Should I replace Car Battery?

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  #1  
Old 07-10-06, 03:50 PM
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Question Should I replace Car Battery?

Hello,

I've this Suzuki Sidekick '95 which I purchased 'used' 2 years ago.

I ask, 'SHOULD I REPLACE THE BATTERY' why?....well,


My thinking is this: Within months of buying the car I found that the muffler was shredded (and needed to be replaced) and the air filter was the filthiest, blackest and hairiest thing you could ever imagine, as if it hadn't been replaced in years. 'and so, it's not unlikely that the previous owner may never have replaced the old battery.

Beyond this, the car (battery?) will be dead every so often (6-8 times a year?) when turning the ignition after a short or long rest period.
Although usually waiting it out and turning the ignition a few times will get it all working right.
Right now I'm recharging this external battery charger for the sake of sticking it into my cigarette lighter in lieu of an actual jumpstart since I left the blinkers on by accident yesterday for a long time and the battery appears dead once again...YET, this time worse than ever.

So, not knowing how old this battery is, is it probably a GOOD IDEA for me to just get it over with right now and have it replaced?

Perhaps the crux of my question is how I've almost always asked mechanics to check the battery for any problems and they've always said that there's nothing wrong. But then maybe they never really checked? Or perhaps there's no real way for them to even know? I mean, really....do the batteries even have check dates on them? or anything of the sort?

I'd appreciate any suggestions.

I'm awfully motivated to getting this over and done with and buying a new one, but am curious if maybe there's some other underlying problem?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-10-06, 04:42 PM
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battery is cheap (relativly ) 50 or less , why not just replace it and be done with it .

cheaper than a service call for a jump if your stranded somewhere.

pay me now or pay me later sort of thing
 
  #3  
Old 07-10-06, 04:47 PM
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Take it to one of the auto parts stores in your area. Most will check it for nothing. Then go from there by checking your electrical connections,meaning clean and tight. basically,you have to go through the process of elimination which can be lengthy. This just a starting point.
 
  #4  
Old 07-10-06, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by cyberfyber
Hello,
Beyond this, the car (battery?) will be dead every so often (6-8 times a year?) when turning the ignition after a short or long rest period.

So, not knowing how old this battery is, is it probably a GOOD IDEA for me to just get it over with right now and have it replaced?

I'm awfully motivated to getting this over and done with and buying a new one, but am curious if maybe there's some other underlying problem?
Batteries, like everything else eventually wear out. Since you bought the vehicle used and can't really vouch for how well the owner did the maintainence, now would be a good time to change the battery. I'd take a look at the cable terminals and take the opportunity to either clean them or replace the cables as well. Once that's done you are in a better position to evaluate any future problems.

Christopher
 
  #5  
Old 07-10-06, 05:09 PM
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Talking

Yeah,

thanks all for your advice. I'm feeling better about my next approach which is to first just get it replaced. Often there's guck there where the cable connections are and I'll have to ask to have it removed.

As for other problems, thanks daswede!!!
I've always felt as if there were other things awry. Like bad connections somewhere. For instance: the only reason I didn't turn off the blinkers the last time was because the beeping sound wasn't there. 'and well, sometimes the left signal light doesn't register on the dashboard unless I finagle it a bit.

So now, I'll ask around for these sorts of tests from the get-go!

Once again you folks come to the rescue. Thanks from the bottom of my heart!
 
  #6  
Old 07-10-06, 06:19 PM
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As you stated, could there be an underlying problem somewhere else. Jump starting a car 6-8 times a year can be annoying. That equals to one jump start every 1 to 1.5 months. If you're jump starting the battery due to a light being left on (blinkers, etc) can't really blame the battery for that. There's no concrete time frame on how long a battery will last, there are too many variables to consider. I've seen top of the line batteries come back within months of purchasing due to a faulty battery. I've also seen original batteries last well into 6-7 years before needed a replacement.

When a mechanic checks a battery the most they can do is load test the battery, check the water level and specific gravity is it's not a sealed battery. If the battery pass the test at the time of testing, in their mind they can't recommend a new battery regardless of how old it is.

The times when your engine will not turn over after a long or short rest period, then you turn the key a few times to get it going, that doesn't sound like a battery. Usually when a battery is dead due to a defective battery, waiting it out will not re-energize the battery when the battery is defective. When you leave a light on and you come back a few hours to realize you left the light on, then you try to turn the engine over and nothing, click, click click is all you get. Sometimes when you turn the light off a wait awhile the battery will build up a surface charge by itself, this surface charge will sometimes give you enough power to turn the engine over without a jump start. This is a battery that is in good condition and not a half ase battery.

In your case this is what I'll do, try not to leave lights on which might not be easy since your beeping sound doesn't work and left turn signal doesn't register on the dash. As you stated check to make sure all connections (starter, battery, engine ground, relays, etc) are tight, clean and corrosion free. Check all connections that has a role in turning the engine over. If all that checks good and you're still having starting issues then change your battery. sucks putting in a new battery and you still have to jump start it 6-8 times a year
 
  #7  
Old 07-10-06, 06:54 PM
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Hey there CandiMan,

I'm sorry...Maybe I wasn't clear. Actually, I've never jump started the car. Never.

I simply have this external portable battery which I got 2 years ago and this might be only the third time I'll ever use it. Last time was in the middle of a vicious snow storm we'd gotten.

So no, I never jump start it, I just simply turn the ignition over a few times before it finally works. It's just that this time it doesn't. But that's not my complaint right now.

I've read all your suggestions but hey, I'm AUTO STUPID! (lol).
So, although I understand alot of what you mean, I'm not the sort to go moving, touching or screwing with things down there or under there. I'm not entirely mechanically un-inclined but this car means more to me than my screwing with what I don't totally know.



That surface charge you mention sounds like the reason why I've been able to turn the car on after all in the past. But then I'm not entirely cash poor and am all too willing to just brush this problem away with a new battery anyway. But heck, what'd I know? 'and really understand that there are probably other items to look into.

Anyhow, I'd have no idea as to how to check for corrosion free connections, although I've this faint feeling that's got alot to do with other problems only for "COMMON SENSE" sake. 'and so, I'm stuck depending on mechanics.

This car really runs well most of the time. It's just that occasional mini-problem that's got me concerned and that possiblle HUGE PROBLEM that can ruin a major future trip.

Thanks btw pal.
 
  #8  
Old 07-10-06, 08:50 PM
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And with that being said maybe I wasn't clear, my suggestion was for your mechanic to check out. If you were a mechanical DIY's I'm sure you would have check those areas and would have stated that.

As a consumer who's not mechanically incline go ahead and change the battery, it will give you a piece of mind. If that doesn't solve your problem at least you're not cash poor to find the definate solution
 
  #9  
Old 07-11-06, 05:28 AM
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Thumbs up

Point taken CandiMan.

Mind you, this problem with the left turn signal and the beeping sound is intermittent. Almost like an electronic product that occasionally needs a swift kick in the arse to get it going....but in this case I've never kicked my car in the arse. It merely doesn't work (light indicator and beeping that is) once in a blue moon. As if there was a loose wire or something somewhere.

Methinks I'll be able to go better equipped with ideas and such to a mechanic after all that you've mentioned. THERE IS one nearby who I really trust. That is, if he agrees not to charge me for his time spent since he's so Gosh Darn Busy all the time (I'm not cash poor in as far as my car's concerned but I'm not looking to be stupid either, you know?)....of course this would all be after actually changing the battery elsewhere. OR HEY, maybe he should do it!

Once again CandiMan, thanks wholeheartedly!
 

Last edited by cyberfyber; 07-11-06 at 07:00 AM.
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