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12V battery dies


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22 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   fwroberts

fwroberts

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 06:04 AM

Hi all. Long time and many happy miles later...

 

My 2013 CMAX Energi fell out of the bumper to bumper warranty (49k miles) and yesterday after sitting idle for a couple days in very cold weather (Western MA) the 12V battery was dead.

 

Thanks to drdeisel1 I have the Schumacher SSC-1500A charger and since the car was in my driveway I could put the charger on and start the car.

 

But the battery showed 0% when I put the charger on so I'm thinking I need to replace the battery.

 

My questions are:

1. How to find an electrical short in the system? (that's probably what's draining the battery)

2. Suggestions for a replacement battery?(is there one better than what the factory installed)

3. Is it easy to replace the 12V battery?

 

Rick









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#2 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 07:42 AM

If the 12v battery is showing 0%, there is most likely a shorted cell rendering it completely inoperative.  The car only started because the schumacher was attached to the pos/neg cables completing the circuit.  Once the car is on, the 12v battery is not needed for the car to remain in operation.  The bad battery will, most likely, not take a charge.  Once removed, you can take it to an auto parts store that offers battery testing and perform a load test on it.  



#3 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 08:46 AM

The battery will need to be replaced.  IIRC, it's only a 36 month battery.   Cold winters take a toll on batteries.

I doubt very much that you have a draw, but it is possible.  Buy a good name brand battery.  AC Delco makes

good batteries. Deka and the Walmart brand works well too. Interstate is okay, but not a favorite of mine.



#4 OFFLINE   fwroberts

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 10:31 AM

Thanks Doug and DR.

 

The battery charged up all right, and showed 98% the next day...according to the Schumacher charger...so I guess it's not completely dead, but I didn't realize these were 3-year batteries so I'll probably replace it soon.

 

I guess I won't bother looking for a "draw".

 

I did a quick check online for ac delco batteries and they're not cheap! The ones I saw (couldn't find one for the cmax energi) were over $200, the dealer quoted me under $120 for a new battery. Are the dealer batteries really cheap?

 

Rick



#5 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 10:35 AM

Just for future knowledge, what do you have to take apart to get the 12v battery out?

 

-=>Raja.



#6 OFFLINE   fwroberts

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 06:54 AM

Hi Raja.

 

I don't know because I've never done it.

 

If anyone can tell me that it's easy I may try it myself. Otherwise I'll pay the dealer $50 to do it.

 

Rick



#7 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 08:47 AM

Thanks Doug and DR.

 

The battery charged up all right, and showed 98% the next day...according to the Schumacher charger...so I guess it's not completely dead, but I didn't realize these were 3-year batteries so I'll probably replace it soon.

 

I guess I won't bother looking for a "draw".

 

I did a quick check online for ac delco batteries and they're not cheap! The ones I saw (couldn't find one for the cmax energi) were over $200, the dealer quoted me under $120 for a new battery. Are the dealer batteries really cheap?

 

Rick

You're looking at the wrong place. Most Delco batteries are priced close to every other brand.

The big Marine batteries aren't cheap, but standard batteries are competitive. I wouldn't trust

the SOC reading on the charger. That's not a load test.  You'll need to have it properly tested.

 

The SOC you're seeing is all based on voltage at that time and it's been freshly charged and

gives no reserve capacity information.  It will get you by for a short period, but you are leaving

the door open to be stranded away from home. Make sure you have a jumper pack handy while

using the car before you get it replaced or you might find yourself waiting on a tow truck for hours.



#8 OFFLINE   fwroberts

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 03:53 PM

dr - on the Schumacher charger, do I choose Standard or AGM as the battery type?

 

Does anyone have a link for an inexpensive jumper pack? I assume it just plugs into the 12V outlet on the console.

 

Rick



#9 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 04:31 PM

The battery charged up all right, and showed 98% the next day...according to the Schumacher charger...

 

 

Ahh OK.  I mistakenly read your OP as zero volts not zero % (whatever that means on the charger).  Zero volts would mean a completely, totally dead battery that if by some miracle did accept a recharge would never be "right" again.

 

My wife accidentally left the car in accessory mode overnight during the first week of ownership.  Literally a minute or two on my ancient Sears 12v charger the next morning was enough to bring it back to life; no issues since.


Edited by fotomoto, 19 February 2016 - 05:31 PM.


#10 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 04:50 PM

dr - on the Schumacher charger, do I choose Standard or AGM as the battery type?

 

Does anyone have a link for an inexpensive jumper pack? I assume it just plugs into the 12V outlet on the console.

 

Rick

 

It's a standard lead acid battery and should be charged at the 15 amp rating. Let the charger handle it and run

until the green charged lamp is on.  Cheap micro start battery jump kits can be purchased from Amazon.

They also double as a phone charger, iPod charger and anything else you can think of when it comes to power use.

 

 

Here's a link http://www.amazon.co..._=sr_1_4&sr=8-4


Edited by drdiesel1, 19 February 2016 - 04:52 PM.


#11 OFFLINE   jdbob

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 05:21 PM

dr - on the Schumacher charger, do I choose Standard or AGM as the battery type?

 

I have the same charger. For the standard setting it will charge up 16V, for AGM 15.4V

 

It's my opinion that 16V is excessive so I use the AGM setting. I'm sure other will have a different opinion  :wink:



#12 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 06:27 PM

I have the same charger. For the standard setting it will charge up 16V, for AGM 15.4V

 

It's my opinion that 16V is excessive so I use the AGM setting. I'm sure other will have a different opinion  :wink:

 

If your battery IS NOT an AGM, you use the the standard setting and let the charger balance

the cells. This is why it's charging up to 16 volts.  It's NOT too high.


Edited by drdiesel1, 19 February 2016 - 06:28 PM.


#13 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 07:28 PM

^^^ Balance?  Lead acid batteries do not have cells with balance leads.  Balancing cells means draining some cells while others are being charged so that the voltage is the same between all cells.  In my opinion 16 volts would be high, usually charging lead acid batteries doesn't go much above 14.xx volt.  Here is a quick google search:

 

What is the maximum voltage for a 12 volt battery?
Although a battery is called a '12 volt' battery, its voltage varies from about 12.6 volts down to 10 volts when it is discharging and can rise to 15 or 16 volts during charging. It is very important, however, to limit the maximum battery voltage during charging otherwise the battery will be damaged. The battery voltage should not exceed 13.8 volts for long periods and 14.4 volts for short periods (8 hours maximum).
 
-=>Raja.

Edited by rbort, 19 February 2016 - 07:29 PM.


#14 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 08:13 PM

Ok, this 12v battery thing is getting a little overblown.  I ran some tests on my 12v battery to give you guys a baseline so you could check yours.  Basically the history of my battery is that once I forgot the parking lights on and killed it overnight, not all the way, but down to 8.5v where the car was "dead" when I opened the door to try to use it.  I charged it on my charger and watched the voltage rise from 8.5v up, the charger wasn't feeding in a lot of current and the interior lights started blinking (crazy stuff from the car due to low voltage) but the charger overcame that within a few minutes the voltage had risen to over 10.5v and then I got a text from the car asking me to plug it in due to the 12v battery being low.  I did, once it started charging I disconnected my triton charger and let the car's EVSE charge up the batteries.

 

Since then (this was 2 years ago), I have not charged the 12v battery externally, and just let the car's HVB or the EVSE charger take care of things for the 12v battery.  The 12v battery and the car are now 2.66 years old, my car was built in June it will be 3 then.  Having the 12v battery drop below 11.8v unloaded is bad for it (40% charge level), so 8.5v which is below 0% (10.5v) sure didn't help, but it didn't destroy the battery either.

 

My car batteries last me 10 years on average, and all batteries degrade over time when I say 10 years doesn't mean the battery in years 8 9 and 10 is the same capacity as in years 1 2 and 3.  Over time the battery will have less and less reserve power it can give out, but it doesn't mean its trash.  At some point its going to be low enough to not be acceptable for you, at which point you mark it as dead and get a new replacement.  Less reserve means you can run the accessories for less time or leave the lights on for less and less time before the battery can't start the car any more.  In the case of the Cmax, it doesn't need to crank the engine only close the contacts for the HVB to start the car, hence the load on it is alot less and hence the battery is actually smaller than regular ICE cars that need CCA to start the engine.

 

In any case, I ran this test on my battery so you guys can compare.  Note that I had not charged the battery externally, and did not charge the battery before the test.  I just drove the car tonight 6 miles to the restaurant and 6 miles back, and when I got home I rolled down the window and popped the hood open.  Test as follows:

 

First I got a voltmeter and hooked it up the battery + terminal under the hood and to a body part (the big aluminum plate to the left of the +  terminal) for the negative.  Initial voltage readings were 12.65v.

 

I then turned on the parking lights by reaching through the open window (without opening the door).  Here is a chart:

 

0 minutes lights off, voltage showing 12.65v.

5 minutes parking lights on (headlights don't work with power off), 12.10v

10 minutes, 12.01v

15 minutes, 11.89v

20 minutes, 11.74v

25 minutes, 11.70v

30 minutes, 11.68v

35 minutes, 11.76v (not sure why this happened, but looks like something in the car that was initially taking power shut down).

40 minutes, 11.75v

45 minutes, 11.74v (voltage pretty stable now)

50 minutes, 11.64v (I made the mistake to log into MFM to check my trip driving score while online, realized this right away ran down to the garage and found the voltage drop due to this (actually saw it drop from 11.72 to 11.55v).  While in the garage I heard a click and some noise from under the hood.  Not sure what it was but something taking power then it shut off.  Then I saw the voltage quickly rise back up to 11.63v.

55 minutes, 11.63v

60 minutes, 11.62v

 

I figured enough so I shut the lights off.  Within a few seconds from shutting the lights off, the voltage bounced back to 11.79v.  

5 minutes after lights off, 12.15v

10 minutes after lights off, 12.18v.

25 minutes (last update I'll do now) after lights off, 12.22v.  Seems like this is around where its going to stabilize.

 

Anyway, the moral of the story is that don't let people scare you into needing new 12v batteries left and right.  Try this test on your battery and just watch it to make sure the battery doesn't die on you (don't forget the lights on in other words) and if your battery can last like mine or perform similar to it then your battery is plenty good enough have no worries you're not going to get stranded.

 

Hope this helps,

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 19 February 2016 - 08:18 PM.


#15 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 10:01 AM

Yeah and you know everything, RIGHT ?  Why would the manufacture have the charger setup to charge

up to 16 volts ? A lead acid battery has 6 individual cells, just in case you didn't know that. 2x6=12.

 

Best to leave charging a simple 12 volt battery to the battery engineers and keep your theories out of it.



#16 OFFLINE   fwroberts

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 01:07 PM

 then I got a text from the car asking me to plug it in due to the 12v battery being low.  I did, once it started charging I disconnected my triton charger and let the car's EVSE charge up the batteries.

 

Since then (this was 2 years ago), I have not charged the 12v battery externally, and just let the car's HVB or the EVSE charger take care of things for the 12v battery. 

 

I was under the impression that charging the car through the EVSE charging port did not also charge the 12v battery.

 

I think a couple years ago drdeisel1 posted something to that effect and that's when I bought the Schumacher battery charger.

 

I charge my car every night, and in fact the car was plugged in the morning the 12v battery was dead, but still the 12v battery was dead in the morning.

 

Rick



#17 OFFLINE   jdbob

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 02:58 PM

The 12V battery is charged when the EVSE is actually charging the car. Once the charging is done it won't turn back on. If there is something drawing power in the car (like the TCU was in mine) then you can still end up with a dead 12V battery even if plugged in.

 

I use the Schumacher charger a few times per year primarily to let it run it's desulphating cycle, which I doubt the car's chargers will do.



#18 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 03:07 PM

The EVSE will start charging the 12v battery as soon as you plug the car in.  Once the HVB is full it will stop charging, but when you turn the car on to drive away the HVB will start charging the 12v battery.

 

You don't need an external charger to charge the 12v battery.  Use it if you wish to charge the 12v battery because diesel said so but its not required nor in my opinion is going to make much of a positive difference in battery life.  In fact if you're charging the battery with 16v, it may be hurtful to battery life, see quote above from an internet search.

 

If your 12v battery is dead every other morning, then you got some sort of issue going on.  You should start by checking the voltage with a voltmeter under the hood, you can learn alot by just observing what is going on.

 

Do you charge the car with the Schumacher battery charger every night or the EVSE you mean?

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 20 February 2016 - 03:22 PM.


#19 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 10:50 PM

The EVSE will start charging the 12v battery as soon as you plug the car in.  Once the HVB is full it will stop charging, but when you turn the car on to drive away the HVB will start charging the 12v battery.

 

You don't need an external charger to charge the 12v battery.  Use it if you wish to charge the 12v battery because diesel said so but its not required nor in my opinion is going to make much of a positive difference in battery life.  In fact if you're charging the battery with 16v, it may be hurtful to battery life, see quote above from an internet search.

 

If your 12v battery is dead every other morning, then you got some sort of issue going on.  You should start by checking the voltage with a voltmeter under the hood, you can learn alot by just observing what is going on.

 

Do you charge the car with the Schumacher battery charger every night or the EVSE you mean?

 

-=>Raja.

Thanks for allowing use to do as we please with our cars, rbort.  Like I said many times before "Just because you don't understand something

or aren't willing to learn more, isn't reason to condemn it.  Just keep you head in the sand and enjoy the limited knowledge.



#20 OFFLINE   fwroberts

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 10:12 AM

The 12V battery is charged when the EVSE is actually charging the car. Once the charging is done it won't turn back on. If there is something drawing power in the car (like the TCU was in mine) then you can still end up with a dead 12V battery even if plugged in.

 

I use the Schumacher charger a few times per year primarily to let it run it's desulphating cycle, which I doubt the car's chargers will do.

Thanks for clarifying about when the EVSE charges the 12v battery. I also was using the Schumacher charger a couple times a year for the same reason as you...I don't think (but don't know for sure) that the car will do a good microprocessor controlled charge of the 12v battery.

 

 

 

Do you charge the car with the Schumacher battery charger every night or the EVSE you mean?

 

 

No I don't use the Schumacher every night...just the EVSE.

 

Rick


Edited by fwroberts, 21 February 2016 - 10:12 AM.









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