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Old 06-14-2012, 04:59 PM   #1
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Hot Starting Battery

I finally got my solar working. Things have been working great until today. As I was driving I noticed the display from the charge controller was reading 14.4 volts and 12 amps. When I got home I let the SMB set for a couple of hours. I just went out and checked the readout again and it was 14.4 volts and 10 amps. I put my hand on all the batteries and one of the starting batteries was very hot. The other starting battery and the house battery were cool to the touch.
Anyone ever have this happen to you. Or does anyone know why this would be happening.
I did disconnect the solar as soon as I found the hot battery.

Thanks in advance.

Woody
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:36 PM   #2
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Re: Hot Starting Battery

Is it possible that the hot battery is starting to fail?
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:41 PM   #3
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Re: Hot Starting Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrasport12
Is it possible that the hot battery is starting to fail?
So far that is all I can figure. But not sure. I am letting it cool down and I will plug into shore power and see if I get the same results.

Woody
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:04 PM   #4
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Re: Hot Starting Battery

Sometime when they start to short out they can heat up when charging...Are the Starting batteries the original ones? Its kind of soon but one could be starting to go bad. How did you know one was getting hot, do you have sensors on them? I assume they are in the stock location under the side of the van so not that easy to touch. I would think the rear one would get hotter than the front one while driving as its near the muffler. Just a thought.

In my old F-350 with a 7.3 one of the batteries failed while it was under warranty (less than two years I think) and the other one lasted almost 9 years until the truck got totaled.

You don't seem to be over charging at all in fact it seems perfect to me, although I am no solar expert.

...Jamie
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:45 PM   #5
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Re: Hot Starting Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrasport12
Sometime when they start to short out they can heat up when charging...Are the Starting batteries the original ones? Its kind of soon but one could be starting to go bad. How did you know one was getting hot, do you have sensors on them? I assume they are in the stock location under the side of the van so not that easy to touch. I would think the rear one would get hotter than the front one while driving as its near the muffler. Just a thought.

In my old F-350 with a 7.3 one of the batteries failed while it was under warranty (less than two years I think) and the other one lasted almost 9 years until the truck got totaled.

You don't seem to be over charging at all in fact it seems perfect to me, although I am no solar expert.

...Jamie
Hello Jamie,

Yes they are the original batteries. No sensor, I put my hand on the bottom of the battery box. It's the front battery. It's not the muffler, the batteries are on the outside of the frame.
Everything I have read and heard, 14.4 volts is good.

Thanks,
Woody
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:34 PM   #6
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Re: Hot Starting Battery

I know where the batteries are I have them on my van as aux batteries on my gas van. I just think that my rear battery gets a bit warmer than the front one does as the muffler heats up the frame rail a bit there.

Anything under 14.8 is perfect.

...Jamie
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:56 AM   #7
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Re: Hot Starting Battery

Jamie,

Thanks for the info.

Woody
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:40 PM   #8
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Re: Hot Starting Battery

Woody, the diesels will still start and show good voltage if one battery cell is bad. You need to separate them to be able to find the bad battery so don't let a dealership connect to your system to troubleshoot it. Usually they will tell you all is well. If a wet cell sealed or unsealed battery is hot it is bad and needs to be pulled. You should get it out ASAP or it can cause other problems. Also you'll need to replace both starting batteries even if one is still good because the old one will shorten the life of the new one. Make sure to neutralize the battery box if the battery leaked (smells like rotton eggs). Always use batteries of the same age (not one that's a year old sitting on a shelf mixed with a newer one), plus the types and manufacture should be the same as well. Because your charging system is connected to a bank or single house battery system, I think AGM type starting batteries are a better choice than wet cell sealed types for the chassis batteries (if you have AGM house batteries). Views on manufactures vary but I have Odyssey. One of the Sears Diehard batteries is basically a re-branded Odyssey and a very good choice as well.

Good luck
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:39 PM   #9
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Re: Hot Starting Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
Woody, the diesels will still start and show good voltage if one battery cell is bad. You need to separate them to be able to find the bad battery so don't let a dealership connect to your system to troubleshoot it. Usually they will tell you all is well. If a wet cell sealed or unsealed battery is hot it is bad and needs to be pulled. You should get it out ASAP or it can cause other problems. Also you'll need to replace both starting batteries even if one is still good because the old one will shorten the life of the new one. Make sure to neutralize the battery box if the battery leaked (smells like rotton eggs). Always use batteries of the same age (not one that's a year old sitting on a shelf mixed with a newer one), plus the types and manufacture should be the same as well. Because your charging system is connected to a bank or single house battery system, I think AGM type starting batteries are a better choice than wet cell sealed types for the chassis batteries (if you have AGM house batteries). Views on manufactures vary but I have Odyssey. One of the Sears Diehard batteries is basically a re-branded Odyssey and a very good choice as well.

Good luck
Dave
Thanks Dave,

They told me all of the above. They had it in the shop all day Friday and they wanted to keep it for the weekend so they can work on it for two more days (Monday and Tuesday) so they can see if the large draw on amperage has to do with the conversion. I told them I would bring it in at 7:30 Monday morning. The service manager even told me that the second battery was installed during the conversion. I told him it came from Ford that way. He said they don't come from the factory with two batteries. I found in my "POWER STROKE" 6.0 and 6.4 OWNERS GUIDE SUPPLEMENT, and I quote from page 23: Note: This vehicle has two frame-mounted batteries located on the passenger side frame rail. And then there are several drawings of the two batteries. I will take the supplement in with me Monday morning along with my documentation, Of tests I did today. Which is,any kind of charging I do, the front battery heats up, running the engine, plugging it into shore power or solar.
I have read a lot of posts on this forum about dissatisfaction with Ford dealers. That is why I have always done my own services on the SMB. I am still on the overall warranty and they should replace both batteries at there expense. I am wandering if it is worth the hassle.
I will post the outcome as soon as it all works again.

Woody
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:47 PM   #10
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Re: Hot Starting Battery

Yep, many of the dealerships suck. I gave up on the warrantee dealing with the batteries after my first go around with them. You can always take it to Redwood's Towne Ford and Jay Mento will work with you but I doubt they will replace both batteries. The Ford dealers close to my place screwed me that way and the other battery didn't even last a year. The next time it happened Ford did the same test. A week later the battery began to off gas. I took it to a buddy that has a shop and the battery tested bad but it was obvious by then. After switching to AGM's I haven't had any more trouble.
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