Bad Battery

buzzstpoint

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#1
I havent had it load tested yet.

Can battery be fine one minute, bad the next?
The car has been starting fine. Come out from the store. Click click click click.
Called a buddy and he jump started us. As soon as the cables were on the car it started p like normal.
We drove around for about 20 minutes and stopped at another store. Came out and dead again.
Got another jump start and hit the highway home.

Pulled into the garage and shut it off. Tried to restart and nothing. Tested battery with volt meter. Below 12v. Jump started and the volts are above 12v

I had the battery on the charger all night, Charger showed 100% charged. Wouldn't even crank.
Sticker on the batter states "Delivered Sept '06" so I'm thinking the battery is shot?

Your thoughts?
 
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#2
Did you clean your battery terminals? High starter currents with even the slightest resistance can cause a huge voltage drop, jumper cables bypass that connection. But your battery is almost five years old, so that can also be the problem. Drawing light load currents will let the vehicle run, but won't start. Quick test is blowing your horn for bad battery connections.
 

kev2

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#3
the auto parts stores ie auto zone will test the batery AND your charging system free...
want to repeat also ck that chargn system
make sure the cables are tight corossion free- both ends!
06 puts it in that window for change but do the checking before throwing money at it...
 

billr

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#4
And yes, they can go suddenly bad. A chunk comes off of one plate and shorts the two together, effectively losing one cell. Normally little pieces are always coming off, but sink harmlessly to the bottom.
 

buzzstpoint

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#5
I haven't cleaned the terminals, but I loosened the battery cables moved them back and forth and re tightened. Them.


Should I jump start the car and drive it to Autozone? Have the check it. Or pull the battery out and run it down?
I know the alternator is pushing the voltage out, (multi-meter confirmed) but I don't know about amperage.

The battery is one of those that has the vent caps. I Pulled them off and looked inside, fluid is there doesn't look low. Also didn't notice anything floating inside. But could be as nick said a piece broke off and is shoring it out. Don't know if it matters but the battery is an Exide 60? We've only had the car since this summer so I don't know when this battery was put in.. I will assume Sept of 06 because of the sticker.
 

billr

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#6
Take it out. More than likely it is bad, why risk having to get another jump-start? And I can think of some other reasons to take it out...
 

kev2

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#7
connections are a possibality
battery is a possability
charging systen is a possability

so inspect, check, diagnoise BEFORE spending $$

so simple a test...
 
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#8
Had a couple of Exide batteries that completely opened if the temperature dropped below freezing, tested out fine above freezing, had a hell of a time taking those back. Just recently, had a couple of Exides with high internal discharge rates, leave the car idle for a couple of days, and the battery would be stone dead, even if disconnected. These were not five year old batteries, more like a couple of months. Just said goodbye to Exide, and please don't tell me about excessive standby current.

Loosening the terminals, assume its top terminal battery, doesn't work, a lead oxide builds up, get yourself a cheap battery terminal wire brush. Has a female end for the battery posts, and a male end for the terminals, can coat with silicone grease. Even with a new battery.
 

buzzstpoint

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#9
It's a side mount battery. I'm going to clean the cables and connections before I run it down and have it tested. But I don't think that's the issue. The outside of the cables look nice, no discoloration or corrosion.


I didn't want to remove the cables unless absolutely necessary.. But it looks like I will have to, the thought of listening to my wife complain about the radio stations gone now...... I could re program them for her.... Nah.....
 
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#10
Has to be a GM product then with the side terminals. I hate removing the battery cables as well, but have a hefty 12V DC power supply to keep the memory intact. But you have to be careful with that positive lead so it doesn't touch any grounds. Slip that in a rubber glove with masking tape.
 

Gus

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#11
Always remove the negative terminal first, then the positive....install in reverse order...

Should completely remove the cables and check for corrosion......not unusual to see an acid leak from the battery in one of the terminal areas...if seen, battery definitely needs replacement...replace the side bolts....pull covers back on battery cables and get a good wire brush or whizzer to polish it.....use dielectric grease for protection after cleaning......
 

nickb2

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#12
9volt battery in cigarette lighter should do the trick if you have a lighter adapter your willing to sacrifice and a 9v battery connector your also willing to sacrifice. It's a tool you will use every once in a while.
To Use: Plug the Memory Saver into a power plug that is active when the vehicle is off. You can now remove your battery from your vehicle and keep your settings.
WARNING! Be sure to remove the Memory Saver right after you reconnect the car battery; otherwise the car battery may feed back into the 9v battery and pop it.
above two lines from e-how. If you really want to be fancy, a diode will also protect that 9v bat. Some europe cars won't work with this as the lighter is only on with key live. To make sure just check battery voltage at cigarette lighter key off. This being a GM I see no prob's.
 
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#13
Seen those 9V cigar plugs someplace, but precautions have to be used, like no underhood lamp that turn on when you open the hood and you don't dare open a door turning on the interior lights as that would way overload that battery. Power supply I use as a 30 amp output, normally connect that to the BAT output of the alternator and a good ground. Can even open a door as that can draw 20 amps in some vehicles, a bit more than a 9 V battery can handle.

But care still has to be used in not grounding the positive battery lead, not even for an instant. On a car like my DeVille, side terminals are only an inch away from the fender metal side panel. So I put a piece of duct tape on the sheet metal, and also tape a boxed 5/16" wrench as a support bar is right on top. Take a deep breathe when removing the positive cable and very care not to touch anything with it.

Most places will install a new battery for free, but if you have to spend over an hour resetting your radio, going through a relearn mode, and spending another 30 minutes adjusting the idle control afterwards, rather change the battery myself.
 
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#14
fixed

Yup it was bad.

It's been on a trickle charge for 3 days straight. Couldn't even turn the engine.
I ran it down to the store and his tester showed it at 100% charged. But upon trying to load testing.. Fails right away.
 
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#15
While I have an old Sun Vat-33 carbon pile load tester, seldom drag it out. Key tools are a voltmeter fitted with alligator clips, like these clips as I only have two hands and a maintenance type charger, these have a SCR with a voltage sensor that tapers off the charge to zero once a 13.5 V level is reached with an ammeter.

First test is to check the no load voltage of the battery, if below 12.9 V after removing the surface charge, do that by switching on the headlamps for about five seconds, battery needs charging, if it reads 11.2 V, the battery is completely discharged. If completely discharged depending on the AH rating the battery with my 10 amp charger, if around 60 AH, should take about seven hours to completely charge. Some will charge in ten minutes, a sulfated battery, but if less than the full six hours, already know the battery is partially sulfated. A three hour charge where the ammeter tapers to zero, would mean that the battery only has about 50% of its original capacity. If the ammeter never tapers to zero, a shorted cell or high internal leakage.

Can't repair a battery anyway regardless of the problem unless you have a battery factory, regardless of the problem, its trash, well five bucks worth of trash. But if it takes the full time to charge, meter tapers to zero, a good sign, then after switching on the headlamps for about five seconds, should read 12.9 V, to be precise, at 25*C.

Then the load test, just hit the starter, battery voltage should stay far above 9 volts while cranking, even at subzero temperatures. In your case, the battery voltage dropped to nothing, see that too. A battery has a lot of internal connections, all cells are in series, one bad connection with those high currents, its worth five bucks on a trade in.

With a maintenance charger and a voltmeter, that is all you need to save running to the store. But don't go to Wal-Mart, their piece of crap zero load test mickey mouse digital tester will say its good, even if that damn thing can't hold a voltage under a starter load.

Battery people are not helpful either, use to give the ampere hour rating, but could indirectly determine that by the reserve capacity rating, don't give that anymore. Now its all cranking amps, so many amps for 30 seconds at some subzero temperature. So that is when you drag out a carbon pile tester to see if it meets those specifications, but sometimes, can't reach those subzero temperatures unless you have an environmental changer.

Even is you do, will never convince Wal-Mart or these other places that sell batteries that, that battery still under warranty is crap if their not worth the power to blow it to hell tester says its good.

NAPA has a real tester, least my store doesn.