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Old 3rd November 2015, 11:02   #46
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Default Re: Signs that battery needs a replacement

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Originally Posted by pramodpk View Post
What do you mean by the crank gets longer? If the battery is weak, it will show a difficulty in cranking. If the crank is longer, doesn't it mean that it is taking longer for the engine to fire up?
What I meant was it takes a longer turn of the ignition key to get the car started, but starts with the first attempt. I can easily feel this difference in the past couple months when earlier a much lesser turn of the key would get the engine fired up.

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Originally Posted by kavensri View Post
Now, when i go for 60k kms service, I am planning to ask them to check the battery again. Do, i need to specifically ask for that kind of report?
Actually, take it to a battery shop and get it tested, better if you know/trust the person there.
I don't completely trust the service centres when it comes to things like battery/wheel alignment, balancing, etc - prefer to get these things done outside at specialist places.
For maintenance free batteries, the fluid level should always be between the Max and Min levels marked on the battery so it is quite simple to figure if it's time to replace the battery.

Last edited by NPV : 3rd November 2015 at 11:07.
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Old 3rd November 2015, 11:14   #47
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Default Re: Signs that battery needs a replacement

Late September I picked up my Grand Vitara from my friend's place where it was lying around for 5 weeks. The battery had completed 5 years earlier that month. Will it start? Yup, it did start at first crank.

Three weeks later I was leaving for lunch, the battery died. Every day until that day, it started at first crank, even that morning. My office is on a hill, so I push started and left for home, parked on a slope. After lunch I planned to go to Udupi to replace the battery. Then I discovered a new problem, the car is switching off everytime it goes to idle rpm, which is at every turn where I had to stop and look. Thankfully in Manipal most roads are either going up or down. Every time it switched off, I could turn towards the sloping side and jerk start the car. I finally realized I can't pick the direction towards Udupi, but I could end up back in my office. The next slope pointed towards office and I took it. Next challenge was to ensure I don't go to idle until I reach my office.

As long as I was in gear, rpm would stay higher than 1000 and engine would stay on. As I closed on the long incline to my office, the tempo in front of me decided slow down drastically, pushing me to idle. That would have resulted in me blocking a state Highway. So I revved like a dragster and slowly overtook him and managed to thread my way between couple more vehicles in half clutch and revving and turned into my office road and took off again. All the people around must have wondered at my over revving...

As I reached the gates, the gates opened just in time, saving me from getting stranded outside the gates. I zipped past the gates and switched to neutral before turning towards parking area... the engine switched off as rpm dropped below!

But the car was inside the gates, stranded at the turn, good enough. Then I called my Jeep mechanic, asked him to get a Amaron Go 65AH battery like before. An hour later new battery was installed.

There was no sign of my battery dying until it died. Battery age was the only warning.
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Old 3rd November 2015, 11:28   #48
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Default Re: Signs that battery needs a replacement

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post

There was no sign of my battery dying until it died. Battery age was the only warning.
Happened with my Fiesta 2 months back. Had parked it in office and in the evening car refused to start. The battery was completely drained. No electrical equipment was kept running. Replaced the battery as the OEM battery was only 1 month short of completing 5 years.

On the other hand, I replaced battery twice in my Alto. In both cases, the car showed difficulty in cranking and it gradually became worse.
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Old 3rd November 2015, 11:32   #49
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Default Re: Signs that battery needs a replacement

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Originally Posted by pramodpk View Post
Happened with my Fiesta 2 months back. Had parked it in office and in the evening car refused to start. The battery was completely drained. No electrical equipment was kept running. Replaced the battery as the OEM battery was only 1 month short of completing 5 years.

On the other hand, I replaced battery twice in my Alto. In both cases, the car showed difficulty in cranking and it gradually became worse.
So, there is no 'thumb rule' to apply, to get the early indication? In some cases, it gives some early warnings (like difficulty in cranking) and in other cases, it may just die all of a sudden?
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Old 3rd November 2015, 11:55   #50
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Default Re: Signs that battery needs a replacement

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Originally Posted by kavensri View Post
So, there is no 'thumb rule' to apply, to get the early indication? In some cases, it gives some early warnings (like difficulty in cranking) and in other cases, it may just die all of a sudden?
The thumb rule would be that if the battery is old, check and replace it if necessary if you plan to take the car for a long drive. In my case, I would have replaced the Fiesta's battery even if it did not die because I was planning a Rajasthan drive. The battery however died 2 months before the trip
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Old 3rd November 2015, 12:54   #51
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Default Re: Signs that battery needs a replacement

A good health-check to do periodically is to use a multimeter at home to measure voltage differences at the battery terminals. It takes just 5 minutes or so. Once you have got a baseline for your battery, you'll be able to see when the readings start to drop off.

Note that battery health cannot be determined only by voltage differences as outlined below, but also the amps that the battery can put out to start a car (referred to by the term cold cranking amps). Measuring CCA is more complex as it requires putting a load across the battery for some time and measuring the drain over time.

This approach of measuring voltages is more of a quick health/sanity check:
  • Get either a cheap multimeter (e.g. this Mastech based on the 830 chipset) or an entry-level quality multimeter (e.g. the Fluke 101).
  • In the DC voltage mode of the multimeter, you'll have to measure the potential difference (i.e. voltage) between the positive and negative terminals. You may need to clean the contacts of any salt/deposits to get a good contact.
  • Before pulling out any meaningful readings, you'll need to bleed the surface charge. As the name denotes, this is a charge that the battery gets because the voltage difference is not evenly distributed through the battery. It will give a misleading (higher reading) that does not denote the complete state of charge of the battery. To bleed the surface charge, with the engine off, run the blower for a minute or so and then turn if off. Ensure there's no other load (no stereo, parking lights, hazard lights, etc.)
  • Then, measure the voltages between the terminals in 3 states:
    1. Engine off
    2. Cranking the engine
    3. Engine running
  • The following image shows the reference voltage ranges and what it means:
  • Signs that battery needs a replacement-battery-voltages.gif
  • Note that after the engine is turned off, the voltage will start off above 13V and will slowly drop back to a steady state/resting voltage.

Last edited by arunphilip : 3rd November 2015 at 12:56.
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Old 3rd November 2015, 14:57   #52
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Default Re: Signs that battery needs a replacement

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Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
A good health-check to do periodically is to use a multimeter at home to measure voltage differences at the battery terminals. It takes just 5 minutes or so. Once you have got a baseline for your battery, you'll be able to see when the readings start to drop off.[/list]
Hi,
I have one basic question. I recently brought this (http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Digit...250532245.html) device to measure the voltage levels.
My question is, measuring the voltage levels using this device is same as using the actual multimeter? Or, I should be using the multimeter to get the correct readings?
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Old 3rd November 2015, 16:49   #53
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Default Re: Signs that battery needs a replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by kavensri View Post
I recently brought this (http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Digit...250532245.html) device to measure the voltage levels.
My question is, measuring the voltage levels using this device is same as using the actual multimeter? Or, I should be using the multimeter to get the correct readings?
Functionally, they are very similar, although the one you've linked to is far easier to use compared to a multimeter.

Operationally, a key difference is accuracy and calibration. A multimeter like the Fluke I linked to will have been calibrated to confirm that its readings are accurate. A Chinese knock-off like the one you're referring to has probably not been through such a process.

As a one-off activity, you should probably compare different readings (stopped, cranking, charging) using both a multimeter and your device to see if there's any difference, and if so, how much. That'll give you a basis or reference of how much drift there is between your device and a known multimeter, so you can then mentally do the math.

Personally, I wouldn't use such a device since my experience has been that they are inaccurate (also, I have too many multimeters , so I keep one in each car).

EDIT: Also, this measures current in the cigarette lighter socket, after it has run through a bit of wiring, the fuse box, etc. Those are all additional variables that can mess up readings.

Last edited by arunphilip : 3rd November 2015 at 16:55.
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Old 3rd November 2015, 22:46   #54
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Default Re: Signs that battery needs a replacement

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Originally Posted by pramodpk View Post
What do you mean by the crank gets longer? If the battery is weak, it will show a difficulty in cranking. If the crank is longer, doesn't it mean that it is taking longer for the engine to fire up?

I replaced the battery of my Alto last week because it showed difficulty to turn the starter.

Get your battery checked before replacing (the voltage).
When the battery replacement nears, you need to crank the engine little longer. That is a sign that you shall consider battery replacement.

If we are not aware of this and if we continue with the battery, one day, the battery is unable to turn the starter.
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Old 4th November 2015, 13:20   #55
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Default Re: Signs that battery needs a replacement

In most batteries it is one or two cells that fail, so to get an indication of the battery health each cell has to be checked. This is done by measuring voltage of each cell under load. In older batteries the cell terminals were exposed, so it was easy, in modern batteries the individual cell terminals are not accessible. The tool used was a voltmeter with a resistance across the terminals to discharge the cell.
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Old 9th November 2015, 14:33   #56
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Default Re: Signs that battery needs a replacement

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Originally Posted by Aroy View Post
In most batteries it is one or two cells that fail, so to get an indication of the battery health each cell has to be checked. This is done by measuring voltage of each cell under load. In older batteries the cell terminals were exposed, so it was easy, in modern batteries the individual cell terminals are not accessible. The tool used was a voltmeter with a resistance across the terminals to discharge the cell.
Individual cell health can still be checked at a battery shop with a specific gravity meter by checking the fluid in each cell. AFAIK, this is the most reliable indicator.
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Old 9th November 2015, 14:40   #57
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Default Re: Signs that battery needs a replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
A good health-check to do periodically is to use a multimeter at home to measure voltage differences at the battery terminals. It takes just 5 minutes or so. Once you have got a baseline for your battery, you'll be able to see when the readings start to drop off.
I would like to add one thing here. When testing alternator, switch AC blower full speed and headlights on full beam. This tests alternator at load.
Sometimes, alternators work fine when load is less, but voltage drops below 13.5V on load. This usually means either rectifier or regulator is faulty
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Old 29th November 2015, 12:23   #58
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Default Re: Signs that battery needs a replacement

Replaced the stock Amaron battery of the Swift Dzire Vxi this morning.
The dealer (known to us for several years) checked the battery and said it may fail unexpectedly as one of the cells was weak, so better to replace it.
Got the Amaron Go 38B20 R battery (18 + 18 months warranty) for Rs.3100 (online prices for this battery were Rs.3090 and Rs.3149 on Batterybhai and Batterywale) so price was pretty competitive
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Old 15th October 2016, 12:00   #59
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Default Does Weak or Almost dead battery impact fuel efficiency.

Hello Bhp'ians,

I have important predicament, for last 6 months or so , my battery is almost end of life of more than 5 Years old.
But i face no problem in starting the vehicle either in cold start or during normal running.
But also co-incidentally my fuel efficiency is also in the downward trend from 18.xx (earlier) to around 16.xx (now) from past few months(almost 8 months)
Driving condition is same with same loading of vehicle and same speeds maintained.
I understand, almost dead battery always tries to engage the alternator in excited state thereby always leading to loading of the engine almost always mechanically.
So does this mean, it is possible that since mechanically always alternator is always engaged due to battery is leading to lesser fuel efficiency.
Technical thoughts please.
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