Aux battery - what does it do??

Submitted: Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 09:35
ThreadID: 35055 Views:2306 Replies:10 FollowUps:10
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Hi all,

This is probably a question for the auto elecs amongst you but anyone should feel free to offer advice.

My truck is a '94 80 Series; Petrol. 1FZ-FE with a dual battery set up that was there when I bought it. I'll try and explain it as best I can. The main battery is a 630CCA and the Aux is a 530CCA. The Aux has the negative terminal running to earth with a big fat cable and the positive runs through a small canister thing about the size of the cardboard tube in a dunny roll but only half the length and then onto the main battery. The Aux is either completely shagged or isn't getting any charge from the alternator (2.3V while the motor's off), my guess is, it's had the richard.

The only things I can see running off the Aux battery are the power to the spotlight's relay (which I don't use much if at all) and the power to the rear of the truck for the fridge (which I don't have but that's how I found out it had no charge - i tried to plug my new inverter in back there and got nothing!)

My question is do i need to test to to see if the Aux is not recieveing any charge and how do i do that, or is it a given that the Aux is cactus AND will it do the truck any harm if I don't replace the Aux right away cause there's a coupla things higher on the rigs priority list at the moment.

Thanks for any info!
Cheers, Scoey!
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Reply By: TROOPYMAN A.D. 1998 - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 09:41

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 09:41
I justs had to replace my solonoid . Put your multimeter onto 20v and check it .
AnswerID: 179158

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 09:49

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 09:49
The most common purpose for installing an Aux battery is to run you're fridge and keep you're beer cold. Of course other people (like me), get completly carried away and just go nuts.

I run my stereo, internal lights, mobile phone handsfree kit, 2 x CB's, GPS, 450w Pure Sinewave Inverter, Pressured water pump, external fluro lighting, 4 x extera ciggy lighter sockets, laptop and of course the fridge off mine. ;-)

That's why I have 2 x 100amp hour aux batteries and one 700cca starter.

The best way to go IMHO is to run almost every accessory off the aux and just leave the starter for starting. That way you can use whatever you like (ie stereo) for as long as you like and not have to worry about the car cranking up later on.

If the battery really is cactus (sounds like it might well be), I would probaly disconnect the postive terminal off the battery. The cylinder type thing you are talking about is probally a battery isolation solinoid. What this will do is disconnect the battery's when the engine is off, and join them together when the engine is on so that both batteries get charged while you drive.

If the aux is buggered, it may be taking a huge load off the alternator and preventing your good starter from being charged efficiantly. If, as you describe, the only thing running off your aux is the fridge plug and the spotlights it won't matter if it is disconnected. You could even run a temporary wire from the spotlight relay to the starter battery to keep them working.

To test to see if the solinoid is working (ie it is connecting the aux to the starter/alternator) disconnect it from the aux (as mentioned above) and just stick a multi/volt meter onto the cable and earth the other lead from the meter to the car's body. Start the car and after a few minutes you should see the voltage go from zero to somewhere between 13.8 and 14.2v. If it does, you'll know all that is wrong is that the battery is knackered. Replace the battery at a later date and you'll be all good to go.
AnswerID: 179161

Follow Up By: Scoey (QLD) - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 09:54

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 09:54
Cheers for the info Jeff - that's exactly what I needed to know! I'll do the tests and see how I go! I will keep your advice (RE wiring all accessories off the Aux) locked away in the memory bank for when I get more gadgets! ;-)

Cheers
Scoey!
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FollowupID: 435437

Reply By: Ando79 - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 11:10

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 11:10
I'm sure this is not the case with your vehicle, but out of interest I think the Japanese make a crusier (100 series?) that comes with two batteries because it runs off 24 volt, as opposed to 12. At least, thats what my auto elec tells me. Has anyone heard of this?
AnswerID: 179175

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 11:34

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 11:34
AFAIK the 100 series that has 2 batts as standard is still a full 12 volt system, but the 2 batts are wired in parrallel so that all the gear runs off the 2 batteries at the same time. Hope this helps.

BTW, I know quite a few blokes in our 4WD Club that have their batteries permanently wired the same way (Pesty recently did it too) and find that this works perfectly well for running fridge etc. I'm still a bit sceptical and prefer to have the solenoid (manually controlled by me with appropriate reminders as to when it's on or off).

Cheers

Roachie
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FollowupID: 435446

Reply By: Willem - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 15:45

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 15:45
And there I was thinking that you were a Landrover owner
AnswerID: 179251

Follow Up By: Scoey (QLD) - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 16:09

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 16:09
Hi Willem,

Having spent a number of years as a young fella, helping my old man carry out the seemingly endless list of repairs to his Series III my opinion of the good ol' Landrover has been tainted forever. My first fourby was an FJ40 and I haven't looked at another brand since. ;-) I'm not sure whether I should be worried that I come across as a Landy owner but! haha!

Cheers
Scoey!
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FollowupID: 435498

Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 16:19

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 16:19
Hahahahahahaha!!!!!

Cheers
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FollowupID: 435499

Follow Up By: Scoey (QLD) - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 16:28

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 16:28
Ok so now I'm worried! ;-) I'd best become a member and get a rig pic up there quick smart!



My pride and joy!
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FollowupID: 435502

Follow Up By: agsmky - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 20:52

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 20:52
What is it about 4wders that they have to run over every little rock :-) Can't you see there is a perfectly good road behind the vehicle!

andrew
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FollowupID: 435557

Reply By: FZJ 80 - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 19:38

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 19:38
Scoey,

Same as mine 94 petrol - Even the same colour!!

Regards

Greg (Qld)
AnswerID: 179298

Follow Up By: Scoey (QLD) - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 20:09

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 20:09
Hey Greg,

Yeah and even though keeping up with the repayments and keeping something in the fuel tanks is sending me broke - I still love it to bits! ;-) Whereabouts in sunny QLD are ya, south east perhaps? Anywhere near brissy?

Cheers
Ross
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FollowupID: 435541

Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 20:38

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 20:38
Hi Scoey

Read my article on Battery Power.

Battery Article

Regards Derek.
AnswerID: 179320

Follow Up By: Scoey (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 08:49

Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 08:49
G'Day Derek,

I had a read and found the article very interesting! That's clued me up a bit and answered a lot of questions I had! Thanks!

Cheers
Scoey!
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FollowupID: 435823

Reply By: FZJ 80 - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 19:34

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 19:34
Scoey,

I'm on the Gold coast at Nerang. Know what you say about keeping fuel in the tank,or tanks!!. I solved the problem by having LPG fitted last year. Removed rear seats and put tank in back so as to retain orig ground clearance and both petrol tanks. Now has 230L fuel on board for ultra long range.
Are you in Bris?

regards

Greg
AnswerID: 179510

Follow Up By: Scoey (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 08:47

Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 08:47
G'Day Greg,

I'm just north of Brisbane, Narangba to be exact. I have thought about the LPG option but am not totally convinced yet so until I am, I'll stay with the plain ol ULP! ;-)

Cheers
Scoey!
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FollowupID: 435820

Reply By: Craigww2 - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 21:45

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 21:45
Scoey,

If you are still having troubles email me craigww2 AT primusonline.com.au drop around and I will give you a hand. I live at Manly and this will be for free as I have a full time job and I don't mind helping out here and there. Yes I am properly trained.
AnswerID: 179544

Follow Up By: Scoey (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 08:51

Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 08:51
G'Day Craig,

Thanks for the offer, I appreciate it! I'm pretty keen just to have a poke around with my multimeter and see what I can work out for myself but I'll definately hang on to your email addy if that's ok! I might yet take you up on your offer! ;-)

Cheers mate!

Scoey!
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FollowupID: 435825

Reply By: Muzzgit (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 00:06

Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 00:06
Just remember, it's fine to run EVERYTHING off your aux battery, but be sure to keep your electric trailer brakes on the starting battery.

If the car won't start, trailer brakes don't matter.
If the car will start but the other battery be buggered, you have no trailer brakes!
AnswerID: 179588

Reply By: FZJ 80 - Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 19:09

Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 19:09
Scoey,

Mate, drove mine for two years without LPG, finally bit the bullet and wish I did when we bought it. We do quite a few trips from the Gold Coast to Hervey Bay, Costs about $100 return on Gas with a bit of running around there or same is about $160 on petrol. This is where the savings are noticed!

Regards

Greg
AnswerID: 179736

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