the Zoe?
That assumes the inverter is always catching any load. If the radiator fan and the interior fan kick in, that is a substantial load. Then there is the 400 watt resistor based heater "booster" for the windshield and we're talking serious amps. Having said that, the DCDC converter has serious oomp (80 amps IIANM), and the car seems to do exactly the perfect thing to keep the battery in shape.
 
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