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Thinking Car Batteries

Post  Admin Wed Feb 02, 2022 3:58 pm

This past weekend, I decided to pull the 2000 Ford F-150 out of the garage and run it for awhile. It typically sits in the garage all winter while the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Escape see most of the use.

Well it wouldn't turn over... the battery was too low. Oh well, it wouldn't be the first time considering it sat for a few weeks in the well below freezing cold. So I threw the charger on it and checked it out with a load tester several hours later. Nope, it was done.

I think I did okay getting 12 years out of it. Problem now is Sams Club, Costco, Fleet Farm, and the few auto parts stores I called around to are all out of the group 65 battery. Since it's not a vehicle that needs to be driven right now, I'm not planning to go on a wild goose chase or settle for a cheap battery or overpay for some fancy "premium" battery.

Car Batteries Img_5911

Dated 8/2009

I remember the original 2002 Chrysler battery in the Jeep lasted about 12-13 or so years as well.

How long do you typically get out of a battery?


Last edited by Admin on Wed Feb 02, 2022 5:17 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  rsv1cox Wed Feb 02, 2022 5:12 pm

Timely post as this has been on my mind.

I haven't used my bought new 2007 Honda CR-v in a couple of weeks so when I started it this morning to do some shopping I was concerned.

10 degrees in the remote garage and it groaned to a start. Sent me to my records, last battery change was September 2012 so it's going on 10 years. I have never changed the battery in my 2015 Honda Accord. Time fly's seems yesteryear I was lucky to get 5-7 years out of a battery.
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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  Marleysky Wed Feb 02, 2022 8:37 pm

Battery life expectancy is 5 years or 60 months under normal usage. My 2014 Chevy Equinox  was acting "wonky" the windows would go down ok, but going up was a struggle, head lights were noticeably dimmer. Then one morning turn the key and nothing..just dead. Put the charger on it till it dropped dropped to a  2 amp trickle and it started ok. Running the alternator was putting out 13.7 to 14 volts so the charging system was good. Couple of days later it was dead again. Watched a You Tube video on how and WHAT to remove to get to the Battery (hidden under the comptuer and plastic shield) , pulled it out and found it to be date coded Dec 13. So the OEM AC Delco lasted 8 years! Took the Dead batt to Sam's Club and the Tire&Battery dept is just inside the entrance, put the DB on the desk, walked over to the Battery display slid out a new SIze46  on to the desk and Hundered and some dollers later walked out with a new "DuraCell" battery.  Neat trick at this Sam's club is when I bring in the Old battery with me they exchange it for the "core charge" if done on same transaction when buying a new battery. They then  only charge sales tax on the battery,not the Core. If you buy the battery outright there's tax on the core which you Don't get refunded when you bring the core back later, saving a few bucks in taxes.

For your F150 if you don't use it as daily driver and just need a "Newer" battery, I'd suggest finding a local auto-recycler ( Weller Auto or KLQ pick-a-part) and pick up a used almost new battery for $45-50 if you need a functioning battery.
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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  Cribbs74 Wed Feb 02, 2022 10:32 pm

12yrs? You should have that thing bronzed.

I normally get 4-5yrs with my mid grade battery purchases. I got 6 yrs from a used Optima red top once….

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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  Oldenginerod Thu Feb 03, 2022 12:59 am

Most domestic, Euro or Korean vehicles out here get about 5-6 years.  Japanese batteries usually go about ten.
The exception seems to be the Jeep Grand Cherokee (far from my favorite vehicle) which has the battery under the driver's seat.  While it's an absolute pain in the rear to swap out, they do last really well in the cooler environment of the cabin rather than the hot engine bay.  Same goes for the AUS built Chev Lumina/SS (Holden Commodore) which has the battery in the trunk.  Cold might effect their performance but the heat is what really wrecks them.
Car Batteries Screen14
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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  Oldenginerod Thu Feb 03, 2022 1:05 am

People are funny with car batteries. They take it out because it no longer does the job, but then leave if sitting around the workshop for a couple of years as if it's going to get better one day.. I collect and cash in batteries as a fund-raiser for our vintage machinery club. Car enthusiasts from our club drop in every now and then, some with one or two batteries, but some manage to scrounge up a dozen or so that have been sitting around for years. A scrap guy comes around every couple of months to collect them for recycling and pays good money. Easy way to make a dollar for the club.
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Thinking T

Post  Coxfledgling Thu Feb 03, 2022 1:24 am

12 years, it's done well.

There are battery moniters  available to keep batteries "healthy " but 12 years, not used in winter or kept topped up electrically, it's done well.

Nice estate car...
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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  balogh Thu Feb 03, 2022 1:27 am

4-5 years at best is what I experienced the batteries to last....My car is a mild hybrid diesel and can sit for weeks in the garage without seeing too much battery drain...as opposed to my wife's car in which we had to replace the battery already twice in its life of 7 years, because after a few days without use the battery drains so much the engine will not start...I went to the dealer's shop and had the car tested for short circuit drains but found nothing...these are German cars so I would tend to blame it on the battery more than on the car..
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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  getback Thu Feb 03, 2022 5:51 am

It seems i get about 8-10 years , but the weather around here don't get that bad . Had to purchase one for the Dodge 1500 2004 $190 later i was up and running i am sure being used was not the original battery . Smile
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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  rsv1cox Thu Feb 03, 2022 7:04 am

balogh wrote:4-5 years at best is what I experienced the batteries to last....My car is a mild hybrid diesel and can sit for weeks in the garage without seeing too much battery drain...as opposed to my wife's car in which we had to replace the battery already twice in its life of 7 years, because after a few days without use the battery drains so much the engine will not start...I went to the dealer's shop and had the car tested for short circuit drains but found nothing...these are German cars so I would tend to blame it on the battery more than on the car..

Same here Andras. My two Hondas can sit for weeks and start right off. (I have three cars and perhaps go out just once a week and cycle the three) But my Nissan 350Z drains the battery down to a no-start condition after just four or five days. The thing has so many electrical do-dads that I think contribute to the problem as the battery is less than a year old. I just bought a battery maintainer for it.
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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  cstatman Thu Feb 03, 2022 9:19 am

i've never really thought about how many years. I DO make a point to sharpie install date on top of the battery, so I know

It's a constant cycling of battery tenders in the garage for the motorcycles. but cars/trucks?
i dont know how long, but i do know? they give up the ghost? when I need them the most.

being notoriously cheap? and unwilling to go on 'quests' to find batteries?
www.batteriesplus.com/

I've been having good luck with these guys in finding obscure, weird, etc.. at decent prices.
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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  Davenz13 Thu Feb 03, 2022 5:04 pm

Back in the seventies and eighties, when I was an Auto Electrician, a car battery would last about five to six years. If you got seven or eight you were doing very well.
Back then, batteries were repairable, melt the pitch and cell links, pull out the offending cell or cells out and replace.

I still remember one time I was in the battery department when a young apprentice came in and asked for a tin of propeller pitch. Back then apprentices were sent on all sorts of nonsensical errands. Bruce, who ran the battery department, asked him what degree pitch did he want, six degrees or nine degrees. The kid said he didn’t know. Bruce told him it’s very important to get it right and sent him off to find out. The poor sod arrived back about an hour later on his pushbike and said it’s the nine degrees they want. Bruce grabbed a small container, heated up some pitch and put a couple of scoops in. He then wrote on the side of the container, nine degree pitch and sent him on his way.
I laughed about that for days  lol!

Things the effect and shorten the life of a battery are vibration, motorcycles batteries never seemed to last much longer than two or three years back then on my triumph twins and the pounding they get in trucks, boats and earthmoving equipment. When I think about it, motorcycle lead/acid batteries don’t seem to last much longer these days.

Also leaving them on the shelf or in the car unused for long periods. A lead acid battery will self-discharge over time and then sulphurisation of the plates will occur. This appears as a white frost and will eventually bulge the side of the case if left.
If I’m not using it, I never like to leave a battery longer than a couple of months between charges. I use battery tenders on bikes that are parked up for the winter.

Speaking of winter, the phone used to go nuts on the first good frost of the season as people rang up because their car wouldn’t start and wanting a jump start. Nothing like a good frost to sort out the failing battery. Don’t need a new battery they’d say. Trouble is, once started, it would start fine for the rest of the day or week until the next cold morning. Eventually the penny would drop.

If when checking and or charging your lead acid battery, assuming it’s not a sealed one, you notice the fluid is dirty or Smokey in colour, that’s due to the lead plates starting to disintegrate so while not immediately fatal it’s another sign that all is not well inside the battery and replacement is not far away.
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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  Oldenginerod Thu Feb 03, 2022 6:26 pm

Dave. Have you ever tried the Epson Salts trick to clean out the Sulphation? Discharge, emtpy out the acid, fill each cell with clean water and a tea-spoon full of Epsom Salts. Let it fizz & bubble for a while. (Can't recall how long). Empty & rinse out. Tip the acid back in and recharge. **NOTE! Don't play with acid. You try my theory at your own risk. If you do something silly don't blame me. Laughing

I remember my dad doing it to the old battery in my Simca Aronde Paddock-bomb when I was 15. One end cell was completely dead/shorted. The clean-out got the cell working again and we were back on our way.

I personally think this is a better solution that simply adding one of those Battery Restorer products. Sure, they clean the sulphation off the plates, but the dirty sludge falls to the bottom and will eventually short out the plates again.
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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  roddie Thu Feb 03, 2022 8:12 pm

I may as well chime-in here.. I've heard tales of suspect-dead conventional car batteries.. being revived by being subjected to shock.. in an effort to clear the "plates" of contaminants which would degrade the re-charging process.

What say ye...

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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  Davenz13 Thu Feb 03, 2022 9:18 pm

Don't know about the shock treatment Roddie but I had heard of but never tried the Epson salts method.
When I worked for a Company and later as an individual I avoided any of those methods where even you made it clear it was just a quick fix or patch-up to get them home and get it fixed properly on Monday, when now six months or more later finally fails, an irate customer is now insisting it was fully overhauled and wants it fixed under warranty.
I find temporary fixes have a way of becoming permanent if you're not careful.
"Fix it right, fix it once" is right up there with "Measure twice, cut once"
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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  Oldenginerod Fri Feb 04, 2022 12:51 am

roddie wrote:I may as well chime-in here.. I've heard tales of suspect-dead conventional car batteries.. being revived by being subjected to shock.. in an effort to clear the "plates" of contaminants which would degrade the re-charging process.

What say ye...

Some high-end automotive battery chargers have a "Restore" setting. It basically, as far as I understand it, subjects the battery to a momentary high discharge (short circuit) which dislodges contamination off the plates. The concern I have is that it will all sink to the bottom. The method I mentioned gets rid of the dislodged contaminants.

I know where you're coming from Dave, but my method is not intended to be a commercial solution. I would only do this to my own batteries in low-use vehicles where buying a new battery would be too expensive for what it needs to do.
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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  Davenz13 Fri Feb 04, 2022 2:00 am

I'm hearing you Rod. I'm all for repair patch-ups for myself. I just have to watch out that the follow-up repair doesn't get relegated too far back in the queue.
While I'm chatting with you, I've something heading my way for you. Will get your postal address off you once it's here. Probably a week or two away still.
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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  Admin Fri Feb 04, 2022 2:06 am

I'm one of those people who've managed to collect a stash of old lead-acid batteries I've been meaning to bring down to the scrap yard...but never got to it. I still have an old large marine battery that was used in the boat as intended maybe a handful of times but kept charged so it could be hauled into the house if/when the power went out and a light bulb in a lamp swapped out to a 12 volt RV bulb so we could have a lamp on. I've read about the Epsom salts method before. Some people claim it works, others claim it to be a myth. I planned on attempting some reconditioning/resurrecting methods with that battery years ago... but never got around to it.

How about dumping the acid out of the battery into another container then storing the battery long-term dry? I remember reading about people doing that with their boat batteries over the winter. Then refill in the spring and recharge. Lots of horsing around with the acid though.


Last edited by Admin on Fri Feb 04, 2022 2:32 am; edited 2 times in total

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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  Oldenginerod Fri Feb 04, 2022 2:25 am

Davenz13 wrote:I've something heading my way for you. Will get your postal address off you once it's here. Probably a week or two away still.  

Oooooh!  Now that sounds interesting.  I like nice surprises.  lol!
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Post  Admin Fri Feb 04, 2022 2:32 am

As for making a battery last for 12 years... the secret is to expose it to sub-zero (°F) temperatures for several days out of the year, then once in awhile throw a 50 year old manual battery charger on it that manages to float upwards of 15 volts for a few hours. That's how you do it.

The last time I started the truck with that battery, it started it up strong. Wasn't acting like it was getting weak. I knew it was old and that I was likely to be somewhere other than home when it decided to die... fortunately, I was home this time. ...Unlike with the Jeep (thankfully I had a jump-starter pack with me as I also knew that battery was OLD). The original Chrysler battery was an AGM battery.

That reminds me, I still need to get a new jump starter pack... or a new SLA battery to replace in the jump starter. That too has been dead for the last couple years Crazy Eyes .

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Thinking Fledgling

Post  Coxfledgling Fri Feb 04, 2022 7:01 am

Anyone come across a battery that has changed polarity yet ?

I came across one in the late seventies. A mate of a good friend says he has come across one a couple of years back...

In my opinion dead and dying batteries are just not worth the hassle unless in a "safe factory working environment ". Tooo many things that can go horribly wrong, like explosions scattering acid everywhere...

The new ( they have been about for some years now ) 48volt type can be lethal, lipo's ditto...
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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  gkamysz Fri Feb 04, 2022 7:52 am

If a car battery is drained in a few days, something isn't shutting off. I have a Honda Odyssey with a bad power door latch. I didn't know, but it was likely a problem for a while. When driven daily, there was no obvious problem. It draws about 0.7A when not shut properly. 2 days and it won't start. When properly shut, current drain doesn't even register on a clamp meter. One day I'll fix it.....

A few years ago we had that deep freeze and everything was closed. The van wouldn't start after the second day of not being driven. Not even a light on the dash. First time ever it wouldn't start. The Optima yellow top froze, fully discharged at -25°F. I thawed it that day and it took a charge like usual. I thought it was odd, but ran out and got a new Atlas BX AGM battery. It was also drained flat several times until I figured out what was causing the drain. I thought it would be garbage after so many deep discharges, but it cranked the van the other day at -6°F. Atlas are South Korean production.

The Optima then served in another car for a while as well, until I had a no crank, which turned out to be a bad ground strap between the engine and chassis. Now, it's relegated to summer duty, but it's fairly weak. I had an Optima in a truck years ago and it was excellent.

There really are only a few manufacturers of decent batteries sold under various labels, but it's not always easy to find out who makes what. Junk batteries are the cheap ones. The best thing you can do to get good life is buy a good one in the first place.
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Thinking OHBOY ! Technology to the rescue??

Post  Marleysky Fri Feb 04, 2022 11:35 am

Just read this in their monthly newsletter..]

a little more in focus

Car Batteries Scree129
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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  rsv1cox Fri Feb 04, 2022 12:09 pm

gkamysz wrote:.

If a car battery is drained in a few days, something isn't shutting off.

I have thought of that, the most obvious explanation.

If that's the case the easiest test is to remove the ground strap from the battery's terminal and in darkness tap it to see if a spark occurs. I'm not seeing any. Other than the clock I don't see a reason why the Nissan's battery tends to drain in about a weeks' time. Gremlins.
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Thinking Re: Car Batteries

Post  Oldenginerod Fri Feb 04, 2022 3:32 pm

rsv1cox wrote:
gkamysz wrote:.

If a car battery is drained in a few days, something isn't shutting off.

I have thought of that, the most obvious explanation.

If that's the case the easiest test is to remove the ground strap from the battery's terminal and in darkness tap it to see if a spark occurs.  I'm not seeing any.  Other than the clock I don't see a reason why the Nissan's battery tends to drain in about a weeks' time.  Gremlins.

Do you ensure the car is always locked? I have had quite a few customers who have had battery drain problems and it turns out that in many cases they lock the car in the garage but they don't lock the car. If you don't lock, particularly using the transmitter button, the computer will sometimes stay awake and active, draining the battery eventually. I have had customers who, on my advice, have solved the problem by simply getting into the habit of pushing the lock button every time. That'll put all your electronic systems to sleep.
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