> Spitfire > Electrical Equipment > Unipart 'Samson' batteries:
when is life no longer life?
Anything and everything Spitfire.
Section : Electrical Equipment
Alternators, dynamos, lights, wipers, etc.
Posted By : Lindsay Dearing, 08-Dec-2004,
Being a long term keeper of my Spitfire 1500 I naturally opted for the 'Guaranteed for life' blue Samson battery so I would "need a new car before a new
battery". So much for the marketing hype. 4 years after purchasing a GBY 038 Samson battery from my Unipart stockist I now need to call their bluff.
Despite being mollycoddled, and 'battery managed' over the last 4 years the poor thing can no longer turn over the engine. Replacement battery time! Ring
the Unipart dealer!......"Sorry sir that car is no longer listed so we cannot continue with the guarantee. Replacement battery only, with a three year
guarantee. Wait a minute....the fact you no longer list the car does not alter the fact that it exists and requires a replacement battery for the rest of
its life (Contractual obligation?).
My friend Pete (the one with the yellow Stag) has had 3 batteries in the last 10 years, but the last one was 'vehicle no longer listed' so replacement
battery only and no more lifetime guarantee. He did not stand for that and proceeded to wring Â£50 compensation out of Unipart.
Has anyone else had this experience and what was the result?
Interestingly the MG Midget 1500 is still listed (Unipart..Cowley...hmmm) and they suggest a GBA 3015. Now this battery is twice the capacity of the 038
and twice the price! Yet, under the terms of the guarantee I can demand one as a replacement. This I intend to do.
Has anyone experience of a better replacement battery for the Spitfire 1500?
Posted By : Mark Stradling, 09-Dec-2004,
I'd suggest you save your cash and buy one from your local Halfords.
I've had no trouble with mine, but know a lot of people who's halfords batteries only last about 2 years... and come with a 3 year guarantee...
Just make sure you keep the receipt and away you go!
Posted By : Tom Bruton, 12-Dec-2004,
I saw Phil recommended the HB605 battery from Halfords - does anyone have any other suggestions?
Posted By : James Carruthers,
I have a Power Train battery - bright red - available from PartCo... lots of them about... excellent battery! Allowed me to crank the engine
for what seemed like minutes and minutes...!
Posted By : Chris Taylor, 10-Dec-2004,
I think we need some advice from a commercial lawyer on this one. There may be some small print in the guarantee somewhere, but it is the BATTERY that
Unipart are guaranteeing, not your car!
The problem may be the need to prove that the battery you have is suitable for the car; was there anything in your original purchase documentation that
showed it was for a Spitfire 1500?
If the 038 battery is no longer produced I'm sure Unipart will have details of what THEY consider to be a suitable alternative fitment.
It might be worth a little research to see what OTHER cars had the 038 battery fitment and see if they are still listed. I'm not sure, but the number
038 seems familiar (it won't be unique to Unipart). I think it was fitted to a lot of 1960s and 1970's triumphs.
Posted By : John Davies, 10-Dec-2004,
Halford's used to make the same offer, and after one of theirs became, ahem, accidentally discharged, they replaced it - no quibble, didn't even
ask what car it was for when I bought it or brought it back. But this was at least three years ago and I don't know the situation now.
Posted By : Philip Wright,
Lol yup - i've had two replacement batteries from Halfords already - the third of which was a Mondeo Diesel battery - the biggest you can fit
into a spit! It's done three years use now without showing any sign of giving up. The halfords part no. for this is HB065 - all your starting
problems solved in one go! Four year guarantee too - top dollar!
Posted By : Lindsay Dearing,
Well the story so far is this....Unipart no longer list batteries for ANY Triumph (except the Acclaim) therefore in their eyes the cars do not
exist and neither does the 038 battery. After ringing Unipart at Cowley, they did admit that under the terms of the guarantee I was entitled to ANY
battery they currently stock regardless of application BUT it will be a'red' 3 year guarantee only. The GBA3015 battery (still listed for the
Midget 1500, but for how much longer I wonder?) was compared at the stockists with my 038 and it was identical in size, terminal position and
type!! It was also a more superior specification with 340Amp CCA (and twice the cost of the old 038).....so I took it. Now the fun begins as I now
have a nominal 3 year guarantee replacement battery on an unlimited lifetime guarantee. I have written to Unipart demanding either, a)Unlimited
lifetime guarantee on this battery or, b) compansation to 'buy out' my agreement. As the stockist said, because Unipart are now an independent
company they no longer wish to honour this type of agreement made under BL. I shall await their reply with interest.
Posted By : Colin Wake, 12-Dec-2004,
A 038 is a Mini saloon battery, as I have 1 in my mk3 spitfire (slowly dying though)
And the Mini I bought it for originally still exists (in spirit and V5 only mind), all I have to do is find my warranty card to get my 3rd battery
in 18 years. They do last well....