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Old 08-22-2017, 12:12 PM   #1
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Is my Starter Battery Toast?

So I went on vacation for 10 days and came home to a dead starter battery in van. I had been doing the wiring of the RBS and ACR switches on my electrical system so I kind of got a little worried.

Pulled out my meter and Starter battery showed 2 volts. Hooked up a charger and put it on bulk mode and then checked to see if there was any amp draw at my electrical panel that would signal a short. No amp draw at all. So maybe I left the stereo on as it's not on the ignition, which I like.

Let the battery float charge overnight. Decided to bulk charge it again and noticed the battery was making a sizzling sound and I could see and smell it off gassing through the caps. I guess this can be normal and then again not normal. Pulled the charger off and the battery voltage was at 13.25, certainly high but I guess this can be normal right after a charge.

Gonna check it at lunch to see if the voltage normalized after the charge and again check for amp drains on it. Not planning on using the van this weekend so I can watch it, but I am thinking of just replacing it anyway.
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Old 08-22-2017, 01:49 PM   #2
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If you have just run it down once you're probably ok. Newer (cheaper ) batteries don't like to be run down repeatedly, except deep cycle batteries that are made for it. If it drops to around 12.8 after awhile you're fine.
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Old 08-22-2017, 02:56 PM   #3
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Checked it at lunch and the battery is at 12.5 volts. Not too bad.

The charger I used is an old non-smart charger I got from my inlaws. It basically kicks out a larger bulk charge at 17 amps 13.5 volts and a float charge at 3 amps 12.8 volts.

I float charged it overnight and when I decided to give it bulk charge again that's when I heard it sizzling (boiling) and saw it offgassing through the cell caps. I am just unfamiliar with the sizzle and gassing and was a little concerned I might get a meltdown.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:11 PM   #4
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It shouldn't have dropped all the way to 12.5 by lunch. So if it was truly fully charged this am, I'd say it's toast.

Sizzling sound generally considered good for bacon, bad for batteries.
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:08 PM   #5
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Check the water level before giving up on it. You probably did boil some off while it was sizzling.
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:31 PM   #6
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Ran the motor for a bit during lunch and checked the voltage when I got home. It's reading 12.6 which is pretty right on I think. I will for sure check the water.

This is just a freaky thing and I wouldn't have posted about it if I didn't hear the sizzle and see the off gassing. Gonna keep an eye on it. It's 4 years, 58k old. Maybe get me a nice Duracell AGM from Sam's club if this battery acts strangely again (or I drain it accidentally).
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