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O/T NEED CAR BATTERY HELP

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by gusto777, Jan 28, 2012.

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  1. gusto777

    gusto777 Member

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    I was hoping someone could help me with a possible car battery problem I'm having. The battery in my truck goes completely dead if I don't start the truck for about four or five days. The truck is a 2005 Ford F-150 V-8 Four Wheel Drive. The battery is an Energizer Battery that is about four years old. When I jump the battery to start the truck the truck starts immediately. The alternator appears to charging the battery properly when the truck is runnung. I can't find anything that would drain the battery when the truck is parked. When I had my oil changed recently I asked them to test the battery. They told me the battery had low "cranking amps" and recommended that I buy a new battery. I asked the if low "cranking amps" could cause the battery do go dead if the truck sat idle for a few days. They said it could. I hate to buy a new battery if the battery itself is not the problem. Can anyone shed some light on my problem.

    Thanks, Gus from Las Vegas
     
  2. d.delph

    d.delph TS Member

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    Start the truck, let it run for a few minutes, then take the positive battery terimal off, while it is running, if it remains to run the altenator should be good. This will tell you you dont need a altenator. Two things come to mind first if it is draining the battery. One, the battery has a weak or dead cell which will drain it slowly over a period of tiime. # two, the starter can also have a short and drain the battery. In your case, the first option sounds the most likely. Have had batteries over the years, in both pickups and my big trucks do the exact same thing. In the big trucks, where there are 4 batteries, one can be bad and drain all the other 3. Like, one bad apple spoils the bunch. Hope this helps, I would try the battery first. Dan Delph.
     
  3. gusto777

    gusto777 Member

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    Dan . . thanks for your help. I really appreciate it !!

    Gus
     
  4. Limpy100

    Limpy100 Member

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    Gusto; Let it set with the battery disconected and see if it goes dead. IF IT DOES YOUR YOUR BATTERY IS DONE IF IT DOESN'T UOU HAVE A SHORT
     
  5. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    I can't remember the last time I had a battery in a vehicle for 4 years, the heat here in Arizona kills them in about 2 years ... I bought the best one that Sam" club has to offer and they have changed it 3 times no questions asked and no charge ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  6. gusto777

    gusto777 Member

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    Thanks Limpy and WPT !!

    Gus
     
  7. Tdog

    Tdog TS Member

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    Using a voltmeter you should measure at least 12.0 volts (actually 13.6 volts if the battery s fully charged) across the battery terminals with the engine & key turned off. If not you have either a dead cell in the battery or something in the truck is draining the battery. With the engine running you should see about 14.5 volts across the terminals.
     
  8. trim tab

    trim tab Active Member

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    Consider yourself fortunate to get 4 years of battery living in Las Vegas where you have very high ambient temps. Heat is the biggest culprit on battery's
     
  9. trim tab

    trim tab Active Member

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    Gus, sent you a PM
     
  10. gusto777

    gusto777 Member

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    Thanks Trimtab . . . this is Gus (Claybusters). Are you still shooting league?
     
  11. Steve W

    Steve W Well-Known Member

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    Instead of disconnect the battery to test, you can try a CTEK smart charger, approx. $20 over internet. It'll monitor your battery 24/7 and if it needs charging, the indicator will turn yellow, when fully charged, it'll turn green. I have these chargers on all my vehicles if parked over 2 weeks.

    If you see the indicator turn yellow, something is draining your battery (like when you open the door and the interior light goes on). it's pretty sensitive, a good indicator for even the smallest drainage. Test it on your truck and see how often it turns yellow. My Expeditions only turn yellow no more than once a day for a minute or so. My two Mercedes will turn yellow 2~3 times a day for couple minutes.

    I highly recommend the CTEK charger. It saved a few batteries for me.

    The original battery in one of my Expedition last 9 years and 10 month in Los Angeles. It's in the garage most of the time, hooked up to a trickle charger when parked over 2 weeks. One time I went to Europe and forgot to put on the trickle charger, and it started right up when I came back 3 weeks later.
     
  12. LUGNUTZ426

    LUGNUTZ426 TS Member

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    YOU PROBABLY HAVE EXCESSIVE IOD (IGNITION OFF DRAW). THIS CAN BE CHECKED WITH A
    DIGITAL VOLT/OHMETER. INSTALLED BETWEEN THE NEG TERMINAL AND THE BATTERY POST
    WITH NOTHING ON, DOORS CLOSED , KEYS OUT ETC THE READING ON THE MILLIAMPS SCALE SHOULD BE LESS THEN 30 ( OR .03AMP) IF IT IS ANY HIGHER, START PULLING FUSES UNTIL YOU FIND THE CIRCUIT THAT HAS THE EXCESSIVE LOAD. COULD BE A SHORT TO GROUND OR A BAD MODULE/COMPONENT. AFTERMARKET ALARMS FREQUENTLY CAUSE THIS ISSUE, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER ADDED ACCESSORY THAT IS WIRED IN TO WRONG CIRCUIT. NOTE: DO NOT TURN ANYTHING ON OR OPEN A DOOR
    WHILE THE AMMETER IS INLINE AS ONCE THE CIRCUIT GOES OVER 10 AMPS THE FUSE IN THE AMMETER WILL BLOW (USUALLY 10 AMP). IF THIS IS "OVER YOUR HEAD" I SUGGEST TAKING IT TO A DEALER. A DEALER TECH TRAINED IN ELECRICAL DIAGNOSIS SHOULD BE ABLE TO ISOLATE THE DRAIN.
     
  13. John Thompson

    John Thompson TS Member

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    With other posters, I think you have achieved maximum battery life. However, that said; disconnect the positive pole on the battery, you can now use 1920 technology, try and be in a dark enviroment place the cable slowly back on the battery, if you see a spark you have some thing draining your battery. 1960 technology: disconnect the positive pole, connect an amp meter between the battery pole and the cable, if there is a drain indicated by an ampere reading, disconnect 1 fuse at a time until the drain goes away. You now know what circuit has an open flow of electric. I once had a cigarette lighter that had been pushed in and never popped out as designed. I was able to find the problem with an amp meter. I did not smoke so I would never have thought of the lighter.
     
  14. gusto777

    gusto777 Member

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    Thanks to everyone that responded to my problem. You have given me some great advice and suggestions !! Hope I can return the favor sometime !!

    Gus in Las Vegas
     
  15. Haskins Bill

    Haskins Bill TS Member

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    10-4 on the idea of the battery having seen its lifetime. Back in the Vietnam days the maintenace guys would adjust the specific gravity of vehicle batterys because of the heat by making the acid mixture richer. Well can't do that these days because of sealed batteries. Also you don't have a car cell phone charger plugged into a power outlets inside a console or something like that do you? Just a thought. Have done the battery cable trick in the dark myself more than once to check for an unknown draw. Bill
     
  16. Rick in Ohio

    Rick in Ohio Member

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    Have some one check your Alternator. There is a little part in side your Alternator if it goes bad it will drain your battery slowly.
     
  17. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    Your problem sounds like excessive parasitic drain. You need a multi meter set to measure amps, connet the red lead to the positive cable end and the negative lead to the positive battery terminal. read the meter set on amps if excessive remove one fuse at a time and replace until the amp draw falls way down. Thats the circuit thats the cause of the battery running down. Test alternator out put, by setting the meter to volts and check across the battery terminals if the charing system is working, the voltage should read 13.6 to 14.6 with the engine running
     
  18. sliverbulletexpress

    sliverbulletexpress TS Member

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    I don't want to make anyone mad but you have been given some good but also some very outdated information on this issue. This is not the 50's or 60's or even the 70's.

    DO NOT I can't stress this enough DO NOT pull the battery cable off a modern vehicle while it is running NEVER....and it doesn't matter if you pull the neg or positive. This is an old shade tree way of checking if a GENERATOR is working, you risk blowing some expensive electronics if you do this on a modern car. It sounds like your alternator is working fine anyway.


    Modern vehicles all have parasitic drains on the battery the old cars never had, this is because of all the computerized systems. In the olden days if you had a drain on the battery something was wrong. That is not true now. Your battery is on the way out. It is doing ok starting the vehicle and driving it which keeps it recharged often but when you leave it several days those little parasitic drains are discharging it. You can put a smart charger or battery tender on it and get a little more time out of it but I wouldn't. I would put a new battery in it now otherwise it will quit on the most inopportune time possible, at least if you have luck like mine. If you get 4 years out of the best batteries with most new cars you are doing great. I change mine out 3-31/2 years just because I hate problems and unlike the good old days there's not several people in the parking lot offering to give you a jump, at least not the kind you would need.
     
  19. motordoctor

    motordoctor Shoji Tabuchi in Branson

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    I agree that DO NOT PULL THE BATTERY CABLE OFF. Here is another thing to think about. I had a vehicle in the shop once that had a small draw over a few days. Several things can happen. One is the glove box or trunk light. Maybe a small bulb someplace that is on. But wait More news. This vehicle had a dime inside the rear door cigarette lighter. Some kid had dropped the dime in the lighter receptical by accident. Every once is a while when the door was slammed properly, the dime would move off to one side and short out the lighter and this would drain the battery. It did take some time to figure it out but we all were suprised at the problem. Yes . Motordoc
     
  20. Ross

    Ross Well-Known Member

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    Was glad to read Steve W post our 04 (probably an 03 battery as we bought it early in 04) camper is still on it's original also, keep expecting it to die every time I go out to start it. Have replaced the "house" battery but not the truck. I DO carry jumper cables. Ross Puls
     
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