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Discussion Starter #1
So… I’ve got various wet bits inside the car (no obvious roof problems, and it was recently treated with a well-known protector – can’t remember whose just now); and the 18-month-old battery was too flat to start her today, despite a decent run a week ago. The two sample pics are of (a) the place in the driver’s door where you put your fingers to pull it closed; (b) front o/s seat fixing bolt, both half full of water :mad:

So, as we approach our 3rd Northern Irish winter together, I have to ask myself… is it actually feasible to keep a convertible outside all year round? I kind of thought it would be OK being rained on from above only, eg it wouldn't rust underneath etc as it’s never actually driven on wet roads, but maybe not…

The battery is a Lion, and has already been replaced twice under warranty – maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and buy a decent quality make, or do they all degrade very quickly if only driven once or twice a week?
Answers on a £50 note please :sick:

136085


136086
 

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This all looks to me like condensation, but I see only puddles, not the whole car.

Regarding battery, it should last as warranty says, with driving at least 20 miles journey once a week. These are at least my experiences. However my batteries were all with at least three year warranty.
 

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mg_tf
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Personal view only:- If you were to ask me which would be the last brand of battery I would buy - you’ve got it.
For me, I invest in a Varta/Bosch with a minimum of 4 year warranty, and simply search on line for the best deal, delivered to the door.
Re water ingress:- convertibles and water tightness under all weather conditions?? If it were mine, I would be looking for a waterproof cover which covers the roof and mirrors, and see how you get on with that.
Kind regards,
Austin.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies guys, and the recommended reading - yes, I have a 75 too, so am well familiar with the swimming-pool-boot effect :mad:

Personal view only:- If you were to ask me which would be the last brand of battery I would buy - you’ve got it.
Oh, you don't have to tell me mate. Only reason it still has one is that it came almsot new with the car, and I haven't had to pay (twice) to get it replaced - time for a better one I think.

Re water ingress:- convertibles and water tightness under all weather conditions?? If it were mine, I would be looking for a waterproof cover which covers the roof and mirrors, and see how you get on with that.
I did have a cheap cover, but I can't get on with them, and they can damage the paint etc.

Maybe I need a duvet, inside a plastic bag, held down over the roof with bricks, to stop condensation...
 

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mg_tf
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Do you let the battery discharge until it can't start the car? They're not keen on deep discharge and sitting for days in that state - eventually the plates inside get 'sulphating' which is not reversible. I'd have thought you'd be alright if it never gets to the point where the battery won't start the car though.

As for water, it doesn't look like the dreaded 'speaker' leak from the windows or the other well known leak due to degraded sealant around the air intake 'snorkel' in the bonnet compartment. Maybe it is condensation as has been suggested. Condensation occurs when moist air touches a cold surface and the hood, especially when facing a clear night sky, will be very cold. The answer, as you've already figured out, is to insulate the hood on the outside somehow.

I use a hood cover nowadays - it doesn't seem to scratch the car, but you have to make sure the magnets in it never touch the ground and pick up scratchy filings, rust or similar. The rear edge piping tucks into the boot shut line, the sides tuck into the door shut lines or have magnets and the windscreen part is held down by the wipers. Seems to work...mine was made by ukcustomcovers (www.ukcustomcovers.com).
 

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I have had one Lion battery - never again. I have a Moll battery from Germany which is very good - I do not know if it is available in the UK.

The car really should not leak like this, but a waterproof cover is probably the way to go. However, I would try to identify the source(s) of the leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Do you let the battery discharge until it can't start the car?
No, although this car is essentially a toy, and impractical for my daily driver (for which I use my old Rover 75 tractor), I make a point of taking it for a 20-30 mile blast once or twice a week, and there’s never any difficulty starting – until now. Looking back at what I’ve written over the last 2 or 3 years I’ve had the car, I can see it’s the old familiar LION battery sudden failure pattern. Time for Exide or Varta or whatever I think…

As for water, it doesn't look like the dreaded 'speaker' leak from the windows or the other well known leak due to degraded sealant around the air intake 'snorkel' in the bonnet compartment. Maybe it is condensation as has been suggested. Condensation occurs when moist air touches a cold surface and the hood, especially when facing a clear night sky, will be very cold. The answer, as you've already figured out, is to insulate the hood on the outside somehow.
Right - don't know about those leaks... but it definitely happens when the car is just sitting in the drive, rather than when driving - never had any problems that way.

I use a hood cover nowadays - it doesn't seem to scratch the car, but you have to make sure the magnets in it never touch the ground and pick up scratchy filings, rust or similar. The rear edge piping tucks into the boot shut line, the sides tuck into the door shut lines or have magnets and the windscreen part is held down by the wipers. Seems to work...mine was made by ukcustomcovers (www.ukcustomcovers.com).
Thanks for that, I'll have a look. Thinking back to the cheap (and pretty nasty) cover I got with the car (now dumped), I seem to remember my frustrations with it were more around having to make sure the car was dry before putting it on, to avoid kind of sealing in a damp layer between it and the car... ot maybe I'm worrying unnecessarily about that...

Update - OK, just had a look. Now I'm wondering it a half cover would be suitable (and easier to use) than the full job - which do you use? Thanks :)
 

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In terms of a hood cover, I'd suggest Mike Satur's sunmate. I find it very easy to put on the car and it keeps the rain out and its cheaper than the one from ukcustomcovers.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
In terms of a hood cover, I'd suggest Mike Satur's sunmate
Right... had a look at it. Do you need that "Stainless Steel Hood Fitting Kit" as well? Looks challenging :eek:

[EDIT] - sorry, ignore me. The text describing this itme didn't come up at first - it's nothing to do with the cover :sleep:
 

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I agree. The Mike Saturs sun mate works well as a rain cover too. Only gripe is that the elastic hoops lose their strength after a time.
 

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I use the half-cover from ukcustomcovers. I don't know how the Mike Satur one compares on price or quality but the customcovers one doesn't have any elastic to go slack - it uses sort of rolled piping that fits in the shut lines of the boot and doors, plus a few magnets and the windscreen wipers to hold down the front of the cover. The wing mirrors are used to hold it on too - but with velcro straps that go under the mirrors. It's a woven fabric, not the cheap plastic sheet that'll tear after a year or two. It's very secure.
As for the business of not putting on the half-cover when the hood is wet - my car is SORNed on the drive and hasn't been driven for a year+ while I sort stuff out, but although the hood is dry when I put the cover on, after a while in winter it's always damp underneath. This doesn't seem to do any harm. I roll it back inside out across the boot from time to time when the weather is kind and let things dry out. If you think about it, it's probably not leaking, just condensation again - unavoidable.
I do have a full cover as well but can't get on with it really as it takes a lot of bending down under the car and fiddling with straps to get it lifted up to run up the engine, which I do weekly. The first time I used the full cover I just lifted up the side where the driver's door is to be able to get to the ignition, and lifted the rear of the cover to clear the exhaust pipes then started the car. I'd forgotten about the straps underneath though which cross over the exhaust and they promptly melted ;0)
 

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It’s probably me, but ‘solenoids getting stuck open’ - not sure what solenoids, and if stuck open, suggests open circuit, and should not account for parasitic drains.
Battery isolators do just that, and are a simple and effective alternative to disconnecting the battery. Of course, if you disconnect the battery then the alarm doesn’t work, and if parked outside then you could question whether the insurers would be too happy with paying out if stolen!
My first port of call would still be be to get the Lion battery at least checked, and ideally replaced with a decent one.
Kind regards,
Austin.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It’s probably me, but ‘solenoids getting stuck open’ - not sure what solenoids, and if stuck open, suggests open circuit, and should not account for parasitic drains.
Yes I admit to not quite getting that one myself… but I don’t think it’s the case with me anyway, as these [email protected]!! Lion batteries seem to work fine till it gets a bit cold, then suddenly fail – a new battery (replaced twice under warranty now – how do Lion make any money??) fixes the problem for the best part of a year, so I don’t think it's the car circuitry…

Battery isolators do just that, and are a simple and effective alternative to disconnecting the battery. Of course, if you disconnect the battery then the alarm doesn’t work, and if parked outside then you could question whether the insurers would be too happy with paying out if stolen!
I thought about one of these before, when my alarm kept going off at 5:00am… but I think I’d get pissed off resetting the clock, and all the radio stations, every time I wanted to take her for a spin…

My first port of call would still be be to get the Lion battery at least checked, and ideally replaced with a decent one.
What I’m going to do for now is try charging it once a week for now, as well as at least one run; I think that’ll soon tell me if it’s dying or just a bit cold… one thing is for sure, no car of mine will ever have a Lion battery again :(
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just one thing then chaps… of course I can see how a cover would help with any leaks etc, but if mine’s condensation, will it provide enough insulation to help with that, do you think?

Bearing in mind they filmed most of Game of Thrones here, and we couldn’t understand why they kept saying “Winter is coming” when it had never gone away…
 

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My TF doesn't seem to suffer from condensation filling up the inside door pulls like yours does. However, maybe your best bet would be to try an experiment and on the sort of night when you're sure you'd ordinarily get condensation, cover the car roof and windows with an old tarp weighted down with something soft. See if it makes a difference. One other thing - you don't have a water leak somewhere else that is causing very moist air in your car do you? Are your carpets dry underneath in the footwell? You can peel the carpet back from the door seal fairly easily near the front of the doors I believe. Just a few ideas, these things are tricky to solve...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The carpets don't feel wet to the touch, but as you say it might be underneath... worth checking I guess.

The car is dry weather use only, so any leak would probably have to come from above I suppose, as it's not pushing through driving rain coming at it from different angles etc.

Well, I'll post again if I find anything!

Thanks everybody :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
OK, just a quick update for anybody who’s terminally bored… so I charged the battery back at the start of the week when the problem began, then went out and just started the car every day, to see if the battery was discharging – no problems, started first time today and took her for a run. The only thing I notice is, the day it wouldn't start was the last in a series of very cold ones, with frost on the roof etc. Perhaps Lions (apart from being generally crap) lose the plot completely when it’s cold…

Regarding the wetness, well, I got in the car today and the whole inside of the roof was soaking, and dripping everywhere. I assume the entire roof hasn’t become porous, so condensation it must indeed be. I think water may have dripped into the door pull from one of the metal bars in the roof mechanism…

Next step is to find out if either of the two roof covers mentioned have much in the way of insulation – if not, maybe I can get some kind of thermal sheet or something to put between one of them and the roof…
 

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Any battery that is near the end of its life will finally let you down on a very cold day - it's just down to the chemistry - reactions happen much more slowly at low temperature. Every battery I've ever replaced that wasn't phosphated up by me letting it deep discharge, failed on a freezing day. However, a good battery will still have enough capacity when freezing to crank your engine over so the Lion battery is on borrowed time, but I think you know that anyway ;0)

I can tell you the ukcustomcovers half cover is plain woven fabric and does not have insulation.

I'd still recommend checking underneath the carpets for damp though. One leak that can afflict the F/TF is the 'snorkel' leak, the plastic air intake on the pax side under the bonnet. The sealant around its base goes and water can dribble in and soak underneath the carpets. Then there's a big reservoir of damp in the passenger compartment just keeping the air at 100% humidity.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Every battery I've ever replaced that wasn't phosphated up by me letting it deep discharge, failed on a freezing day.
Yeah… makes sense.

I'd still recommend checking underneath the carpets for damp though. One leak that can afflict the F/TF is the 'snorkel' leak, the plastic air intake on the pax side under the bonnet. The sealant around its base goes and water can dribble in and soak underneath the carpets. Then there's a big reservoir of damp in the passenger compartment just keeping the air at 100% humidity.
Yes that makes sense too. Ummm… “pax side”? Is the air intake for the ventilation or what?
How do you get the carpets up please – do you kind of work them out from under the trims at the bottom of the doors?

{EDIT} - ah, I guess you mean this?

Thanks
 
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