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Dark_Fire

Battery Goes Dead After Sitting For Only 3 Days.

12 posts in this topic

Stumped on this one. My battery seems to want to die in 3 days, requiring me to charge it up again until then. The battery is two years old, the charging system is putting out a healthy 14.2v, the "all systems standby" draw is only 42-74mA (it sits around 42ish and will jump up to the 60's- low 70's and fall down to the 40's again). I cannot figure out exactly why the battery keeps going dead. Had the battery tested at O'reilly's and it was fine, I can drive the car out of gas and then some with no issues, but as soon as it starts sitting, it will go dead.

Initial thought was parasitic draw but the draw isn't high enough to warrant killing the battery in 3 days. Any thoughts?

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I agree your parasitic draw is in the acceptable range, so no problems there. I know the batt is only 2 years old, but could have some kind of internal problem. Can you borrow a known good batt and try it for a few days to see if it solves the problem. I have had 2 year old batts fail on me a few times .

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I agree your parasitic draw is in the acceptable range, so no problems there. I know the batt is only 2 years old, but could have some kind of internal problem. Can you borrow a known good batt and try it for a few days to see if it solves the problem. I have had 2 year old batts fail on me a few times .

You could also disconnect the battery for a day or so and track the self discharge with a digital meter.

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I agree, disconnect it and see if it goes dead after 3 days. You might have a bad battery.

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Alright, still battling this issue.

I took the battery to fleet farm where I bought it after charging it. They threw it on their machine and tested it, checked out fine. Ok..... I put it in the back of my SAAB and let it chill there in the back of the hatch for over a week. Took it out and threw it in the Taurus. Battery voltage was 12.49V. It started right up. I then removed the VIPER remote start I put in a year ago just in case that was acting up. Drove it down to college about 2.5 hours and parked it on a Saturday. The following Thursday I got in it and drove it around and then drove to Taco Bell. It started right and ran just fine, no hint at all that the battery was weak, alternator was charging at a solid 14.1 - 14.4V. On Sunday I drove around and then went to Taco Bell. Same thing, started right up and ran like a champ. The next few days were pretty damn cold, around single digits territory. Tuesday night we got a massive snow storm, and the Taurus was pretty well buried. On Wednesday when I went to dig it out and defrost it, It would not start. Battery voltage was in the 10s and within a few seconds of the key on my scangauge went blank and all life in the vehicle ceased.

On Thursday I pulled the battery and tossed it on my charger. I noticed however, that even on the 6 amp setting, the battery was taking maybe .5 amps. I pulled the caps and discovered that the cell next to the negative terminal was frozen solid, and the rest were fine. I warmed up the battery and then charged it. While charging, I noticed that the 5 unfrozen cells were bubbling at a decent rate, and the frozen one didn't appear to be doing anything. After charging, the battery was reading in the 12.5 range once I used a fog light to pull off the surface charge for a min or so.

What's the deal here??? Is it possible the cell that froze is weak and when it gets cold enough, freezes solid and bricks the battery??

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It's jealous you aren't driving the Taurus more often...

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It's jealous you aren't driving the Taurus more often...

My mom still jokes that's why the transmission blew up. Honestly, the SAAB still needs enough work to warrant being driven only when the Taurus decides it doesn't want to cooperate. The engine mounts are fried to the point where its tearing the exhaust up.

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You have a bad cell in the battery. Until you get a new battery, you are going to continue to have problems. I'm willing to bet that negative terminal has had corrosion buildup as a result of the bad cell. I have a 9 year old Sears Die Hard battery in my Taurus...have never had a problem.

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You have a bad cell in the battery. Until you get a new battery, you are going to continue to have problems.

+1

It may read 12.5V on your voltmeter, but what the voltmeter isn't showing is the amount of amps (or a lack thereof) your battery has for cranking.

I bought a used battery from the junkyard for my Cavalier because I was selling the car... It would read high 12-volts all day long but wouldn't crank worth a damn. I'd jump start it and let the car run for 20 minutes taking 14V... turn it off and try to restart but get nothing. A trip to Federal Battery fixed everything.

Your battery is hooped... end of story.

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you need a hydrometer test. check the specific gravity of each cell, most parts houses won't even know what this is. it's WAAAAY more accurate to comdemn a battery this way as well.

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Alright.....

I charged the battery last saturday night and drove down to college. Moved the car on monday, everything was fine. There was a bit of a cold snap on monday night, dropping temps into negative numbers and come tuesday, It wouldn't start again. Pulled the battery cap and guess what, as I predicted the same cell was frozen. Bought a new battery from wally world and threw it on the driver seat, for another day.

Flash forward to today, put the new battery in and not surprisingly it started like normal. Drove down to O'rielly and had them do an in car alternator test, just to rule things out. Passed with flying colors. I then picked up a real hydrometer, one that actually gives some numbers vs the 4 ball one I had at home. I brought the battery in for a few hours to thaw out and then checked it with the hydrometer.

The five normal cells reported around 1.240ish and the cell that kept freezing, well..... the hydrometer bulb was barely even floating.

Thanks everyone, this is the first time I've ever been given such a run around in the battery department. What kills me is I had two different places tell me the battery checked out fine.

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For future reference, you really don't want to charge a battery with a frozen cell. They like to blow up when you do that.

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