Automotive

Car Batteries - FAQ, General Information, Tips & Tricks

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  • Oct 18th, 2019 6:39 pm
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Jul 25, 2015
392 posts
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Burnaby, BC
I charged the battery last night. Hooked up the charger and set it for the auto mode charge. It didnt indicate reconditioning so the battery must have still been in good shape. However there is an option to see the charge level and it showed as Low. It started charging at 2 Amps. 3 hours later when I checked it had moved up to 2.9Amps, my guess, it was a steady climb. The charge level was at 80%. Left it charging for another 2 hrs and upon checking the charge level had dropped to 70%. I checked the battery to see if it was hot but no. It was making a slight noise like it was bubbling inside. So I removed from charging as I read some reviews on this charger. They were not so good saying that it will never go above 80%.

I turned the car on this morning and there was a slight improvement. The cold cranking was as good as normal. We will see in the next few weeks how it goes but it seems like this 13 year old battery, will never die.

Thanks again for all your help.
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Dec 27, 2006
5597 posts
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Cornwall PE
Adding water to your battery, some peeps are just figuring out that maintenance free means nothing, now? Anyway my 07 focus's battery lasted a full ten years doing this. But I wish they would go back to how I remember it when my dad would buy a battery, it was empty of fluid and it didn't get added till you actually bought the battery. Also wish crappy tire still sold 'lifetime warranty' with their eliminator batteries like they did till the early 90s.
I also take the 'it was made by this or that 'reputable or good maker' with a grain of salt. Just because a 'good maker' made it for brand x or y doesn't mean it was made to the same specs or quality as they follow with their banner products. They might simply of been the lowest bidder to make x or y brand for x or y brand to the specs x or y wanted at the price they wanted to pay, and it might be no where near the same quality the 'good maker' makes their wares too. It might be a guide in my books but certainly not a guarantee.
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Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
11340 posts
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Vancouver, BC
Piklishi wrote:
Jan 10th, 2019 1:59 pm
I charged the battery last night. Hooked up the charger and set it for the auto mode charge. It didnt indicate reconditioning so the battery must have still been in good shape. However there is an option to see the charge level and it showed as Low. It started charging at 2 Amps. 3 hours later when I checked it had moved up to 2.9Amps, my guess, it was a steady climb. The charge level was at 80%. Left it charging for another 2 hrs and upon checking the charge level had dropped to 70%. I checked the battery to see if it was hot but no. It was making a slight noise like it was bubbling inside. So I removed from charging as I read some reviews on this charger. They were not so good saying that it will never go above 80%.

I turned the car on this morning and there was a slight improvement. The cold cranking was as good as normal. We will see in the next few weeks how it goes but it seems like this 13 year old battery, will never die.

Thanks again for all your help.
Since you only charged it for 4 hours, I wouldn't expect it to be finished especially at 2 to 3 Amps. You can check the battery the next day by measuring the voltage on the battery to see the state of charge.
Member
Mar 17, 2006
489 posts
220 upvotes
craftsman wrote:
Jan 6th, 2019 5:34 pm
Remember to do some basic maintenance on the battery before testing (ie clean terminals, check/fill fluid levels, charge battery). Otherwise, the battery may test poorly due to a low charge rather than a battery in poor health.
I have a question for you . Would the opposite be true? Would a freshly charged battery show as in good condition when tested (due to it being just charged) when it really isn't?
The reason I ask is because I had a situation over the holidays where my car lost voltage gradually as I was coming home (to the point where it went into battery saving mode and eventually lost power steering and died). Since my car is 6 years old and on it's original battery I figured I'd buy a new one from Costco and change it (sooner rather than later). I charged the old battery and took it it two Canadian Tires out of curiosity to test it, and both said it was in excellent condition. I also had the charging system tested at the dealer and all was good. Little side note, my car is a mild hybrid and doesn't have a regular alternator.
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Dec 23, 2003
13363 posts
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Toronto
ur_too_crazy,

Is your car a Ford Fusion Hybrid by any chance? I know that there are some issues with the 2012 models as listed in this video:


Another issue could be related to excess drain on the system that needs looking into. There are some notes about that here: https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/u ... RID_12V_BA

From what I have read about some hybrid cars, some of them tend to run mostly in battery mode depending on your driving style and that is not using the starting battery. Over time, that battery in some cars is used for other things and may not be recharging correctly. In those situations, the suggestion was to drive at higher speeds so that the gas engine turns on and helps to charge the battery.

Another option is to visit the dealership to see if there are any system updates that need to be done to enhance the issue about battery charging.
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Jan 27, 2006
11340 posts
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ur_too_crazy wrote:
Jan 11th, 2019 4:20 pm
I have a question for you . Would the opposite be true? Would a freshly charged battery show as in good condition when tested (due to it being just charged) when it really isn't?
The reason I ask is because I had a situation over the holidays where my car lost voltage gradually as I was coming home (to the point where it went into battery saving mode and eventually lost power steering and died). Since my car is 6 years old and on it's original battery I figured I'd buy a new one from Costco and change it (sooner rather than later). I charged the old battery and took it it two Canadian Tires out of curiosity to test it, and both said it was in excellent condition. I also had the charging system tested at the dealer and all was good. Little side note, my car is a mild hybrid and doesn't have a regular alternator.
It depends on 'how' it's tested.

A freshly charged battery will start out with a higher voltage as there would be an excessive amount of surface charge on the battery's plates. As time passes (ie. over the next 12 hours), that surface charge will slowly be absorbed into the battery and the voltage will drop to it's true condition - example: immediately after charging, a new battery may read 13.2V once the charger has been removed and over the next hour, that will drop to 13V and then after 11 more hours, down to 12.88V (I was recently able to do this with a brand new Kirkland battery so the numbers are accurate). Now, if you had a 50% state of charge on a battery and removed the charger, you will see about 14.2V as the charging voltage for most chargers is 14.4V (slight drop as you remove the charger). That voltage on that 50% battery will drop over time as well but it will drop faster as more of the charge is absorbed into a partially empty battery until the voltage reads about 12.1 - 12.2V.

So, if you test both batteries with a multi-meter within 30 minutes of being removed from the battery charger, you will probably see that both batteries were 'good' as both would probably show that a voltage of 13V or so. If you waited to test the battery using a multimeter until the next day, you'll see that marked difference in voltage between the two. If you used one of the new conductance testers, you will see similar numbers in terms of voltage; however, the CCA and the internal resistance numbers won't show such a drastic change over time - ie a battery with poor internal resistance numbers will improve on a full charge in comparison to a partially charged battery BUT the degree of the charge is relatively small (ie a good FULL battery might show 4.5 mOhms while a good empty battery might show 4.9mOhm while a poor FULL battery may show 12 mOhm and a poor empty battery might show 13 mOhm). In other words, it will depend on the method of testing that each place used.

Mild hybrids are a different beast especially when it comes to the 12V battery. A mild hybrid typically has engine start/stop 'feature' in an effort to save more on gas but that means that the 12V battery takes a lot of abuse as the car starts up every time you release the brake pedal and then stops when you engage the brakes. This start/stopping means that the 12V battery may get drained and not be fully charged (even worse than the smart/eco chargers) as there may not be enough straight driving to recharge the battery with the number of start/stops (ie city driving).

My advice to you would be to charge the battery fully again and get a conductance test done (or get a conductance tester for yourself - available on ebay for less than $30 US shipped).
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
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hightech wrote:
Jan 11th, 2019 4:30 pm
ur_too_crazy,

Is your car a Ford Fusion Hybrid by any chance? I know that there are some issues with the 2012 models as listed in this video:


Another issue could be related to excess drain on the system that needs looking into. There are some notes about that here: https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/u ... RID_12V_BA

From what I have read about some hybrid cars, some of them tend to run mostly in battery mode depending on your driving style and that is not using the starting battery. Over time, that battery in some cars is used for other things and may not be recharging correctly. In those situations, the suggestion was to drive at higher speeds so that the gas engine turns on and helps to charge the battery.

Another option is to visit the dealership to see if there are any system updates that need to be done to enhance the issue about battery charging.
The video shown may not apply to the issue as I believe that the OP was talking about the 12V battery and NOT the high voltage (HV) battery.
Member
Mar 17, 2006
489 posts
220 upvotes
No it's a 2012 Buick Lacrosse (eassist). Yes I was talking about the 12v battery. In hindsight I should have got the 6 cylinder, live and learn.
Newbie
Dec 23, 2012
65 posts
46 upvotes
Hello all, I just had my car in at a mechanic for a regular oil change, and in the inspection report that they emailed me, it had plenty of issues highlighted, but one in particular has me baffled. They sent me a photo of my vehicle hooked up to a battery tester, and it says that it needs to be replaced, and that it only reads 7.4 volts. Is this even possible? I have absolutely no problem starting the car, and when I press my multimeter up to the posts, I get a reading of 12.72, which I believe is fully charged.

What's going on here? Are they shady and not to be trusted? They want $250 for a battery that I don't think even needs to be changed.
[OP]
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Dec 23, 2003
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soxboy90 wrote:
Jan 12th, 2019 9:09 pm
Hello all, I just had my car in at a mechanic for a regular oil change, and in the inspection report that they emailed me, it had plenty of issues highlighted, but one in particular has me baffled. They sent me a photo of my vehicle hooked up to a battery tester, and it says that it needs to be replaced, and that it only reads 7.4 volts. Is this even possible? I have absolutely no problem starting the car, and when I press my multimeter up to the posts, I get a reading of 12.72, which I believe is fully charged.

What's going on here? Are they shady and not to be trusted? They want $250 for a battery that I don't think even needs to be changed.
If the voltage was 7.2 volts, I don't think the car would be starting. Depending on where you are located, you can go to Partsource or Mr. Lube or Kaltire and they can do a free battery test.
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Car Batteries - FAQ, General Information, Tips & Tricks

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Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
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soxboy90 wrote:
Jan 12th, 2019 9:09 pm
Hello all, I just had my car in at a mechanic for a regular oil change, and in the inspection report that they emailed me, it had plenty of issues highlighted, but one in particular has me baffled. They sent me a photo of my vehicle hooked up to a battery tester, and it says that it needs to be replaced, and that it only reads 7.4 volts. Is this even possible? I have absolutely no problem starting the car, and when I press my multimeter up to the posts, I get a reading of 12.72, which I believe is fully charged.

What's going on here? Are they shady and not to be trusted? They want $250 for a battery that I don't think even needs to be changed.
While a multitester isn't the best way to test a battery (I posted a Youtube video earlier on the different methods of testing), you might be seeing one of the oldest tricks in the book in regards to milking a customer for a battery replacement. Fortunately, they went too far in trying to convince you to replace a battery because any no-load voltage under 10.5V is considered having a 0% state of charge (in other words empty). In fact, if the no-load voltage was under 10.5V, I would assume that the battery had one to two individual cells in the battery being shorted out which would make the battery unusable and unrecoverable. If the mechanic knew anything about car batteries, they would know this!

As for your own reading of 12.72V, without more context on when you measured the voltage, I wouldn't declare the battery FULLY charged due to the possibility of the battery having a surface charge from you driving the car especially if you drove the car within a few hours of you testing the voltage. The best time to test a battery is after it has sat without charging or usage for overnight so that the surface charge can be absorbed into the battery.
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Dec 23, 2012
65 posts
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hightech wrote:
Jan 12th, 2019 9:11 pm
If the voltage was 7.2 volts, I don't think the car would be starting. Depending on where you are located, you can go to Partsource or Mr. Lube or Kaltire and they can do a free battery test.
craftsman wrote:
Jan 13th, 2019 12:09 am
While a multitester isn't the best way to test a battery (I posted a Youtube video earlier on the different methods of testing), you might be seeing one of the oldest tricks in the book in regards to milking a customer for a battery replacement. Fortunately, they went too far in trying to convince you to replace a battery because any no-load voltage under 10.5V is considered having a 0% state of charge (in other words empty). In fact, if the no-load voltage was under 10.5V, I would assume that the battery had one to two individual cells in the battery being shorted out which would make the battery unusable and unrecoverable. If the mechanic knew anything about car batteries, they would know this!

As for your own reading of 12.72V, without more context on when you measured the voltage, I wouldn't declare the battery FULLY charged due to the possibility of the battery having a surface charge from you driving the car especially if you drove the car within a few hours of you testing the voltage. The best time to test a battery is after it has sat without charging or usage for overnight so that the surface charge can be absorbed into the battery.
Thank you both so much for your replies. I checked it again this morning. The battery was reading 12.68V. Early morning, 1 degree outside, vehicle covered in frost and not driven all night.

I had my wife start it while I watched, and while cranking, it dropped down to about 10.7V or so, and then when running, had a reading over 15V.

At no point can i get a reading that is as low as they told me it was. I was highly suspect, and I'm so glad to have some confirmation. I will definitely be on the hunt for a new mechanic. Thank you so much.
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Dec 23, 2003
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soxboy90 wrote:
Jan 13th, 2019 3:21 pm
Thank you both so much for your replies. I checked it again this morning. The battery was reading 12.68V. Early morning, 1 degree outside, vehicle covered in frost and not driven all night.

I had my wife start it while I watched, and while cranking, it dropped down to about 10.7V or so, and then when running, had a reading over 15V.

At no point can i get a reading that is as low as they told me it was. I was highly suspect, and I'm so glad to have some confirmation. I will definitely be on the hunt for a new mechanic. Thank you so much.
Where are you located and what is the name of the Mechanic? It would be good to know so that people don't get fleeced by these guys.

10.7 volts during cranking is just fine. If the crank voltage was dropping below 9.6 volts, then I would be concerned as you would start to notice slow cranking in cold weather. What is the year/make/model of the vehicle?
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Car Batteries - FAQ, General Information, Tips & Tricks

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Deal Addict
Feb 3, 2006
1108 posts
30 upvotes
I need some battery help.

I need a battery for a sump pump back up. I'm doing the same thin this guy did.



What battery would anyone recommend? a deep cycle one or an agm battery.

Walmart seels Everlast Deep Cycle batteries, are these recommended?

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