November 3

2016 Range Rover Evoque Low Battery Warning

Land Rover/Range Rover

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Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik. Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Vancouver's best auto service experience. 25 times voted best in Vancouver by their customers. And we're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing very well. 

Mark: So today's victim had a low battery warning, a 2016 Range Rover Evoque. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: Yeah. So the client's complaint was that sometimes the interior light in the car wouldn't come on and there was this continuous warning light on. It's actually not a warning, like a displayed warning that said battery voltage low. So that was a concern on the vehicle.

Mark: So do you just go ahead and change the battery or try and guess what it is? 

Bernie: No, excellent question. Since we're professionals, we don't guess. We test, we diagnose, we look at things. So a bit of history on this vehicle. This is a client who'd been to us before for a few different issues. And the battery had been replaced. She had a no start issue with the car quite a few months ago, maybe six months, eight months ago. When you go to push the start button, it wouldn't start. They'd replaced the battery before they brought the car to us, but it still wouldn't start. We found a quite separate issue. 

So we didn't replace the battery because it's already been replaced. And in the conversation I had with the client, they sort of indicated, maybe there's a start stop battery. A lot of vehicles, especially this vintage have an auxiliary battery. It's usually a little tiny battery that will provide some backup power to the vehicle for the start stop functions. So the engine stops when you're at a red light. 

Doing a bit of research, we determined that the vehicle was supposed to have one of these batteries. I say it was supposed to, because in the end it didn't. One dealership, we gave the VIN number to said, yeah, it's got one here. It is. And so in conversation with the owner over the phone, we decided that replacing that battery would be the first thing we do since the other one had been replaced. But since the vehicle didn't have one, we went into testing and diagnostic mode. 

Tested the battery. The battery tested fine, although a little low on charge. So we charged the battery up. But what we realized is that the vehicle needs to have the battery registered to the system. And because I don't know who actually replaced the battery. It wasn't us. It wasn't a Range Rover dealer. I think they did it themselves. The battery replacement wasn't done properly.

Mark: Okay. That sounds really bizarre. The battery has to be registered to the computer? 

Bernie: Yeah. So certain vehicles, what happens is the way the charging, system works on a lot of these vehicles, they have monitors that will monitor how much power is flowing in and out of the battery. And really, it's about using the alternator, the charging system to its most efficient ability. So you don't wanna waste fuel, waste power. You just wanna put the right amount of charge in and not more, you know, if you look at a lot of older vehicles, it'll overcharge the system. 

So they try to avoid that. So as a car gets older, you know, the vehicle will provide a certain amount of charge because it's used to the way the battery is. When you replace the battery, then you have to tell a computer, Hey, I replaced the battery. This is the size of the battery and so on, and then the charging system will readjust. It's kind of a reset for the charging system to charge at a different rate. And so basically what we determined is that because that procedure hadn't been done, the vehicle was constantly in a low state of charge. It wasn't charging the battery up fully. 

Mark: So how unique to Range Rovers is this? 

Bernie: It's pretty common on a lot of them. I don't know what year they started doing this, but I'd say if you have anything from 2010 and newer, it probably needs it. We'll just look at a couple of pictures here. 

So there's the car. Fortunately, a lot of leaves, we're in Vancouver. It's fall. There's a lot of leaf debris. And so that tends to get all over the cars these days. That has nothing to do with our issue. Just aesthetics. 

2016 Range Rover Evoque Low Battery Warning

There's a photo of the top of the battery. So you can see, you know, and if you look at a car that say, I don't know, 20 years older than this, you'll see like, a battery terminal and one wire, maybe two going off, one negative, one positive. And if you look on this vehicle, you've got extra wires here. You've got little bus bars here and there. So there are sensors. There's a little wire here, there's sensors on these batteries that detect how much current and voltage is going through the system and they'll make adjustments.

2016 Range Rover Evoque Low Battery Warning

This is where the computers will monitor how much voltage is going in and out of the battery and make the adjustment. So that's why it's really important to have the battery registered to the proper amount. Now, I will say this battery, you can see the brand of the battery here, my mouse pointers clicking around. We're in Canada. This is something you probably won't find in the US, but these batteries are, in the opinion of myself and a lot of other techs around, are not the best batteries. So quality of battery might make a difference too, and that's actually something that's really important on a vehicle like this is you put a really good quality battery in the vehicle.

Mark: So, there seems to be some pretty big price differences, though, like, why does the quality of the battery make such a difference? 

Bernie: Yeah, so there are price differences. Of course, where are you buy it from? Some places will just sell batteries cheaper than others. I mean, you can buy batteries at Costco. That's probably the cheapest place you'll find a car battery. Are they the best quality batteries? Probably not. I was told that there's only two manufacturers of batteries in the US, which would include Canada. Of course, not all their batteries are going to be made to the same quality. I don't know if that's actually true or not.

And there are different types of batteries. There are regular, you know, sort of lead acid. They're called flooded batteries. And there's AGM batteries, which is absorb glass mat, I believe is what that is. 

So that's a different technology and a lot of these kind of high end vehicles use AGM batteries as well. So they have different charging characteristics.

So, again, when you're registering a battery to a vehicle, you can use the flooded type in some vehicles. You shouldn't if it had an AGM battery originally, but you could, if you can make the right adjustments so the charging system works properly. But to me, the most important thing when you put a battery in a car is put exactly the OEM equivalent in or better.

So, I mean, pricing, you know, it depends on where you buy it. But don't be deceived by cheap price because you might also be buying cheap quality. That makes a difference to how well it works. 

Mark: We kind of jumped past the auxiliary battery issue with this one, the dealer telling you based on the VIN that there should be a second battery and you're not finding one. What happened there?

Bernie: Well, it's interesting. There's a couple of Land Rover dealers that we deal with, and one we like more than the other because the one we like is more accurate with information. But the one that we don't like as much is closer to us and in a lazy moment, I'll take responsibility, I called the one we don't like so much. They looked up the information said, yeah, it's supposed to have this one.

Sometimes, though, we have had a couple of different issues with certain parts, like Evoques and these smaller Land Rovers the LR2s where we've been told, oh, yeah, it has this particular type of thing and not related to the battery, different type of part and we end up getting the wrong piece.

And this is like, we give the VIN number. And so that should be the absolute determinant of what's in the vehicle, but sometimes it's not always right. And I shouldn't, you know, throw a Land Rover, or even a particular dealership under the bus, because it happens sometimes, even Mercedes, we've noticed, give the VIN number and then the wrong part arrives. What's going on here? It's kind of strange.

So yeah, this vehicle didn't have that particular thing. And sometimes I guess cars are on the borderline of the production of the car might have this, it's supposed to have it, but they didn't put it in. We've run into that with a few different vehicles. It's not very common, but it happens occasionally. 

Mark: And so once everything's repaired, you charged the battery. Did you replace the battery? 

Bernie: No, we didn't replace the battery. We left it in because it actually tested good. And I think what was worthwhile doing is to charge the battery, reset the system, do the relearn, register the battery properly for the vehicle and see how it goes. And so it's been over a week since it's happened, and I actually haven't called the client back to find out how it is. But there was an immediately noticeable difference in the way the car started and performed after doing the registration process.

So you know, I'm pretty confident this will make all the difference. And interestingly enough, so I mentioned the interior light wasn't coming on. So what happens on on a lot of vehicles, you know, they're designed to protect the vehicle so it starts. So if the battery voltage gets too low, it'll turn off certain accessories and they won't come on. 

So if you have a fairly sophisticated car, like a Land Rover or Mercedes, you know, sometimes, you notice certain things aren't coming on, You go, wow that light isn't working. A lot of times it can be because the battery voltage is a bit too low.

Mark: Interesting. If you're looking for service for your Range Rover in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them on their website pawlikautomotive.com. Or you can call them to book your next appointment. You have to book ahead. They're always busy. Call them at (604) 327-7112. If you're feeling lonely and sleepy at night, you can always watch one of our thousand plus videos on the website or on YouTube and we thank you and appreciate you doing that. Thanks, Bernie. 

Bernie: Thank you, Mark. And thanks for watching.

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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