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Old 05-03-2005, 16:01   #1 (permalink)
D.D. Palmer
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Battery Problem

A good friend of mine has a year 2000 VOLVO S70 AWD with a mere 35,000 miles
on it. I am posting this here because the VOLVO board is not very active and
the problem is probably something you folks know about.

My friends live here (Pittsburgh) but spent 6 months in Florida, hence the
low miles. While they are in Fla each year the Volvo sits in their garage
here. My job is to start it and drive it occasionally. In 2003, the battery
died in spite of me driving it. I put in a DIEHARD for them. Again two weeks
ago, I went to start the car to prepare for their return and, in spite of
starting and driving all winter thru some bitter cold spells, the battery
was dead and would not recharge after a jump and drive.

Is there something in that car that drains the battery when it sits for,
say, 2 weeks without being driven? And is there any reason NOT to disconnect
the positive terminal next winter and perhaps move the battery into the
warmer house? I also hear there is a "switch" that accomplishes the same
thing as disconnecting the terminal. What about a trickle charger? Any
danger of leaving one of those on with no one home and maybe for 2 weeks
without inspection? Any ideas/thoughts on this relatively minor but annoying
problem would be appreciated.



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Old 05-03-2005, 20:01   #2 (permalink)
Searcher1
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Re: Battery Problem

First of all there are many things in the vehicle that drain the battery.
Although, not much of a drain it is a drain nonetheless. The clock, the
computer, the switch that allows the interior lights to come on when the
door handle is operated. Many things contribute to this "dead battery". When
you are driving the vehicle, how long and far do you drive it? Around the
block long enough to warm it up. In order for the altenator to thoroughly
charge the battery you really need to drive it at high speed (bout 55-60)
for a period of time. Just because the engine is spinning doesn't mean the
alt. is charging the battery. The battery is only to start the car, maintain
clocks and computer settings etc.. Take back the Diehard have them replace
the battery. I suppose that you are using the international group 43? LOSE
it, tell them you want the Gold it's cheaper (bout 20 bucks , I think) the
Gold that fits and the terminal on the correct sides.12 volts are 12 volts
no matter what the battery l;ooks like. I only recommend the Gold because I
like it! I also like the OPTIMA, but they are pricey bout 130.00. I have
used the two above batteries for many years and have not had any problems. I
work for an airline so my FORD sits for weeks at a time. The GPS, clock,
computer and door light thingy is always active, as well as the alarm, I
have yet to cvome back to a dead battery. Granted, the longest shes sat was
two weeks, but then I drive the 10 min to the house and she sits there too,
then its back to the airport to do it all over again.

Hope this helps.


Searcher1`


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Old 05-04-2005, 12:01   #3 (permalink)
Bill Jeffrey
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Re: Battery Problem

D.D. Palmer wrote:

> A good friend of mine has a year 2000 VOLVO S70 AWD with a mere 35,000 miles
> on it. I am posting this here because the VOLVO board is not very active and
> the problem is probably something you folks know about.
>
> My friends live here (Pittsburgh) but spent 6 months in Florida, hence the
> low miles. While they are in Fla each year the Volvo sits in their garage
> here. My job is to start it and drive it occasionally. In 2003, the battery
> died in spite of me driving it. I put in a DIEHARD for them. Again two weeks
> ago, I went to start the car to prepare for their return and, in spite of
> starting and driving all winter thru some bitter cold spells, the battery
> was dead and would not recharge after a jump and drive.
>
> Is there something in that car that drains the battery when it sits for,
> say, 2 weeks without being driven? And is there any reason NOT to disconnect
> the positive terminal next winter and perhaps move the battery into the
> warmer house? I also hear there is a "switch" that accomplishes the same
> thing as disconnecting the terminal. What about a trickle charger? Any
> danger of leaving one of those on with no one home and maybe for 2 weeks
> without inspection? Any ideas/thoughts on this relatively minor but annoying
> problem would be appreciated.


1. Yes, disconnect the battery to disconnect the parasitic (phantom)
loads. Just pop off one of the cables. Actually it is safer to muck
with the negative cable, but electrically they are equivalent.
2. If you leave it connected, it shouldn't discharge to flat-out dead
in two weeks. Either it isn't being charged, or there is an extra load
that you are not aware of. Is the glove box light on? Trunk light?
Under-hood light? Disconnecting a cable would, of course, take care of
any of these.
3. No, do not take the battery into a warmer place. A cold battery's
self-discharge rate is very small, but it increases at warmer
temperature. If you remove the battery from the vehicle, just set it on
the floor in the cold garage. The old wive's tale about not setting a
battery on concrete is just that - an old wive's tale.
4. I have never heard of an OEM disconnect switch. You can add an
aftermarket switch (a great big affair, since the current it must handle
is large), but why?
5. Take a look at http://www.batteryfaq.org/carfaq13.htm for a lot of
information relating to your questions.

FWIW, I have a '98 Ford Ranger that still has the OEM battery. Every
winter, I leave the Ranger in my unheated garage in Maine for 6 months,
while I escape the cold. Before I go, I clean the battery terminals,
make sure the battery is fully charged (I drive the Ranger daily so this
happens automatically), and disconnect the negative battery cable. When
I get back to Maine in the spring, I simply reconnect the cable. The
Ranger has never failed to start right up, with no recharging, jumping,
or assists of any kind.

Bill

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Old 05-05-2005, 11:01   #4 (permalink)
Ulysses
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Re: Battery Problem


"D.D. Palmer" <ddpalmer@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:5sWdnVtc2-W6aerfRVn-sw@comcast.com...
.. What about a trickle charger? Any
> danger of leaving one of those on with no one home and maybe for 2 weeks
> without inspection? Any ideas/thoughts on this relatively minor but

annoying
> problem would be appreciated.
>


I had a float charger connected to a travel trailer battery and after about
4 weeks the water level was way too low. The instructions said "connect it
and forget about it." I suggest that if you use one check the battery level
frequently at first.


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Old 05-06-2005, 11:01   #5 (permalink)
Bill Jeffrey
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Re: Battery Problem

Cheap trickle chargers are a hoax. They cram a given amount of current
into your battery, whether it needs it or not - and if it doesn't need
it, it will boil the electrolyte (as Ulsses noted), sulfate the battery,
and eventually warp the plates.

If this is only two weeks, you are going to WAY too much trouble. Just
disconnect the battery (to remove any phantom loads) and leave it alone.

BTW, have you ever left a car unused for two weeks? Did anything bad or
catastrophic happen? Of course not. So what's the paranoia here?

Bill
==============

Ulysses wrote:

> "D.D. Palmer" <ddpalmer@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:5sWdnVtc2-W6aerfRVn-sw@comcast.com...
> . What about a trickle charger? Any
>
>>danger of leaving one of those on with no one home and maybe for 2 weeks
>>without inspection? Any ideas/thoughts on this relatively minor but

>
> annoying
>
>>problem would be appreciated.
>>

>
>
> I had a float charger connected to a travel trailer battery and after about
> 4 weeks the water level was way too low. The instructions said "connect it
> and forget about it." I suggest that if you use one check the battery level
> frequently at first.
>
>


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Old 05-07-2005, 15:01   #6 (permalink)
Alan Moorman@visi.com
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Re: Battery Problem

On Fri, 06 May 2005 10:29:47 -0700, Bill Jeffrey
<wjeffreyAT@alum.DOTmit.edu> wrote:

>Cheap trickle chargers are a hoax. They cram a given amount of current
>into your battery, whether it needs it or not - and if it doesn't need
>it, it will boil the electrolyte (as Ulsses noted), sulfate the battery,
> and eventually warp the plates.
>

I have a "battery maintainer" which I leave connected to my collector car
all winter. I has solved all the problems I used to have with the battery.

My usual approach had been to bring the battery inside the house for the
winter. Then, when I reinstalled in the Spring, I would connect a charger
to it until it indicated a full charge.

The car would never start the first time, and the battery would run down.
So, I would let it charge again, and that time it would start.

With the 'battery maintainer' left connected over the winter, the car
starts the first time in the Spring. No sweat!

This is not just a trickle charger, but an ultra-low level 'maintainer'
which really does its job!




Alan Moorman

The only reason some people get lost in thought
is because it's unfamiliar territory.

Paul Fix

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