Car Battery Questions

This is the place for any magazine-related discussions that don't fit in any of the column discussion boards below.
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Chris Smith
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Post by Chris Smith » Sat Nov 25, 2006 2:19 pm

Have you checked for AC yet, DC batteries and circuits don’t work on this?

Have you checked your amps at mid range, idle, and fast?

+ 55 amps at least.

Need a load, turn on all the lights, AC, heater, etc.,.....does it still read good and charge at mid range. [belts, alt, reg]

Batteries do go dead with out the proper fill up?

Have you checked the batteries for acid on the top, as in is it dry, or getting there?

Did they fill the acid into the battery before giving it to you?

[common problem]

Have you done a regulator analysis yet? [right voltage etc]

Batteries only go dead over long periods of time if cold, left on concrete, etc.

Batteries do go dead when the voltage is wrong, the amperage is too low to recharge, or the regulator is either is too high, too low, or the alternator diodes introduce AC into a DC circuit.

Dean Huster
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Post by Dean Huster » Tue Nov 28, 2006 4:34 pm

Batteries only go dead over long periods of time if cold, left on concrete, etc.
Oh, no!! My father-in-law has been resurrected!! Show me how that concrete sucks the life out of the battery through that plastic housing.

Don't forget that the Wal-Mart brand name for their batteries has a typo: it's Neverstart not Everstart. But if each new battery exhibits the same symptoms, regardless of the quality of the source, it's time to eliminate the battery as the problem and concentrate on the vehicle. A DC clamp-around ammeter is a nice thing to borrow at this point and truly check the charge.

It's been years since you got bags of acid to put in your new battery. They all come pre-loaded as far as I know, probably a liability issue.

Usually, high charge voltage will eat up headlights quickly, too, and is one symptom. Taking the car to a decent, reliable mechanic will quickly solve your problem as he can check out the whole system pretty quickly with specialized equipment.

Dean
Dean Huster, Electronics Curmudgeon
Contributing Editor emeritus, "Q & A", of the former "Poptronics" magazine (formerly "Popular Electronics" and "Electronics Now" magazines).

R.I.P.

Robert Reed
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Post by Robert Reed » Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:46 pm

Dean

"It's been years since you got bags of acid to put in your new battery. They all come pre-loaded as far as I know, probably a liability issue. "

So I thought too! A few months ago I purchased a new battery for my jet ski and upon opening the box when I got home, I dicovered I had To fill it with acid from a separate container ( and much to my dismay). A horrible set up that barely dribbled the acid in and slurped all over the place. Well I got it for a good price any way.

EEP
In a life time of checking good alternator outputs, they have always read between 14.0 and 14 .7 volts. so you are good there. This voltage would be too high for a stand alone long term trickle charger, But for automotive use it is based on the premise of relatively (minutes to hours) short term rapid charging after short term heavy discharge (starting motor). If you see this voltage at your battery terms. when charging then you can dismiss the regulator as your problem. The rest is up to the battery to accept that charge. In a healthy battery, the current flows, the battery charges. As to reading 12.72 volts on a charged battery, this will not tell you the capacity or life thats left in the battery - only a Hygrometer will give you this indication. In the past when I have had your problem and all looked well (chg. volt. & no load drain). it has always been the battery being defective. In spite of my electrical expertise and "I can fix anything attitude", it has always been the battery :sad:

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Chris Smith
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Post by Chris Smith » Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:16 pm

They all dont come pre charged with acid. [big mistake]


A cold floor will drain a battery over time, also a big mistake,...or as we like to call it, wives tales talking.

Nothing new.

Get in the business, [lots of time] watch, then learn.

Much better than all the wives tales combined, male or female.

EEPROM777I
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Post by EEPROM777I » Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:02 pm

Well I let the car sit for three days and went to test it today. All seems to be well and good. Before doing anything I checked the battery voltage and it was at 12.52VDC and after running it for a minute it was that good 14.2VDC again. I turned on everything I could think of (Rear defroster, A/C compressor, brake lights. headlights, etc....) and the voltage never went below 13.92VDC and then I turned everything off as fast I could and the voltage never went past 14.2. I'm hoping it was a bad batch of "Neverstart" batteries.

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Chris Smith
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Post by Chris Smith » Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:00 am

A cold floor will drain a battery over time, also a big mistake....

Oops, you forgot about time?

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