Automotive

Car Batteries - FAQ, General Information, Tips & Tricks

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Nov 7, 2016
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iPonik wrote: Sorry, I miss-read. Why is your battery dying so frequently? Still something wrong with you electrical.
The battery is low, it won't charge all the way up anymore.
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IcarusLSC wrote: The battery is low, it won't charge all the way up anymore.
Have you looked at my FAQ on how to troubleshoot battery vs Charging System issues? If you have the battery fully charged, you can use a multimeter to check the battery voltage as well as the charging voltage with the vehicle running on idle.

What is the year/make/model of your vehicle and how many KM does it have? I have seen on vehicles with lots of mileage/age that the serpentine belt or timing belt could be worn which could cause the alternator not to provide enough charging voltage. Sometimes it could just be a old/worn battery that needs changing. Other times it could be a combination of issues and replacing the battery could be a bandaid solution of other items are not fully diagnosed.
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Car Batteries - FAQ, General Information, Tips & Tricks

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IcarusLSC wrote: First time I brought it to Part Source and they tested it in the car, second time I used a crappy lil tester my friend had, both after charging it overnight.
I've tested it and had it tested among others things. The battery is low/dead/old/no good/needs replacement.
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I was bored yesterday so I decided to do a parasitic draw test to see if anything was drawing from the car that might kill it faster, and it passed fine. It drops down to 0.008A (8 milliamperes) after it goes to sleep which is plenty low enough. For comparison, my 2004 TJ was 49mA and it never had any issues. Tried charging the battery fully again and it won't go over 12.18V at all, so its low/dead.
Now to decide if I should get a CT battery or CAA one. I'm not getting a Costco one, even though I know their Kirklands are decent.
Last edited by IcarusLSC on Apr 23rd, 2020 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jan 27, 2006
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IcarusLSC wrote: After hightech suggested I might have an electrical issue still, I was bored yesterday so I decided to do a parasitic draw test to see if anything was drawing from the car that might kill it faster, and it passed fine. It drops down to 0.008A (8 milliamperes) after it goes to sleep which is plenty low enough. For comparison, my 2004 TJ was 49mA and it never had any issues. Tried charging the battery fully again and it won't go over 12.18V at all, so its low/dead.
Now to decide if I should get a CT battery or CAA one. I'm not getting a Costco one, even though I know their Kirklands are decent.
Sounds like one of the battery's cells might be shorted probably due to dendrites forming on the plates and creating a low current short - ie slowly drains the power away.

At this point, you either replace it (I believe both CAA and CT uses East Penn batteries so they will basically be the same so I would get the one with the better warranty) or try to break the dendrites by doing a few high current discharges of the battery. I have an older Panasonic battery which was behaving like yours but I could recharge it fully but the next day I would only use 12.3 to 12.4V. After a few rapid starts of the car (ie start the car, stop the car, wait 30 seconds, start the car, stop the car, wait 30 seconds...), I was able to charge the battery and it held the car at a higher voltage for days. You can also do the same if you have a carbon pile battery tester which basically shorts the battery out with a heating element to stimulate the load of a starter motor.
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Thanks craftsman. I don't have a tester like that nor does my friends shop, and the battery is about 7yrs old so I think I'll just replace it, about the age it needs to be done anyways I think...
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alanbrenton wrote: Didn't realize the Prius and other Toyota hybrid vehicles use really expensive AGM batteries and that original Toyota is best.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.torque ... -prius/amp
Those vehicles place their batteries inside the trunk or cabin area. This is why they use an AGM battery with a venting tube. East Penn makes the battery among others and since it is a specialized fit, the replacement will cost around $250. The TrueStart batteries from Toyota are made by East Penn. These batteries can be charged and maintained as there is a connection either in the engine bay or trunk area where you can put a charger on it to keep it topped off. Being inside the vehicle and being an AGM battery, the terminals don't get as dirty as often and maintenance on this battery is just a periodic charge as needed to keep it from sulfation.
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Car Batteries - FAQ, General Information, Tips & Tricks

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hightech wrote: Those vehicles place their batteries inside the trunk or cabin area. This is why they use an AGM battery with a venting tube. East Penn makes the battery among others and since it is a specialized fit, the replacement will cost around $250. These batteries can be charged and maintained as there is a connection either in the engine bay or trunk area where you can put a charger on it to keep it topped off. Being inside the vehicle and being an AGM battery, the terminals don't get as dirty as often and maintenance on this battery is just a periodic charge as needed to keep it from sulfation.
Yes, the positive terminal in the fuse box.

My daughter accidentally drained it by leaving map light on. :(. Good thing I noticed the light on when I boosted it a second time after it won't start after parking at Home Depot for half an hour waiting for my curbside orders.

It's been 16 hours and still being trickle charged. :(

I will probably get a Toyota one before winter since it's already four to six y.o. will review my friend's service records to confirm. That professor from Weber University knows the ins and outs of Toyota Hybrids.
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Any opinion on the CT Eliminator AGM vs the Costco Energizer AGM? Both have a 60 month replacement warranty? Are the Costco Energizers online only or can it be purchased in-store? I can only recall seeing the Kirkland in-store. I need two 94R's (diesel)
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alanbrenton wrote: Yes, the positive terminal in the fuse box.

My daughter accidentally drained it by leaving map light on. :(. Good thing I noticed the light on when I boosted it a second time after it won't start after parking at Home Depot for half an hour waiting for my curbside orders.

It's been 16 hours and still being trickle charged. :(

I will probably get a Toyota one before winter since it's already four to six y.o. will review my friend's service records to confirm. That professor from Weber University knows the ins and outs of Toyota Hybrids.
Get the battery tested. It will give you the best idea if a replacement battery is in your near future or further down the road!
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LOOSEWHEEL wrote: Any opinion on the CT Eliminator AGM vs the Costco Energizer AGM? Both have a 60 month replacement warranty? Are the Costco Energizers online only or can it be purchased in-store? I can only recall seeing the Kirkland in-store. I need two 94R's (diesel)
Pick the one with the best warranty.
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Mar 1, 2020
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GTA West
Simple question: seeing the initial post that life of battery is avg 5 yrs (and OP managed to yank 7+yrs out of his), do I just replace my 5+yr battery PRIOR to next winter before it gets cold again?

My situation: sole car, very flexible use (unless of course covid quarantine is over by winter), car easily starts when warm BUT I've noticed it started slower (not instantaneous) after sitting in garage for 2-3 wks as nowhere to go (I only grocery once every 3 weeks to once a month). Seems like I need to drive the car more? But battery may be on last legs is also my suspicion. By next April 2021, battery will be 6 yrs (if it survives winter). I don't think recharging may be worth it?
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LPGA2020 wrote: Simple question: seeing the initial post that life of battery is avg 5 yrs (and OP managed to yank 7+yrs out of his), do I just replace my 5+yr battery PRIOR to next winter before it gets cold again?

My situation: sole car, very flexible use (unless of course covid quarantine is over by winter), car easily starts when warm BUT I've noticed it started slower (not instantaneous) after sitting in garage for 2-3 wks as nowhere to go (I only grocery once every 3 weeks to once a month). Seems like I need to drive the car more? But battery may be on last legs is also my suspicion. By next April 2021, battery will be 6 yrs (if it survives winter). I don't think recharging may be worth it?
Simple answer - never replace a 'working' battery without charging and testing it first regardless of age. More complicated answer - batteries die all of the time regardless of age as age isn't necessarily the determining factor in how much life a battery has. Many batteries 'die' within the manufacturer's warranty while others die long after that warranty has expired. If age was the only determining factor, we should have very few in warranty deaths. One European car OEM did a test of all batteries returned to them under a warranty claim and found that the vast majority of them didn't have anything wrong with them - probably needed charging.

As for your situation, the reason why your car takes longer to start after sitting in the garage for 2 to 3 weeks is because ITS BEEN SITTING IN THE GARAGE for 2 - 3 weeks. Car batteries have a poor track record of keeping their charge over any reasonable period of time - ie they have a relatively high self-discharge rate and if you combine that with how the standard car drains the battery when the engine isn't on, it makes the matter worse. Driving the car more at this stage won't help much as I'll bet that the battery is low due to the amount of time the car has been sitting. You need to charge that battery up with an external charger at this point.

You could replace your battery but with your current driving habits, the battery will drain again.
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Mar 1, 2020
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craftsman wrote: Simple answer - never replace a 'working' battery without charging and testing it first regardless of age. More complicated answer - batteries die all of the time regardless of age as age isn't necessarily the determining factor in how much life a battery has. Many batteries 'die' within the manufacturer's warranty while others die long after that warranty has expired. If age was the only determining factor, we should have very few in warranty deaths. One European car OEM did a test of all batteries returned to them under a warranty claim and found that the vast majority of them didn't have anything wrong with them - probably needed charging.

As for your situation, the reason why your car takes longer to start after sitting in the garage for 2 to 3 weeks is because ITS BEEN SITTING IN THE GARAGE for 2 - 3 weeks. Car batteries have a poor track record of keeping their charge over any reasonable period of time - ie they have a relatively high self-discharge rate and if you combine that with how the standard car drains the battery when the engine isn't on, it makes the matter worse. Driving the car more at this stage won't help much as I'll bet that the battery is low due to the amount of time the car has been sitting. You need to charge that battery up with an external charger at this point.

You could replace your battery but with your current driving habits, the battery will drain again.
Thanks. What puzzles me is when I drove it again after I went inside the grocery and after 2 hrs the car started easily? Isn't it supposed to start the same way given battery is weak? My drive to the grocery was only 15 mins.... Does this mean another issue? (People in the main auto thread seem to say 2 wks use frequency wasn't a problem, I guess it is?)

If I charge it up now, would it be cheaper to buy a charger or just a new battery when it dies? Is a charger different from a battery tender? if I buy a charger now, would it save me from a headache of a non start in the winter even if my battery is 5+ old by then?

Reason I ask is cost/benefit: if I only get 1-2 yrs extra on the battery (since avg life is 5yrs Acctg to OP) and next battery lasts another 5 yrs, then maybe I'll just replace battery without buying a charger if it's more cost efficient esp since I only have 1 car and will definitely not buy one more at all... Eg if I change the car next 5-7 yrs then I certainly don't think the current battery will last to 10-12 yrs no?

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