Car battery stone cold dead (0.551VDC). UPDATE

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
2,015
In my experience, most places go by the date of the original purchase. Whether battery performance after discharging to 0V is covered by the warranty or not, you would have to check the fine print or see what they say. Most likely they'll put it on a battery tester machine and use that to decide if it's bad or not.
 

narkeleptk

Joined Mar 11, 2019
545
Walmart batteries never hold up that well for me. I'm with spook on this one. It will probably work for awhile but will be unreliable very soon.
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
2,015
Maybe I should take it to Walmart and have them check the battery. See what they say.
The couple of times I've taken batteries back for warranty replacement the tester machine charged it up then put a load on it, I think a few times. One battery was OK and was still hot from the testing when it was returned to me, the other was defunct and replaced under warranty.
 

bwilliams60

Joined Nov 18, 2012
1,419
SLA batteries do not like being deep discharged and doing so will greatly reduce the life of the battery. Average automotive batteries will last about 5 years and you are 2 and a half in if memory serves correct, and who knows how long it was on the shelf before that. So I would recommend that the battery be load tested with a carbon pile and assessed that way. If an EIS tester is used, it may pass but I wouldn't trust it now.
On another note, a battery should not be charged at 40 amps for any length of time. I suspect if you put a voltmeter on that charger, you would be in the 17-18 volt range and gassing will occur. Batteries should never be charged over 15.5v and a low amperage is always better to restore a charge. Good luck, I hope warranty gives you a new one
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
6,631
@bwilliams60 The battery never drew more than 20 amps. The charger is one of those bigger units that are also supposed to be able to help start a car. I said "HELP". The other setting is the 10 amp setting, which is where I charged it over night, on the 10 amp setting. Initially it was close to that but somewhere in the night it reduced the charge rate. Since I didn't have a data logger on it (don't have one) I can't tell you what the voltage went up to while charging. Only that in the morning when I went out there and checked it with my meter it said it was at 14.66 volts. A half hour after shutting off the charger the battery voltage dropped down to just over 13V. The car started right up without hesitation and the battery voltage went back up to just over 14V. So the alternator is working properly and the battery voltage didn't show any issues.

The car has been sitting for a while now, about 7 hours. [edit] Battery voltage is at 12.74V. Surprised me. I would have expected it to be down around 12.3 or 12.4. Still, like y'all are saying, take it and have it tested. Which I may do tomorrow.
 
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Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
6,631
Yeah, probably. Daughter did the same with her car. But her battery wouldn't come back at all. After overnight charging it only had a few volts. AND her battery was closer to 6 years old.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088
The car has been sitting for a while now, about 7 hours. [edit] Battery voltage is at 12.74V. Surprised me. I would have expected it to be down around 12.3 or 12.4. Still, like y'all are saying, take it and have it tested. Which I may do tomorrow.
Waiting for your edit.

As @nsaspook said, the battery is damaged, but maybe not destroyed if it holds a charge It's that time of year when I string my cheap orange cord with outlet boxes every 20 feet or so to connect each of my 6 "automotive" batteries to HF trickle chargers. My F150 in the house garage gets a separate charger.

Lead-acid batteries like to be kept charged.

Edit: A consumer battery that is 6 years old is not worth trying to save.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
9,073
Been reading and folowing the thread. This is another of those theoretical verses practical threads. Theoretically the battery is toast, practically it could last long past it's warranty date. Again just my experiance, I had a 1999 Chevy 3/4 ton truck, kept behind the barn and not driven much. One time the dome light switch shorted out(it was daytime and didn't notice the light was still on). Since the truck got very little use and I didn't go out back often it probably was like that for a couple of weeks. Battery was so dead even jumping the truck wouldn't work, all of the jump power went into the battery not allowing the starter to turn.

Battery was also so dead none of my "smart" chargers would work, until I jumped it to a running car to build up a small charge. Battery was a couple of years old at that point. One of my kids needed a truck so gave it to him, with the same battery that did come back to life. That was 3 years ago. He drives the truck every day and just this summer finally had to replace the battery.

So I guess I'm saying will a battery misused like this still work? I'd say yes if you drive everyday, will it hold a charge if you let it sit for weeks on end/ Probably not.
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
6,631
Waiting for your edit.
You QUOTED the edit. Please re-read. OR;
[edit] Battery voltage is at 12.74V. Surprised me. I would have expected it to be down around 12.3 or 12.4. Still, like y'all are saying, take it and have it tested. Which I may do tomorrow.
That being said - this morning, after a full day/night of not being used the battery resting voltage is 12.58V. And last night the temperature dropped into the high 30's (F).

In past routine maintenance checks, battery resting voltage (going from memory) has been around 12.4V (again from memory). So if the battery sulfated at all, the overnight charger on the 10 amp setting might have brought the voltage up into the 15V range, possibly even in the 16V range; which is something I wouldn't want to do. IF there was sulfating the charge may have cleared it. I've used this charger before and have seen such high voltages while monitoring the progress. But that was when the charger was set to 40A.

Just to reiterate, the battery charge current never exceeded 20A. However, I may still take the car to an auto shop and ask them to stress test the battery. However, like @shortbus said - it could still work for many years to come.

Since we've retired the car basically only goes to the grocery store to pick up items. That task is shared between the car and the truck. Earlier this year we made a 1K mile drive from home into Colorado and back just to get out of the house. Covid Cabin Fever - y'know. Both vehicles get driven. These days it's mostly short runs which are harder on the battery than long drives.
 

bwilliams60

Joined Nov 18, 2012
1,419
As I said earlier and many have reiterated, the only true test is to have the battery properly tested and checked for sulfation using an EIS tester or 3 minute charge test. It is true and I have seen it myself that a battery can start a car 10 years from date of purchase but to what cost? The starting is one aspect but the alternator pays the price for a sulfsted battery.. You also live in a much warmer climate than I do, lucky guy, and here a dead battery is not so easily forgiven. Took engineeres a while to figure out that what fits one does not fit all. Hey if it works, drive it and get the most bang for your buck. My experience is only base on a couple of thousand battery tests and a much colder climate.
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
28,568
l've run my car battery down several times by leaving the map light on, below the point where it would start the car.
After recharging each time with a 6A charger is seemed fine and lasted past the warranty period.

Having it completely discharged for a short period does not likely cause significant sulfation, but it can damage a cell if it gets forward biased during the discharge.
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
6,631
Live in the northern part of Utah. When first moved here in 2006 winters were cold. Dropping below zero (F). It hasn't done that for quite a while now. Used to get 10 inch snowfalls, now a big storm might drop 3 inches, sometimes a little more. Lived in Connecticut for about 20 years. Cold affects batteries. Extreme cold is HARD on batteries. So the cold I'm referring to is cold when compared to 100˚F (37.8˚C). And I am considering going to the auto shop for a stress test. For now there are a few things to be done around the house like bring in the plants that don't survive winters, flush the sprinkler lines with air and to close up the swamp cooler. IF the battery shows a problem I'll take it to Walmart and ask about the warranty. If they give me a new battery - great. If mine is pro-rated - that's good too. But to go there and say "My battery is bad" they will probably run a test and argue with me that it's good ENOUGH. Whatever "Enough" is.

This isn't a critical matter. And if the wife gets stuck, a quick call to AAA and they'll come out and either jump the car or install a new battery. If they jump it I'll buy a battery from Toyota. They're held to a much higher standard than Walmart.
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
6,631
Just returned from O'Reilly's Auto Parts Store where they do free electrical diagnostics on batteries, starters and charging systems. Got the green light on all three. According to O'Reilly my battery is "GOOD". So how do we define "Good"? Me? I'll accept that it's good enough. However, I will continue to monitor things.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
10,591
Just returned from O'Reilly's Auto Parts Store where they do free electrical diagnostics on batteries, starters and charging systems. Got the green light on all three. According to O'Reilly my battery is "GOOD". So how do we define "Good"? Me? I'll accept that it's good enough. However, I will continue to monitor things.
What you will discover is that "good" is defined as "Not proven bad", and so if it has not become bad yet then it must be good. Right???
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
6,631
@MisterBill2 - everything good must go bad sometime. Eventually it will fail. So will the alternator. So will the starter. So will the serpentine belt. So will the air conditioner. So will the timing belt. So will the engine and transmission. So will suspension, steering and brakes go bad. So maybe I should just buy a new car every day because it's not "Proven" bad?
 
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MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
10,591
I did not mean to inply THAT interpretation at all!! There are limits on testing and what limited tests can reveal. I have designed testing machines for five different employers over the years and so I am quite aware of the limitations.
What I meant was that presently your battery is able to deliver what is required. The battery life has probably been shortened a bit, but no telling, really. It is the uncertainty that is certain.
 
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