Author Topic: Car battery question  (Read 1952 times)

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Offline Frobozz

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Car battery question
« on: January 29, 2009, 03:50:59 PM »
So I'm looking all over for my car keys this morning and can't find them anywhere. I finally run out of time, so I grab my wife's keys and they won't fit in the ignition, because mine are there from 2 effing days ago. I have no idea what the heck I was thinking, but I left them in with the tumbler turned to "on" and my seat heater had been on.  Needless to say, the car wouldn't start.  There was some juice left in the battery (probably not much) since the dash lights still came on, but the car wouldn't crank.

I got it jumped and have it running for a few hours now.  So my question to your car nuts is, am I wasting my time try to recharge the battery this way?  If I'm not off-base in my hopes of reviving this battery by have the alternator recharge it, how long should I let it run?

Thanks.


 

Offline Quagmire

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Re: Car battery question
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2009, 04:10:24 PM »
So I'm looking all over for my car keys this morning and can't find them anywhere. I finally run out of time, so I grab my wife's keys and they won't fit in the ignition, because mine are there from 2 effing days ago. I have no idea what the heck I was thinking, but I left them in with the tumbler turned to "on" and my seat heater had been on.  Needless to say, the car wouldn't start.  There was some juice left in the battery (probably not much) since the dash lights still came on, but the car wouldn't crank.

I got it jumped and have it running for a few hours now.  So my question to your car nuts is, am I wasting my time try to recharge the battery this way?  If I'm not off-base in my hopes of reviving this battery by have the alternator recharge it, how long should I let it run?

Thanks.

Assuming that your battery is the traditional type (non gel cell or deep-cycle), you'll probably be able to charge it using the alternator to where you'll be able to start the car afterwards.  Unfortunately, you probably also greatly diminished its ability to hold a charge, so I don't know how long you'll be able to start the car for AFTER it's done charging.  If you have the type of battery with removable caps, I'd pop the caps off and check to see that the fluid levels are still high.  If not, top them off with distilled water.  (And, if you have a hygrometer, by all means, check the battery using that!  If you don't, most auto parts stores will likely do this for free for you.

If you have a "maintenance free" battery, you won't have the tops to pop off, but there will likely be a viewing port that has a charge indicator.  Keep an eye on that over the next few days to see that it matches what the label says "good" is supposed to look like.

I'm a pretty conservative person, so I'd be likely to just replace it-especially if it's a cheaper battery, or at the end of its service life anyways.

Sorry that it seems you're having a rough day.

Offline vegaskiller73

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Re: Car battery question
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2009, 04:12:10 PM »
Driving it will charge the battery pretty quick. Unless there is something wrong with the battery itself, it should only take minutes to charge back to full or near full capacity. After that you shouldn't have any problems. Unless you leave something on again or as I said, there is something wrong with the battery itself.



Offline Scott H.

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Re: Car battery question
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2009, 04:39:09 PM »
If your battery is more than 4 years old, just replace it now. Like they said before, it did diminish your battery's ability to hold a charge. However, you only need enough battery to start your car. Once it's running, the battery don't do squat, everything runs of your alternator (unless you've added a lot of stereo/lights to your car). If you don't want to spend the money, O'Reilly's and Autozone usually will check a battery for free.


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Offline jbpdvm

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Re: Car battery question
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2009, 06:02:19 PM »
The alternator won't completely charge your battery. It maintains it where it is. You need to use a trickle charger overnight to completely charge the battery.
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Offline Scott H.

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Re: Car battery question
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2009, 06:10:22 PM »
The alternator won't completely charge your battery. It maintains it where it is. You need to use a trickle charger overnight to completely charge the battery.

Unless your alternator is bad or the abttery is bad, it should completely charge it.


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cycloptic1dr

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Re: Car battery question
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2009, 06:31:27 PM »
I would really press you to go and at least get the battery/charging system tested.  If your battery is good and so is your ALT. it should recharge itself.  The question you need to be asking is what caused the car not to start (lights on, door left open or battery just dieing).  If the battery is older than 3 years i would replace it.  Sorry about your bad luck

Offline Frobozz

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Re: Car battery question
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2009, 06:53:44 PM »
Thanks for the advice guys.  The battery looks like hell.  It's a 60 month battery that is surely older than that.  After dropping my daughter off at school tomorrow, I'm going to go get it replaced.   I really don't need a battery in January/February that doesn't hold a charge in cold weather.


 

Offline Quagmire

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Re: Car battery question
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2009, 06:58:53 PM »
Thanks for the advice guys.  The battery looks like hell.  It's a 60 month battery that is surely older than that.  After dropping my daughter off at school tomorrow, I'm going to go get it replaced.   I really don't need a battery in January/February that doesn't hold a charge in cold weather.

Smart move.  Not sure where you live, but a good choice anyways, especially if the wife and child ride in/drive the car periodically.

Offline Frobozz

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Re: Car battery question
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2009, 07:03:33 PM »
Northern Colorado


 

Offline z_randy

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Re: Car battery question
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2009, 08:44:11 PM »
Well that sucks Fro.  Sorry to hear that.  Sounds like you are getting a case of CRS.  Might want to get that checked.
Was your seat at least toasty?



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Offline Scott H.

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Re: Car battery question
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2009, 09:02:11 AM »
Thanks for the advice guys.  The battery looks like hell.  It's a 60 month battery that is surely older than that.  After dropping my daughter off at school tomorrow, I'm going to go get it replaced.   I really don't need a battery in January/February that doesn't hold a charge in cold weather.

Smart move. Hope it was a easy switch out. What kind of car is it?

Oh, and BTW, leaving the swithc or lights on is NOT a good way to test your battery.  :laugh2:


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Offline Frobozz

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Re: Car battery question
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2009, 09:04:00 AM »
99 Nissan Pathfinder


 

Offline TattedDad

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Re: Car battery question
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2009, 08:33:55 AM »
Everything all good with the car now Fro?

Offline Frobozz

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Re: Car battery question
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2009, 08:52:43 AM »
 :up:


 

 



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