Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Van battery

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Van battery

    Interstate website's FAQ sections says the following:

    • Conventional deep-cycle batteries do require regular watering to keep them working properly. Check water levels every 4-6 weeks.
    • Undercharging: This will cause the battery to be sulfated. Fully charge batteries after use.


    Who charges their battery after each use? Who checks the water level every month? I thought all batteries these days were maintenance free. Wrong. Mine was less than 1 year old and it died, probably because it sat idle in the hot summer without being charged.

    Lesson learned: if you want a truly maintenance free battery, it must be the AGM type. You don't have to add water and it can go much longer without a charge.

    Walmart Platinum AGM comes with a 5 year full replacement coverage (not prorated) and it includes installation. Even the Optima warranties aren't that good.

    #2
    I put a combo battery (half deep cycle/half regular) in my van due to long periods of no use and when used, it's mostly short trips.
    Batteries Plus has them, not cheap but plenty of CCA. Some auto parts stores have them too.

    Batteries Plus has some crap batteries and I guess Interstate does too these days. My neighbor uses Interstate in everything. Put 2 new ones in a power chair that go dead with just short use and dead in two days of no use (has no system drain). Not saying Interstate is a bad choice, but corporate bean counters have been known to kill quality, yet ride on quality history.

    AGM has nothing to do with deep cycle. Deep cycle has different lead chemistry that can withstand being discharged deep, then soon after recharged. Deep discharge will shorten the life of a standard auto batt.

    Yes, sulfates will build up >faster< on any battery with a low charge. Sulfates build up on plates then fall in the bottom of battery till it shorts out the plates. Kept charged, sulfate build up can be near none.

    Any vehicle can have an electrical problem that causes a drain when not used. Especially with added on aftermarket accessories (radio, amp, cruise, folding bed, and many more). Factory components can cause a drain too (replaced several factory radios due to this as well as many other components, long list). A >competent< mechanic can test for a drain, then chase it down by removing fuses (1 at a time) till drain disappears. Next, 1 at a time, unplug components on that fuse's circuit.

    I can't count the number of times cars were delivered to me, via a wrecker, only to find a dome light was left on. Custom vans with a dozen small interior lamps were the biggest victims of this.
    Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
    Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

    Comment


      #3
      I thought that AGM were inherently capable of a deeper discharge, and still be able to start a motor, then take a charge faster. If that's not the case, I'm still learning.

      Comment


        #4
        If your not driving the vehicle very often then I'd suggest using a battery tender. They're not expensive and I've had great results. I had a pickup with a chair lift that I used for years until I finally bought a van. I keep the pickup for four years as a backup in case I had any problems with the van. I probably only drove it 10 times in four years and it always started right up. I did start it every few weeks (if I remembered). The tender plug can be setup to stick out of the grill/fender somewhere so you don't have to pop open the hood to plug/unplug the tender.

        Comment


          #5
          I keep a Battery Tender on my car that may sit for weeks before being driven. My van usually gets driven several times a week. Usually but not always so that becomes problematic. If you take Interstate Battery’s recommendation literally, you should charge the battery after every use. This is even more necessary with a transfer seat and lift.

          An AGM battery also needs to be charged. But not as often and it should be more forgiving. Plus there’s no need to add water. There are other benefits too like vibration resistance and a much better warranty. For another $40 it’s a no-brainer.

          Comment


            #6
            I have an interstate Megatron (their top tier battery) in General Grant, my 87 560sel which gets little use. I've had it since 2004 and put a battery tender on it. I load-tested it last summer because it certainly is getting old! 250A/9.2V @30 seconds. I'm pretty amazed! (I owned/ran a foreign car shop 45 years so this IS impressive!)
            69yo male T12 complete since 1995
            NW NJ

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by August West View Post
              I keep a Battery Tender on my car that may sit for weeks before being driven. My van usually gets driven several times a week. Usually but not always so that becomes problematic. If you take Interstate Battery’s recommendation literally, you should charge the battery after every use. This is even more necessary with a transfer seat and lift.

              An AGM battery also needs to be charged. But not as often and it should be more forgiving. Plus there’s no need to add water. There are other benefits too like vibration resistance and a much better warranty. For another $40 it’s a no-brainer.
              I really don't understand their statement. They say your suppose to charge your battery after every time you drive your car. That's insane, no one does that. I also have a transfer seat and lift so I added a remote start so I always start the van before I go to get in and I leave the van running while I lower the ramp. I love the remote start, it gets over 100 degrees around here in the summer, so the sooner you can get that AC running the better.

              Comment


                #8
                I'm not sure i understand why you are using a deep cycle battery, unless you are talking about camping. My understanding is that it is designed to be discharged deeply, then recharged fully. It is not particularly suited for small discharges/charges. So, I would think if it is for your lift/ramp or as a backup (especially a starter backup) then a normal car battery would be a better fit. Also, your battery is getting charged every time you drive. So, the only use after that is to deploy the lift/ramp. That would be minor for a normal car battery.
                C-6/7 incomplete

                Comment


                  #9
                  Don't underestimate the load of opening a power door + lowering a lift + raising a lift + closing a power door + powering a transfer seat. While it may be no problem for a fully charged battery, it can make the difference between starting vs not starting the motor for a battery with a low charge. Every now and then my van may sit for a long time without being driven and then it may be driven only a few city miles. Under this condition, the alternator won't have the time or RPMs to restore much charge, if any. The solution is a Battery Tender, or a starter battery with a deep cycle ferature.

                  But you're right in that I don't need a deep cycle battery, just some deep cycle ability.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by August West View Post
                    Don't underestimate the load of opening a power door + lowering a lift + raising a lift + closing a power door + powering a transfer seat. While it may be no problem for a fully charged battery, it can make the difference between starting vs not starting the motor for a battery with a low charge. Every now and then my van may sit for a long time without being driven and then it may be driven only a few city miles. Under this condition, the alternator won't have the time or RPMs to restore much charge, if any. The solution is a Battery Tender, or a starter battery with a deep cycle ferature.

                    But you're right in that I don't need a deep cycle battery, just some deep cycle ability.
                    This is what I meant by a combo battery https://www.batteriesplus.com/produc...cca/sli34agmdp
                    There are other brands like it and strangely they look near identical.
                    Keep in mind there are few battery manufacturers (most foreign) but a lot of label makers.

                    To extend the life of an alternator and battery, a battery maintainer is recommended if vehicle sits for lengthy periods and/or is driven only short distances.
                    An alternator will charge your battery, however it's designed primarily to maintain battery with engine running.
                    Bad or weak batteries will shorten the life of a vehicles alternator. Factory engineers will say an alternator is not a battery charger, although most of us have had to us them as a charger after a jump start.
                    Last edited by Gearhead; 7 Oct 2019, 7:53 PM.
                    Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
                    Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      After you said that you have a combo battery (starter + deep cycle), I went onto Batteries Plus website to check it out. Then I realized that is the same type as what I just got but didn't realize it at the time.

                      By the way you said AGM has nothing to do with deep discharge. Yet, every deep discharge battery or combo starter/deep discharge that I have found is AGM.

                      In any case, i figured with a 5 year full replacement warranty, I shouldn't have any battery problems anytime soon. But yeah, I'm not assuming no charging required. LOL.
                      Last edited by August West; 7 Oct 2019, 10:01 PM.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by August West View Post
                        After you said that you have a combo battery (starter + deep cycle), I went onto Batteries Plus website to check it out. Then I realized that is the same type as what I just got but didn't realize it at the time.

                        By the way you said AGM has nothing to do with deep discharge. Yet, every deep discharge battery or combo starter/deep discharge that I have found is AGM.

                        In any case, i figured with a 5 year full replacement warranty, I shouldn't have any battery problems anytime soon.
                        Three themes here:
                        1- method of acid retention (3 types)
                        2- maintenance free or not
                        3- lead plate alloy/chemistry (2 types)
                        Three totally different things but can be configured/combined many ways.

                        AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) is becoming dominant over old tech wet acid batteries. They require less electrolyte to manufacture which I'm guessing cuts costs (materials & EPA) and seem to produce less hydrogen when charging = less danger for maker and end user.
                        AGM refers to the acid retention method (wet-it sloshes around, AGM-it's held in sponge like mats between plates, Gel-self explanatory).

                        In the 70's, maintenance free batteries hit the market, was the next step in batt technology back then. They were wet batteries but via internal baffles they condensed the liquid out of the gas before venting. So, today not all maintenance free batts are AGM or Gel unless it says it is. All AGM/Gel are maintenance free (limited to acid level only).

                        "Deep cycle" refers to the lead alloy composition which can withstand deep discharge/recharge with out shortening it's life as compared to a standard/non-deep cycle batt.
                        Standard/non-deep batts have lead alloy that's intended to stay full or near full charge all the time. Discharge/recharge deep will shorten it's life.

                        Deep cycle doesn't last as long in a >daily driver< as compared to a standard/non-deep batt.
                        Standard/non-deep, discharged/recharged deep won't live as long as a deep cycle would under the deep discharge scenario.

                        I'm 1 year into my combo battery. Haven't checked it to see how it's holding but will soon. Should put a maintainer on it anyway.

                        At the risk of sounding like a "negative Nancy", I'll touch on the warranty marketing. I hope it works out for you, however I remember the J C Penny lifetime warranty batteries.
                        Corporate research showed that 80% of people that bought a battery for their vehicle, sold that vehicle within the next 2 years. Warranty was non-transferrable. Most used car buyers weren't aware of that, they just saw the label and thought, "it has a lifetime battery"! Those high price batteries would last about 3 years at best. I replaced many that were shy of two years because vehicle was sold soon after new lifetime battery was installed. JC Penny made boat loads of $ on that scam. In those days, a good 5 year prorated battery could be bought for about 40% less $ and if taken care of, could get 5+ years out of it. This was way before AGM/Gel.

                        Sorry for the lengthy hijack.
                        Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
                        Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Don't be sorry. Thanks for the info!

                          I realize the marketing angle. I'm ok with it. I bought an Interstate battery from Costco thinking it would live long and prosper. Not. Lasted less than a year. At the same time, the other Interstate Costco battery died in my car. I bought them a few weeks apart. Maybe they had a bad batch. It was in the dead of summer when we had 100 degree days so maybe that had something to do with it. Regardless, I wasn't dealing with the installation again, so I looked for a shop that would install it. The specs are similar (maybe identical?) with Autozone, Batteries Plus, and Walmart. But Walmart had the best price and best warranty. I could have bought the 5 year prorated normal lead acid battery for about $40 less. I figured the 5 year full replacement AGM battery was worth it. If no other reason, it should be more forgiving if it goes a long time without being fully charged.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by August West View Post
                            Don't underestimate the load of opening a power door + lowering a lift + raising a lift + closing a power door + powering a transfer seat. While it may be no problem for a fully charged battery, it can make the difference between starting vs not starting the motor for a battery with a low charge. Every now and then my van may sit for a long time without being driven and then it may be driven only a few city miles. Under this condition, the alternator won't have the time or RPMs to restore much charge, if any. The solution is a Battery Tender, or a starter battery with a deep cycle ferature.

                            But you're right in that I don't need a deep cycle battery, just some deep cycle ability.
                            I still don't get it. What you describe does not deeply discharge a full battery. I can drive my wheelchair 15 miles at 8 mph. That is what I would describe as a deep discharge. The load you describe is heavy for a short period, much like starting a car, but not a deep discharge of a healthy battery. How many of those lift cycles could you run on a new battery before it died? I am guessing many, many times. Thus one cycle is not deeply discharging the battery. Deep cycle batteries do best when drained DEEPLY under lower loads for long periods without any charging, then get charged fully. Deep cycle batteries don't last as long and last even shorter when used for heavy loads over short times and then a recharge, and especially when used to start cars. I have always had regular starter batteries running my lift and they always last longer than their rating. 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. Even then, I'm not sure a deep cycle is appropriate, but rather some way to charge the battery. BTW-your scenario can be completely overcome by installing a remote start. Start your vehicle first, then run the equipment. The equipment will run off the alternator rather than the battery. I got a remote start mostly to get my AC cooling the van, but use it this way. It costs me under $100 installed, but that was a while ago. It actually was an alarm which I didn't need, but was the cheapest way to add the remote start.
                            Last edited by Kulea; 8 Oct 2019, 4:36 PM.
                            C-6/7 incomplete

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Deep cycle batteries are designed to withstand repeated deep discharge while still having reasonably long life, like electric wheelchairs, boat trolling motors, and RV low voltage lighting etc.
                              A good lead acid maintenance free battery is probably the best choice for vehicles including those with large consumption accessories like lifts.

                              Probably the simplest way to separate bullshit from facts, when comparing like batteries, which one is heaviest? Which battery has more lead? which is a major contributor to cost.This is QUITE variable
                              I was an Interstate dealer for 40 years. Their Megatrons are quite good batteries. When weight was the issue (who wants to put lead high in the LF of a racer?) I started weighing batteries of the same group. The results were informative. It's been years so I have nothing empirical now, but the cheap Bigbox batteries can be quite light!
                              Get the best "maintenance free" battery that fits your vehicle. Maybe after the second year, if the cell covers are removable, check the electrolyte level, then annually. This may lead to a couple more years of life.
                              Most OEM batteries fall half or three quarters of the range of what's available and typically last 5-6 years. If you have a conscionable service tech, have him load test every fall; it's much better to anticipate a battery failure. Me, my old 600A Sun load tester is one of the tools I kept when I sold the shop!
                              Last edited by pfcs49; 8 Oct 2019, 11:49 PM.
                              69yo male T12 complete since 1995
                              NW NJ

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X