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  • #16
    Those hand held load testers are only about 125 amps (last one I looked at long ago) maybe 200 amps at best. Not enough to do a real load test so those techs (or parts sales guys) will say, "your battery test good". This usually happens when you know your battery is weak and need it warrantied or pro-rated.

    Pfcs is right, a real load tester can be cranked up to 1/2 CCA rating, held for 15-30 seconds, battery should not drop past 9.8 V.
    Yea, you can feel the weight difference in a new cheap verses new better battery of the same exterior size. If it will fit in the holder, get the best, most CCA battery you can.

    I haven't used my old Snap-On 500A load tester in awhile. Bet it smokes like hell next time I use it. Fun watching my daughters eyes last time I smoked those carbon discs.

    I sold Interstate and AC/Delco when I was a pro. Rarely had any issues with either. Lately I've been hearing of issues with Interstate. Wonder if they merged or sold to a big conglomerate? If so, bean counters may have screwed a good product. This happened to Valspar house paint a few years ago when Sherwin Williams bought them out.
    Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
    Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

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    • #17
      "I sold Interstate and AC/Delco when I was a pro."

      I was going to mention Delco as a winner but it's been years since I sold any. They made very good
      batteries, at least they did 20 years ago. My last experiences with Interstate are much more current; I sold the business two years ago.
      69yo male T12 complete since 1995
      NW NJ

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Kulea View Post
        The only thing that might counter this thought is if your battery doesn't get fully charged when you run the van and so it is slowly losing its charge.
        Yes, that is the reason.

        Originally posted by Kulea View Post
        BTW-your scenario can be completely overcome by installing a remote start.
        Not if the battery is dead.

        It was working fine. Then the next time I went to start the van, the battery was dead. I tried to charge it several times. It wouldn't hold the charge. Hence, I needed to replace the battery. Rather than go with the normal type of lead acid battery, I decided to go with an AGM battery. It's not a deep cycle battery.

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        • #19
          The term deep cycle is somewhat ambiguous. It can mean a battery that is intended to be deeply discharged while used and then charged when not used, like in a wheelchair or golf cart. It is also used as a marketing term for a starter battery that better tolerates discharge. For my application that means it can be much less than fully charged, sit in my driveway for a long time, still have adequate charge to operate the door, lift, and seat, then start the van, and then fully charge quickly.

          Of course, a Battery Tender solves all this with a normal lead acid battery. Still, I'll take the better performance if it's available. Why not?

          But then again, maybe I just got a couple bad batteries. Both were flooded lead acid Interstate batteries from Costco bought around the same time (less than 1 year ago) and they both failed within a week of each other in 100 degree weather. Both vehicles had been driven highway miles recently.
          Last edited by August West; 10-09-2019, 03:53 AM.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by August West View Post
            The term deep cycle is somewhat ambiguous. It can mean a battery that is intended to be deeply discharged while used and then charged when not used, like in a wheelchair or golf cart. It is also used as a marketing term for a starter battery that better tolerates discharge. For my application that means it can be much less than fully charged, sit in my driveway for a long time, still have adequate charge to operate the door, lift, and seat, then start the van, and then fully charge quickly.

            Of course, a Battery Tender solves all this with a normal lead acid battery. Still, I'll take the better performance if it's available. Why not?

            But then again, maybe I just got a couple bad batteries. Both were flooded lead acid Interstate batteries from Costco bought around the same time (less than 1 year ago) and they both failed within a week of each other in 100 degree weather. Both vehicles had been driven highway miles recently.
            It really sounds to me like you have a problem with your van and you are trying to get some kind of specialty battery to overcome this, rather than address the actual problem. My driving habits are much like yours. I drive once a week, sometimes 2 or 3 weeks, rarely more often. Much of my driving is only a couple miles, with once a month about 20 miles each way. I put on under 2000 miles per year. I add about 20 gallons of gas (200 miles) every couple months. If necessary, my van can go through many lift and/or start cycles without charging (I have done this when trying to fix/install something in the interior). The times that my short driving doesn't adequately charge the battery is made up when I take a longer trip. My van can sit for over a month and still have the juice to get me in and get started. Since getting the remote start, I don't drain my battery nearly as much, since the getting in cycle is run on the alternator, so the battery only has to cover the getting out, and the start. But even before getting the remote start, I never had issues with shortened battery life, or a drained battery. My batteries always lasted longer than their rating and I never had a time when the battery couldn't get me in and start the van (except when I drained it by leaving a light on, or something). Some time after the rated life I will feel the battery straining more (as the lift is much slower under battery than alternator), but it still is able to start the engine. At that point, I consider getting a new battery. And this is all with a conventional battery that I buy from Sears or Firestone. So, your battery getting drained over time, and having a shorter life tells me either, improper battery, or defective battery, or defective vehicle systems. Or, you NEVER drive long enough to charge the battery, in which case you need a charger, because no battery is going to work if it doesn't get charged.

            Maybe you can get a second battery just for the lift, that way you always have a charged battery to start the engine. Worse case is you (or someone else) has to start the engine before you can get in. Then, knowing the lift battery is low, you find a way to charge it.
            Last edited by Kulea; 10-09-2019, 07:54 PM.
            C-6/7 incomplete

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            • #21
              I agree with Kulea! His rumination seems correct to me.
              I remember the VW Campers had a dual battery option where a second battery powered all the camper lighting, etc, but was not connected to the vehicle electrical system until you started it at which point a relay controlled by the K? (switched ignition) circuit turned the relay on. (when cranking, this circuit wan't powered. Headlamps and several major consumers were on it to provide more available power for starting. This also had the benefit of de-coupling the second battery so the high current of the starter wouldn't fry the relatively small wiring to the aux battery)
              As long as your vehicle has such a "load reduction" circuit, implementation would be relatively simple.
              69yo male T12 complete since 1995
              NW NJ

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              • #22
                Originally posted by pfcs49 View Post
                Get the best "maintenance free" battery that fits your vehicle.
                If maintenance free is a requirement, then that eliminates flooded lead acid batteries. What's left? AGM for all intents and purposes. How do you select the best? The one with the best specs? The one with pure lead (heaviest one)? The one with the longest warranty? The most expensive? This is the one that meets all those requirements.


                https://www.batteriesplus.com/produc...650cca/heppc65

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                • #23
                  Virtually all flooded lead auto batteries today are nominally maintenance free. You aren't expected to check or top up the electrolyte, ever.
                  Fact is, the cell covers on most are removable and although evaporation is much lower on these, it occurs, hence my recommendation to open and check them periodically for greatest life expectancy.

                  Of course, if paying over $400 for a battery makes you more comfortable, live it up
                  69yo male T12 complete since 1995
                  NW NJ

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                  • #24
                    You are moving the goalposts.

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                    • #25
                      It's not a game! The information I gave hasn't changed.
                      69yo male T12 complete since 1995
                      NW NJ

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                      • #26
                        AGM: Truly maintenance free
                        Flooded: Marketed as maintenance free, but fine print says to check/add water to older batteries and in hot weather.

                        AGM: no acid leaks, corrosion free
                        Flooded: may leak acid, may corrode

                        AGM: less prone to damage from shock and vibration
                        Flooded: more prone to damage from shock and vibration

                        AGM: Lower internal resistance (stays cooler)
                        Flooded: higher internal resistance (gets hotter)

                        AGM: shorter charging time
                        Flooded: longer charging time

                        AGM: may be charged 100s of times after 50% discharge
                        Flooded: will not last as long if discharged 50% repeatedly

                        AGM: greater output voltage
                        Flooded: lesser output voltage

                        AGM: more expensive to buy (approximately $50 more and up)
                        Flooded: less expensive to buy


                        https://batteryguys.com/pages/the-differences-between-agm-gel-and-flooded-batteries
                        Last edited by August West; 10-10-2019, 05:05 PM.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by August West View Post
                          AGM: Truly maintenance free
                          Flooded: Marketed as maintenance free, but fine print says to check/add water to older batteries and in hot weather.

                          AGM: no acid leaks, corrosion free
                          Flooded: may leak acid, may corrode

                          AGM: less prone to damage from shock and vibration
                          Flooded: more prone to damage from shock and vibration

                          AGM: Lower internal resistance (stays cooler)
                          Flooded: higher internal resistance (gets hotter)

                          AGM: shorter charging time
                          Flooded: longer charging time

                          AGM: may be charged 100s of times after 50% discharge
                          Flooded: will not last as long if discharged 50% repeatedly

                          AGM: greater output voltage
                          Flooded: lesser output voltage

                          AGM: more expensive to buy (approximately $50 more and up)
                          Flooded: less expensive to buy


                          https://batteryguys.com/pages/the-differences-between-agm-gel-and-flooded-batteries
                          I don't think anyone is saying don't get an AGM, it's just that I don't know whether it is necessary or worth it. You are paying 3X the price. If you feel it is worth it for the better warranty, then go for it. I have always just bought batteries that were under $150 and last over 5 years, without ever touching it on my part. I am not even sure it is possible to check the fluids on my batteries. Personally, I would spend the extra money on a remote start, or second battery (which can start the car if necessary under some installations, giving you added redundancy). Having the AC running before you get in the van is super nice on a hot day. If you don't address why your battery is draining and dying prematurely, you may end up with the same thing happening to your super expensive AGM. But, you will have that replacement warranty. Warranty, or not, I would hate getting stuck by a dead battery. Maybe carry a portable jumper battery, unless you have roadside assistance really close by all the time.
                          C-6/7 incomplete

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Kulea View Post
                            I don't think anyone is saying don't get an AGM, it's just that I don't know whether it is necessary or worth it. You are paying 3X the price. If you feel it is worth it for the better warranty, then go for it. I have always just bought batteries that were under $150 and last over 5 years, without ever touching it on my part. I am not even sure it is possible to check the fluids on my batteries. Personally, I would spend the extra money on a remote start, or second battery (which can start the car if necessary under some installations, giving you added redundancy). Having the AC running before you get in the van is super nice on a hot day. If you don't address why your battery is draining and dying prematurely, you may end up with the same thing happening to your super expensive AGM. But, you will have that replacement warranty. Warranty, or not, I would hate getting stuck by a dead battery. Maybe carry a portable jumper battery, unless you have roadside assistance really close by all the time.
                            So, I've just been searching and it appears you can get AGM's for much less than the $420 battery you identified. I am seeing them at Pepboys for about $150. So, go for it. I still think your issue lies in the van and not the battery, or you had defective batteries. But, you gotta get a new battery anyway and a 4 or 5 year replacement warranty is nice.
                            C-6/7 incomplete

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                            • #29
                              Many times I had customers come to me and say, "I think I have a bad battery". Tests showed battery was low or dead = charge needed, then more test. Many times, further test would show alternator weak or not charging (with no dash warning light on sometimes) or a drain on the system (my previous posts explained this). Basically what I'm saying is, just because battery is low or dead does not always mean battery is bad. Multiple dead batteries in one vehicle in a year = I'd bet on charge or drain issue. Although I have found multiple new/bad batteries from Autozone (long story).
                              In the old "V" belt days, a loose alternator belt would cause battery to discharge more than alternator could charge (especially at night with lights on) and dash warning light never came on.

                              I like the remote starters but the aftermarket ones can be problematic sometimes, mostly due to sloppy installation. Several came to me on the hook (wrecker) because they quit running or wouldn't start. All but one was due to poor installation. One had a bad module which I removed and rewired back to standard.
                              If I was physically able to put one on my van I would. I would also make it easy to bypass if a component failed.
                              Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
                              Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Gearhead View Post
                                Many times I had customers come to me and say, "I think I have a bad battery". Tests showed battery was low or dead = charge needed, then more test. Many times, further test would show alternator weak or not charging (with no dash warning light on sometimes) or a drain on the system (my previous posts explained this). Basically what I'm saying is, just because battery is low or dead does not always mean battery is bad. Multiple dead batteries in one vehicle in a year = I'd bet on charge or drain issue. Although I have found multiple new/bad batteries from Autozone (long story).
                                In the old "V" belt days, a loose alternator belt would cause battery to discharge more than alternator could charge (especially at night with lights on) and dash warning light never came on.

                                I like the remote starters but the aftermarket ones can be problematic sometimes, mostly due to sloppy installation. Several came to me on the hook (wrecker) because they quit running or wouldn't start. All but one was due to poor installation. One had a bad module which I removed and rewired back to standard.
                                If I was physically able to put one on my van I would. I would also make it easy to bypass if a component failed.
                                all quite true! I don’t know how many times I had a customer probably report that they replaced a bad battery and then come back weeks later for me to fix the problem
                                69yo male T12 complete since 1995
                                NW NJ

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