Battery keeps dying

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  #1  
Old 03-20-08, 08:58 AM
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Battery keeps dying

'04 Linco LS, bought 'new leftover' Had issues with the battery right from the get-go. I am on the 3rd new battery. Every time I bring it to dealer, they say I don't drive it enough. The car needs to be driven at least 9 miles a day to recharge the battery because of all the electronics, etc. I am prestarting and letting the car idle 5-10 minutes before I leave for work (4 miles one way) and still have problems. Not every day, but way too often. Some agree with dealer and others say they are handing me baloney. My previous car was a Grand Marquis, loaded, driven under the same circumstances, never had a battery issue, so I am suspicious about what the dealer says. I have a remote start (did not want but to get extended warrenty, had to buy the 'package') I was told by friends that remote starters cause these problems. I asked dealer to check and they always have the same answer. DRIVE THE CAR MORE.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-20-08, 09:16 AM
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Wink

Out of the box here. But Id say you have a small short some where In the car. That is draining the battery down . Like any small light stuck on ,trunk , hood , on and on????
 
  #3  
Old 03-20-08, 09:29 AM
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Thank you for your reply.
Nothing left on. I checked the trunk light by pulling down the back seat, etc. I turned off the 'easy exit' and 'auto headlight' to reduce the demand.
The first battery replacement was because of the car being a leftover and sitting a long time at the dealers. The second replacement was after they found a loose starter cable. Had no battery issues for quite a while but now it is happening all over again.
 
  #4  
Old 03-20-08, 09:32 AM
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The remote starter would be an always on device, but a receiver like that shouldn't draw that much.

So they're saying you're one mile short of meeting the charging criteria? Never knew a dealer to make something up, although they did charge my in-law $35.00 to change a tail light bulb. After I showed her how, she could do it in 1 minute and 32 seconds.

The "use it or lose it" answer is probably annoying, but they may be right (hate to say it).
 
  #5  
Old 03-20-08, 10:01 AM
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Thank you for your reply.
If my solution has to be driving more miles, I am in trouble. I WAS feeling lucky that my job was close to home. At the price of gas these days, I am not happy about idling the car just to charge it up. Not happy to be contributing to air pollution either. I saw a solar battery charger, but don't remember where or if it was for a car battery. Any recommendations or advice?
 
  #6  
Old 03-20-08, 10:27 AM
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Battery drain.

Hi,
I would take the vehicle to AutoZone or battery store and have a diagnostic run on the alternator. If you have an open diode it will cause battery current bleed. I had a case with my mercedes the alternator has more than one diode and showed it charging but not enough. During the diode check, one showed open.
Very ghostly type of thing.

If your remote starts is connected to the battery you could try and disconnect it to cut it out of the circuit.

If all else fails, you could purchase a battery conditioner and permanently wire it to the battery. Just a small trickle charger. Just keep the power lead under the front bumper for connection to a extension cord. This depend on you aggravation factor.
 
  #7  
Old 03-20-08, 10:49 AM
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Thanks Baribob. Though I hate to pay out of pocket when I still have warranty, that is what I will have to do, the dealer is not helping.
Thanks for the info about the battery conditioner. If all else fails, that's better than having to jump start the car at 5am everyday.
 
  #8  
Old 03-20-08, 01:26 PM
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that's rediculous that you have to drive it 9 miles a day. thta kind of crap tells me that the dealer in your town employs no one with an ounce of electrical acumen...much less diagnostic ability. find a reputable technician who can correctly perform a battery draw test with an ammeter. a tech that can do that, can find the source of your problem and repair it.

and it could be a diode in the alternator...but a shorted one, not an open one. someone proficient with a lab scope could even show it to you...
 
  #9  
Old 03-20-08, 02:59 PM
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Thank you carguyinva, it helps to know what it is that they have to do, and what to look for.
 
  #10  
Old 03-20-08, 03:13 PM
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Have to agree with carguy; there are millions of people who drive short distances like that every day and they don't go through batteries like that.

As a band-aid fix you CAN get a solar trickle charger, but it would be best to cure the problem. Here's one, but there are dozens of brands out there:

http://www.siliconsolar.com/12v-sola...4w-p-16677.php
 
  #11  
Old 03-20-08, 03:33 PM
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I thought so too, my friend has an '05 and only 6500 miles on it, drives it once a week to go shopping, and one long trip every 4 months or so. Never has a battery problem.
Thanks for the link to solar batteries.
 
  #12  
Old 03-20-08, 04:46 PM
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would agree you have a draw somewhere and pulling the battery down, a draw could be a light or any electonic component such as your remote start, radio, etc anything that still receives power with the key off while most electronics only pull a few milli amps wich isnt enough to drain a battery even if the car sit for a week but if they are defective they could be pulling more at 1 amp your battery would be dead in probably just a couple of days of sitting.
while a trickle or solar charger might keep the battery up you shouldnt really need one or have to hassle with plugging a charger in every day.
 
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Old 03-20-08, 05:21 PM
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Thanks bejay, I think this car has a lot of 'stuff' that must drain the battery, but I've disabled a few things to cut own the drain... memory seat, auto-off headlights, etc. The only light is the little blinker for the alarm and I think that its LED.
I don't trust the dealer to find defects, so I will look for another dealer or a diagnostics place.
 
  #14  
Old 03-21-08, 05:34 AM
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If it's under warranty I would find another dealer to attack it, but any competent independent can diagnose a drain.
 
  #15  
Old 03-21-08, 12:04 PM
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My wife's job is a mile and a half from home. never had a dead batt. But I tell her on snowy or rainy days turn off wipers, defroster radio & rear defogger.[ Lights are on auto so she won't turn them off. ] And let the car run for two or three min. before turning it off. All them accessories on for short distance might drain the battery. Just a thought.
 
  #16  
Old 03-22-08, 12:39 PM
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Thanks to all responders. I decided to try changing dealers to find and fix the problem. In the meantime, I ordered a solar trickle charger from the link posted: Siliconsolar.com
http://www.siliconsolar.com/12v-sola...4w-p-16677.php
and although paid extra for 2nd day delivery,have not been able to confirm the item was shipped or even processed. (Since 3/20/08) All phone numbers gave the same message that the phone system was unavailable. I have been unable to reach anyone in customer support by any means; phone, email, live chat.
I became suspicious and checked my bank statement to see if I had been charged, and found 5 fraudulent charges to my account. I would like to warn anyone who may possibly order from this company that they may have fraudulent charges to their credit cards as a result. May not be the company's fault, but ordering through the site may be risky. I would also ask anyone who has had any recent experience with this company, good or bad to respond to this thread.
 

Last edited by Anitaride; 03-22-08 at 01:54 PM.
  #17  
Old 03-23-08, 05:55 PM
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My link wasn't meant as either an endorsement or a recommendation but merely an example. We are into a holiday weekend so that may be a factor on the delivery. That particular website certainly appears to be a large, legitimate corporation; if they're engaged in fraud it's pretty well disguised.
 
  #18  
Old 03-23-08, 07:51 PM
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Sorry tow_guy,I didn't mean to imply the link or company was bad, only that the site may have been hacked or they have other security issues, through no fault of their own. One thing I know is, if the order had been delivered I would not have checked my account for charges when i did. It could have been much worse! Thanks again for your help.
 
  #19  
Old 03-24-08, 01:37 AM
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Battery Drain

If your charging system test normal, you will need to test for Battery Drain.

http://flashoffroad.com/electrical/C...rrentdrain.pdf

If the battery is in proper working order, it will be able to withstand a 1 amp draw for 48 hours without dropping the battery voltage below 10.5V. Ford has a great TSB 05-22-9 that explains it step by step. (google tsb 05-22-9)

An electrical system that is operating normally will power down to 35mA.

If you draw is higher than 35mA than you have something draining the battery and can be isolated by removing one fuse at a time until draw drops down. I would start with the remote start fuse.

FYI: Alot of Batteries replaced are not properly charged prior to testing. Don't ask how I know.
 
  #20  
Old 03-24-08, 03:55 PM
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Did your battery ever totally die or drain before this draining issue started. Maybe left lights on, etc. I am pretty sure i read somewhere that once a battery dies like that it needs to be charged with a pulsating battery charger. I think once it dies it never accepts a full charge again. Not an expert in this area but i remember reading something about this awhile back. Maybe someone else can fill in here.

All your lights and all working properly? I cant stand seeing cars that are only 2-3 years and a brake light is already out. They dont make stuff like they used too! I have a 76 bronco and the brake lights still work today , not rewired. It could be a short, i see cars driving down the road with brake lights stuck on etc.

Someone with the right test equipment should be able to figure it out. The dealers should know if its a common problem, they see what keeps coming in all the time and eventually(most of the time) figure out whats wrong.
 
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