New Ranger battery problems

Submitted: Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 13:27
ThreadID: 132204 Views:10808 Replies:6 FollowUps:22
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Have the new Ford Ranger Mark 2 Went camping and stationery for 3 days,went to leave flat battery .
Has anyone any idea how stop all lights coming on when opening doors and staying on for period after closing. Have removed key from ignition during stay.. Locking vehicle each time will turn off lights straight away but thats a pain.
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 13:49

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 13:49
Tuck,

I have a 2014 BT50, the cousin of the PX Ranger Mk 1. In those vehicles, the parkers come on when you open the door and when you close up the parkers go off but the interior lights stay on until you start the car or lock it.

You cannot stop that behaviour, but you CAN turn the parkers off if you want to leave a door open (for music, but not too loud, please :-)) by flicking the high beam stalk twice.

Also, Ranger have a "Smart Charge" system which most thinking people is pretty dumb. It only charges the crank battery to a low voltage, I think in the low 12's. Your battery is only ever a bit above 50% charged, so it has a low starting point to begin with. It is done for a minute gain in fuel economy. You can get this "Smart" facility turned off at a Ford service centre. You just have to ask. Then I think it behaves like the Mazda - charging to 14.2 to 14.4 volts.

Cheers

FrankP

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Follow Up By: tuck - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 13:56

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 13:56
Correct used to have BT50 and you double flick headlights and they all went off. No little on the smart charge but seems rather DUMB if will only charge torging to around 50%
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Follow Up By: Member - DOZER - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 14:07

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 14:07
a diode on the charge fuse will trick the smart charge system to charge 0.6 volts higher....they sell on ebay, but you can make one with a soldering iron and fuse, just piggy back a blown fuse
b4 you bag me out, walk a mile in my shoes, then your a mile away and have my shoes :)

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Reply By: Member - DOZER - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 14:04

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 14:04
so is a flat
b4 you bag me out, walk a mile in my shoes, then your a mile away and have my shoes :)

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Reply By: Geoff H9 - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 16:16

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 16:16
My BT-50 discharged over 3 days a number of times.

Turns out anything eg a USB charger (not connected to a device) left in either 12v outlet, causes the computer to cycle and flattens the battery. You can measure the drain and it is tiny but the battery drains when the computer comes on later.

Since I stopped leaving a charger plugged in can leave the vehicle for weeks and it remains charged.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 16:47

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 16:47
Thank you Geoff, I wasn't aware of that but I should have been.

Yes, the auxiliary outlets in the console are live all the time. A USB charger (in my case a cupholder style with a number of outlets) plugged into an auxiliary outlet will present a parasitic load, even if nothing is plugged into the USB outlets.

I thought the parasitic load would have been negligible, but I found out otherwise recently after a 3 day camp. The car started, but the crank was pretty sluggish. Took me by surprise.

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Reply By: 9900Eagle - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 16:47

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 16:47
On the PX2, have the dual battery mode enabled by Ford (this should be done for nothing). This takes out the smart charge.

See a battery seller and get them to do a load test on the battery (Again they normally do this for free.
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Follow Up By: tuck - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 17:01

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 17:01
Thanks for all your comments .Yes have been told about the smart charger , comments debatable that it charges battery to 100% ? What difference does it make to consumption?? some say 1ltr/100 ?? Told by dealer to probably disable the smart charger - half hour job -want to charge about $75
Will be having a go at sell me a vehicle for what I requested
One dealer said just leaving the key in the ignition for a day say 8 hrs will flatten the battery
(what a joke built to Australian requirements or standard )
cant get 3 days of standing there at a camp site !!
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Follow Up By: GREG T11 - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 19:47

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 19:47
Look on the bright side Tuck, at least it didn't fail whilst driving along the road . Sounds like the perfect excuse to stay another day !!!

Seriously though it is becoming more and more disconcerting buying a new vehicle these days. After having to spend a day or two having to read the handbook on how to operate the radio and other so called labour saving devices it becomes a bit tedious. This would be all be worthwhile if in fact it added to the ownership experience.

The big road downhill for me started when in 1998 taking a new VN Commodore to a servo for the boss to get some petrol, it took at least 4 people including the servo person 10 mins to find the fuel door release.. No one had to read a handbook to operate a car back then.

Having said that it would be interesting to peruse a owners manual for a Great Wall, if they translate the same as in the past with other products it would be would be a nightmare./ hilarious.
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 20:10

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 20:10
Mine didn't have any perceivable fuel usage difference at all after the smart charge was disabled on my PX1 and like I said most dealers disable it for free.
Mine charges to 100% with it disabled and actually I have never had a flat battery.
The vehicle which is auto, many times sits for 3 weeks and I just get in and start it. One thing is I remove the keys and loam it and both my dash 12v outlets are modified so they only turn on with the ignition and the battery is now 3.5years old with no problems.

Guess the designers thought that people didn't leave their keys in the ignition but the coppers think crooks love those that do.





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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 20:56

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 20:56
Taking the keys out is a pita for people on the land where standard practice for many is to leave them in so anyone can drive as and when necessary (including in an emergency) without the hassle of trying to locate the key.
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Follow Up By: Member - Blue M - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 00:32

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 00:32
I had a 2006 Toyota Hilux SR5 and what used to bug me was if you had the door open and the key in ACC to listen to the radio or what ever it used to beep all the time until you turned the key right off or shut the door.

I used to disconnect the wire behind the light switch on the door pillar and it stopped this annoying noise.
I also used to disconnect the wire under the seat to stop the seat belt buzzer going off as well.

One day I put it in for a service and see I got changed $25.00 to connect the wire back up to the switch on the door and also under the seat.
I challenged this and asked the guy I was paying why they did it, and he told me it was a safety issue.
It tells you that the door is open and the keys are still in it, and also that you have not got your seatbelt on.
I had to question him, did he think I was a complete idiot, to which he replied, "if you disconnected them, than yes I think you are".

I said come out here and I will show you something that is very strange.
I wound down all the windows and stood back and locked the doors with the remote, and I just said and "you think I'm the idiot". How come you can lock the doors with the windows down.

Would be interested to know if this also works on other brands of vehicles other than Hilux's, and 79 series cruisers.

All this gadgetry on modern day cars is a load of rubbish in my opinion, but then they have to cater for the GEN "Y" I suppose.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 04:55

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 04:55
These voltage regulated alternators save about 2% of fuel consumption.

Everything helps to meet the new standards. The low hanging fruit is all gone.
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 05:47

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 05:47
Blue M,
I can lock the Ranger with the windows down but just don't stick anything through the window as the noise will cause your eardrums distress.
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Follow Up By: gbc - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 07:01

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 07:01
If you do not lock the ranger, the computer system stays awake and drains the battery. Hence the comment from the dealer about leaving the key in the ignition.
I would think this kind of thing would be common on most vehicles these days. Ranger/mazda batteries are small for the size vehicle so go flat quicker - buy a bigger battery if you want to ignore the above advice which is what I did.
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Follow Up By: tuck - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 08:13

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 08:13
Hi Sigmund
You mention increase of 2% - thanks not very much - I assume you didnt mean 2lt/100 kil ARB guy told me it was about 1ltr/100 kil . Dealer told me not much about 1/2 ltr/100kil . Who knows ??
Heading off today for few days camping one spot - will try couple of ideas before maybe having to check out smart charger
Hope I dont lose my keys!!
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 08:41

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 08:41
Yep, 2%.

I have a spare analogue key wired somewhere around the vehicle. Too many guys have had to smash a window.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 10:19

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 10:19
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The notion that ECU controlled alternator voltage causes an increase in fuel consumption is an Urban Myth.

The concept was introduced by car makers in order to meet emission standards, particularly at engine idle and has no negative effect on fuel consumption. In fact manufacturers claim an overall improvement in fuel economy.

The energy used by the alternator equates directly to the energy consumed from the battery and this remains the same amount of energy even if the voltage is reduced. It may take longer to replace a given consumption but at the reduced charge rate the total energy, and hence fuel consumption, remain the same.

What is significant is that at the reduced battery voltage, the total energy stored in the battery is reduced. This has little practical effect on the car electrics including the starter motor but is a significant loss of stored energy in the auxiliary battery when it is charged directly from such an alternator without utilising the voltage boost provided from dc-dc chargers and the like.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 10:40

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 10:40
Very true Allan. One thing is, the alternator charges when the engine is under light load, the vehicle is coasting downhill or if the battery falls below the set voltage parameter and then as you said it doesn't then charge to capacity.

If it is in it's non charge cycle, you pull up and switch off with the battery sitting at 12.2v.

Mine with the smart charge switched off and running has a reading from the 14.3v down to 13.9 volts.
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 11:26

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 11:26
That's what I said Allan B: a decrease.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 11:34

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 11:34
You can google any number of Voltage vs State-of-Charge charts and graphs. All show that at 12.2V a flooded lead acid battery (which the crank battery is) is at about 50% SOC.

If it never gets any higher than that, and by design of the Ranger charging system it won't, then conventional wisdom says it will have increased rate of sulphation and will lose capacity much faster than it would if properly charged. And as has been pointed out, standard battery capacity is not that high to begin with.

I wonder what sort of life are Ranger owners getting out of crank batteries.

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 11:35

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 11:35
Are we not in agreement Sigmund?
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Allan

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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 12:47

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 12:47
Frank,
12.2v is the low cut in starting point for the smart charge. The problem is if you stop the engine at say 12.25v then that is the soc. I can't remember exactly what the cut out high point was but I think it was 12.6v.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 13:16

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 13:16
Ah, that's better, Eagle. I thought you meant it charged to 12.2 then stopped.

If you are right the Smart Charge system is not as bad as I was led to believe.

Now we just have to remember to unplug anything in the accessory outlets, remove the key and lock the car to keep a charge in the crank battery. Easy enough for me, but reading through this thread I can see how it could be a pain for some people.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 16:38

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 16:38
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I have found it difficult to acquire much authoritative technical information about Smart Charge systems and batteries to suit them but this from Century Batteries provides a reasonable explanation for the layman. The following is an extract from it...................
"When used in conjunction with vehicles fitted with Regulated Charge Control (RCC) systems, optimized batteries can lead to a 2% reduction in fuel consumption and vehicle emissions.
The fitment of conventional batteries in vehicles fitted with RCC systems may not lead to fuel or emissions savings. Vehicle performance would not be significantly affected but battery life may be shorter than in a conventional vehicle. Similarly the fitment of a battery, optimised for RCC systems, in vehicles not incorporating such technology will not have a negative effect on vehicle performance. The number of vehicles manufactured with regulated charge control systems is increasing year on year with locally manufactured vehicles such as the Holden Commodore featuring RCC systems since 2006."

Now bearing in mind that Century Batteries is a commercial enterprise, some may consider that they have a pecuniary interest, however what they say makes sense to me. A battery designed to operate at a lower voltage and accepting higher charge rates would seem appropriate for these Smart Charge systems and is hopefully supplied in new vehicles. Problems may later arise when inappropriate replacement batteries, possibly chosen on price, are fitted.

None of this explains Ford's Ranger problems. That seems to be something else again.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 16:57

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 16:57
Yes Frank gone are the days of simple. Times have a changed and we can't do much about it, with Euro 6 around the corner things will get tougher again, the introduction of DPF's which some have now and ad-blue becoming the norm. Ad-blue is fine as longs they source it from the majors, those using cheap stuff have found out the hard way

At least the smart charge can be disabled or in the case of the later PX2 Rangers the dual battery mode can be enabled.

People will find it is not worth running diesels around town if they are short runs, that is why we have a small unleaded car. Our Ranger seldom does less than 40K's and most times well over that.

Then again the old banger diesels suffered badly from cold running.

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Reply By: Trevor M9 - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 10:07

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 10:07
I was specifically told when taking delivery of my Mk2 that if the vehicle wasn't locked and the key was close to the vehicle, the battery could drain overnight. I never locked my old Ranger overnight but make sure that I always lock this one and have had no problems
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Reply By: Bob R4 - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 21:55

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 21:55
Me, I just make sure I have an extra chaff bag for the old nag and all's sweet.
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