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Technical Battery Story/ Food for Thought

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wicarnut, Sep 24, 2019.

  1. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,984

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    It's been my experience they (generally) last a lot longer. Chronic undercharging is particularly a problem with late model OT vehicles, because of the constant parasitic or phantom loads. For whatever reason, sometimes a battery dies prematurely despite good care, and we've all heard stories about original batteries lasting 10+ years with no attention whatsoever. That's not the way to bet, though.

    Periodic boost charging also serves another purpose, called "equalization". Have to be careful and monitor voltages and temperature when using an unregulated charger. Most modern chargers incorporate these routines into their circuitry. One thing I've found, is those old school "dumb" chargers are just about perfect, they had this stuff pegged a long time ago. These should be used on a timer especially in warm weather if one is prone to CRS syndrome.

    Even a new battery just off the shelf should be charged before installation. A new battery will take about a dozen or so start/charge cycles before they reach their full current capability.

    Modern type sealed "maintenance free" batteries use slightly different chemistry and plate materials than the classic lead-acid batteries with filler caps. A full charge in a maintenance free battery at 77° F. is 12.80 volts vs. 12.65 volts in the older style. 0.15 volt doesn't sound like much, but on a percentage basis it represents about a 75% charge.

    http://www.batteryfaq.org/
     
  2. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 3,813

    Boneyard51
    Member

    Truck 64 maybe that’s our problem! I don’t deal with many new vehicles! Lol I base my info on my findings of vehicles , while newer than the HAMB , the are definitely not new by any standards.
    In my business we did keep our vehicles on a constant charger, due to emergency need and huge parasitic loads.
    But our support vehicles just ran around like regular vehicles.
    Battery life definitely depends on a lot of things. The old wives tale that factory batteries lasted longer than any other, kinda got its start back in the carburetor days, when a new car would start with a touch of the button. By the time that battery went bad the car was somewhat wore out and took a while to start. Deeper cycle= shorter life!
    On the ranch we just drove then, had good luck as we usually ran them for a while after starting them. Just my observations!





    Bones
     
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  3. Whoever told you this is flat out wrong...as said 12.6 is a fully charged battery.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  4. Whoever told you this is flat out wrong...as said 12.6 is a fully charged battery.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  5. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 4,147

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    Johnson Controls has a factory right here in my hometown in Iowa. They make the lead plates. I was traveling and had a battery go bad. Bought one at O`Rielys. 3 months later it goes bad. Went to my local O`Reilys, and they said. Oh, It`s one of those. They have a policy at there store, who ever sells one of those(numbered ?) gets fired. I have never been fond of that chain.
     
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  6. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,984

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Collector cars or vintage iron often have a different problem, they don't get used much. I'm not asking you to believe me, but you could try it yourself if you're curious and see what you think. Heat, and vibrations are mostly what kills batteries. Can't really avoid this.

    Chronic undercharging or permanent sulfation is something we have control over. The battery manufacturers publish their charging requirements. In stationary service battery life is typically about 20 years, I guess, which would be really something in a car battery. Periodic boost charging or equalization charging is generally going to maximize service life. This slight overcharge is built in to most every battery charger ever made. If you monitor the actual voltage at the posts during a charge cycle it might surprise you how high it gets. An alternator can't (or shouldn't) do this.
     
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  7. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 3,813

    Boneyard51
    Member

    I understand man! I am kinda hard on batteries, due to laziness. I’ve got one vehicle that will take a battery down in about two weeks! Don’t drive it much, so I just unhook the battery!
    I do believe that a battery will last longer if it stays fully charged!




    Bones
     
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  8. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,556

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Over the past 55 years observation says that a slightly suspect battery will either crap out on the first real cold day of winter or the first real hot day of summer.
    Second observation is that different suppliers seem to turn out a batch of crappy batteries every so often and they usually end up being sold through one vendor until said vendor raises enough hell with them that the get the issue taken care of.
    In the early 70's when I was working in a Firestone store in Waco Tx we figured out that if we put a new battery on the charger for a half hour or so before we installed it in the vehicle we had a far better chance of it lasting a long time without an issue. No slap a battery in and get them out in five minutes but a lot of happy customers who didn't have battery problems with a reasonably new battery.
    I've bought batteries from a regional tire chain for the past 40 years simply because of service and that they have tire stores all over the PNW. You are never that far from one of their stores if you have a battery issue. I've had pretty good luck with them but there was a stretch about 25 years ago that they had a bad batch that failed a bit too often.
     
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  9. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 3,474

    wicarnut
    Member

    Interesting reading here about battery technology, your experience's. One fact I know about batteries is the difference on shorter/longer warranty batteries as I used to make the cores in my business for the battery case injection molds. It was explained to me that the better battery has better smaller/better plates and more room at bottom where the debris falls, then shorts the cell out. I have had the good fortune to have had more than 1 hobby car and every toy there is which means they are not used often enough. I was told about Deltran Battery tenders years ago, I purchased the Junior model and have 6/7 of them and battery life has gone up dramatically, have a few 7/8 years old and 1 going on 11th year, now it's a contest to see how long before it quits, that one will bite me in butt as it will quit at the most inconvenient time and it's the wife's OT hobby import. I use tenders on snowmobile batteries which never last long because of conditions used, even there it went from 1/2 years to 3/4, had much better life with lawn tractor, snowblower, motorcycle, boat, etc. I've been lucky without many battery problems and have bought plenty of them through the years, different brands including Walmart, my rant on the Walmart batteries in my Merc, maybe just bad luck, but I will never buy another one even though in past had good luck with them. Thank You guys for the feedback, maybe learned something, hopefully I'll remember some of it as CRS is advancing. LOL
     
  10. The factory battery in my OT Chevy lasted 7 years. It gave me a short warning before it crapped out, slow cranked after I was getting gas. Found a Champion brand at Pep Boys on sale for $100. If it wasn't a Sunday, I would have gotten an Exide from a dealer I know.

    Cold weather will kill a battery too, cars that sit outside in the cold and are not used much especially susceptible to early battery failure. My Ford is garaged and I drive it often, not a problem. When I was down with heart surgery, I got a trickle charger for it. With the stock cars, once the season was over, the batteries came inside the house, sat on my bedroom floor.
     
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  11. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,984

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Cold temperatures interfere greatly with the ability of a battery to supply current, it gets cut in half easily. It's a double whammy, because at the same time thick viscous crankcase oil increases the cranking requirements quite a bit.

    In terms of storage or longetivity, cooler temperatures are kind of what you want. I bring unused batteries into the cool basement instead of the 90+ summertime garage. Anything that keeps them from permanent sulfation will tend to maximize service life. Sulfation is why they "fall over in January", the battery can no longer supply its rated current output, and charging won't help. I would say it's probably the first overnight hard subzero freeze that has everyone scrambling to find a new battery all at once.

    A dead or partially discharged battery will freeze in cold temperatures. It's junk now.

    IMG_1103.JPG
     
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  12. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 3,813

    Boneyard51
    Member

    A “ good “ battery vs a “ bad” battery is a relative term! Every battery starts life with X number of cold cranking amps ( capacity). The day the battery is made it starts deteriorating, not the day they stamp on it when it’s sold. By the way I always check the manufacture date when buying a battery. I have seen 1 year old batteries on the shelf , being sold for new!
    At what point the capacity of the battery will no longer meet your needs makes it a “bad” battery. It may be a “good” battery in another situation.
    One of the reasons older batteries last longer if they are kept on a charger, is the charger will keep the battery slightly overcharged or at least 100 % charged so it kinda gives it a head start and keeps the cycle rate down.
    Keeping an older battery on a charger to get longer life out of it will bite you the first time you really need to depend on your battery. The reserve power will not be there.

    Just my observations of keeping chargers on batteries in a fleet for 33 years.




    Bones
     
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  13. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,984

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    What's the alternative? Batteries will go dead all on their own. Kind of a catch-22. I have heard batteries will "moss over" if left on a float charger. Batteries need to get used now and then.
     
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  14. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 3,813

    Boneyard51
    Member

    Batteries are kinda like women, don’t really know how to care for them and you never know what they are going to do or how long they’re going to stick around! Lol





    Bones
     
  15. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,984

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    At least Batteries have that pro-rated Warranty thing goin' on. Hm.
     
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  16. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 1,976

    ramblin dan

    Last battery I bought was a cheap one from Costco and it lasted over ten years without a hitch. Go figure.
     
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  17. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,986

    Fortunateson
    Member

    I don't understand that "policy". Someone gets fired for selling something the store
    had for sale?
     
  18. Latigo
    Joined: Mar 24, 2014
    Posts: 626

    Latigo
    Member

    Does anyone use those small battery tender trickle chargers? I have one from Harbor Freight but have never used it.
     
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  19. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 4,147

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    In other words, the battery`s are a piece of shit. The other manager of the different store location knows that style of battery had been returned. Every one of them that they had sold. Why sell crap that gives your store a bad name.
     
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  20. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 3,813

    Boneyard51
    Member

    I , too, thought that was odd, getting fired for selling something that was for sale! Once they determined there was a problem with a product, it should have been removed from the shelf and returned to the manufacturer.
    I sure that firing would be grounds for wrongful termination.





    Bones
     
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  21. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,984

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    I use a DelTran battery tender. The only thing, they are more or less designed to be connected permanently. I'm a little leery about a $4 Horror Fright imported electronic device hooked up when I'm not around. Or even when I'm around. When they $hitt themselves, it usually roasts the battery, and I'm not sure what it might do to modern vehicle ECU and other electronic gee-gaws. I guess what I'm saying is be careful, a battery charger is not the place to cheap out. I'd rather have a cheap battery and a good charger than the other way around.
     
  22. Latigo
    Joined: Mar 24, 2014
    Posts: 626

    Latigo
    Member

    Thanks. Bought it for a buck at a garbage sale. Later realized it was HF and had the same thoughts you expressed. Think I’ll just trash it. Garbage in.......garbage out, as they say.
     
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  23. Tri-power37
    Joined: Feb 10, 2019
    Posts: 510

    Tri-power37
    Member

    Have worked in a garage for 30 years and have only seen 1 battery blow up. One of the mechanics said a customer was complaining about their battery when he opened the hood and touched the battery -
    it blew up. I guess you could say he was lucky because the side of the case - the side away from him blew out and the battery was very dry. He still got a good misting and a real scare but we washed him down and he was OK. But when it blew up it was like a little bomb!
     
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  24. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,994

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    I Have been the victim of a battery exploding, not fun! We had an OT 92 T Bird, battery had been giving a little trouble, actually it was the cable end not making a good connection, battery wasn't getting a full charge. It left the wife stranded a couple of times, she would take a hammer or rock or whatever she could pick up and beat on the cable, it would make connection, and the car would crank. I was running over the road at the time, gone a week or two at a time, she forgot to mention it to me when I was home. One Sunday, we got in the car to go eat, it wouldn't crank, so I was going to clean the clamps and posts. Loosened the bolt, started to twist the clamp off, POW!!!! Apparently her beating on the post broke it loose from the case, when I twisted the clamp the post turned, the plate also turned and touched the next plate, instant short! Sounded like a 12 ga shotgun going off, did I mention I was bending over the battery at the time? Sprayed me with acid, a chunk of the plastic case blew out and hit me on the eyebrow, took a couple of stitches, if I hadn't of had my glasses on it would have gotten in my eyes. Took a ride in a meat wagon to ER to get stitched up, I was already washing my face under the outside faucet when they got there. Luckily, no acid burns. Scar is in my eyebrow, so it doesn't show....

    Had one blow the side out of the case in a semi truck one time, too. I was sitting in the cab with the door open, hit the starter, BOOM right under the door. Bent the aluminum battery cover!

    I no longer twist a cable clamp to take it off. I loosen the bolt, then pry with a screwdriver to open it up a bit, then carefully lift straight up. I won't lean over a battery, either! A battery is literally a hydrogen bomb in a plastic case, a friend was welding on his truck frame when a spark found some of that hydrogen gas and exploded, said he couldn't hear for hours!
     
  25. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,697

    gene-koning
    Member

    So I finally made the trip back to Farm & Fleet with my battery. 13.4 volts. Load test says it has 880 cold cranking amps on a 650 rated battery. I told this guy about what the other guy said and he was pretty upset.
    He too stated the full charge was 12.6 volts. Anything over that was an overcharge that would bleed off.
    He also suspects my truck has some sort of a power drain, he says the battery should hold enough charge to last more then 2 weeks in modern cars with the computers and all the electrical memory draws.
    Hopefully next week I will have a chance to check the truck for a battery drain. I took the battery home and put it back in the truck (which started right up). I believe I'm also going to install a battery kill switch so I can easily disconnect the battery when it sits for longer periods of time, then the battery won't be dead every 4 days. The season for this truck is about done for the year.
    This battery is going to wait until the warranty expires, then it will die for good, just like the battery in my wife's car did. Gene
     
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  26. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,984

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    This is a good plan, though not necessarily for OT modern cars. Loss of battery power can require a trip to the dealer, in some cases major systems (A/C, power windows etc) will be inop without reboot with a scan tool. Sometimes major component damage. Nice, huh?
     
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  27. Ziggster
    Joined: Aug 27, 2018
    Posts: 579

    Ziggster
    Member

    I have two Costco batteries in 2 of our 5 vehicles, and so far so good, but it has only been 1-2 yrs. Just purchased an Odyessy battery for my truck (starter battery which was from Toyota dealer replaced under pro-rated warranty). The auxiliary battery is an Odyessy which is still good and was purchased way back in May 2009.
     
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  28. I’d love to see some evidence of this myth...


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  29. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,994

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    Probably talking about some luxury brands. Some of the wife's kin folks had a 90's model Caddy that they changed the battery in and then the AC wouldn't work. There was some kind of sequence you had to put cable on, take off X seconds, put back on they didn't know about, and were too poor to take to the dealer. When they finally did go to the dealer, cost them a couple of hundred bucks for tech to do said procedure, he told them how to do it next time themselves and save that money. No scan tool involved in that one, just had a special way to reset the computers.
     
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  30. Interesting...I’ve had the battery out of hundreds of vehicles in my career, as well as hours of reading and research on the control systems and this is the first time I’ve ever heard of a computer having to be reset...radios yes, that’s a security thing.


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