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Battery Bogus!


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The other day I went to start the Mark V. At most it sets for about 3-5 days and has never given me a problem at start up. So, I tried to start it, it cranked twice then died. I jumped it and it started back up. I drove it and then shut it off. Came back a day later and it was dead. The battery was less than two years old. Took it to the local store, they argued with me and told me that maybe I had a bad alternator or that I left the lights on (both of which are not true alternator was putting out 13.7 and no lights were on). I left the battery with them over the weekend, and I got a loaner battery I let the car set for 3 days then started it this morning to which it started just fine. I went down to the store and told them what happened. They said that my old battery was good! I told them that two year old batteries don't just go bad. They wanted to give me the old one back and I told them I would not take it back, so, they said that they could do a 'policy adjustment' and I was charged $27 for a new battery and a restart of the warranty. I feel that it was ridiculous I was charged anything. This same thing happened with the same car and same brand of battery about two years ago. Apparently the only difference between the old and new batteries was that the cca was a little less (700) on the old one, but, the manager said that was due to the age, but, I dont think that is true. Thoughts?

Edited by West Peterson (see edit history)
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The other day I went to start the Mark V. At most it sets for about 3-5 days and has never given me a problem at start up. So, I tried to start it, it cranked twice then died. I jumped it and it started back up. I drove it and then shut it off. Came back a day later and it was dead. The battery was less than two years old. Took it to the local store, they argued with me and told me that maybe I had a bad alternator or that I left the lights on (both of which are not true alternator was putting out 13.7 and no lights were on). I left the battery with them over the weekend, and I got a loaner battery I let the car set for 3 days then started it this morning to which it started just fine. I went down to the store and told them what happened. They said that my old battery was good! I told them that two year old batteries don't just go bad. They wanted to give me the old one back and I told them I would not take it back, so, they said that they could do a 'policy adjustment' and I was charged $27 for a new battery and a restart of the warranty. I feel that it was ridiculous I was charged anything. This same thing happened with the same car and same brand of battery about two years ago. Apparently the only difference between the old and new batteries was that the cca was a little less (700) on the old one, but, the manager said that was due to the age, but, I dont think that is true. Thoughts?

Yes, two year old batteries do go bad. Battery quality has gotten so bad it is a real crap shoot regarding how long one might last in my opinion. Doesn't seem to make any difference what maker's label is on them. You might get lucky and get one that will last 4 or 5 years, but you might also get one that craps out within a year. Thank you EPA!

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I have had a battery last 11 years. and it was a 6 volt one at that. The one in my daily driver is 10 years old now and still working fine. If your battery has a warranty it will spell out the terms, usually a period of unconditional replacement and then on a prorated basis. Your car could have an intermittent drain also.

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I haven't had to replace a battery in regular use that was less than 10 years old for at least 25 years. The last 2 batteries I replaced were 12 and 14 years old respectively (1996 Ford Ranger, 1993 Dodge Dynasty).

BTW, the EPA (as far as I know, and I'm a former hazardous waste inspector for them) has no impact on new battery manufacture. They are only concerned about battery disposal and plant emissions. Also nearly all car batteries are still made in the U.S.A. (mostly because they're too heavy to ship overseas), one of the rare items that still are.

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I have had a battery last 11 years. and it was a 6 volt one at that. The one in my daily driver is 10 years old now and still working fine. If your battery has a warranty it will spell out the terms, usually a period of unconditional replacement and then on a prorated basis. Your car could have an intermittent drain also.

Intermittent power drains are always a possibility. Multiple causes possible depending upon the particular car. Bad voltage regulator, alternators or starters with issues, ignition switches, and on some cars even the headlight switch if the primary power circuit passes through it. But, that doesn't preclude the fact today's lead acid batteries are not the same as they might have been even ten years ago. It all has to do with the lead and the number of plates. Of course it is an idiot notion that any conventional lead acid battery does not need maintenance as is implied on many of them today with the proclamation they are maintenance free. Battery companies figure the loss of electrolyte in the battery is less likely to result in failure under warranty verses owners putting tap water in the battery and calcifying the plates.

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I've noticed that batteries don't last in modern cars like they did in old cars.

My thought is that cars have more electronics now that use "instant on" power

so they are always ready to go. This must use power all the time.

Forum thoughts.

Plus battery tenders keep th lows for occuring while stored.

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I bought my 69 Pontiac new and almost to the delivery date of the car the battery went flat. The Delco that is in it now has been in it for over ten years.

I bought my 76 Olds new and almost to the delivery of the car again .. a sulfated battery. The Delco that is in it now is over eight years.

My 65 VW at one time had a 6V Delco in it for over twelve years.

I bought my 2001 Nissan new and it still has the original battery and this car has more bells and whistles imaginable ---funny this topic has come up because I just ran a AVR on this car this past week end and that battery still held the load test at 180 AMPS draw for 15 seconds at 10.1 volts!!

D.

Edited by helfen (see edit history)
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As you got this from an auto supply, it makes me wonder about the brand of it.

About 4 years ago, I was trying to get some cars revived, but was doing it on "the cheap", so I went to WalMart and got two of their batteries of the appropriate size and, also, their upgrade battery. I put one in one car and kept the other one out. A while later, when the shop called and wanted a battery, I took it over to them. It would not hold a charge, even after taking a charge like it was going to work well. The fix was an auto supply private brand battery (which the shop had had good luck with). I know others have had better luck with WalMart batteries.

I also put one in my daily-driver Camaro. It worked decently well for about a year or so, but started acting a little funny, so a new ACDelco OEM-type replaced it and that was several years ago.

On my '80 Chrysler Newport, after I got it if it sat for several days, the battery would be dead. It'd always recharge and be fine until it sat another time. It had an Interstate battery in it, so a friend warrantied it for me. The new one did the same thing, so I just unhooked the battery when I wasn't driving it. One night, I was in a quiet shop and touched the battery cable to the battery. I heard a faint "chingggg". I unhooked the battery and tried again, but it didn't "chingggg" until it had sat a while unhooked. I then unhooked the chime module and no more "chingggg" or "beep" or whatever AND no more dead battery.

There are many parasitic drains in modern vehicles. One can be the ECM, but another one is the radio. Station memory, clock functions, etc. NOT to forget the possibility of a security system issue.

In the 1984 Corvettes, when the cars were first being shipped to dealers, Chevrolet sent out a letter to all dealers to FIRST charge the batteries overnight before the cars were put on the lot. Other than the batteries "as shipped" having about a 60% charge, if the cars weren't driven for about 30 days with a fully charged battery, the parasitic drain of the alarm system would kill the battery in 30 days of non-use.

Seems like ACDelco has lengthened their "no charge" replacement period to 24 months for their OEM-line batteries? BUT, you'll have to pay labor to get it swapped out, if you don't do it yourself.

ALSO, on battery warranties, IF you get a battery warrantied, the replacement battery is only warrantied for the remainded of the original warranty period . . . per the manufacturer's battery warranty document. In other words, if you purchase a battery and it needs to be replaced at 23 months, then the replacement battery is still under the original battery's warranty period . . . the "warranty clock" does NOT restart, but keeps on ticking (like a Timex watch).

IF there is an issue with the vehicle rather than the battery, YOU'll need to find out what it might be. BUT if that particular brand of battery has a history or only lasting 24 months for you, then that's a whole nuther thing to consider.

Enjoy!

NTX5467

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Wes- I would run a battery drain test on that car and see if there's anything drawing current with engine and ignition off. All you have to do is connect an ammeter in series with the (-) terminal and cable and read current draw. More than just a very few milliamps is cause for suspicion. Pull and replace fuses until the current draw stops. Clock and radio memory are likely suspects as are glovebox, trunk and underhood lights. If the car has automatic level control that can drive a battery and charging system crazy.

Also remember you have a huge engine and a lot of electric/electronic gadgets, any of which could do weird things after nearly 35 years.

Knock on wood, I've had really good luck with batteries the last few years. I routinely get 9-11 years out of one in the daily drivers but when they go, they go like right now.

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Well I have owned the Mark V for 6 years and it has been in my family since new. This was the same problem with the other Interstate battery from a few years ago. I do not have any drains and the alternator is working and peak performance. I was not willing to chance it with the old battery, as I did that one time and it turned out that it was a cell which was on the verge of going! Then I was stuck! I bought the last one direct from interstate and this one from the same place. They did restart the warranty with the new battery

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On my '80 Chrysler Newport, after I got it if it sat for several days, the battery would be dead. It'd always recharge and be fine until it sat another time. It had an Interstate battery in it, so a friend warrantied it for me. The

There are many parasitic drains in modern vehicles. One can be the ECM, but another one is the radio. Station memory, clock functions, etc. NOT to forget the possibility of a security system issue.

NTX5467

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Some cars like my Nissan have what is called a extended storage switch or a extended storage fuse. During PDI they are installed. They are designed to keep all battery drains ( clock,radio, heat/ A/C memory temp settings etc. from bringing the battery down over a long period of storage. There were some people who would store their cars for a long period and would have a discharged battery when they finally decided to use the car. Apparently they failed to read the owners manual.

D.

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_________________________________________________________________

Some cars like my Nissan have what is called a extended storage switch or a extended storage fuse. During PDI they are installed. They are designed to keep all battery drains ( clock,radio, heat/ A/C memory temp settings etc. from bringing the battery down over a long period of storage. There were some people who would store their cars for a long period and would have a discharged battery when they finally decided to use the car. Apparently they failed to read the owners manual.

D.

You mean to say owners should actually read the manual that comes with their vehicles........Darn!:D

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Only three companies make batteries today. Delco, Exide and Johnson controls. Johnson controls purchased the old Globe battery company and also owns Optima. I can see how many of you have had different luck with a Delco battery compared to the others because Johnson makes most of the others including Interstate. Wal-Mart batteries are made by either Johnson Controls or Exide.

Link below shows all the "different" (but not really) batteries made by Johnson Controls.

Who makes Interstate batteries Batteries | Compare Reviews and Trusted Advice from Battery Experts

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Well I have owned the Mark V for 6 years and it has been in my family since new. This was the same problem with the other Interstate battery from a few years ago. I do not have any drains and the alternator is working and peak performance. I was not willing to chance it with the old battery, as I did that one time and it turned out that it was a cell which was on the verge of going! Then I was stuck! I bought the last one direct from interstate and this one from the same place. They did restart the warranty with the new battery

Then you should have no complaint!!

Ben

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A few years ago my wife car had its interstate battery get weak. It was only 10 years old.

I replaced it with a 8 year old interstate that tested good. That battery finally died recently at 10 years.

It is not likely I will have this car for 8 more years so I will not be able to report when the new interstate fails.

My brothers 31 Model A has between 6 and 8 years on an Optima. That replaced the Interstate he got off the bad pile at Interstate which was 6 to 8 years old when it failed. He runs the original gen with a diode cut out. The charge rate is turned up some because he runs direct replacement halogen head light bulbs (the ones made in Australia).

People who 'upgrade' to an alternator might be surprised to find out some single wire alternators draw current when the engine is off.

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My step-father bought a brand new Oldsmobile in 1996. He drove it from the dealership staight to my house to show me his new purchase. The dealership was less than two miles from my house. He pulled in the driveway, talked a while, went to leave and the battery was dead. Talk about a short battery life! I'll never forget that as long as I live!

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There are more than three companies making batteries. Deka is one of them, and is a family owned company. I've had good luck with them.

I had never heard of them but a quick look at their web site reveals a super progressive business. Even found a dealer in Texas but they are a bit too far away to give the product a try.

http://www.dekabatteries.com/default.aspx?pageid=4

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i replace all the batteries in my 4 cars every 2 years regardless. im too old to sit by the side of the road ,marty

I wish I could too but with 17 batteries that would get somewhat expensive. I have a mix of batteries from Optima’s, Interstates, antique with gel cells, NAPA heavy duty lead acid, etc. I typically get a minimum of 8 years out of them but change them out at 11 years. Had a 13 year old Interstate that read a perfect voltage with an excellent hydrometer reading but still changed it out.

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i replace all the batteries in my 4 cars every 2 years regardless. im too old to sit by the side of the road ,marty

If a dead battery stops your car on the road you've got bigger troubles than the battery, troubles that'll kill a new or old battery. However if you're talking about being stuck with a dead battery someplace other than home, that's what AAA Plus is for.:cool:

Even though used lead/acid batteries are mandatorily recycled when returned by law, this is still a very wasteful thing to do. Unless there's something wrong with the car it should be VERY rare that a battery last less than 5 years these days.

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If a dead battery stops your car on the road you've got bigger troubles than the battery, troubles that'll kill a new or old battery. However if you're talking about being stuck with a dead battery someplace other than home, that's what AAA Plus is for.:cool:

Even though used lead/acid batteries are mandatorily recycled when returned by law, this is still a very wasteful thing to do. Unless there's something wrong with the car it should be VERY rare that a battery last less than 5 years these days.

Dave, i have VARIOUS serious health problems. I cant be off the road in 95 degree so fla heat. It is common knowledge that the best batteries last 30 to 36 months in south fla heat......ive been changing my wifes,sisters and mine and they never last here. AAA takes up to 2 hours to arrive, i cant do that and anyway ,i beleive in preventative medicine with me and the car. i constantly flush the cooling system and change my thermostat yearly in addition to the same for trany. i change my oil every 2000 miles and have installed gauges to prevent trouble but thats a tangent,marty:)

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Stranded car on the side of the road with a completely sulfated battery, a much less occurrence on a car with a generator instead of a alternator for sure.

All you would need to get home with a generator equipped car would be a jump start, or if your parked on a hill you can pop the clutch to start. On some automatic's you can do this to, other automatic's you can't...like a dual coupling hydramatic.

D.

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I picked this off google about battery care.

D.

A conservative life-span for lead-acid batteries in an electric car is 3 years. But there are folks running alternative vehicles like our tractor that have been using the same batteries for over 10 years. A car is generally run more often and regularly and to a much greater extent of discharge. Altough we use our tractors often, we are generally only going a mile or so at a time then re-charging them, so they don't get permanently exhausted as fast.

The most important statistic for you to know is that 85% of dead/old batteries in Electric Vehicles are only dead because of excessive sulfation NOT because they really "need" to be dead.

I am copying below information from www.uuhome.de/willima.darden/carfaq16.html on desulfating batteries, but the most important thing for you to know is that you should keepsulfation from happening rather than trying to fix it and "Recover" your batteries. We let ours go too long and were NOT able to recover them that first time. Since then, we have had no problems.

How do I prevent permanent sulfation?

(From http://www.uuhome.de/william.darden/carfaq16.htm)

The best way to prevent sulfation is to keep a lead-acid battery fully charged because lead sulfate does not form. This can be accomplished three ways. The best solution is to use a charger that is capable of delivering a continuous "float" charge at the battery manufacturer's recommended float or maintenance voltage for a fully charged battery. 12-volt batteries, depending on the battery type, usually have fixed float voltages between 13.2 VDC and 13.8 VDC, measured at 80° F (26.7° C) with an accurate (.5% or better) digital voltmeter. Based on the battery type you are using, charging can best be accomplished with a microprocessor controlled, three stage (for AGM or Gel Cell batteries) or four stage (for wet batteries) "smart" charger or by voltage-regulated float charger to "float" or maintain fully a charged battery. A cheap, unregulated "trickle" charger or manual two stage charger can overcharge a battery and destroy it.

A second and less desirable method is to periodically recharge the battery when the State-of-Charge drops to 80% or below. Maintaining a high State-of-Charge (SoC) tends to prevent irreversible sulfation. The recharge frequency is dependent on the parasitic load, temperature, the battery's condition, and plate formulation (battery type). Temperature matters! Lower temperatures slow down electro chemical reactions and higher temperatures speed them up. A battery stored at 95° F (35° C) will self-discharge twice as fast than one stored at 75° F (23.9° C).

A third technique is to use a regulated solar panel or wind or water generator designed to float charge the battery. This is a popular solution when AC power is unavailable for charging.

How do I recover sulfated batteries?

(From http://www.uuhome.de/william.darden/carfaq16.htm)

Here are three methods to try to recover permanently sulfated batteries:

Light Sulfation

Check the electrolyte levels and apply a constant current at 2% of the battery's RC or 1% of the AH capacity rating for 48 to 120 hours at 14.4 VDC or more, depending on the electrolyte temperature and capacity of the battery. Cycle (discharge to 50% and recharge) the battery a couple of times and test its capacity. You might have to increase the voltage in order to break down the hard lead sulfate crystals. If the battery gets above 125° F (51.7° C) then stop charging and allow the battery to cool down before continuing.

Heavy Sulfation

Replace the old electrolyte with distilled, deionized or demineralized water, let stand for one hour, apply a constant current at four amps at 13.8 VDC until there is no additional rise in specific gravity, remove the electrolyte, wash the sediment out, replace with fresh electrolyte (battery acid), and recharge. If the specific gravity exceeds 1.300, then remove the new electrolyte, wash the sediment out, and start over from the beginning with distilled water. You might have to increase the voltage in order to break down the hard lead sulfate crystals. If the battery gets above 125° F (51.7° C) then stop charging and allow the battery to cool down before continuing. Cycle (discharge to 50% and recharge) the battery a couple of times and test capacity. The sulfate crystals are more soluble in water than in electrolyte. As these crystals are dissolved, the sulfate is converted back into sulfuric acid and the specific gravity rises. This procedure will only work with some batteries.

Desulfators

Use a desulfator also known as a pulse charger. A list of some of the desulfator or pulse charger manufacturers is available on the Battery References Links List at Car and Deep Cycle Battery FAQ, Battery Manufacturers and Brand Names List, and.

Despite manufacturer's claims, some battery experts feel that desulfators and pulse chargers do not work any better at removing permanent sulfation than do constant voltage chargers.

D.

Edited by helfen (see edit history)
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I've had some luck with a pulse charger to bring a few batteries back from the dead (so sulfated they wouldn't take any charge at all) but even then they're never as good as they used to be. If you can bring one up to holding an 80% charge, you're doing as well as can be hoped.

Float chargers are definitely the way to go, so the batteries don't become sulfated in the first place.

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