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When to Replace Battery? #4831474 08/04/18 11:12 PM
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TheLoneRanger Offline OP
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I read that a battery should be replaced when the voltage drops to 12.4v on a fully charged battery.
Is this true?


Some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you.....
Re: When to Replace Battery? [Re: TheLoneRanger] #4831480 08/04/18 11:32 PM
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Wolf359 Online Content
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There are many battery state of charge charts out there like this one:

https://modernsurvivalblog.com/alternative-energy/battery-state-of-charge-chart/

The temperature of the battery is also important as the voltage will be lower when it's colder.

Basically you replace a battery when it fails a load test. Most auto parts stores will do a free load test for you. It's possible to get a 12+ voltage reading but once you put a load on it, you get no current.

I suppose you could just buy one too. Maybe one of these two?

https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-BT-100-Battery-Load-Tester/dp/B000AMBOI0

https://www.amazon.com/Bastex-Battery-Insulated-Carrying-Automotive/dp/B01N75BLH5

Re: When to Replace Battery? [Re: TheLoneRanger] #4831481 08/04/18 11:33 PM
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KneeGrinder Offline
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It depends on your tolerance to your vehicle not starting or leaving you stranded someday. A "Good" battery will hold 12.6 volt over night when fully charged and still connected to your vehicle. A 12 volt battery is considered flat or dead at 12 volts. Fully charged and connected to your vehicle should hold no less than 12.4/12.3 if you have a little 4cyl motor. A diesel pick up truck will be close to S.O.L. at 12.3 volt overnight, and that's with 2- 12 volt batteries.


08 Tribeca 90k PUP 5w30
06 Accord 137k PP 0w20
03 Acura CL-S 90k M1 AP 5W20
02 Acura TL-S 241k ST 5W30
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Re: When to Replace Battery? [Re: TheLoneRanger] #4831492 08/04/18 11:53 PM
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E150GT Offline
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I start looking for replacement and testing the battery when i hear the engine start to crank slower and charging seems to do nothing. I know the end is near. I don't want to be stranded somewhere. Thats a pain.Its also better to replace before absolutely necessary so you can decide what battery you want and maybe even get in on sale. When you're stuck somewhere, you usually get the closest or easiest to get battery. I don't know if it helps but I like to periodically put my batteries on the maintenance charger. I haven't driven a whole lot lately and I just charged the mazda and f150 batteries and it took all day for both, even though they both started the vehicles without issue. I like to think I am helping them last longer but who knows.


1984 Mercedes-Benz 300SD - 100k
1995 F150 XL 4.9 reg cab 5MT - 251k 5w30
2016 Mazda6 Touring 6MT - 68k 5w30
2006 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.8 40k 5w30
Re: When to Replace Battery? [Re: TheLoneRanger] #4831509 08/05/18 01:12 AM
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Nick1994 Offline
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Is it your car charging it to 12.4V or a high quality battery charger?

Could be the car not charging it enough.


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2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 238k Mobil Super HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 150k Mobil 1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra
Re: When to Replace Battery? [Re: TheLoneRanger] #4831523 08/05/18 02:06 AM
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Panos Offline
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The battery in my car right now showed 12.6 volts fully charged the day I have purchased it open circuit. After about 3 years it showed 12.2 volts after standing for a night in my car.6 and a half years later, it still works.I maintain it now and then using a ctek charger. Batteries are quite mysterious sometimes.


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Re: When to Replace Battery? [Re: E150GT] #4831528 08/05/18 03:52 AM
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billt460 Offline
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Originally Posted By: E150GT
I start looking for replacement and testing the battery when i hear the engine start to crank slower and charging seems to do nothing. I know the end is near. I don't want to be stranded somewhere.


While that all sounds good, in the Arizona heat most of the time you are not afforded that luxury. Batteries will go dead all but instantly, and without warning. I've been lucky. All of mine have managed to die at home in the garage.... Except one. I got in my truck one morning, and the engine spun like a top, and fired right up. The volt meter showed nothing out of the ordinary. I then drove 3 miles to the store, got out and went inside. When I returned 10 minutes later NOTHING. The dome light wouldn't even go on. I thought someone stole the battery.

I was able to walk home, get my other car, and jump start it..... Barely. I got it back home, and parked it in the driveway, and went and got another battery. It tested dead at the store. They gave me a new one for no charge under warranty. It was 2 years old. Typical for a Arizona battery. 2 Summers and that's it.

Out here batteries don't give you signals or warnings. They just drop dead. Like a retiree on a golf course.

Re: When to Replace Battery? [Re: TheLoneRanger] #4831537 08/05/18 05:24 AM
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knerml Offline
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It really depends on the vehicle, its tolerance of low voltage, and battery drain of electronics while off.


2015 Hyundai Elantra Sport 2.0 GDI Mobil 1 5W30 & OEM Filter
2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport AWD 2.0T Mobil 1 5W30 & OEM Filter
Re: When to Replace Battery? [Re: TheLoneRanger] #4831543 08/05/18 05:55 AM
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rooflessVW Offline
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One slow crank and I'm looking for a problem. If the battery load tests marginal out it comes.


"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."
Re: When to Replace Battery? [Re: TheLoneRanger] #4831550 08/05/18 06:45 AM
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Audios Offline
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Average life is normally 4-5 years on a lead acid, but ive had some last much longer. I also have a 10 year old Interstate in my older Audi A4 that shows 11.8 but still cranks it over no problem. Its a lower compression turbo 4 cylinder so that might be aiding its longevity.


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2007 Mercedes GL320 CDI-T6 5/40
2005 BMW M3 BMW-Twin Power 10/60
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Re: When to Replace Battery? [Re: rooflessVW] #4831572 08/05/18 07:32 AM
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eljefino Offline
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Originally Posted By: rooflessVW
One slow crank and I'm looking for a problem. If the battery load tests marginal out it comes.


If you have a gear reduction starter it really doesn't take much to kick things over, so a battery that cranks slow is pretty far along on its death curve.

I've read that if the voltage dips below 9 during cranking, a battery is toast. One would need a logging/ graphing meter to get this accurately, but watching the dash light bulbs dim a lot with an experienced eye can diagnose this.

Re: When to Replace Battery? [Re: eljefino] #4831590 08/05/18 07:55 AM
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Kira Online Content
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Sis' battery was on month #35 of a 36 month free replacement period when she called.

Turn the key and it'd drop to 3 volts.

"Go get a battery" was all the AutoZone man said to the employee.

Re: When to Replace Battery? [Re: TheLoneRanger] #4831596 08/05/18 08:02 AM
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sprite1741 Offline
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If you think it's time just change it. Not worth getting stuck somewhere. I had a 3.5 year old O'Reilly Super start that just quit on me a week ago. Replaced it with a Korean made Centennial from Battery Systems for $97. I had a Centannial in my Dodge that went 6 years, I think I paid $52 for that one years ago. O'Reilly, AZ, Napa are around $140 now. Overpriced money makers for the chain stores. They can keep them.


2005 Grand Prix GXP 5.3L Supertech Synthetic Dexos 5w30 Fram Ultra 3506
1986 Dodge Lancer 2.2L Turbo, Supertech Synthetic 10w30 Fram Ultra 3614
Re: When to Replace Battery? [Re: TheLoneRanger] #4831619 08/05/18 08:18 AM
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john_pifer Offline
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I bought my WRX new in March 2016. Battery has already died a few times on me.

Apparently Subaru puts some notoriously bad batteries in their cars, and possibly the alternators don't charge the batteries well enough.


07 Tacoma V6 - M1 EP 5W-30, Fram Ultra, 10K OCIs, 225K
18 Civic HB 1.5T 6MT (Fiancee's) - VME 0W-20, OEM filter
07 Yamaha R1 - Rotella T6 5W-40, Bosch 3300
07 Yamaha YZ-250, Klotz, Rotella

Re: When to Replace Battery? [Re: Wolf359] #4831627 08/05/18 08:25 AM
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Trav Offline
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Originally Posted By: Wolf359
There are many battery state of charge charts out there like this one:

https://modernsurvivalblog.com/alternative-energy/battery-state-of-charge-chart/

The temperature of the battery is also important as the voltage will be lower when it's colder.

Basically you replace a battery when it fails a load test. Most auto parts stores will do a free load test for you. It's possible to get a 12+ voltage reading but once you put a load on it, you get no current.

I suppose you could just buy one too. Maybe one of these two?

https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-BT-100-Battery-Load-Tester/dp/B000AMBOI0

https://www.amazon.com/Bastex-Battery-Insulated-Carrying-Automotive/dp/B01N75BLH5


Be cautious using those types of testers, I have seen lots of batteries did shortly after using them, of course the battery was on the edge anyway but those thing will put the final nail in the coffin.
Use a tester for CCA if its down around 60% of its original capacity you probably should start looking for a battery.

https://www.amazon.com/Clore-Automotive-...76C0A1089EF5HAM


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