Battery Problems

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by takumi, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. takumi

    takumi Guest

    I'm having some major problems with my Battery going flat ... When I got the battery the dude said I should probably get a larger battery (stock one is the small one) but he didn't have any spare terminal attachments to fit as he had run out. But he said it should be fine. So stupidly I left the boot light on in the car that night and the next afternoon the battery was flat. I got it charged back up to full and daily driving it seems fine. Although if I don't drive it for a few days its flat again. Now I jump start it and drive it for 30mins come home try it again in an hour and its flat again.
    Would this be the alternator not charging the battery enough ? Or something sucking juice from the battery and it being to small to hold enough charge ?

    I don't know whether i have a dud battery and can get another battery on warranty ?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2007
  2. hawks

    hawks Leaving Skid Marks

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    You should get your alternator checked. Take it to a Auto Elect and get him to test it, I doubt the battery would be the problem.
     
  3. bradc

    bradc 1 AYC Bar

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    yeah might be the alternator. They do fail every so often on Legnums. You could try using a multimeter to measure the battery voltage after you've been on a drive and see what it does after you've left it for a while.
     
  4. SiliconAngel

    SiliconAngel 1 AYC Bar

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    Paul lead-acid batteries do not handle abuse at all well. The rule of thumb is, never take them below half charge. If you absolutely HAVE to, you can buy deep cycle batteries that are more resistant to such treatment, but no lead acid battery will like being fully flattened (due to increased sulfation).

    I know you've flattened your's a few times now, although you may have only COMPLETELY flattened it the once. But your battery will now be well and truely screwed.

    If it were me, I'd probably have my alternator tested as well, just to be on the safe side. But even if that IS playing up, chuck out that battery and put in a good one (and change your damn terminals ffs!).
     
  5. snickells

    snickells Leaving Skid Marks Lifetime Member

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    Exactly what I was gona say Trev.
     
  6. takumi

    takumi Guest

    Are the smaller batteries less resistant to charge ? I mean I used to go to the drive Inns in my old car and have the stereo on the whole time without the battery going flat ... that nite at the meet I didn't have the lights on long, the stereo was on for about 5 mins ... and bang flat.
    So wat ur saying is that a brand new battery that has gone flat once is totally useless ?
     
  7. VR-04-TT

    VR-04-TT 1 AYC Bar

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    Almost all lead batteries once going totally flat won't hold charge properly thereafter. Any battery that I've totally flattened, I've never charged again unless I absolutely had to, but I bought a new one asap. They can never really be trusted after that.
     
  8. takumi

    takumi Guest

    Thats crap ... It basically lasted a day then. There goes another $150 down the drain ... I prolly should get the alternator checked anyway ...
     
  9. SiliconAngel

    SiliconAngel 1 AYC Bar

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    Paul, smaller batteries have fewer electrode elements and less battery material (lead and acid). So a smaller battery can only hold a small charge (ie less capacity than a given larger battery).

    Lead acid batteries sulfate over time, which means the electrodes develop a sulphur coating, reducing their ability to conduct electricity. The older the battery the more sulfation that will have occurred, even under the most ideal conditions. However deep-cycling the battery will cause sulfation on a massive scale - you can reduce the effectiveness of the electrodes by more than 50% by draining it, and the flatter you make it the worse it will be.

    As you can imagine, in smaller batteries you don't need to do quite as much damage to render them ineffective - there is less electrode surface area to sulfate. Old lead-acid batteries can be reconditioned - they put a reverse polarity charge through the electrode to clear the sulphur corrosion off and replace the acid. I think there's a place on Orrong Road in Welshpool that does this.

    You absolutely must NOT do this - if you accidentally flatten a battery, you MUST charge it again as quicly as possible. Lead-acid batteries that are left to sit around deteriorate very quickly, even with a full charge. They NEED to have current run through them regularly to keep them healthy. If you drain one dead and leave it for 24 hours or more you will completely destroy it, wheras recharging it as quickly as possible may well leave you with a useable (if slightly damaged with reduced capacity and overall CCAs) battery.

    So yes, if you completely drain even a brand new battery, you WILL have damaged it substantially. And if it was me, I wouldn't trust it a great deal after that. However, if its a quality, high-capacity battery it might be mostly ok - mileage with this will vary greatly.

    Your battery, however, isn't a high capacity, high quality unit by any stretch of the imagination. I would be concerned about it keeping my CLOCK powered while the car was off, let-alone the stereo ;) Don't think of it as $150 down the drain, think of it as a $150 investment in peace-of-mind by not having to call the RAC 10 times a year :p
     
  10. takumi

    takumi Guest

    I hope i don't get tested after this lecture ? hahahaha
    Cheers for the info man ... I'll get the alternator checked out and actually buy the bigger sized battery this time ... considering the tray holds a large size. Hopefully the battery man will actually come prepared this time with the terminals.
     
  11. VR4 WRC

    VR4 WRC Leaving Skid Marks

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    Paul, I have an AC Delco brand battery in the boot of my 1992 Galant VR4 and it doesn't miss a beat. I got it from AMCAP over in Welshpool from the parts counter. The one i chose has something like 660cca and maintenance free.

    If you take measurements of how much space you have on terminal type i am sure that they could find one to suit. I have recommended this brand to a few other 92 VR4 user's and they are very happy with it.

    Cheers

    Scott
     
  12. takumi

    takumi Guest

    Kewl thanx man ... how much are these battery's ... I was just going to hit Marshalls or drop into super cheap and then grab the terminals and do it myself. If its cheaper to head out to Welshpool might do that as I have a few days off (phew)
     
  13. VR4 WRC

    VR4 WRC Leaving Skid Marks

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    I can't confirm a price that would suit your application but my battery was under $100 and it's a big bugger.I am sure that they would have one to suit your needs.

    Scott
     
  14. VR-04-TT

    VR-04-TT 1 AYC Bar

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    No no no Trev...I meant I didn't bother with charging it again, I just replaced it...not that I drove around with a flat battery!!! lol haha I already knew all that about batteries :D
     
  15. CANDEE

    CANDEE Leaving Skid Marks

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    You should be able to get a 12/13 place 500CCA lead acid battery for cheap. Try super cheap auto or repco(if you have them over there :D) My last one was nzd$120 for a 12 place 525CCA and that ran perfectly fine with factory battery terminals but i had to change the battery clamp.. :)
     
  16. Connor

    Connor Guest

    I had an AC Delco in my RX-7, 550cca I think it was. Even after leaving the car parked for a month or two at a time it would start first time, every time, even in the middle of a Canberra winter (below zero every night, not above 15 most days).

    Highly recommended by me.
     
  17. SiliconAngel

    SiliconAngel 1 AYC Bar

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    I knew what you meant :p But if you accidentally run a battery flat, charging it back up again straight away may save it enough that it will be fine, even for a couple of years. It MAY just reduce its capacity and lifespan a bit, but mileage will vary. However if you just leave it without charging it, you will surely kill it.
     
  18. VR-04-TT

    VR-04-TT 1 AYC Bar

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    Oh yeah, it doesn't necessarily mean it's screwed forever, I agree. I just don't trust them after they go flat. Call it superstition lol
     
  19. CANDEE

    CANDEE Leaving Skid Marks

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    I think that lead acid batteries are only supposed to be good for 5/6 full discharges but i have seen a couple do a couple do 10+ and are still fine :)
     
  20. SiliconAngel

    SiliconAngel 1 AYC Bar

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    Believe it or not, that's actually a rating that manufacturers use - usually listed as 'Cycles'. Cheap batteries will only be good for about 10, expensive ones for 40 or 50. This is also directly proportional to the expected life of the battery, as the figure represents how long it will take to sulfate the electrode elements.

    Just remember that this stuff varies a LOT dependant on such factors as just how low you take it, whether you're continuing to draw current from the dead battery, how fast you drained it (25W load, 50W load, 100W load etc), how long you leave it before you recharge it, even atmospheric conditions such as temperature and humidity. Draining it fast and leaving it connected to components that are still trying to draw a charge and leaving it like that for a couple of days may only be ONE cycle, but it will kill it dead as surely as deep cycling it 40 times...

    Best rule of thumb - don't run your battery flat ;) If you do, charge it ASAP and if it doesn't seem to hold a charge well after that, get it reconditioned or replace it.
     

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