Indestructible car battery

I've posted in the past about when the battery in my Focus is going to die, if ever, but several years later it still hasn't. It's a June 2001 car with
the OE silver chloride Motorcraft battery in it and at just over 11 years old is still going strong. However what is more astonishing is the car's been off the road for probably three years in total during that period with the battery just left to go flat from time to time when I've omitted to charge it up. There have been times when it's been so flat it wouldn't operate the central locking nevermind start the car but after a day on charge back it comes to life as good as new, or near as dammit.
I suspect it has somewhat fewer ampere hours in it than when it was brand new but it still starts the car first touch in sun or snow, sits happily for several weeks without going flat if the car isn't being used and generally behaves as though there's a good few years left in it yet.
Letting a battery go flat is supposed to be the death of it but this one just ignores the rules after multiple such abuses. What's the longest you've ever had a car battery last? Google suggests that anything over 7 or 8 years is quite rare even when the battery is well looked after rather than being abused to within an inch of its life as this one has been.
Still on the OE suspension, exhaust system and alternator as it happens but perhaps I've just been lucky.
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Dave Baker



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On Mon, 23 Jul 2012 18:46:00 +0100, Dave Baker wrote:
[...]

I changed the battery on my 10 year old 100k miles Focus only because the voltage was low enough to cause (harmless) dashboard reboots. It still started the car in all conditions, and had been hammered lots of times when trying to jump-start dead diesels.
Mine was still on pretty much original everything, like yours.
A Ford dealership's workshop foreman once told me, with apparent sincerity, that if they continued to make cars as good as the MK1 Focus, dealers would go out of business.
Chris
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Chris Whelan wrote:

I heard the same. I phoned a main dealer a few years after getting it to see what went wrong after X number of years with an eye to preventative maintenance and the guy said nothing goes wrong. Not a damn thing on any of them. They make no money on repairs at all apart from the odd minor thing like water leaks into the footwell through the pollen filter (which mine had and I cured with a bit of silicone sealant). The occasionally rattly gearbox but they never actually break, rear wheel bearings every now and then but that's about it. After the disasters of the Mk3 and 4 Fiesta and various Escorts Ford actually decided to build some proper cars with the Focus and Mondeo it seems. The Focus doesn't even suffer the Mondeo suspension bush issue which need fixing every few years.
I love mine still after 8 years and have no intention of changing it. I'll probably use the thing as a coffin when I finally pop my clogs.
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writes

That's given me an idea for mine - a silver Mondeo drawn by six silver horses.
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Changed the Bosch on my BMW a couple of months ago. The original BMW battery lasted just 3 years - failed a year after I bought the car and my year warranty had run out. So 2000.
Like the first one, this one gave no warning of failing. Started the car first thing and drove to the shops. (Was helping with a function - me being the driver) Drove to the function location and stopped outside the door while we unloaded. Then it wouldn't start. Clackety clack from the starter relay. Got help to push it into the car park. After the function got the bus home and picked up the jump leads - and my elderly jump start pack. Got a lift back and tried the starter pack and it worked. My posh tester reported the battery capacity as 12 amp.hr. ;-)
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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I put a new battery on the 1.6 Zetec 2000 plate Focus I had last year, it would have been 11 years old. The one it replaced was the original. At 100k, it was still on original everything - discs, clutch, exhaust, battery. I had replaced a front wheel bearing. Possibly in hindsight I should have kept it, but it needed cambelt+tensioners, discs, pads, another wheel bearing, and it was quite scruffy, so not worth anything like what it would have cost to get the lot done.
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wrote:

The battery in my 2001 Tranny is the original and it was still starting off the button every time until two years ago when I laid it up and left the battery on a Lidl maintenance charger. The battery's still good even now. Indeed, if the battery had been a mere 1/2" shorter it would have fitted the Toyota tray and been used in that instead of having to buy a new one for there.
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wrote:

If you had my karma, your bragging will result in instant failure.
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I'm trying not to tempt fate but share your concern. :)
Anyway my mate with the constant supply of cars he tinkers about with has several suitable calcium batteries knocking about which I can draw on if needed so I'll see how long I can run my one until it dies a final death, if ever. I keep meaning to charge it up properly because it was flat yet again after sitting for a while recently but a quick jump start and a 20 mile run and the damn thing is fine again. I may have to hit it with a large hammer to seriously affect it. Letting it go flat doesn't seem to.
I was also interested looking at the various batteries my mate had in how battery design seems to have changed. Back in the day there were umpteen different sizes and both round and square terminals. Now it seems the range has been rationalised with round terminals on nearly everything and similar external dimensions. Any of his batteries from BMWs and Peugeots look as though they fit my Focus and all the modern ones are calcium. Makes life much easier.
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Dave Baker wrote:

until you get something older come in :) In the last year or so I have had to hunt around or modify things so that the available battery can be fitted, this has included Sierra, Honda CRV, 2 x Lexus, Ferrari 308, Fiat Punto, probably a couple of others too.
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No problem getting the correct battery for my SD1 - even Halfords does them. Do they have non standard terminals?
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

The CRV had the tiny round terminals and I could only get one where the polarity was reversed, so I had to refit the earth cable. The Sierra has bolt on lugs, as I wanted to put on a Bosch from Costco I had to get adaptors to suit a round post battery (they don't stock any bolt up batteries at all) The Ferrari originally had the polarity the 'wrong' way round, needed some re routing of cable. Both Lexus actually need flat top batteries to suit the clamp and both were the other way round on polarity, but that was easy enough as the the leads were long enough and a block of wood made the clamp fit again. The punto had a weird heat shield around the original that was just slightly too small for the Bosch I got for it, a quick cut about made it fit, etc. Apparently battery makers are 'rationalising ' their ranges and discontinuing the odd ones, including making all batteries have the polarity the same way/side.
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Think this is more the fact that you buy your batteries from Costco. Ebay is awash with the correct ones for all of those - including Bosch.
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*Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine*

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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wrote:

www.carbatteriesonline.co.uk
I, and other people I have pointed them out to have used them without problems many times..
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Mike P wrote:

cannot compare to Costco on guarantee, I got a total refund for an 8 year old one once !!!
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