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Thread: life span of an automotive battery....

  1. #16
    Batteries are a crap shoot. Some last longer than others. As an example, my 1994 Ford Areostar (made in Dec 1993) is two years into it's fourth battery. Means first three lasted around 9 years each. OEM one was replaced because wife went shopping left lights on for a couple hours. As it was 9 years old, I just replaced it, despite the fact that it charged up and tested good. Look online a "Project Farm's" battery comparison of different brands of batteries. His testing rates the Walmart Ever Starts, as the best buy. Right now, in three of four vehicles, we have the $49.99 (now $59.99) Walmart batteries made by Exide. Third vehicle (98 Chrysler Town and Country) has old (2 year) from daughter's Honda Civic. She let car sit for several months and let battery drain. Bought new and was going to trade in one year old battery. At about same time, battery in T&C failed (4 year old, 12 month battery) , so I charged hers and put it on the Battery Tender for a couple days. Our stand by generator has an ELEVEN year old battery on it. Cranked without any problem on Monday when power went off. It has a Battery Tender on it at all times. I get tickled at either Autozone, or Advance when a customer comes in and says they will never have another battery from the other store as they are junk. But both stores sell the exact same battery, made by Johnson Controls. Only the labels are different. Johnson Controls also makes Interstate batteries, which Costco sells now that they dropped their Kirkland brand. Our local Interstate Battery distributor sells "refurbished" batteries for less than 50% of the cost of a new battery. They come with a 12 month warranty. Some time ago, I started a thread here about cost differentials of same battery based upon warranty length.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    I have a 2013 Honda that's on its third battery that I'm expecting to have to replace soon. The funny thing is, it's never been slow to crank, headlights were bright & the horn worked. It just didn't turn over at all and no clicking. My best guess is that a computer in the car decides that cranking voltage/current isn't as high as it should be & just shuts everything down. Both times I had it tested & the battery showed as being bad & it was replaced.
    By the 2016 model I have, they had apparently fixed it so the battery fails in the normal manner: wake up one morning and it's lost its will to live, just barely turning over and saying, "I'm done for, save yourself!"

    Mind you, it doesn't last any longer than before...first one lasted just under two years, second just over three. As I recall, there was also a recall for the battery sensor, which may be what causes the stone-dead symptoms you describe.
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  3. #18
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    My first Harley battery lasted 9 years but itís always on a tender when not in use. The wifeís odyssey needed a battery when we bought it used in 2018 and itís still going ok. My Mazda pickup on the other hand had its battery die after 3 years but I abused it by storing it without a tender for 2 summers; when I put it away in July Iíll take the battery out and leave it on a tender until itís winter. I ride, exclusively during the summer.

  4. #19
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    I have to ask- what is a tender? Something that keeps it charged when you're not using it?

    On a related note- I have an electric cart that uses a 12 volt battery (smaller than a car battery)- should I leave it plugged in to the charger during the cold winter months? I will use it from time to time in the winter. Will leaving it plugged in damage it in any way?

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zellers View Post
    I have to ask- what is a tender? Something that keeps it charged when you're not using it?

    On a related note- I have an electric cart that uses a 12 volt battery (smaller than a car battery)- should I leave it plugged in to the charger during the cold winter months? I will use it from time to time in the winter. Will leaving it plugged in damage it in any way?
    Yes, a tender is a very small charging device that uses a very low current to periodically top off a battery when it’s not being used regularly, like for a boat or motorcycle stored in the winter months.
    Jason

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  6. #21
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    If I ever get that "slow start" I go to the store and get a new one. My company vans drain quickly due to the trackers. I was reading up on the new ones and they have a idle time cut off so maybe that will help.

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zellers View Post
    I have to ask- what is a tender? Something that keeps it charged when you're not using it?

    On a related note- I have an electric cart that uses a 12 volt battery (smaller than a car battery)- should I leave it plugged in to the charger during the cold winter months? I will use it from time to time in the winter. Will leaving it plugged in damage it in any way?


    Yes, a battery tender is also sometimes know as a trickle charger. It keeps the battery topped off as batteries will naturally discharge slowly when not in use. There is even a model named "Battery Tender".

    As for your electric cart charger I would recommend reading the manual on it's charger. Some chargers are "smart" chargers and will switch to trickle charge mode when the battery is fully charged. Other models will not, and need to be removed when the battery is fully charged. If left on, it can damage the battery.

  8. #23
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    Great- thanks guys.

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Wrenn View Post
    Batteries are a crap shoot. Some last longer than others.
    Yup. My '02 F250's battery finally needed replaced at 11 years 4 months, August of '13. Wasn't the least bit dead then either, it just went POP the last time I tried to start the truck. Developed a short in side apparently. It's replacement battery, a basic 3 year Walmart thing I believe, is still going strong.

    Walmart also makes an el-cheapo 1-year warranty battery. Bought one of those for my old '04 Chevy Van soon after we bought it. That battery gave up the ghost at just about 366 days, I swear. (okay, may have been 380 or so, but it didn't make it 13 months!)

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  10. #25
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    When it come to automotive batteries, I don't believe there's any such thing as a cheap battery. I always get the best I can reasonably afford.

  11. #26
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    I should know this, but is there any kind of easy test one can do with basic electrical tools to check the status of your battery? Voltmeter across the terminals?
    Hobbyist

  12. #27
    I just check with a small mulitimeter. I always oversize to as large as fits in the space this last time didnt as wasnt getting good enough service. Wish I had done my usual Last four batteries insterstate and get at least six years but there are different models maybe three levels as well. Bought a 2003 saturn a friends moms car he kept after she passed. It had a delco think it did 8 years. In reading all her past bills see the first Delco same one lasted 2 years and was replaced for free. ??? big difference there.

    Told there are guys on the net who make batteries last forever but they have routine where they hit them with a 200 amp charger for some period of time. I didnt pay much attention but it is on there and maybe more than one person. Dont have the time to fiddle with it so didnt really watch.

    Stuff comes out if stored in the cold winter and use a trickle on it. Friend built a hot rod had a fancy dancy battery for it, car took longer than planed and battery was dead from sitting think he said would have been fine had he used a trickle charger.

  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Calow View Post
    I should know this, but is there any kind of easy test one can do with basic electrical tools to check the status of your battery? Voltmeter across the terminals?

    Yeah, drive to the local parts place and have them test it for FREE! HF sells a deluxe battery checker for around $75. I have a couple of deep cycle batteries that I traded local parts place other cores for. Neither would accept a charge. After a week on Battery Tender, both check out as good.

  14. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Wawro View Post
    Yes, a battery tender is also sometimes know as a trickle charger. It keeps the battery topped off as batteries will naturally discharge slowly when not in use. There is even a model named "Battery Tender".
    Battery Tender isn't just a trickle charger. It's also a battery conditioner which uses high frequency pulses to break up and prevent sulfitation.

  15. #30
    I think that is what the 200 amp guys were doing getting rid of sulfation or is it sulfitation you call it?

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