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Re: I have bought a pig of a car...
does anybody know whether a loose battery (and subsequent strain on the various connections) could cause at least some of these issues (electronics wise).
What prompted you into changing the battery? Was it not holding its charge or poor cranking effort etc ? Did you have the old battery tested before replacing it?
A loose battery in the tray isn't good but its not critical either. It depends on how much movement the battery may have to slide about and how long / flexible the battery cables are. If the cables are short, in time they could suffer fatigue and weaken/break the joints at the battery terminal ends, or cause the battery terminals to simply loosen which prevents the full current to flow to/from the battery.
The sooner you can get a new battery stay fitted the better.
Did the dashboard work normally as soon as the new battery was fitted?
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Currently in Renoir White's garage:
Renault Trafic 1.7 Petrol Vauxhall Astra 1.4i & in bits Triumph Bonneville T140E & H-D XLH1200