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Old 07-24-2012, 01:05 AM   #1
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Vehicle batteries keep discharging

My van's batteries keep discharging even when plugged into shore power or when parked w/ nothing running (for a week). I have solar panels so things should be charging I would guess....I am new to this van and am a simpleton with regards to electronics.

I have to jump my van (6.0 L) to get it to start after sitting with nothing on, for a week.

Can I roll into an auto parts store and have them check the alternator/batteries of the van or should I head to an RV dealer?

The van is an '05 w/ about 65,000 miles.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:21 AM   #2
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Re: Vehicle batteries keep discharging

Quote:
The van is an '05 w/ about 65,000 miles.
Original batteries?

If so, then they've had a decent run.

Any auto parts store or battery dealer should be able to test them for you.

I'd probably just unhook them for a couple days and verify that they are self discharging and you don't have some new parasitic load that's causing trouble.

But really, any 7 year old battery that's starting to not hold a charge is likely due for replacement.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:13 AM   #3
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Re: Vehicle batteries keep discharging

Which batteries are discharging? Your "van" batteries that run the main part of the van or the "house" batteries that run the camper-parts of your van?

If the van batteries, then I believe they are not set up to charge from your shore power hook up, nor your solar. That charges the house batteries.

Or, as madscience said, if the batteries are old they will likely be past their ability to hold a charge. My recently replaced batteries were like that. They would charge up some but lose the charge almost immediately.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:19 AM   #4
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Re: Vehicle batteries keep discharging

One thing that should be checked is the Radio switch. For some reason, even with the radio off, leaving the radio switch switched to the 'House' battery can drain the starting batteries.

And, as said above, if you have the original starting batteries you've been on borrowed time for a couple of years. 5 years is a good life for starting batteries. 7 years is exceptional.

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Old 07-24-2012, 11:28 AM   #5
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Re: Vehicle batteries keep discharging

Get new starting batteries ASAP!!!

Low battery voltage can kill your FICM, which can damage injectors when it fails (which can then take out the HPOP). Don't buy yourself a $4,000 repair by putting off $200 in batteries.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:57 AM   #6
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Re: Vehicle batteries keep discharging

I agree with all the replies. It's one reason to always check the status of your vehicle when in storage or when not run much. I had my work truck die over a single day. The shop figured I had left something on but told them I had not. Of course it was possible something was left on but I doubted it. I asked them to please charge and check the starting batteries. One bad cell in one of the batteries killed both in a single day. But I've also had batteries killed by simply leaving a dome light or glove box light on. The radio switch is something that needs to be checked for sure and has been a common problem for many. If you you have twin starting batteries and take it to Ford, make sure they test each battery on their own. Ford is very bad for not doing this. I'd take it to somebody other than a dealer if possible. Always replace both even if one is still good. JMO
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:12 PM   #7
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Re: Vehicle batteries keep discharging

I would suggest not even driving until the battery issue is corrected. The FICM is very fragile.

Either have it towed, or if you have AAA, they can install new batteries on location (installation included, just have to pay for the batteries, which are competitive with dealer batteries).
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:38 PM   #8
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Re: Vehicle batteries keep discharging

Thanks to everyone for the replies. I'll get two new batteries tomorrow.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:09 PM   #9
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Re: Vehicle batteries keep discharging

When I had new van (starting) batteries replaced, AAA refused to do it, because of the one battery under the van.

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Old 07-24-2012, 11:15 PM   #10
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Re: Vehicle batteries keep discharging

Quote:
Originally Posted by slfjas
When I had new van (starting) batteries replaced, AAA refused to do it, because of the one battery under the van.
Was the battery in the stock Ford box on the frame rail under the van?
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