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Full Version: Paying attention to the car battery turn over
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Yesterday, I started my car and thought the turn over sounded just a bit weak.  At the post office it was confirmed.  Called a repair place to confirm they had the right battery.  Drove down the mountain and pulled backwards into a parking spot at the repair place so they could get to the battery easier.

Battery wouldn't turn over.  Needed a jump start to get it to the tester.  Confirmed battery had run it's life.  Been patting myself on the back all day for fixing the problem before it became a tow job.

I've learned over the years that when I hear that first little "less than sterling" turn over there are very few cranks left.  Maybe this tidbit will keep one of you from ending up in the middle of nowhere without power. 

Then again many of you have multiple batteries.
(01-22-2017, 01:32 PM)bigsallysmom Wrote: [ -> ]I've learned over the years that when I hear that first little "less than sterling" turn over there are very few cranks left.  Maybe this tidbit will keep one of you from ending up in the middle of nowhere without power. 
That's how you keep the tow truck away. Wink 
As an aside. I highly recommend getting Triple A, or similar road service insurance.
that's very typical of modern late model cars. They crank over so easy and fire off quick. battery just works and works and then bam it's had it.

I have a ford 2007 E-150 and a Chevy 2006 HHR, both fire off really quick. Not like the old days waiting for some fuel to get into the cylinders while you crank on it.
It is great when someone pays attention to such things and is not surprised when the battery it too degraded to start the engine. I have a digital voltmeter on my dashboard I watch when cranking the engine. Since installation it is rare to see it go under 11.5 volts before engine catches

Engine batteries also benefit from proper recharging, and the vehicle's voltage regulator is primarily concerned with not OVercharging. If the engine battery is depleted, say listening to radio with engine off, even though one might be able to deplete that battery to 80% in 20 minutes of rocking out to Wagners Flight of the Valkyries, it still takes 3.5 hours to recharge that battery back to 100%.

And all lead acid batteries would prefer to be 100% charged, at all times.

And that 3.5 hours would be at ideal absorption voltages in the mid 14's, Which almost no vehicle allows for more than 15 minutes after starting.

My point is that a person wanting a more reliable longer lasting engine starting battery, would be wise to fully recharge it via a source OTHER than the vehicles charging system, whose voltage regulation almost ensures chronic undercharging, even on significantly longer drives.

If a newish battery got accidently depleted, and got jumpstarted, one should really hope to find somewhere to to plug in and recharge the battery to 100%, or as close as possible to this ideal.
Much better for the battery, much better for the alternator, and much more reliable in the long run.

Also, the battery on the store shelf, well they too self discharge, upto 15% a month in 75F temperatures.
That new battery would also like a full charge. One shoud really consider their vehicle pretty bad at top charging a slightly 80% to 99.97% battery. Very few exceptions to this.

The Juice actually used to start the motor can be replenished in about a minute, according to my tools on my v8 engine. So in general the ' bunch of short trips' is not the cause of a battery not being recharged, not from the starter load. It is more like there is not enought time or high enough voltage allowed to replace what was used in between engine starts.

Remedy= battery charger used regularly to top off battery, and making efforts to never deplete engine starting battery. Some more modern vehicles make that effort impossible with their high parasitic draws, and lights which stay on after engine shut down.
(01-24-2017, 08:33 PM)SternWake Wrote: [ -> ]Which almost no vehicle allows for more than 15 minutes after starting.

Are you saying that no modern vehicles regulator will allow more than 15 minutes of charge time for even a depleted battery?
No, I am saying that many/most will not allow Absorption charging voltages in the mid 14,s for very long.
They will drop to mid to high 13's which greatly slows recharging.

It is fine as long as the battery is only used for engine starting. It strays from there the more the battery is discharged with engine off.
And that's why I put my parked van during the week on the charger. there's just no way that most automotive charging systems will fully charge the battery.
I already lost one very good AGM battery thinking I didn't need to. Not to mention that the charging system in my 2007 Ford E-150 is not designed for AGM batteries. I don't care if it's sold as Automotive.