Went out about lunchtime to run the two cars. I have tried to do this regularly during the lock down periods to keep the batteries charged up. It also warms up the engine compartment and helps to keep the damp at bay. The Skoda started immediately. On this car I can wedge something like a piece of folded card into the accelerator pedal hinge which is enough to boost the idling speed and ensure that the alternator is turning fast enough to supply demand and charge the battery too. When the car starts it runs up to about 1500 rpm, but as the engine warms up this speed increases and today, after the engine had run for about 30 minutes it got up to about 3000 rpm. I think the time and the engine speed should have given the battery a good go. 3000 rpm is equivalent to about 30 mph in third gear, from memory, so you could say overall equivalent to about 10 to 15 miles of driving.
The Toyota, alas, had not got enough in the battery to turn the engine over and start it. This is disappointing as we have already fitted it with a new battery, so either I have not been running it for long enough or not fast enough. The Toyota does not have an rpm counter so I have to run it by ear, and my ears no longer hear the engine speed very well. So I have to do it by feeling the vibration which works well enough, but is not very accurate. The Toyota was a cheap buy for a second car and I suspect that the charging system may be not as good as it should be. I have therefore emailed the garage to come and take the car in and test the system, as follows . . .
Our Toyota failed to start again to day because the battery was too low.
I have been running it weekly at a good engine speed in order to keep the battery charged, but it seems that this had not worked so I am suspicious that the charging system is not up to scratch. Please will you come and collect it at your convenience (not urgent) and see what you think, and repair it if necessary.
I would just mention that the Skoda Citigo gets exactly the same treatment but seems to keep going on it satisfactorily.
Sorry to be a nuisance.