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Wade Lippman
07-21-2018, 10:22 AM
Wife has a 4.5 year old Mazda CX9 on the first battery.
Wednesday night she left the dome light on for 20 hours. Next day it wouldn't start. Dome light was still bright though.

I put a charger on it. It showed 12.2v. I charged it for 3 hours at 15a, and 1 hour tapering down to 2a, and it showed 14.2v. As far as I can tell, it is a 55ah battery, so the charging seems right on.

The last two days it has been fine.

We got the car to haul kids back and forth to college, but that is over and we want to get something smaller; probably after we see the 2019s. (unless cars get a 25% duty and the prices skyrocket, in which case it is just fine).

So my question... should I be getting a new battery? I don't want to waste $100, but if I need one, I might as well get it while it is still functioning.

Doug Dawson
07-21-2018, 10:31 AM
Wife has a 4.5 year old Mazda CX9 on the first battery.
Wednesday night she left the dome light on for 20 hours. Next day it wouldn't start. Dome light was still bright though.

I put a charger on it. It showed 12.2v. I charged it for 3 hours at 15a, and 1 hour tapering down to 2a, and it showed 14.2v. As far as I can tell, it is a 55ah battery, so the charging seems right on.

The last two days it has been fine.

We got the car to haul kids back and forth to college, but that is over and we want to get something smaller; probably after we see the 2019s. (unless cars get a 25% duty and the prices skyrocket, in which case it is just fine).

So my question... should I be getting a new battery? I don't want to waste $100, but if I need one, I might as well get it while it is still functioning.

After 4.5 years, your battery is toast, not worth trying to squeeze more life out of it (particularly after a discharge like that.) Buy a new one. Interstate is good. BTW that's a nice car.

Jerome Stanek
07-21-2018, 10:55 AM
Take it to an auto parts store and let them test it they can tell you if it has a weak cell

Doug Dawson
07-21-2018, 11:11 AM
Take it to an auto parts store and let them test it they can tell you if it has a weak cell

Why would you want to drive around with even the slightest concern that your battery is gonna go out on you? In the "old days" you got plenty of warning that your battery is weak just by being sensitive to how the electrical system was behaving. Nowadays cars have gotten better at hiding battery condition issues from the driver, until one day the car simply won't start. Who needs that, especially on a newer car. The parts jobber can tell you whether a battery could be rehabbed to start a jalopy a few times.

Down here in the South it's not unusual to have to replace a factory battery in a car after two years only, it's a wear item (heat.) Five years would be a good lifetime anywhere.

Jim Koepke
07-21-2018, 11:55 AM
One repair shop told us our car battery needed replacement a year ago. It doesn't charge to its full amperage or something.

There is a pair of jumper cables under the back seat.

jtk

Doug Garson
07-21-2018, 12:52 PM
I've got a 9 year old Murano, about 3 years ago the dealer said it failed the battery test and should be replaced. Still going strong. I do carry a set of cables but I've always done that. If I lived in a remote location with more extreme weather I might be concerned but in my case a one time dead battery incident would be a minor inconvenience. I'm willing to take the chance.

Stephen Tashiro
07-21-2018, 1:00 PM
in my case a one time dead battery incident would be a minor inconvenience..

A decade a go, I had a battery fail by bursting open. In about the same time frame, a friend was getting a jump start from a stranger when his battery bust and acid damaged the finish on both cars. I wonder if such things can happen with modern batteries.

Doug Garson
07-21-2018, 1:07 PM
A decade a go, I had a battery fail by bursting open. In about the same time frame, a friend was getting a jump start from a stranger when his battery bust and acid damaged the finish on both cars. I wonder if such things can happen with modern batteries.
Wow, never heard of that happening but then again I don't pretend to be a car expert. Did these failures happen under extreme conditions?

Doug Dawson
07-21-2018, 1:11 PM
A decade a go, I had a battery fail by bursting open. In about the same time frame, a friend was getting a jump start from a stranger when his battery bust and acid damaged the finish on both cars. I wonder if such things can happen with modern batteries.

Batteries haven't changed. Cars have.

The only batteries that I would trust nowadays are made by Interstate (no affiliation.)

Of course you know the rule, positive to positive and negative to ground (good battery to bad battery positive plus frame.) If a battery really is dead I wouldn't trust it to be charged by a "samaritan" car w/o risk of damage to same, due to the "sensitivity" of the electronics in a modern alternator, re burning it out etc. Unless we're talking about a heavy-duty samaritan, like a tow truck or something. I would also temporarily disconnect the ground to the dead battery. With modern electronic controls, that's the veddygood voodoo.

Frederick Skelly
07-21-2018, 1:13 PM
Another thing to be aware of. Used to be that if you were driving along the highway and the battery failed, you could keep going on the alternator. So you didnt know it failed until the next time you stopped/parked. Today, that is no longer true - at least for some cars. The car will shut down right then and there, leaving you stuck next to the highway. I don't know why they build them like that but this happened to my Mom in a late model Ford about 6 years years back. Failed hard and a jump wouldnt do it. We were told by a shop we trusted that the computer expects a certain voltage from the battery and wnen it doesnt see it, shuts down.

Kev Williams
07-21-2018, 1:28 PM
If you have a good ear (I do, fortunately) you can tell when your battery is on its way out just by the slight change in sound-pitch when starting- if it seems like the starter is getting a bit slower or 'labored', it probably is, and you should get the battery checked. Caveats to this, starters run slower as temps go down, oil is thicker.

When in doubt, just have the battery checked, most auto parts stores do this for free. If the battery passes a load test, odds are high you're good to go for at least a few months...

I have a 2002 Ford F-250 I bought new, the original battery lasted 11 years, and showed no signs of failure even when it did fail, and it failed in grand fashion by blowing out the side of the case with a "pop". Wasn't a loud pop either, maybe half as loud as a good hand-clap. Somehow a short developed inside, it happens.

I've always had good luck with batteries, that is until these 1-year cheapies Walmart sells came out. I've bought 2 of them, and both barely made it to 13 months, just long enough to pass the warranty. Almost like they have a timer built in ;)

Mike Henderson
07-21-2018, 1:49 PM
After 4.5 years, I'd change the battery so I wouldn't have to worry about if it might fail on me in an inconvenient place.

Mike

George Bokros
07-21-2018, 4:15 PM
A decade a go, I had a battery fail by bursting open. In about the same time frame, a friend was getting a jump start from a stranger when his battery bust and acid damaged the finish on both cars. I wonder if such things can happen with modern batteries.

Was this winter time in a cold climate and the battery that was dead was frozen?

Stephen Tashiro
07-21-2018, 5:56 PM
Wow, never heard of that happening but then again I don't pretend to be a car expert. Did these failures happen under extreme conditions?

The weather wasn't extreme when my battery burst. It wasn't winter or a hot summer day. I don't know the conditions when my friend's battery burst.

Todd Mason-Darnell
07-21-2018, 7:19 PM
I am with the majority--spend the $100 and get a new battery.

Having jumper cables is good, but the battery will give up the ghost when there is no one around or when you need the car in a hurry.

Jim Becker
07-21-2018, 7:35 PM
Yea, at 4-5 years, a battery is at or nearing end-of-life. I'm faced with that myself...actually pushed it a year, but I'll be replacing mine before winter you can be sure. Unfortunately, mine is a more expensive AGM type since it's in the passenger cabin under the passenger seat, so that raises the cost about another hundred. LOL

Bill Dufour
07-21-2018, 7:38 PM
For me batteries fail in winter when it gets colder and the engine is harder to start and the battery output is reduced by the cold. I bought a load tester from HF and check them in the fall when it starts to get cool. Cost under $50 with a discount and a free flashlight. I bought my wife's car a cigarette lighter to cigarette lighter jumper cable.
Bill D.

Bruce Wrenn
07-21-2018, 8:52 PM
Batteries are truly a crap shoot. Our 94 Ford Areostar,( built Nov 93) went nine years on original battery. Wife left lights on and went shopping, so we replaced it. Replacement also went nine years. Second replacement only went five years. Currently it has six year old battery from my truck in it. Get auto parts store to check both battery and charging system, then go to another brand parts store and have them do the same. If both say battery is on it's last leg, then replace it. FYI, those little jump packs that are just a little larger than a smart phone do work. Another way to save on a battery is to check if parts store has a "used battery.) Seldom are they actually used, only passed their best by sell date, and only come with a one year warranty. They are still going to last 5-6 years. Remember that there are only a few battery manufacturers in the USA. Interstate doesn't make theirs, instead buying them from other sources.

Ed Aumiller
07-21-2018, 9:01 PM
The battery lost its charge due to your fault... Odds are it will last another year or two at least.... probably longer since it is an original to the car battery.

Dave Lehnert
07-22-2018, 12:00 AM
Had an F150 for nine years on original battery.

Battery failed on my moms Buick and you could not jump it.

Jerome Stanek
07-22-2018, 6:48 AM
I have had batteries last 9 to 10 years and have replaced them and the new one lasted 1 and 1/2 years. You never know. I like the Exide batteries they seem to last the longest

Dave Verstraete
07-22-2018, 8:23 AM
I'd buy a new battery. Happy wife....Happy life:)

Chris Damm
07-22-2018, 9:14 AM
I've had batteries last almost a decade and others that wouldn't last a day or 2 (diehard). If you're worried about it take to Autozone and have check it. I've had ones that were so hard to remove that I just replaced them.

Matt Meiser
07-22-2018, 9:45 AM
My personal rule, at 4-5 years I start looking for a convenient time to spend the money and lately a good Advance Auto coupon code (I've seen them as high as 40% off, order online, pickup in store 30 minutes later.) Their batteries are made by Johnson Controls, same as many, many others including many OEMs.

Ronald Blue
07-22-2018, 9:56 AM
As has already been stated the battery was drained from a light being left on overnight. I wouldn't fear it's going bad. As also been stated go to an auto parts store with an electronic tester and have them check it. If it's not as strong as it should be it will say so. As for the plugging for Interstate brand batteries. They make no batteries themselves. So you are paying for their marketing and dealer network and getting the same battery that is sold by other companies.
As for exploding batteries. The one that blew up while jump starting it. That was caused by most likely not following recommended jump starting procedures. The hydrogen gas being emitted ignited and burst the battery. If it put battery acid all over it was an explosion. Just saying.

Simon MacGowen
07-22-2018, 10:34 AM
After 4.5 years, I'd change the battery so I wouldn't have to worry about if it might fail on me in an inconvenient place.

Mike

Both Mike and Doug D. have given the best and safe advice. If you battery died and you were stuck at night unexpectedly, you became penny wise and pound foolish.

5 years is the end of the life of a battery. I change my brake pads when they have 15% or so left, not when they are 10% or 0%. Not worth the risk of inconvenience or safety.

Simon

Doug Dawson
07-22-2018, 12:26 PM
As for the plugging for Interstate brand batteries. They make no batteries themselves. So you are paying for their marketing and dealer network and getting the same battery that is sold by other companies.

I've bought many many batteries over the years. Sears, Walmart (average lifetime maybe one year,) parts jobber house brands (hit-or-miss,) over-the-counter OEM's (which are usually stale because nobody buys from them unless the customer demands it,) and probably about a dozen Interstates, and the latter are the only ones where I've never had a premature failure, not one. Perhaps it's a matter of QC, but in my experience this is beyond anecdotal.

Wade Lippman
07-22-2018, 12:43 PM
Advanced Auto said the battery needed to be replaced, but their price was rather high. Said we could order one on line for 20% off and they would install it. That seems like a strange practice.

Going to get the 2 year battery at Walmart next week. Quite sure we will be selling it with a year, so that seems like a reasonable compromise.

Bruce Page
07-22-2018, 12:57 PM
I've bought many many batteries over the years. Sears, Walmart (average lifetime maybe one year,) parts jobber house brands (hit-or-miss,) over-the-counter OEM's (which are usually stale because nobody buys from them unless the customer demands it,) and probably about a dozen Interstates, and the latter are the only ones where I've never had a premature failure, not one. Perhaps it's a matter of QC, but in my experience this is beyond anecdotal.

I had the opposite experience with Interstate batteries. I have had 3 that failed in their second year. The last one was replaced with a Die Hard 3 years ago and still going strong.

Jerome Stanek
07-22-2018, 1:15 PM
The Walmart batteries I bought all failed just after the warranty was off one made it to 2 years and 1 month one made it 1 year and 1o months another that had a 60 month warranty made it 3 years. That one they prorated and I ended up with one of the others. I replaced three of the Walmart batteries with Exide that I bought from Rural King and the one in my diesel tractor is now over 6 years old

Doug Dawson
07-22-2018, 1:29 PM
The Walmart batteries I bought all failed just after the warranty was off one made it to 2 years and 1 month one made it 1 year and 1o months another that had a 60 month warranty made it 3 years. That one they prorated and I ended up with one of the others. I replaced three of the Walmart batteries with Exide that I bought from Rural King and the one in my diesel tractor is now over 6 years old

Another issue that hasn't been _explicitly_ pointed out is that if you're getting a new battery, make sure that it's as fresh as possible (i.e. recent manufacture.) Many places like to sell the oldest ones first, for obvious reasons. There are ways of checking the date codes, and you can Google for that. A seller that has a lot of throughput is a good bet (not the corner shop blowing the dust off it, etc.)

Walmart OTOH has good throughput, and is at least good for giving you a new battery every year, but it gets tiresome after a while. ;^)

Google "Walmart Vlasic Pickles bankruptcy" and you can see the kind of pressures that companies are under that deal with them.

Simon MacGowen
07-22-2018, 3:31 PM
Another issue that hasn't been _explicitly_ pointed out is that if you're getting a new battery, make sure that it's as fresh as possible (i.e. recent manufacture.).

Costco seems to have a good turnover of its batteries.

Simon

Mike Gresham
07-22-2018, 4:09 PM
As for exploding batteries. The one that blew up while jump starting it. That was caused by most likely not following recommended jump starting procedures. The hydrogen gas being emitted ignited and burst the battery. If it put battery acid all over it was an explosion. Just saying.

+1. One of the first things I was taught when I took a summer job at a filling station nearly 6 decades ago was never make a spark near the battery. Positive to positive first and bare metal to bare metal away from the battery assuming negative ground.

Wade Lippman
07-22-2018, 4:13 PM
Google "Walmart Vlasic Pickles bankruptcy" and you can see the kind of pressures that companies are under that deal with them.

I used to sell to HD and Lowes, so I am well familiar with the pressure.

If the Walmart battery lives to its warranty, I will be happy.

Ronald Blue
07-22-2018, 4:15 PM
I've bought many many batteries over the years. Sears, Walmart (average lifetime maybe one year,) parts jobber house brands (hit-or-miss,) over-the-counter OEM's (which are usually stale because nobody buys from them unless the customer demands it,) and probably about a dozen Interstates, and the latter are the only ones where I've never had a premature failure, not one. Perhaps it's a matter of QC, but in my experience this is beyond anecdotal.

Just curious how many vehicles you own or have owned? After 45 years of driving I'm not sure I have bought 20 batteries. Personal use that is. Work is another story. I know from experience and that includes hundreds of batteries in heavy equipment that I have replaced just as many Interstate as any others. Look up 8D 12 volt batteries. You don't look forward to changing these and they are a two person lift at 130 lbs each. In most instances I get what's available where I'm working. I don't have anything against Interstate branded batteries but they are just as likely to fail as any other. If we had found them to be superior we would have made them the battery of choice. I'm glad you have found them to be better. My experience hasn't been the same. There many factors that lead to battery failures and they often get blamed when they aren't actually faulty. Parasitic load and a weak alternator are common causes of no start situations. Batteries fail no matter who makes them. It's kind of like asking who makes the best tire. That will get 100 opinions from 50 posters. Well maybe not but you get my drift. Get what makes you happy.

Bruce Wrenn
07-22-2018, 8:29 PM
Currently, local Costco is selling Interstate batteries, at an inflated price. The 230 CCA,12V lawn mower battery is right at $40, with six month warranty. Go to Walmart, and $21.99 get you a battery with same specs. As for "Die Hards," we have had two that lived up to their name- DIED HARD! First one wife bought while working at Sears, using employee discount. When it failed she no longer worked for Sears, so prorated adjustment was based on current retail price. She got back more than she paid for battery originally. My Die Hard (2 yrs old) failed while on vacation. Thank God for jumper cables. My best luck has been with Bosch Professional Batteries. Unfortunately they got bought out and cheapened to AutroZone's Duralast line. Where the parts house has you is no matter where your battery failed, you need it for a "core." This means most of the time that the original vendor doesn't have to adjust it out, as you used it as a "core." I see customers in Autozone complaining about Advance's batteries and the same in reverse at Advance. Both parts house buy their batteries from either Johnson Controls, or GNB, so they are the same battery. LKQ, a pick your part salvage yard sells "reconditioned batteries," which Interstate does for them.

Dave Lehnert
07-22-2018, 9:17 PM
I think you will find people have good and bad luck with all brands.
I had a boat battery from Walmart and it lasted 9 years. Mower battery from Walmart is on it 4th year.
Purchased a battery from a local owned auto parts store and it lasted for many years. Purchased another for the car and it only lasted less than a year.
A coworker purchased a battery from Rural King and did not make it a year.

Leo Graywacz
07-22-2018, 10:33 PM
The manufactured date on the battery shouldn't make much of a difference. They don't add the acid until you buy it and that's when it starts producing power. Otherwise it's just lead sitting around in a sealed container. Might want to charge the battery up first and then equalize it. Then you can put it into the car.

Scott T Smith
07-23-2018, 7:52 AM
If I had to replace every battery on the farm at the same time, it would cost me over 5K. Thus I always seek out the best battery for the $.

Most of my batteries are lasting 6 - 9 years.

Duralast Gold from Autozone used to be the best, but now Iíve switched over to the ones from Batteries plus.

Regarding when to replace a battery, simply make sure that it is fully charged and do a load test on it. The meter will let you know if itís strong, weak, or needs immediate replacement. There is no need to replace a 4 year old battery if it passes a load test.

Modern cars will not let the starter engage if the battery falls below 10 volts (so the electronics are not damaged). Thatís why you might have lights but no cranking.

Leo Graywacz
07-23-2018, 8:36 AM
10.5 volts is 0% state of charge with most, if not all 12 volt lead acid batteries. If it's reached 10 volts you have damaged the battery and it's likely it will never be 100% again. Simple wet cell batteries are the easiest to "fix". Sealed cells, not so much.

Jim Koepke
07-23-2018, 11:35 AM
One thing that will help a batter live longer is to keep the top or the area between the terminals clean.

One of my early lessons with car batteries was with a 6V system that wasn't taking or holding a charge. A mechanic took out a couple of quarters, put them on top of the battery and then put the probes of his VOM (Volt Ohm Meter) on the quarters. It showed voltage. The charging was hampered by this and then the battery would discharge through it. It wasn't all that dirty, but after that it is one more thing check and address as necessary.

jtk

Bruce Wrenn
07-23-2018, 9:59 PM
Batteries arrive with acid in them now. On most batteries there is a little round sticker on side showing the date they were built. It will have the year and the month

Lucy Green
07-24-2018, 3:57 AM
I thought the battery lost its charge due to the weather.

Tom M King
07-24-2018, 9:21 PM
My diesel is on its third pair of batteries. I've been driving it for 18 years. The truck starts fine when the batteries start to go, but I can tell that it's time to change them when the Allison transmission starts to act strange. It has a really complicated software package, and I guess the computer doesn't stay reliable once the batteries become weak below some critical stage. It's something over 6 years though.

Lee DeRaud
07-25-2018, 1:29 AM
As for "Die Hards," we have had two that lived up to their name- DIED HARD!My running joke was always, "They may die hard, but I've never had any trouble killing one."
I had two of them blow up the same way back in the mid-'80s, leaving the case cracked on the positive end cell. Gave up on them, even though they were both replaced under warranty: not worth dealing up with the idiots at the local Sears' auto department.

Lee DeRaud
07-25-2018, 1:33 AM
They don't add the acid until you buy it...Huh?!? Where are you buying your batteries?

The only batteries I've ever had that worked that way were motorcycle batteries where they sold you an empty battery and a bottle of electrolyte. Every car battery I've ever bought was a pull-off-the-shelf-and-install deal...and I started driving in the mid-1960s.

Leo Graywacz
07-25-2018, 8:40 AM
Only recently have they been selling sealed batteries. Maintenance free as they call them. And a lot of the earlier ones still had caps on them except they were flush with the body of the battery. You could still access them if you knew about it. Today's sealed cells are just that, sealed. No access, no maintenance required, or allowed.

Most of the batteries I've bought up until my news truck (2007) had a battery that was a maintenance battery. When I got it they always told me to come back in an hour (or later) so they could add the acid and give it a boost charge.

The batteries I buy now are AGM totally sealed and you can put them in upside down if you wished. But those are not for my vehicles, but for solar.

Lee DeRaud
07-25-2018, 1:34 PM
Only recently have they been selling sealed batteries.IMHO, you're using a nonstandard definition of "recently". :)

Gel cell batteries date back to the early '80s, AGMs maybe ten years later. That's for automotive use, the tech for both is quite a bit older than that.

Ole Anderson
07-25-2018, 6:35 PM
Have it tested, but at 4.5 years, you are on borrowed time. Interstate is good, made in Mexico IIRC. DECA is good, made by East Penn here in the USA, got 3 in my RV and one in my wife's car, one in the zero turn.. I just replaced my 9 year old AutoZone boat batteries (still working) with the same make.

John C Cox
07-26-2018, 2:58 PM
Wife has a 4.5 year old Mazda CX9 on the first battery.
Wednesday night she left the dome light on for 20 hours. Next day it wouldn't start. Dome light was still bright though.

I put a charger on it. It showed 12.2v. I charged it for 3 hours at 15a, and 1 hour tapering down to 2a, and it showed 14.2v. As far as I can tell, it is a 55ah battery, so the charging seems right on.

The last two days it has been fine.

We got the car to haul kids back and forth to college, but that is over and we want to get something smaller; probably after we see the 2019s. (unless cars get a 25% duty and the prices skyrocket, in which case it is just fine).

So my question... should I be getting a new battery? I don't want to waste $100, but if I need one, I might as well get it while it is still functioning.

Don't replace the battery until it is showing actual signs of problems - problems holding a charge and not starting the car.

Most Regular car batteries can take 5 or 7 deep cycles before they give up the ghost. So you gave it 1.. It still has several more.

Now - if you want the piece of mind that comes from having a new battery in The Wife's car - I totally understand.... But that's not a "Battery Problem" per-se.... That's up to you......

Brian Henderson
07-26-2018, 5:42 PM
My daughter's car just wouldn't start one day. I tested the battery and it charged but would not hold a charge. So we took it to a store and had them test it and they couldn't get it to hold a charge. We exchanged it for a brand new battery, put it in the car and it started right up. The next day... the battery was dead. No lights on, nothing that would drain it, the car was on for mere moments. The battery was manufactured 6/18. Now we have to get it down to the shop on Monday, the first day they could take it, to see what the heck has gone wrong. At least the battery is charging up just fine out of the car.

Jim Koepke
07-30-2018, 12:38 AM
My daughter's car just wouldn't start one day. I tested the battery and it charged but would not hold a charge. So we took it to a store and had them test it and they couldn't get it to hold a charge. We exchanged it for a brand new battery, put it in the car and it started right up. The next day... the battery was dead. No lights on, nothing that would drain it, the car was on for mere moments. The battery was manufactured 6/18. Now we have to get it down to the shop on Monday, the first day they could take it, to see what the heck has gone wrong. At least the battery is charging up just fine out of the car.

Sounds like something is draining the battery as it is parked. Likely in the alternator circuit or the clock circuit.

Remember the good old days where you could disconnect the battery and watch for a spark after removing each fuse?

jtk

Brian Henderson
07-30-2018, 1:59 AM
Sounds like something is draining the battery as it is parked. Likely in the alternator circuit or the clock circuit.

Remember the good old days where you could disconnect the battery and watch for a spark after removing each fuse?

jtk

It's going in tomorrow morning, I have no time to diagnose it. I put the battery back in and it fired right up, then I had to disconnect it again because otherwise the battery will be dead in the morning. Could be a bad alternator. Doesn't seem like the starter. We'll see.

Brian Henderson
07-30-2018, 1:17 PM
We actually figured it out on the way over to the shop this morning. Her rear brake lights were on all the time. It was a bad switch in the system and her lights never went off. It's going to cost $160 to get it replaced and we probably didn't have to replace the battery, but hey, at least it wasn't anything serious.

JERRY BRINKMAN
07-30-2018, 3:47 PM
When replacing a battery on modern cars, you need to have power supplied to the power train control module and other devices so they can retain their memory. Also some cars will go into anti-theft mode if power is lost. Some radios are theft protected and when power is lost they will lock out and you need a code to reactivate them plus you loose all your radio presets. We use a small dedicated battery unit that plugs into the diagnostic connector to retain power on modules. If your battery was tested with a conductance tester and it says it if failing, trust it and replace the battery.

Jim Koepke
07-31-2018, 10:51 AM
Her rear brake lights were on all the time. It was a bad switch in the system and her lights never went off.

This is reminiscent of a problem seen in my days of VWs. The taillight/brake light socket would develop oxidation which would cause it to lose its ground connection. If the headlights were on and your foot on the brake when the key was turned off, the care would continue running until the lights were turned off or your foot was lifted from the brake.


When replacing a battery on modern cars, you need to have power supplied to the power train control module and other devices so they can retain their memory.

It seems some mechanics know this and some do not. One shop that worked on our car connected a power supply to the alternator terminals when they had to disconnec the battery.

jtk

Jim Koepke
08-16-2018, 3:43 PM
One repair shop told us our car battery needed replacement a year ago. It doesn't charge to its full amperage or something.

There is a pair of jumper cables under the back seat.

jtk

Two days ago the wife came home saying the car was reluctant to start.

Yesterday a new battery was purchased and installed. The old (Exide brand) battery was installed in December of 2009.

The wife is going into town today so she gets to spend the core charge on what ever she wants.

jtk

John C Cox
08-16-2018, 6:59 PM
Adding acid to dry batteries.

This is most common outside the USA. Until very recently - most other places in the world made dry batteries which you filled with acid when you bought it. Then - as you say - you could drive it for a week to “boost up” the battery and then they would replace the electrolyte for you if you wanted.

In the US - this practice mostly stopped by the late 1970’s... The battery manufacturers switched to a “wet battery” process due to the problems with consumers and small retailers dealing with lead oxide battery paste contaminated acid - aka dumping it out in the back yard or down the drain...

Jim Becker
08-16-2018, 7:51 PM
Two days ago the wife came home saying the car was reluctant to start.

Yesterday a new battery was purchased and installed. The old (Exide brand) battery was installed in December of 2009.

I had a similar situation with my Kubota tractor this week...rain got into the hazard light switch the other night during very heavy storming and it "blinked the battery to death" overnight. 'Couldn't jump start it with a portable OR my Grand Cherokee and then discovered the last time I replaced it was 2009. I can't complain about the longevity at all. Picked up a new battery and hope to get a simlar level of time out of it for my hundred bucks. :)

Myk Rian
08-17-2018, 9:03 PM
Wife has a 4.5 year old Mazda CX9 on the first battery.
Wednesday night she left the dome light on for 20 hours. Next day it wouldn't start. Dome light was still bright though.

I put a charger on it. It showed 12.2v. I charged it for 3 hours at 15a, and 1 hour tapering down to 2a, and it showed 14.2v. As far as I can tell, it is a 55ah battery, so the charging seems right on.

The last two days it has been fine.

We got the car to haul kids back and forth to college, but that is over and we want to get something smaller; probably after we see the 2019s. (unless cars get a 25% duty and the prices skyrocket, in which case it is just fine).

So my question... should I be getting a new battery? I don't want to waste $100, but if I need one, I might as well get it while it is still functioning.

First, it isn't 55ah. Probably closer to 550ah.
Second, replace it for peace of mind.

Leo Graywacz
08-17-2018, 9:24 PM
I think you're confusing CCA with Ah. A 550Ah battery would be huge.

Bob Glenn
08-18-2018, 10:50 AM
Let's see, you live in upstate New York and we are approaching fall then winter. What was the question again? At the very least, buy a lithium battery pack for jump starting. Cheaper than a new battery. How much would you pay for a new battery if you were sitting in a parking lot in the middle of a snow storm with a dead battery? What was the question?