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Old 10-19-2011, 05:38 PM   #1
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Starting batteries

Starting batteries are slowly discharging again. Last month, Les Schwab put in 2 brand new batteries after they tested them. The Ford Dealer did some work and told me my alternator was great. This time the red battery lite is On on the display panel. Could my batteries be bad already? Something else I'm missing? Help!
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:05 PM   #2
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Re: Starting batteries

Is this by chance coming off of a fairly deep discharge on the house batteries? What is your usage scenario that you are seeing this happen?
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:14 PM   #3
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Re: Starting batteries

I don't have house batteries in my SMB.
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:18 PM   #4
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Re: Starting batteries

So tell us about how the battery is hooked up and used. Do you have any special loads on it? What kind of engine do you have? What size alternator. How old is each battery? What is the battery manufacturer make, model, and size? How are you measuring the drain? What's the lowest voltage you are seeing after waiting 24 hours following a charge?

Sorry, I know, this is a lot to ask, but anyone wanting to help you is going to need to understand the current state.
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:34 AM   #5
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Re: Starting batteries

It's a 05 PSD 6.0, totally stock. The house batteries are 3 month old Les Schwab (group 24? I think) It starts out at 12.3 after a night on a charger. The lowerest voltage is 11.0 after the van has been running. The red battery light is on, but I did notice that it tends to change it's brightness as I drive, kind pulsing but not at a predictible pace. Everyonce in a while, it goes off for a second or 2 which makes me think it might be a grounding issue. I plan to add house batteries soon and want to replace the atlernator anyway (since I've replaced many so engine parts anyway, why not? I LOVE the PSD 6.0!) What brand/size alternator whou you suggest? Thanks.
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:42 AM   #6
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Re: Starting batteries

First, 12.3V after charging is not fully charged.

Second, running a 6.0 with low batteries is playing with fire. You can easily kill a fuel injector with low voltage. Last injector failure I had cost $1900. I'd stop driving it until it is fixed.

If your alternator is working, the voltage should not go down as you drive. So something is amiss.

And yes, new batteries can be bad. But, if they take some kind of charge overnight, why don't they charge during the day? Could your glow plug relay be stuck on? or???

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Old 10-25-2011, 10:42 AM   #7
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Re: Starting batteries

Any updates, bridges? Something is not right with the charging system. However, it is still odd that after charging on an auxillery charger overnight that you're only seeing 12.3V. They should be at 12.6 or better, unless it is such a small trickle charger that it isn't putting much in. Check the output voltage of the charger / battery with the charger on it to make sure that the charger is putting out what you think it is.

If the charging system was good, even with bad batteries, you wouldn't have the charge lights coming on when driving. Do you constantly have hard starting? strange!
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:15 AM   #8
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Re: Starting batteries

Hi --

I'm slightly hijacking this tread to ask about my van's starting battery. FYI, I have almost zero knowledge of vehicle batteries.

The van is a 2006 E350 5.4L v8. The previous owner allegedly replaced the battery in Dec. 2008. In Sept 2009 SMB-TX added a 4D AGM with a seperator to run the ceiling lights, ceiling fan and 3 12-V sockets in my home-brew. I've never pushed the AGM hard.

The current starter battery is "Everstart Marine (Trolling Starting, Deep Cycle, RV) #24DP-4. Cold Cranking amps 550, marine cranking amps @ 32*F =675." This appears to be a Walmart house brand, so hardly surprising that it is dying at three years.

The van is used about once a month. It sits in the Texas summer (112*F this year) and cold snaps in the teens in the winter.

I have a 12-v socket meter (the simple inaccurate doofus kind with red/yellow/green lights and a digital read-out). I drove the van yesterday, and this morning it reads 11.9V. Months ago, the last time I checked, it would read 12.6v after rest. I assume this means that either the alternator isn't doing a good job, or the battery needs replacing or both.

Assuming that a battery place will test the alternator (even AAA does that when it replaces a battery), can you please give me recommendations/specs for a good new battery? I plan to head to UT/AZ/NM in Dec/Jan and will definitely have many nights below freezing, so I need a battery that will stand up so that.

Thanks,
Meredith
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:59 PM   #9
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Re: Starting batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyDawg
Hi --
...The van is a 2006 E350 5.4L v8. ...
...The current starter battery is "Everstart Marine (Trolling Starting, Deep Cycle, RV) #24DP-4. Cold Cranking amps 550, marine cranking amps @ 32*F =675."
... can you please give me recommendations/specs for a good new battery? ...
The first recommendation is to get the biggest battery that will fit in the spot, and to get a starting battery, not a marine or deep cycle battery. It will have more cranking capacity for a given size.
I like to buy from a chain that has stores in the areas I travel in, for warranty service, and buy their "best" conventional lead-acid battery. I believe that all reputable brand batteries are about the same quality, based on the length of warranty.

An AGM battery would last longer since the van sits un-used for a month at a time. But the AGM is a lot more expensive, and the warranty on the lead-acid will replace it when it dies.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:30 PM   #10
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Re: Starting batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyDawg
Hi --

I'm slightly hijacking this tread to ask about my van's starting battery. FYI, I have almost zero knowledge of vehicle batteries.

Assuming that a battery place will test the alternator (even AAA does that when it replaces a battery), can you please give me recommendations/specs for a good new battery? I plan to head to UT/AZ/NM in Dec/Jan and will definitely have many nights below freezing, so I need a battery that will stand up so that.

Thanks,
Meredith


You might want to look at the AGM Sears puts out. I don't recall which model it is but it's an Odyssey re-badged for a lot less cost. It's always good to match the batteries as best you can. I switched to a high grade Odyssey but paid for it. Hopefully they will last...the stock didn't even last 2 years...time will tell.
http://www.yotatech.com/f131/sears-dieh ... ey-135337/
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