1998 Jaguar Vanden Plas battery charge

Tiny
SUEMEDEIROS
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 JAGUAR VANDEN PLAS
Electrical problem
1998 Jaguar Vanden Plas V8 Two Wheel Drive 85000 miles

My father had a new battery put in his Jaguar about 2 months before he passed away. I only drove the car a couple times over the following 6 months. I then drove it for about an hour and parked it in the garage. I went to drive it two weeks later, and it would not start - the battery had lost its charge. (The temperature had been around 20 Fahrenheit for several days.) My father had always had it serviced at the dealer, so I took it there. They checked the battery and charged it and said that I should drive it weekly for at least 20 minutes to charge the battery. He said the battery checked out fine. I tried to drive it every 6 days (long story), but had to wait 8 days, and it happened again. After several iterations of this, the dealer told me that many high end cars have this problem, and that I should hook it up to a trickle charger. I do this, but I don't know whether to believe the dealer or not. Is it possible that the battery really is faulty? Now I'm afraid to drive it in case it won't start up again when I leave to come home. I'm wondering if it is not getting recharged as I drive it. I was thinking of buying a battery gauge (if such a thing exists) so that I can see how much juice it has before I take it anywhere. If it just keeps going down after driven, would this indicate that it's not charging during driving, and that the alternator is at fault? (I know nothing about cars, so please forgive me if this is dumb.)
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Friday, December 19th, 2008 AT 10:24 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
IMPALASS
  • EXPERT
Hello - SueMedeiros

I am sorry to hear your father has passed. You and your family are in my prayers.

Well, let's try something free and see if there is anything we can find out.

Please go to Auto Zone (AZ) or O'Reilly's (OR) and for FREE they can pull the codes to the car. Most important: Once they check your codes, if they find something and you don't get it fixed and need to get back with us, please make sure you tell us exactly what the code was, number and all. Example, if the code was E0568 O2 Sensor bad. Then make sure you give us all of that. While there for FREE also they can bring their tester out and check your battery and alternator.

Now, I am having you check the codes just in case there is something there that we can look at. As for the battery and alternator - you may be totally correct. It may not be getting a good charge when driving. So they will be able to check your alternator to see if it is putting out the correct amps to properly charge the battery.

Also, next time when it is dark out. Go out, start the car, turn the lights on. Sit for a few minutes, then shut it all down and get out close the doors and then just watch to see if you can see if a light stays on. This includes under the hood. You may be able to see something. If not. That is okay.

I did look through all the TSBs and didn't find anything about battery draw down etc.

So, if you would do the above and let me know, we can take it from there.

And don't be so hard on yourself. Asking the question is not dumb at all. We all have certain talents and things we are good at and have knowledge of.I am sure you have many talents and knowledge in many other things that if we knew, would gladly be asking you about. That is what we are all here for. To help each other.

I am sorry again to hear of the loss of your father
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Friday, December 19th, 2008 AT 5:19 PM
Tiny
SUEMEDEIROS
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Thanks so much for your quick reply. I will take the car to Autozone some time in the next few days (as soon as we get the snow out of the driveway) and get the codes. I had no idea what you meant by that, but my daughter did (LOL).

I did check whether there was anything unexpected running in the past when I would put it away. I turned the radio off, and didn't see any lights. The dashboard clock is definitely on.

It is so hard to lose your parents, even if they live long happy lives like mine did. My parents both loved driving the Jag, and my dad had a lifelong love affair with cars. So whenever I drive it I re-experience some of the joy they showed whenever we drove in it together. Thank you for your kind thoughts.

Anyway, I'll write back as soon as I can get it past the snow.
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Wednesday, December 24th, 2008 AT 11:11 AM
Tiny
IMPALASS
  • EXPERT
Hello -

Okay about the clock.I will check that but that shouldn't be that big of a draw.

Yes, it is hard to lose your parents. My mother has been with the Lord for about 20 years now. But the memories will last forever. Just as you said, as when you drive the car.

I will be watching for your reply when you can. Then between you, your daughter and I, we'll do what we can to get you back on the road.

Have a Merry Christmas and a safe New Year
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Wednesday, December 24th, 2008 AT 4:00 PM

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