When to replace a car battery

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On Fri, 17 Feb 2006 11:41:05 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

They make them like that so they will look like "maintenance-free" batteries. Back when everyone wanted Maintenance Free. ONce you find the right point to pry, there as easy to get off as any 3-cell cap.

A lot of oilless motors have oil impregnated bearings. When the bearing heats up a little, oil emerges from it, and iiuc is sufficient. When the motor stops, the oil soaks back into the bearing.
AIUI, that's a very good idea.

He could use a regular external meter also. Try it at various engine speeds, although it should be just about the same at all of them.

Wow! Are you in the midwest that is east of the Mississippi, or the one that is west of it? (There are two, for some reason.)

Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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Batteries don't last forever. Yours is way passed shelf life. So get a new one and be happy
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Shelf Life normally refers to the time an item is, literally, on the shelf and not in use. His battery's working life is over.
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snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

How do you know it is way passed the shelf life. He has had the car for 5 years and doesn't know when the battery was bought.
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On Fri, 17 Feb 2006 22:38:06 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

5 years for a car battery is about average in the northeast US.
Mys Terry
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Mys Terry wrote:

And you know that how? Most batteries now come with 72 or 84 month guarantee. I haven't bought a vehicle battery with a guarantee shorter than 60 months since at least the mid 70's. I would expect that the average battery life would be in excess of the guarantee, otherwise the battery company would be losing money. So northeasterners must buy cheap batteries (less than a 60 month guarantee). Do vehicle batteries even come with a 48 month guarantee anymore?
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On Sat, 18 Feb 2006 04:45:20 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

If they do, they're most likely pro-rated, meaning they are depreciated according to the number of months since they were sold.
One thing I noticed. I went to put the charger on the car battery tonight because of expected below Zero Fahrenheit temps, and the battery charger said the battery was already fully charged. Indicating to me, that the worn serpentine belt I had been using, and the intermittent electrical connections at the voltage regulator plug were the problems I had ALL ALONG. No new battery required, although I could easily have ass/u/me-d that the battery was the problem.
No doubt if I had taken the car to a *shop* they would have sold me a new battery ( think pep boys ) and sent me on my way. Or an alternator, which I didn't need.
Your best bet, IMHO, is to track these problems down on your own. That is the only way I know of to get to the TRUTH OF THE MATTER without any bullshitting to dig through. Save your money for more important things.
Lg
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Years ago a co-worker asked my brother for a ride from the shop when he was going to drop his car for repairs. He said yes and asked what the problem was. The guy said he needed to have the alternator and voltage regulator replaced. (they used to be separate units). My brother replied, no, you need one or the other, very rare that both would die at the same time. Turned out to be a loose fan belt and no parts required.
You have to wonder how many people are duped every day either by crooks or just plain incompetence.
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wrote:

It is stealing from customers. It goes on everywhere, everyday, because there is no profit to be made in selling a new fan belt, and plenty of profit to be made from jacking the customer into thinking they need half a new engine.
If you ever meet an HONEST mechanic, expect to see an older fellow wearing worn clothes and tattered shoes. The youngsters are only interested in turning a fast buck.
Lg
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

subject, it is easy to be duped. Most drivers don't even know how to change a tire or where to find the tire changing tools so how would they know whether a belt needs to be tightened. Most belts nowadays have an automatic tightener so a loose belt is seldom a problem.
However even if you demonstrate some knowledge mechanics can tell explanations that makes no sense mechanically in order to convince you to buy an expensive part. Had an air conditioning clutch burn up and the guy tried to tell me I needed a new compressor. Then the SOB (Pontiac Dealer)replaced the clutch and didn't replace the idler bearing even tho I asked and they said they would replace the bearing. It froze about 2 years later. Needless to say, I just bought the tool necessary to replace the bearing instead of taking it back to the shop.
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-snip-

I bought 3 '84 month' batteries last year. a Sears, an Interstate & one from Autozone. [several long stories on how I got so lucky]
None had more than a 2 year full replacement guarantee. They are all pro-rated after that-- with the Interstate being the best deal-- a straight line- i.e.; you paid $84, it lasted 48 months-- we give you $1 a month credit on a new battery. [no paperwork necessary-- we don't care who bought the battery]
2 of the batteries that I replaced were less than 5 yrs old and showing signs of their age. The 3d was in my teen daughter's car, was 6 yrs old, and seemed fine. But I thought spending $70 bucks in October sure beat the feeling I'd have on a blizzardy January night if her car wouldn't start.
Jim
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On Sat, 18 Feb 2006 04:45:20 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

Totally incorrect. Battery Guarantees are essentially a marketing tool so you come back and buy another battery of the same brand. The Guarantee is pro-rated, and to the battery company, the discount on the subsequent batteries is cheaper per battery than any other type of promotion. Car tires are the same way. The guarantee is just a tool to lock you into buying the same tires over and over again. Think of it as a "Loyalty Lock". That's how the battery company sees it. They know that the 72 or 84 month battery (which is a 60 month battery with a higher price to cover the warrantee) will probably crap out after about 5 years, and at that point, they will only be giving you a credit of about $10. That's enough incentive for you to replace the battery with another of the same. To switch brands, you'd lose that "imaginary" $10 that YOU actually gave to THEM when you paid $15 more for a longer guarantee. It's smoke and mirrors.
Mys Terry
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Mys Terry wrote:

Got any facts about the 72 and 84 month battery vs. a 60 month battery. Did you check the capacities, plate thicknesses, anything?
You're right! My 72 or 84 month guaranteed battery is just a 60 month battery with a higher price. Funny though my recent battery purchase were no more costly than in the past and the batteries had way more power.
But then I just made this all up, never owned a car, never drove a car, never bought a battery. Hell I just live in a hole and never look out. Wait, I think the last part describes someone else.
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On Sat, 18 Feb 2006 20:13:55 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

So you are a dope when it comes to batteries and how retail works in general. So what? You don't even seem to be aware that ALL car batteries are made by a VERY small number of companies. Most brands are re-badged from somewhere else.
Automotive battery technology has barely changed at all in the last 50 years except for what they use for case material. The only difference between a 60 month battery and an 84 month battery is that one costs more, and they might give you some of that extra money back if you will keep buying their batteries.
The ONLY quality difference between auto batteries of a given size can be measured by weight. More leadtter quality. That's it, case closed.
Mys Terry
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How come that in most (but not all) cases, the longer warranty battery also has higher power ratings than the lesser of a given case size?
Look at the ratings on the 24 and 24F as an example. http://www.ibsa.com/www_2001/content/products/product_auto.asp
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How come that in most (but not all) cases, the longer warranty battery also has higher power ratings than the lesser of a given case size?
Its easy tro compare battery warranties! The heavier the battery the longer the warranty!
Basically they all fail at the same rate. but the long warranty battery has more overcapacity than a shorter warranty one. the heavier longer warranty has more lead and a bit bbetter construction.
so more overcapacity means a given battery can do its job longer.
provided it doesnt suffer a major failure like a shorted cell.
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Mys Terry wrote:

How come with each response you keep changing the subject. You seem to want to bitch about retail. Answer the question. How about some numbers for the batteries? But I understand your not giving any, since that would totally refute what you have been saying.
I think you bit off a bit more than you can chew with the statement that batteries haven't changed in 50 years. Have much experience with batteries 50 years ago?
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On Sat, 18 Feb 2006 23:58:28 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

Really? How so? I have not changed my position once.

Seems I already did that.

What exactly are you questioning, bozo?

They haven't.
>Have much experience with batteries

Yes
Your move, jerk.
Mys Terry
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One common failure syndrome: -alternator belt slowly loosens, reducing output -battery plates "sulfate"- crystals form on them, reducing ability to store and return charge -problems with starting.
Check s.g. of electrolyte in cells. If one or more notably lower than others, recycle it. If all are low- in mid-range of s.g., try a voltage-regulated charger for a week or 10 days. If no progress, recycle; else keep charging for another week.
Of course, make sure alternator is properly driven, and that output voltage is regulated to specs.
You'd be amazed how many perfectly serviceable batteries get tossed as a result of such a simple problem. I've resurrected quite a few, and put them back into service.
J
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snipped-for-privacy@sme-online.com wrote:

Make sure the top of the battery isn't dirty. You can create a draw between the battery posts just from the dirt. Make sure the posts are clean and corrosion free. Make sure the cells are topped off if you have that type of battery. Make sure you don't have a parasitic draw from accessories.
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