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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Had a Stelvio for about 4 months now which we bought second hand and I love it! Also love the fact I've not seen another one on the road in London yet.

I washed the car yesterday and then this morning went to the car and tried to start it and nothing. The only thing I can see on are the exterior door handle lights are on. Pressing the start button doesn't register anything - not even the dash lights come on.

I tried to jump start it from an older Audi TT. First time I've done a jump start without the farther-in-law helping me. I hooked it all up correctly but still nothing in the Stelvio. (I didn't leave it long - less that a minute - from connecting the leads to trying to start the Stelvio so I'm not sure if that was a mistake?)

Alfa Road side assistance came out but their van was too tall to get into the height restricted car park - lesson 1 always mention restrictions if phoning Alfa care! The guy did test the battery with a meter and he got 4.5v instead of the 12v so said the battery is very flat.

I'm not waiting on a second smaller recovery vehicle to come and jump start it. Fingers crossed this works.

So I've a number of questions from this...
1) How did the battery go that flat? I used the radio whilst cleaning the car but could that have really done it? The other thing I parked much closer to my house any issues with keys being nearer the car that could flatten the battery?

2) If they can't get this recovery truck in how can I disengage the parking brake (and gears?) to push the car to some where accessible?

3) I'm considering a jump starter - if so what size do I need? The recovery guy said the jump leads I had would have melted before starting the car - they are old but is that really true they've jumped a 3L Audio TT before? Is the Stelvio that power hungry? (The recovery guy said just get a spare battery for a 1/3 of the cost of a jump starter)

4) Any recommendations on a battery charger? Again is there a certain size that is needed?
 

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I had the same issue. It’s possibly a software “campaign” to fix a BCM fault which may cause the turn signal to turn on while the engine is off, this can result in total battery discharge. At least that’s what my dealer flashed onto the car and it’s been fine since, typically goes into float on my tender when I attach it weekly within an hour at low amperage.

For a battery tender my dealer’s Alfa/Maserati tech said something with a max of at least 5A for charging a deep cycled battery, 1A is sufficient for floating otherwise. I’m using the Battery Minder 128CEC1 because it’s really flexible on battery types.

Edit: there’s an eyelet on the transmission under the car. Thread a bolt into it to put it into neutral. I don’t recall the dimensions, your dealer or AlfaCare should be able to provide it. I think it’s M6x32
 

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....

3) I'm considering a jump starter - if so what size do I need? The recovery guy said the jump leads I had would have melted before starting the car - they are old but is that really true they've jumped a 3L Audio TT before? Is the Stelvio that power hungry? (The recovery guy said just get a spare battery for a 1/3 of the cost of a jump starter)
...
I have one of these, they're great (LiPo battery). Very compact, retain charge for a long time, great to start car if you get stuck with an empty car battery :
https://www.conrad-electronic.co.uk/ce/en/product/1380676/Dino-KRAFTPAKET-Quick-start-system-136102-Jump-start-current-12-V300-A?ref=list

Re battery chargers, Alfa sell a charger as accessory. This is actually a rebranded CTEK, well known make.I believe CTEK CT5 start/stop
Alfa charger
ct5-start-stop
ctek overview
ctek chargers
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well I think things are about to become interesting...

The second recovery person arrived to jump start the car - and it wouldn't start at all. No noise, no flicker on the dial, nothing. Even with the recovery van and an extra battery pack connected.

Interestingly the radio comes on and is in Italian.

So now they are sending out a specialist recovery team that can get under a height restriction...this could be interesting.

Anyway an extra question - is there a way to open child locked rear doors when the battery is flat (or the electrics aren't working). We need to get our child seats out of the car before it goes into the dealer...
 

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...
Anyway an extra question - is there a way to open child locked rear doors when the battery is flat (or the electrics aren't working). We need to get our child seats out of the car before it goes into the dealer...
Normally I would say connect a battery pack to the jumpstart terminals under the hood, which should allow power to unlock rear door(s).
However, in your case, no idea if that would work as your battery seems really dead :(
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Normally I would say connect a battery pack to the jumpstart terminals under the hood, which should allow power to unlock rear door(s).
However, in your case, no idea if that would work as your battery seems really dead :(
We tried the central locking with the recovery van connected - nothing.
 

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So the drama continues....

Last night Alfa Assist tried to get the car collected but clearly the tow truck company just wanted to swerve the job. We will be there in 40 mins. Phone back 50 mins later... we will be there in 40 mins.... when it got to 10pm I gave up.

So another truck has turned up this morning... with a jump pack actually got the dash to light up and the central locking to unlock. However it wouldn't turn over - you get a strange vibration on the brake pedal when it can't seem to turn over. Also the dash lit up like a Christmas tree.

I don't know if this success is because it was a bigger battery pack (although how can it be bigger than being hooked up to a recovery van?) or if it is water in the electrics it may have had some time to dry out...

Anyway it is still not going - looks like they are going to need 4 skates and a lot of man power to move it to a place the van can pick it up.

I assume there is no way to disengage the 4 wheel drive so that they only need two skates?
 

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If you look in the owners manual there are instructions to release the parking brake and put the car in neutral but it can't be flat towed that way. Probably best to use dollys.

Another idea if you are just waiting anyway....

Hook up the Audi TT again making sure you connect positive to positive, etc., keep the TT running while it is connected to the Stelvio's battery. Let it stay connected and running for at least a half hour. This will allow the Audi's charging system to charge the Stelvio's battery some.

After at least a half hour try to start the Stelvio, again keep the Audi connected and running the whole time. If the Stelvio starts, go shut off the Audi immediatly.


Done this probably a hundred times to get various cars with completely dead battery's started. Most modern cars have a safety feature built in that won't even let the starter move if there isn't enough power, and The Stelvio takes ALOT of power.

Could be these people do not have strong enough jumper packs.

If theStelvio starts, don't shut it off, it will die again. Give it at least an hour at idle or a solid drive for 15-20 minutes, and really maybe get it looked at, battery tested etc.
 

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So the drama continues....

.......

I assume there is no way to disengage the 4 wheel drive so that they only need two skates?
there are 2 ways:
1 if you have (enough) electric power, you can switch the transmission to Neutral (and disengage park brake)
2 There is a mechanical way using a screw on the gearbox, from below the car.

Have a look here : unlocking auto transmission
 

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^That only puts it in neutral, it does not disengage the driveshaft, so ok to push a few feet, but not to tow. Not sure if it is being flat towed or just pushed to a more accessible location.

Oh, only use your jumper cables if all the insulation is good and the connectors are rust free. The Stelvio takes alot of power, quite a bit more than a 1st gen TT if that is what you have. The comment about your cables melting may have been a scare tactic, but make sure they are in good condition.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the replies. It was in a height restricted car park so needed to be pushed about 50m to get it out of that restriction to where a low loader could park.

That being said one of the guys that turned up had an even bigger battery pack and this time we got it started. When it was started and putting a meter on the battery it was coming up as just 13v so he thinks that it might not be charging properly. Anyway it is going into Alfa to make sure it is ok - on the back of a low loader now we've managed to drive it to the low loader.

So I guess if you are going to buy a jump starter might need a fairly hefty one. Does anyone have any experience/recommendations? I think I might buy the Alfa charger - I assume that would work from a very dead battery assuming you leave it long enough?
 

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Thanks for the replies. It was in a height restricted car park so needed to be pushed about 50m to get it out of that restriction to where a low loader could park.

That being said one of the guys that turned up had an even bigger battery pack and this time we got it started. When it was started and putting a meter on the battery it was coming up as just 13v so he thinks that it might not be charging properly. Anyway it is going into Alfa to make sure it is ok - on the back of a low loader now we've managed to drive it to the low loader.

So I guess if you are going to buy a jump starter might need a fairly hefty one. Does anyone have any experience/recommendations? I think I might buy the Alfa charger - I assume that would work from a very dead battery assuming you leave it long enough?
a jump starter is not meant to recharge a battery, just allow car to start.... The LiPo battery packs generally supply enough current to do that.
They have electronic circuitry to limit the current.
The Alfa charger is mainly meant for trickle/maintenance charging. Charging current is max 3.8 Amps
As the standard battery is 95 Ah, it would take a long time to fully charge an empty battery (95/3.8 = 25 hours at 100% efficiency), so in practice probably around 2 days charge....

So it all depends on what you want. If it's just maintenance charge, the Alfa charger will be fine. If you also want to use it in the (hopefully few) cases you have an empty battery, you'd be better of with one of the Ctek chargers with higher power capacity
example: MXS 7.0, with 7 Amps charging capacity mxs-7-0
 

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Still unclear if a float charger can be connected to the posts underwood or must be directly at the battery terminals. ALFATECH? You around? I purchased a NOCO jump box (worked great on our A4 when it was dead as a door nail) and float charger figuring in the deep winter a good exercise. Thoughts + thanks!
 

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I’ve been running a tender on the jump posts under hood. Voltage is identical at both the battery and hood posts and the tender detects the battery properly.

As far as I can tell those posts are home run wires to the battery and that’s it. The cover over the positive is a really nice “stupid insurance” touch from the engineers.
 

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Still unclear if a float charger can be connected to the posts underwood or must be directly at the battery terminals. ....!
You can do either one, but if you want a permanent install, it is easiest to make a permanent connection to the battery. This is what I did on my giulia
 

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Thanks knight + jwq2! I like to have a plan of action... much appreciated. This forum is a great asset.
 

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There is a distinct possibility of a shorted cell in the battery. If cables are getting hot, disconnect immediately!! I experienced this for the first time this summer and it was weird. High power Schumacher charger with 50AMP start mode. Within a minute, the cables were really HOT!! Battery had a failed cell. Would not be the first Varta to experience this. Alfa service should put in another battery and see if she starts up fine. Test battery out of vehicle. I bet its dead. At least that would get you out of the garage!!!
 

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Using your inconvenience as a learning experience, Neil, I've got a question to those of you that are using tenders on a regular basis. Why? Do these batteries go flat that much quicker than an average car or is this not your daily driver? I've never had battery issues before and am wondering if this is something I should be looking into for the Stelvio.
 

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Using your inconvenience as a learning experience, Neil, I've got a question to those of you that are using tenders on a regular basis. Why? Do these batteries go flat that much quicker than an average car or is this not your daily driver? I've never had battery issues before and am wondering if this is something I should be looking into for the Stelvio.
The OEM Varta is a flooded cell instead of a (appropriate for the use) AGM battery. Flooded cell batteries don’t handle being deep cycled all that well. Our Stelvios have what is best termed a “beefy” starter which requires a decent amount of power to crank. The Stelvio has notable weirdness and issues with a battery under 60% SOC. In my case I have a short commute which is a majority of the miles on my car, and it’s all surface streets. Auto stop/start means my Stelvio starts typically 1 or 1.5 times per mile on my commute if I don’t shut it off, so I’m generally pulling more power out than the alternator is putting back in. This has stranded me once when coupled with a BCM fault which drained my battery to zero.

I’m not giving the IBS and BCM a chance to strand me again so it’s worth my time to tender it once a week. If it doesn’t come into float within a couple hours I’ll know proactively that I have a battery problem so I can fix it. I’m also very sensitive to battery issues after my last car stranded me with a dead cell every 11-12 months for six years because Kia makes a really dependable car.
 

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The OEM Varta is a flooded cell instead of a (appropriate for the use) AGM battery. Flooded cell batteries don’t handle being deep cycled all that well. Our Stelvios have what is best termed a “beefy” starter which requires a decent amount of power to crank...
Thank you, Knight, this is very helpful. Quick follow-on -- is it worth it to replace the battery with an AGM? Or is this one of those -- if you're having problems only -- situations?
 
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