little battery help please

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 29, 2006 at 21:04
ThreadID: 32328 Views:1668 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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Hi all, after a little help.
About 12 months ago I had a heavy duty battery installed in my 4by. Until recently it has been fine, however the truck was sitting idle for a few weeks (alas new baby arrived so didnt get to use it) and the battery went flat. I then charged it for a full 24 hours and has not been the same since. The battery will go flat within a week even though it is used everyday. I have stuck a multimeter on it and currently is sitting on 12.5 volts, with the car running the voltage is 14.4.
Can anyone give any advise as to why it may be going flat? I do not have any extra electricals running off it.
Is the voltage from the alternator currently enough to keep the battery charged?
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Reply By: drivesafe - Wednesday, Mar 29, 2006 at 21:26

Wednesday, Mar 29, 2006 at 21:26
Hi 944runner, how long are you driving for after you start the vehicle.
AnswerID: 163747

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 29, 2006 at 21:58

Wednesday, Mar 29, 2006 at 21:58
How soon after charging are you measuring the voltage.
Leave it overnight and then measure it again.
If the voltage has dropped a fair bit charge it again and this time leave disconnected to eliminat the possibility of a short in the vehicle causing the problem.

Is it a sealed battery?
If not, measure the specific gravity of each cell with a hydrometer to determine if one or more cells are on the blink.

Failing all else, charge it up (with a good charger) and take it to a battery retailer who can load test it. Shouldn't cost you a zack for them to do the test.

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AnswerID: 163751

Follow Up By: Richard - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 04:37

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 04:37
Cost me $10 for a test at a well known battery retailer when I though there was a problem. Test was OK.
It was the second sealed unit I bought at this place after the 1st one did a cell just out of warranty. They did give me a discount on the replacement.
FollowupID: 418562

Reply By: Muzzgit (WA) - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 00:19

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 00:19
Firstly, I would say 24 hours is not enough if it was REALLY FLAT.

Be carefull, some battery chargers whack in so much charge they actually damage the battery.

Have you checked the fluid levels in each cell?

If you have only used the battery for cranking, check it's warranty. Most batteries these days have 2 years warranty.

AnswerID: 163780

Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 07:14

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 07:14
Is it a Maintenance Free Sealed battery - these are Calcium-Calcium and require a higher Alternator voltage than 14.4 volts unles you are doing long distance driving..

There was something wrong already for your battery to go flat if siting idle for four weeks. Either the battery was faulty or it wasn't charging fully.


AnswerID: 163795

Reply By: 944runner - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 07:59

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 07:59
thanks all it is not sealed and I have cheked the levels, all seems fine there. I think I will take it in for a test this weekend.
Cheers for all the help.
AnswerID: 163806

Follow Up By: V8troopie - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 15:09

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 15:09
If you let the batteryt sit flat for any lenth of time then the plates may have sulfated. This would reduce the battery capacity drastically. Its sometimes reversable, either chemically (inox) or electronically (desulphators) but its a long process and the outcome is not guaranteed.
FollowupID: 418675

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