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azxr
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Replace Car Battery Now?  

9 members have voted

  1. 1. Should I replace the battery now?

    • Yes
      7
    • No
      0
    • Wait for the resident expert to chime in
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I think I am asking the obvious and already know the answer, but....

 

Vehicle is just over 7 years old with original battery.

 

The start/stop feature (annoyance) stopped working around the 3 year mark and I noticed the message alerting me that it is not ready has increasingly popped up progressively much sooner over the years.  The indicated battery voltage when running has also decreased over that time from 14.2/14/4 to 13.7/14.0.

 

when not running the voltage at the terminals is 12.3.

 

I am guessing I pushed my luck far enough and should just replace the battery before it leaves me stranded.

 

No issues otherwise as far as starting or running.

Edited by azxr
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12.3 with no loads is bad.  But unless you're careful about what you do there will often be loads applied, namely the interior lights.  7 years is a good run on a battery so it's probably not wasteful to replace it.  Any parts store, Walmart, Costco, etc. will test it for free to confirm.

 

I voted "yes" because it's the easy answer with a 7 year old battery that is showing some signs of a problem and it's what I'd tell anyone unless the battery was tested and showed that it was still good.

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Zero said to replace it too, I forwarded the message for the resident expert as he's too busy dealing with more important problems with the universe.

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1 hour ago, superhawk996 said:

Zero said to replace it too, I forwarded the message for the resident expert as he's too busy dealing with more important problems with the universe.


It would help to know the make/model of the car in case that helps.

 

Go ahead and replace it.  7 years isn’t bad.  You have the resting voltage (for me the best indicator as a weak battery will be weak when it should be fresh).  When a function of a car stops working normally, that’s a cause for concern.  I’m surprised you didn’t diagnose the issue there and then rather than wait.  I always went on things like headlights dimming when the engine is at idle or longer than usual crank to start times.  My Prius might have given me warning, but I left a door ajar, and the dome light killed what was left of the 12v battery.

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4 hours ago, Zero Knievel said:


It would help to know the make/model of the car in case that helps.

 

Go ahead and replace it.  7 years isn’t bad.  You have the resting voltage (for me the best indicator as a weak battery will be weak when it should be fresh).  When a function of a car stops working normally, that’s a cause for concern.  I’m surprised you didn’t diagnose the issue there and then rather than wait.  I always went on things like headlights dimming when the engine is at idle or longer than usual crank to start times.  My Prius might have given me warning, but I left a door ajar, and the dome light killed what was left of the 12v battery.

The Prius doesn't give the typical warning since the 12v doesn't start the engine and because it gets power from the traction battery as soon as you turn the ignition on.  As long as it has enough power to activate the contactor (the switch that connects the traction battery's output) everything will function pretty much the same as if the battery was good.  I've read that the MPG drops when the 12v. is getting weak.

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7 hours ago, superhawk996 said:

 Any parts store, Walmart, Costco, etc. will test it for free to confirm.

 

I voted "yes" because it's the easy answer with a 7 year old battery that is showing some signs of a problem and it's what I'd tell anyone unless the battery was tested and showed that it was still good.

 

He’s in Germany. I’d be willing to bet it is not quite that easy. Or cheap. Dead batteries are probably somewhere between radioactive fallout and Zyklon B in terms of perceived environmental impact.

 

Azkr, We would love to hear the steps you have to take.

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14 minutes ago, RXX said:

Dead batteries are probably somewhere between radioactive fallout and Zyklon B in terms of perceived environmental impact.

 

He's also got to pay the taxes for the free medical care.

 

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Lol - true dat no Walmart/Costco.  You all reaffirmed what I expected.  Went to a local auto store and got raped a very good Varta AGM 800 CCA battery and should be good for a couple of years.  192 euros with a VAT form and a discount.  I could have got the same one from Amazon.de for about 145 but was concerned about getting old stock and they wouldn’t allow returns.
 

No doubt it is more difficult and expensive to DIY over here but better then having a garage do it.

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5 hours ago, RXX said:

 

He’s in Germany. I’d be willing to bet it is not quite that easy. Or cheap. Dead batteries are probably somewhere between radioactive fallout and Zyklon B in terms of perceived environmental impact.

 

Azkr, We would love to hear the steps you have to take.


Expensive yes.  The store was pretty good.  I was going to carry the battery out and he insisted I use their push cart.  I swapped it in the parking lot and returned the old one to them a few minutes later.

 

Luckily I can repair most anything I need to and can usually order my parts from the states or bring them back when I visit.

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I didn't notice you're in Germany.  I've heard that getting parts and tools can be challenging, nothing like it is here.

 

My 'BIL' brought back a spring compressor he'd bought when he was living there, I was excited to get a German quality tool.  I assumed everything German was high quality, it doesn't look much better than a Chinese tool from Harbor Freight.  Some parts of it look better, some worse.  I was shocked, but it makes sense that there's cheaper made stuff to fill the void...assuming Germany doesn't import Chinesium.

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Oooh, I have some bad news for you about the tequila served to locals in Mexico and the rum served to locals in Cuba.

 

"Export quality" means "the peasants can't afford it."

 

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I've got a battery right now in my shop that will "show" 12 volts at rest and as soon as you put a load on it, it goes "LOL".  I've got a couple of Dewalt 12v drill batteries that will charge up just fine then you put them in the tool and they MIGHT last 2 minutes (and y'all have fun with the easiest softball in the world... 🤣)

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Installed it in the parking lot . . ?  I'd recommend taking the time to disconnect and bench charge the new battery (remove it if necessary). The first charging cycle is important because it'll maximize the charge holding capability and its potential usable lifespan. Most stores carry batteries holding little more than a modest surface charge and don't bench charge their batteries, assuming the customer will do so--or worse, don't really care once the sale is made.

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1 hour ago, ironmike said:

Installed it in the parking lot . . ?  I'd recommend taking the time to disconnect and bench charge the new battery (remove it if necessary). The first charging cycle is important because it'll maximize the charge holding capability and its potential usable lifespan. Most stores carry batteries holding little more than a modest surface charge and don't bench charge their batteries, assuming the customer will do so--or worse, don't really care once the sale is made.


i drove it the 5 or so miles home and then hooked it up to a trickle charger for about 15 hours.  The instrument panel indicated 14.4 volts on my drive to work and start/stop now works.

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That ought to work just fine. 

The voltmeter was showing the level of alternator charge going to the battery while you were driving.

If you really want to test it (at rest & when running) a load tester would be the tool of choice.

But I think for now you're gonna be okay.

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2 hours ago, ironmike said:

Installed it in the parking lot . . ?  I'd recommend taking the time to disconnect and bench charge the new battery (remove it if necessary). The first charging cycle is important because it'll maximize the charge holding capability and its potential usable lifespan. Most stores carry batteries holding little more than a modest surface charge and don't bench charge their batteries, assuming the customer will do so--or worse, don't really care once the sale is made.

Where did you get that disinformation?  I test most batteries before buying just to make sure I didn't get a lemon and they've almost always shown that they're fully charged with amperage capacities well over their ratings, even some that had sat on the shelf for a few months.  There have been a couple exemptions, one that had a nearly open circuit and a couple that had been sitting on the shelf a really long time.  I've never heard of anyone recommending to charge before use and I've installed hundreds of them without doing so.

 

Motorcycle batteries that are purchased dry then filled are the only ones I've ever heard of that should be charged before use.

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1 hour ago, SwampNut said:

I'm mystified where these old wives' tales come from. 

Our parents.

Was it maybe true decades ago?  

Likely.

Like putting a battery on concrete?

Heard this one from my dad.  Never tested it, but to this day, I'll still put a piece of wood or rubber under a battery on the garage floor.  Figure it doesn't hurt, and it won't be there for long.

 

 

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I put every new battery on a battery tender before use.  Without using a meter I have no honest answer but it always seems to take a while before the light turns green.  The way I look at it is that it can't hurt.

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Almost any battery put on almost any charger will take a charge, it means almost nothing.  I have a few "smart chargers" and they will always put some amount of charge into a battery even if the same charger had already done a full charge.  The higher the output the less time it'll take to indicate that the battery is full.  Even the $3K Midtronics charger will often put a charge into a battery that's seemingly fully charged, but if it's been charged with a charger it's smart enough to know it's not needed.  It seems really aggressive with the amount of current and voltage it'll pump into a battery, but I try to trust it because for $3k it 'should' know what it's doing.

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9 hours ago, jon haney said:

Like putting a battery on concrete?

Heard this one from my dad.  Never tested it, but to this day, I'll still put a piece of wood or rubber under a battery on the garage floor.  Figure it doesn't hurt, and it won't be there for long.

Wearing a race suit and helmet to drive your car to the corner liquor store won't hurt, and it won't be on for long.

 

Our dads probably grew up in an era where self discharge through the concrete probably wasn't a thing any more, but the internet hadn't been invented so they had no way to know.  Putting something under the battery is mostly wasted effort and I want to call the practice retarded, but I have stained/damaged the concrete with batteries that had acid residue on them so for that it's a good thing to do.  I currently have batteries sitting on concrete, but they've been washed so it's ok.

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Or, maybe, old batteries weren’t as well insulated, and if a floor had any dampness to it, energy would bleed out through the casing?

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