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Battery life

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #234011
    Olimon Ricardo
    Participant

    @calafer

      Hi guys,

    How long does your car battery last?  I’m referring to how often do you find that you need to replace the battery because it doesn’t hold a charge under “normal” circumstances considering most of us probably aren’t starting the car very frequently.
    I just ended up changing out my battery, the previous one had been there since I rebuilt the car in 2008. Starting about 4 months ago, once in a while it wouldn’t have enough voltage to start the car considering it needs crank for a 15-20 seconds before it starts if it has been about 7-10 days since it was last started (mechanical fuel pump need to refill the float bowls). Yesterday the battery didn’t have enough juice to start the car so I used jumper cables to get it started then took a 45 minute drive on back roads, no stopping, constant 2-4K rpm’s to make sure the battery got charged (another great excuse to go on a long drive 🙂 ). Got home stopped the car then restarted it without a hitch. About and hour later I tried to start it again but it didn’t have enough juice to start the car so hooked up the jumpers again and started immediately. 
    Several months ago after the first time that it didn’t start I installed a battery cutoff switch (rotation type that you twist 90 degrees) and always disconnect the battery if I know that I won’t be starting the car in several days.  Im certain it isn’t an electrical short and also that the charging system work fine. I  would have thought that the battery would have lasted longer but I’m thinking that the long periods between charge/discharge cycles might shorten the life of the battery.  Anybody have any opinions on the subject?
    Thanks, Ricardo
    #249447
    Montie Henderson
    Participant

    @montie

    I think you may have gotten a weak, old or bad battery.  I’d take it back while it’s still under the best warranty.  Most batteries have a pro rated warranty so the longer you wait the more you’ll have to pay.  I think within the first year they are almost 100% 

    I repaced mine early 2 summers ago and today was the first time I started her in about 6 weeks.  Fired right up.  I did buy one of those low amp trickle chargers that you wire in and your suppose to plug it in when shes in storage.  But I never got around to installin it.  MY bad.  Actually, I’d rather use that excuse to go for a ride (to the wife).  She didn’t go today toooo CaCaCaCaCOLD. 
    #249448
    Paul Mossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    I keep my Duchess and my 65 Plymouth on chargers.

    Both batteries are over 6 years old (at least!!!)

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #249449
    edward ericson
    Participant

    @edsnova

    I’ve got a trickle charger and some distilled water. Pry off your lids and see if your plates are all under water. If not, and usually it’s just one, top ’em up. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

    #249450
    Neil J Flaherty
    Participant

    @profile57

    Ricardo,  Couldn’t tell from your post what your vehicle is, but if it’s VW powered, your problem could be the pilot bushing for your starter motor.  This little “gremlin” is a bronze bushing pressed into the transmission case.  When all things are perfect obviously no problem, but the little rascals wear out in time.  When they are worn the armature of the starter motor is just enough off center to diminish the hp of the starter so that when conditions are less than optimum she won’t “humm”.

    VW service manual calls for engine removal, but the correct size “bottoming” tap will run right in and pop that puppy right out slick as a whistle.  My recolection was that it was around 15mm, but you’ll have to “…spearamint”. Easier than an engine R & R anyhow.  An excellent source for VW parts is Mid America Motorworks at http://www.mamotorworks.com . If it’s VW they have it. Good luck.  Neil Flaherty, Gilford, NH 
    #249451
    Marc Lipsius
    Participant

    @mrlmd

    The only way to see if a battery is any good is to fully charge it, then get it load tested. If you charge it up, say overnight, then bring it to a battery place or an auto supply store, or even to a local garage, they will test it for free, it only takes 10-15 sec. to do.
    Sometimes, if the car is not used for a long while, the parasitic draw of the radio’s memory or an alarm (if you have either of those installed) can be enough to discharge the battery over time.

    #249452
    Steve Crites
    Participant

    @ringo

    I think most folks try to stretch their battery life way too far.  If you’re past 3-4 years on a battery you’re living on borrowed time.  True, a charger will help, but with my wife’s DD I don’t dare take a chance with going over 3 years. On my vehicles I might go 4 years but I never wait too long for what I know is inevitable. Better to change them out earlier in your garage than later on the side of the road.  IMO the cost is minimal for peace of mind. 

    #249453
    edward ericson
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Ringo! So right.

    But how can we just “throw away” a “perfectly good” four year old battery that might just crank for another 3-4 years? Seems such a waste, and every so much more so for an item that weighs about 50 lbs. The psychological pain is so great I’m feeling it now, even as I type this.

    You must have the strength of 10 men. Ten . . . really logical . . . men.

    #249454
    Mark
    Participant

    @mglondonroadste

    In Phoenix, we’re lucky if we get two years, maybe pushing three, out of auto batteries.  It’s the heat that kills their life span.

    #249455
    Royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Ed, of course Ringo is right.  But I feel your pain.  I worked out a solution a few years ago:  As your batteries get weak with age, they may not spin your starter like they used to, but you can still have some fun with them.  Buy a bunch of standard base 25 watt 12 vdc lights at Boats R Us.  Have one battery and one lamp in each room that is 12 vdc.  When your wife objects, tell her that they are necessary to “insure that your grandchild doesn’t trip in case the lights go out”.  Don’t forget to charge your batteries each month.  They will last for years.  Great for emergencies and you can sell that damn generator that won’t start.   Take the money the generator generated and buy more batteries.  You may want to buy a tent also.  (I learned some of this years ago while serving on WWII diesel/electric submarines and the rest from my urologist.)   

    Royal2012-02-28 03:55:20

    #249456
    Mark
    Participant

    @mglondonroadste

    Isn’t it hard to pitch a tent when you are at sea? MGLondonRoadste2012-02-28 12:43:03

    #249457
    edward ericson
    Participant

    @edsnova

    You have to pitch it upside down. It’s Navy Seal stuff, I think….

    #249458
    Steve Crites
    Participant

    @ringo

    Ed,  Yeah, it’s not easy to do when I’m thinking with my wallet, but I’ve had too many dead batterys at the worst possible times. (or the worst possible places!)  That 50 lbs is extra heavy when walking to Walmart. Dead   I’ll do just about anything to keep from breaking down.   Part of my OCD when it comes to cars.Big smile

    #249459
    Olimon Ricardo
    Participant

    @calafer

    Thanks for all your input guys!  

    I charged the old battery and took it to be load tested and sure enough it wasn’t holding the load, so now at least i don’t feel bad about replacing it.  I had replaced it for the same reasons given by Ringo,  its easier to replace it in my garage than somewhere out on the road.
    Hopefully between the new battery and the recently installed cutoff switch I’ll get more life out of this one.
    Ricardo
    #249460
    Robert J.Smith
    Participant

    @smitty

    Yah ed&ringo. I have that same problem with batteries in my dodge dully. Two big batteries going out at the same time. They usely last 3to 4 years. Smitty .

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