battery replacement time?

Reply

  #1  
Old 03-21-11, 01:47 PM
sgull's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: AK
Posts: 2,543
battery replacement time?

I have a standard size auto battery in my Ford Ranger. The battery is now five years old. Seems like I heard or read that after about five years you should think about replacing your battery. I googled a little about it and came up with this (among plenty of other similar advice about it):

"There is no "standard" interval for the replacement of automotive batteries because there are so many differerent batteries with different characteristics. The time to replace an auto battery is when it will no longer accept and hold a charge."

What does that mean exactly? I should probably take it somewhere and get it checked/charged? It's still been starting my truck fine, although of course with not the same quick pep as when it was newer. And I'd rather not wait until sometime it won't start the truck to worry about it. I don't use the battery for anything other than starting the truck, I don't run any other accessories off it or anything when the truck isn't running.

I have a feeling the suggestion will be to just go ahead and replace the battery if I'm worried about it. But I don't wanna shell out the dough if its really not necessary. Any comments/advice appreciated.
 

Last edited by sgull; 03-21-11 at 02:24 PM.
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 03-21-11, 01:54 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 17,607
Is it sealed or can you add water to it?

If you can add water to it I would fill with distilled water to the fill lines in all cells and trickle charge until fully charged. This may take 8 hours at a slow 2 amp charge.

If sealed then replace if not up to par.

Most auto stores test them with a load to determine if they are on thier way out.

Mike NJ
 
  #3  
Old 03-21-11, 02:12 PM
sgull's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: AK
Posts: 2,543
It's not sealed, you can add water to it. I looked in the cells and right now there a few of them have water level down below the fill lines, although still covering the cells. If I refill them up with distilled water and get a trickle charge like you mention will that probably bring the battery up to "par" for a good while longer or should I still see about getting a load test done on it afterward to be sure about it?
 
  #4  
Old 03-21-11, 03:30 PM
ukrbyk's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA/ Pacific NW
Posts: 3,220
do standard terminals maintenance, both on cables and battery posts, seal them, be happy.


5. Battery Maintenance is an important issue. The battery should be cleaned using a baking soda and water solution; a couple of table spoons to a pint of water. Cable connections need to be cleaned and tightened as battery problems are often caused by dirty and loose connections. A serviceable battery needs to have the fluid level checked. Use only mineral free water, Distilled is best as all impurities have been removed, and there is nothing left that could contaminate your cells. Don't overfill battery cells especially in warmer weather because the natural fluid expansion in hot weather can push excess electrolytes from the battery. To prevent corrosion of cables on top post batteries use a small bead of silicone sealer at the base of the post and place a felt battery washer over it. Coat the washer with high temperature grease or petroleum jelly (Vaseline), then place cable on the post and tighten. Coat the exposed cable end with the grease. Most folks don't know that just the gases from the battery condensing on metal parts cause most corrosion.

6. Battery Testing can be done in more than one way. The most accurate method is measurement of specific gravity and battery voltage. To measure specific gravity buy a temperature compensating hydrometer, to measure voltage use a digital D.C. Voltmeter. A quality load tester may be a good purchase if you need to test sealed batteries.

For any of these methods, you must first fully charge the battery and then remove the surface charge. If the battery has been sitting at least several hours (I prefer at least 12 hours) you may begin testing. To remove surface charge the battery must be discharged for several minutes. Using a headlight (high beam) will do the trick. After turning off the light you are ready to test the battery.

State of Charge Specific Gravity Voltage
12V 6V
100% 1.265 12.7 6.3
*75% 1.225 12.4 6.2
50% 1.190 12.2 6.1
25% 1.155 12.0 6.0
Discharged 1.120 11.9 6.0

*Sulfation of Batteries starts when specific gravity falls below 1.225 or voltage measures less than 12.4 for a 12v battery, or 6.2 for a 6 volt battery. Sulfation hardens on the battery plates reducing and eventually destroying the ability of the battery to generate Volts and Amps.

Load testing is yet another way of testing a battery. Load test removes amps from a battery much like starting an engine would. A load tester can be purchased at most auto parts stores. Some battery companies label their battery with the amp load for testing. This number is usually 1/2 of the CCA rating. For instance, a 500CCA battery would load test at 250 amps for 15 seconds. A load test can only be performed if the battery is near or at full charge.

The results of your testing should be as follows:

Hydrometer readings should not vary more than .05 differences between cells.

Digital Voltmeters should read as the voltage is shown in this document. The sealed AGM and Gel-Cell battery voltage (full charged) will be slightly higher in the 12.8 to 12.9 ranges. If you have voltage readings in the 10.5 volts range on a charged battery, that typically indicates a shorted cell.

If you have a maintenance free wet cell, the only ways to test are voltmeter and load test. Any of the maintenance free type batteries that have a built in hydrometer(black/green window) will tell you the condition of 1 cell of 6. You may get a good reading from 1 cell but have a problem with other cells in the battery.

When in doubt about battery testing, call the battery manufacturer. Many batteries sold today have a toll free number to call for help.
 
  #5  
Old 03-21-11, 04:28 PM
sgull's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: AK
Posts: 2,543
Thanks for all that info, ukrbyk. Looks like if I really want to know whether my battery is up to par I'll need to make sure the water in the cells is at the proper level, go buy a temperature compensating hydrometer and a digital DC voltmeater, fully charge the battery then remove the surface charge, and then check/compare hydrometer readings of each cell and check/compare voltage readings from each cell according to the specs you provided.
 
  #6  
Old 03-22-11, 10:13 AM
ukrbyk's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA/ Pacific NW
Posts: 3,220
Originally Posted by sgull View Post
Thanks for all that info, ukrbyk. Looks like if I really want to know whether my battery is up to par I'll need to make sure the water in the cells is at the proper level, go buy a temperature compensating hydrometer and a digital DC voltmeater, fully charge the battery then remove the surface charge, and then check/compare hydrometer readings of each cell and check/compare voltage readings from each cell according to the specs you provided.
looks like you have a good battery and simple terminals cleaning/sealing should give you another year or 2 out of it. maybe a tad of water here and there. instead of going and buying all that stuff. unless you were plain sarcastic, he-he.
 
  #7  
Old 03-22-11, 10:26 AM
sgull's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: AK
Posts: 2,543
No, not being sarcastic. Good to hear I should be okay for a maybe a few more years with just some basic maintenance. I won't run out and buy that stuff yet then. Cool. thanks.
 
  #8  
Old 03-22-11, 01:58 PM
ukrbyk's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA/ Pacific NW
Posts: 3,220
i had 99 Ranger, standard cab, 4 cyl. was by far the most reliable vehicle I have ever owned. and folks here know me, I hate anything with Ford on it. apparently they have very good alternators, so if you simply keep it all clean and sealed, batteries will last a good bit. replace it only if it starts showing temper.
 
  #9  
Old 03-22-11, 02:31 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 50
Avarage battery life is 5-7 years. When your battery fails replace it with an "Interstate Megetron" battery. Simply the best battery. Don't be surprised if you get 10 years out of it.

Kind Regards
Diane
 
  #10  
Old 03-22-11, 03:02 PM
sgull's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: AK
Posts: 2,543
Originally Posted by ukrbyk View Post
i had 99 Ranger, standard cab, 4 cyl. was by far the most reliable vehicle I have ever owned.
Yep mine's a '98 standard cab 4 cylinder. I'd have to say also it's been probably the most reliable vehicle I've ever owned. Gets me around fine and doesn't use much gas either
 
  #11  
Old 03-22-11, 04:54 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 50
Gentlemen,

I thought you might find the links below an interesting read. Let me know if you would like me to post more. While there are only three here, there are in total 947 more links that address nothing but complaints and defects for Rangers.

1998 Ford Ranger Complaints, Problems & Defects Information | CarComplaints.com

Ford Ranger Problems & Complaints | FordProblems.com

1998 Ford Ranger Recalls, Defects, & Safety Problems at Automotive.com

Kind Regards
Diane
 
  #12  
Old 03-22-11, 05:15 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 17,607
Yes but all those complaints are meaningless.

How many people dont change the oil and blame it on the car.

Just saying.

Anyway this thread is about a possible battery failure. Let keep on track.

Mike NJ
 
  #13  
Old 03-22-11, 09:32 PM
hopkinsr2's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: canada
Posts: 1,561
Diane 1, You're not a Ford person, Are you?? 4 of the recalls listed on one site are for AFTERMARKET lights, the tire recall was for FIRESTONE, & one for an AFTERMARKET fuel filter,, so we have 3 recalls & a sticker issue in a 25 some year life span of a model vehicle.. I think thats an excellent track record, Don't You??? He's asking about advice on his battery, that I will tell you the Originol in my 1990 Ranger lasted 10 years in Northern Ontario weather,, Keep clean connections & wipe the top off @ Don't let it go dead in the winter & you'll get another couple years out of it,,, Roger..
 
  #14  
Old 03-25-11, 02:26 PM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 64
Basically your being cheap. You got plenty of life from that battery. The question is do you risk needing a tow or changing it in a parking lot. A tow is about the price of a battery. With my cars I pay attention to how the starter sounds. When it sounds weak I change it with a battery that has that much life. You only looking at penny pinching $60-100 a tow will be more because that battery will let out when your most in need of it.
 
  #15  
Old 03-25-11, 02:43 PM
sgull's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: AK
Posts: 2,543
Originally Posted by boredatwork View Post
Basically your being cheap. You got plenty of life from that battery.
Yeah you're probably right. I'll just buy a new battery. thanks
 
  #16  
Old 03-25-11, 02:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,126
sgull -

Good choice!!

Whatever appears to be good in Juneau AK, conditions and seems to work well does not mean when you get real cold (when battery failures occur) like Fairbanks in the winter, when your car starts fine in anchorage but has to be towed along the way, there is no economy in stretching the life of something that is at the end of its useful like. If you were in southern AR, where the history is different. Things are never close and convenient in AK and it is bigger than it seems.
 
  #17  
Old 03-25-11, 03:30 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 20,930
Had a factory battery in a Dakota..only about 3 yrs old. I'd maintained it and it gave no indication of a problem. Starter spun the 318 just fine, never an issue. Went out one afternoon and had to make a few stops looking for a shop that was willing to print some Alldata stuff for me (before you could get a cheap subscription). Walked out of the second one...tried to get in the truck...it was so dead the remote locks wouldn't even work. They jumped it for me, but it died before I got out of the parking space. Called the wifey, borrowed tools, pulled the battery and went and got a replacement.

Just a personal story...but sometimes they just die....

If they aren't perfect..and being stranded could be really bad...better to be safe.
 
  #18  
Old 03-25-11, 06:10 PM
sgull's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: AK
Posts: 2,543
I'll probably just fill it up, clean it up, charge it up, and replace it eventually but not gonna rush to do it. If its gonna die it'll probably give me some advance indication, and even if it doesn't it wont be a tragedy. thanks for all the input everybody.
 
  #19  
Old 03-28-11, 05:44 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 376
"Think about replacing your battery"? Save your money. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If someone told me after 15 years I should think about replacing my roof, I'd say, "I'll replace it when it needs replacement"..
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'