Automotive

Car Batteries - FAQ, General Information, Tips & Tricks

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Deepwater,

Thanks for the info. I had updated my original post on Nov 13 when the news came out. It listed as follows:

As of Nov 13, 2018, Johnson Controls has sold their Battery/Power business: https://www.johnsoncontrols.com/media-c ... s-business

I am unsure on how this will impact their quality of their batteries going forward.
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Car Batteries - FAQ, General Information, Tips & Tricks

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Feb 1, 2012
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Sorry hitech I did not see that you updated your original post. This did give me the opportunity to go back to your original post and see what a really great thread this is. Thanks!
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Jul 11, 2005
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This thread has been very useful. My 2008 Mazda 3 panasonic battery is starting to show it's age in cold weather. I don't think charging it will do anything but I'm gonna take it to Parts Source to test it, I literally haven't touched the battery since I've owned the car.
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TrueDon wrote:
Nov 30th, 2018 3:45 pm
This thread has been very useful. My 2008 Mazda 3 panasonic battery is starting to show it's age in cold weather. I don't think charging it will do anything but I'm gonna take it to Parts Source to test it, I literally haven't touched the battery since I've owned the car.
I would only test a battery after you perform some basic maintenance on it first as testing will only tell you the current status of the battery NOT whether or not it can improve with charging/maintenance.

If you have literally haven't touched the battery since you have owned car, I'll bet that the fluid levels in the battery are low (which should be topped off) and the charge is poor. And I didn't even have to test the battery!
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Jul 3, 2017
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Very fortunate to have my 4 year old JC-made Walmart battery replaced at no charge. It had 9 year limited warranty label on it so I was expecting pro-rated replacement, but auto associate told the customer service to replace it. Is this normal? However, I noticed CCA and CA are both a bit down when compared to the old battery. Who makes Walmart battery now? New one doesn't say JC made anymore.
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vtec300 wrote:
Dec 8th, 2018 2:09 am
Very fortunate to have my 4 year old JC-made Walmart battery replaced at no charge. It had 9 year limited warranty label on it so I was expecting pro-rated replacement, but auto associate told the customer service to replace it. Is this normal? However, I noticed CCA and CA are both a bit down when compared to the old battery. Who makes Walmart battery now? New one doesn't say JC made anymore.
You lucked out as you had one of the older batteries when they had more generous 9-year warranties (4-year free replacement, 5-year pro-rated). New batteries are made by East Penn now. In fact, East Penn batteries come up under various brands (NAPA, Canadian Tire, Diehard, OEM Dealership, Walmart, etc.). CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) works with RC (Reserve Capacity). You may have a large CCA but a lower RC. The idea is to get a balance between them.

You didn't mention the year/make/model/engine of your vehicle so I cannot tell you the recommended CCA and RC of your battery. You can visit http://www.dekacatalog.com/ and search for it and it will tell you this info. If the replacement is greater than what is listed, you should be just fine. Just keep the battery charged and the terminals clean.
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Car Batteries - FAQ, General Information, Tips & Tricks

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Thanks for your insight. I have 2012 Acura TL 3.7. Oem battery lasted only 2 years until it was replaced with JC Walmart battery. I bought 24F size. Used felt ring on the post, scrubbed the terminals clean, and sprayed battery terminal corrosion preventer by CRC. I run dashcam with voltage cutoff all day so hope it's not a huge stress on the battery, day in and day out.

Since I got it replaced, does 3 year battery replacement with the new one begin from the date of exchange or from the day of original purchase? If it's latter, then it's been four years already so not applicable? I ended up not paying anything for price difference although new one was $32 more. Probably better Canadian exchange rate back then.
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vtec300 wrote:
Dec 8th, 2018 7:27 pm
Thanks for your insight. I have 2012 Acura TL 3.7. Oem battery lasted only 2 years until it was replaced with JC Walmart battery. I bought 24F size. Used felt ring on the post, scrubbed the terminals clean, and sprayed battery terminal corrosion preventer by CRC. I run dashcam with voltage cutoff all day so hope it's not a huge stress on the battery, day in and day out.

Since I got it replaced, does 3 year battery replacement with the new one begin from the date of exchange or from the day of original purchase? If it's latter, then it's been four years already so not applicable? I ended up not paying anything for price difference although new one was $32 more. Probably better Canadian exchange rate back then.
Generally, once a battery is replaced for free, that is the end of the warranty as they have provided the coverage they said they would. Their warranty only starts over if you pay for a new battery. The OEM specs for your car is 550 CCA and 90 min RC. The 24F Walmart battery has 725 CCA and 120 min Reserve which is plenty good for your car. I have the same thing in my Camry and installed it back in November. It also sounds like you did a good job in terms of the installation and protection. I would suggest getting a battery charger if you don't already have one. Depending on your driving patterns and the drain from the camera, a charger would keep the battery in top shape and give you lots of life. Walmart has an 8 Amp Schumacher automatic charger on sale for $30. This seems to be easy to use and decent. Here is the link to the product info: https://www.batterychargers.com/en/prod ... id-charger.
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Car Batteries - FAQ, General Information, Tips & Tricks

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Dec 11, 2018
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macnut wrote:
Jan 10th, 2018 12:56 pm
Despite the fact that a lot of GTA people have been replacing their batteries recently because they were not able to start in the very low temperatures,
the fact is that batteries around the world fail from heat more than anything else.
Yup, this is such a misnomer that people have that cold weather is harder (as in damaging) on a car battery, when it is actually the heat that does the damage. I remember talking to our inverter repair guy at work (we had inverters that ran the emergency lighting in the building and had a case with 30 large truck sized 12 volt batteries in it. He was showing me the difference in the batteries from one side of the building to the batteries in the other side of the building. In the span of 12 months, they had 2 batteries go bad on the one side of the building and 10 that went bad in the other side. The only difference was that the one with 2 batteries that failed was kept to 75 degrees and the other one was at 82 degrees due to a problem with the HVAC. The same thing happens to the battery in your car. Sure, the load on the battery is more in the winter with the increased current required to start the motor and the battery has lower current abilities at colder temps, it that doesn’t harm the battery.
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Is there a general ballpark range as to how many days (or weeks) a car can sit, undriven, without having the battery go dead, or doing any permanent damage to the battery? I'm talking about just turning off the ignition and parking the car, without disconnecting the terminals, plugging in a trickle-charger, or a battery tender, or any such procedures. All accessories are however, turned off, other than auto headlights. Car is locked and armed, with a flashing LED.

For reference, the car is a newer model BMW.
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Rogido wrote:
Dec 24th, 2018 12:03 am
Is there a general ballpark range as to how many days (or weeks) a car can sit, undriven, without having the battery go dead, or doing any permanent damage to the battery? I'm talking about just turning off the ignition and parking the car, without disconnecting the terminals, plugging in a trickle-charger, or a battery tender, or any such procedures. All accessories are however, turned off, other than auto headlights. Car is locked and armed, with a flashing LED.

For reference, the car is a newer model BMW.
It would be hard to give an exact number as there are many factors to consider (age of battery, charge level, parasitic drain, ambient temp). That being said, I have had my Camry sit for over 6 weeks and the car started fine afterwards. I then took it for a highway drive to charge the battery up. You may notice that many car dealerships with vehicles in their lot keep the negative battery cable disconnected from their car. This is a quick way of not discharging a battery over a period of time. This is especially helpful if it is sitting outdoors in cold winter weather.
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Car Batteries - FAQ, General Information, Tips & Tricks

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hightech wrote:
Dec 24th, 2018 7:27 am
It would be hard to give an exact number as there are many factors to consider (age of battery, charge level, parasitic drain, ambient temp). That being said, I have had my Camry sit for over 6 weeks and the car started fine afterwards. I then took it for a highway drive to charge the battery up. You may notice that many car dealerships with vehicles in their lot keep the negative battery cable disconnected from their car. This is a quick way of not discharging a battery over a period of time. This is especially helpful if it is sitting outdoors in cold winter weather.
The car, a BMW 2-series, would be practically new (under a year). I don't drive it much in the winter even though Vancouver winters are not brutal, but it's RWD and I don't want to use winter tires. So ambient temperature would be approx. 1 - 5% C. It's not uncommon that I would let it sit for anywhere from 10 days to 3 weeks, because I have an older TL as a winter-beater. BTW, a few years ago, when we had an unusually bad winter with a lot of snow, that said TL sat pretty much unused for about 3 months or so, and the battery died on me. But I hear Acuras with navigation systems have a reputation for higher battery-drain.
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TedV55316 wrote:
Dec 12th, 2018 10:08 pm
Yup, this is such a misnomer that people have that cold weather is harder (as in damaging) on a car battery, when it is actually the heat that does the damage. I remember talking to our inverter repair guy at work (we had inverters that ran the emergency lighting in the building and had a case with 30 large truck sized 12 volt batteries in it. He was showing me the difference in the batteries from one side of the building to the batteries in the other side of the building. In the span of 12 months, they had 2 batteries go bad on the one side of the building and 10 that went bad in the other side. The only difference was that the one with 2 batteries that failed was kept to 75 degrees and the other one was at 82 degrees due to a problem with the HVAC. The same thing happens to the battery in your car. Sure, the load on the battery is more in the winter with the increased current required to start the motor and the battery has lower current abilities at colder temps, it that doesn’t harm the battery.
The issue is really about timing... while the heat of the engine idling in hot Summer conditions does its thing to the battery (typically drying the battery fluids out causing parts of the plates to be exposed), people really only see the result of the damage in the Winter time when those damaged plates show up as poor capacity and much lower CCA.

Auto manufacturers have known about this for decades and have used various methods to combat the problem - from battery relocation (ever thought why a manufacturer would put the battery in the trunk while the engine is in the front?) to using a battery sleeve in an effort to insulate the battery from the engine's heat (note- most people (including mechanics) don't know the purpose of the sleeve so it's often thrown out with the first battery removal/replacement).
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Rogido wrote:
Dec 24th, 2018 1:07 pm
The car, a BMW 2-series, would be practically new (under a year). I don't drive it much in the winter even though Vancouver winters are not brutal, but it's RWD and I don't want to use winter tires. So ambient temperature would be approx. 1 - 5% C. It's not uncommon that I would let it sit for anywhere from 10 days to 3 weeks, because I have an older TL as a winter-beater. BTW, a few years ago, when we had an unusually bad winter with a lot of snow, that said TL sat pretty much unused for about 3 months or so, and the battery died on me. But I hear Acuras with navigation systems have a reputation for higher battery-drain.
Lead acid batteries suffer from a self-discharge rate of approx 10% per month - so 10% of it's state of charge 'disappears' every month... 100% -> 90% -> 81% -> 73% -> 65% -> 59% -> 53% -> 48% .... If you start off with a new fully charged battery (starting at 100%), it will take approx 7 months of sitting there to get under 50%. Most articles I've read state that the soft 'temporary' sulphation becomes much harder (with larger crystals making it hard to reverse) at the 6-month time frame (so that sulphation that formed when the battery went from 100% -> 90% starts to harden). So, in theory, if we are just talking about the battery with it being connected to the car, you should aim to charge the battery at least every 5 months (with a bit of buffer just in case those articles were 'off'). However, if you put that battery into use in a modern vehicle which have all sorts of power drains even when the ignition is off, you are likely to see an accelerated discharge (let's say 15% so an extra 5% over the self-discharge), you will see a larger drop and thus a shorter time frame - ie 100% -> 85% -> 72% -> 62% -> 53% -> 45%... or about 5 months before it goes under 50%. So, charging the battery every 3 months if the car isn't driven may be a good rule of thumb.

As for your TL, you have to remember it depends on the condition of the battery to start off with and the state of charge... Let's say that you had a new battery but it was only charged to 80% (which is normal (maybe a bit optimistic) in traditional cars without an smart/eco charging system) and we increase the drain to 20% for the Nav unit, then we would be looking at 80% -> 64% -> 51% -> 40%... so 3 months before the battery was below 50% with a good chance that it was below 40%. Now if that battery was older and hasn't been really maintained, I can see how the state of charge would have started at 65% with a higher self-discharge rate which means that the battery may have been low on charge within a month.
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craftsman wrote:
Dec 24th, 2018 1:37 pm
Lead acid batteries suffer from a self-discharge rate of approx 10% per month - so 10% of it's state of charge 'disappears' every month... 100% -> 90% -> 81% -> 73% -> 65% -> 59% -> 53% -> 48% .... If you start off with a new fully charged battery (starting at 100%), it will take approx 7 months of sitting there to get under 50%. Most articles I've read state that the soft 'temporary' sulphation becomes much harder (with larger crystals making it hard to reverse) at the 6-month time frame (so that sulphation that formed when the battery went from 100% -> 90% starts to harden). So, in theory, if we are just talking about the battery with it being connected to the car, you should aim to charge the battery at least every 5 months (with a bit of buffer just in case those articles were 'off'). However, if you put that battery into use in a modern vehicle which have all sorts of power drains even when the ignition is off, you are likely to see an accelerated discharge (let's say 15% so an extra 5% over the self-discharge), you will see a larger drop and thus a shorter time frame - ie 100% -> 85% -> 72% -> 62% -> 53% -> 45%... or about 5 months before it goes under 50%. So, charging the battery every 3 months if the car isn't driven may be a good rule of thumb.

As for your TL, you have to remember it depends on the condition of the battery to start off with and the state of charge... Let's say that you had a new battery but it was only charged to 80% (which is normal (maybe a bit optimistic) in traditional cars without an smart/eco charging system) and we increase the drain to 20% for the Nav unit, then we would be looking at 80% -> 64% -> 51% -> 40%... so 3 months before the battery was below 50% with a good chance that it was below 40%. Now if that battery was older and hasn't been really maintained, I can see how the state of charge would have started at 65% with a higher self-discharge rate which means that the battery may have been low on charge within a month.
Thanks for the information...much appreciated! Yes, you're right about the TL. Its battery wasn't completely healthy to begin with. I think the car was already about 7 - 8 years old at the time, albeit with low mileage. But at least I guess I don't need to worry about the Bimmer sitting for 2-3 weeks at a stretch.

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