Why is the battery always flat on my Citroen Berlingo?

In June 2021 we bought a Citroen Berlingo, which had been adapted for wheelchair access, from a specialist dealer. The vehicle is used only for short runs - perhaps 20 miles a day, three days a week.

From the start, we have had problems with a flat battery. The dealer finally provided us with a trickle charger, which wasn't convenient as the car is kept on the drive. Eventually, we took the vehicle to the local Citroen dealer who advised that an incorrect battery had been fitted.

Since the change, there hasn't been a problem until now. The van has been unused for a week (because of the bad weather) and the battery is again flat. The handbook suggests that the battery should be disconnected if the car isn't to be used for a month.

Is there a known problem with the electrics in the Citroen Berlingo or is it more likely to be a problem with this van, which the garage failed to spot?

Asked on 21 December 2022 by David Coupee

Answered by Dan Powell
Could be a case of parasitic battery drain, with the battery continuing to draw power after the car has been parked up and switched off.

I would expect the garage to do a test to establish this (as a newish battery shouldn't be going flat after a week). But you can do some troubleshooting yourself, by ensuring potential live circuits are switched off.

The radio/infotainment system and interior lights are common causes of parasitic battery drain. You can start by switching these off when you park to see if it fixes the problem. Otherwise, the garage will need to perform a further investigation to identify the cause.
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