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Old 10-12-2012, 09:02 PM   #1
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Four Bad Batteries, Could My Jeep Be the Cause?

Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum and hope to get some insight on my battery problem.

I bought a used 01 wrangler and it had an old EverStart battery installed. (I'm sure the original owner swapped out the battery prior to trading the car in). The EverStart crapped out in a month and I replaced it with a new Energizer one. Within a month it too died (bad cell) and I was given a replacement. The replacement lasted about 3 months and died. The store did a full test and said it was another bad cell. I got a refund on the Energizer and installed a new Duralast Gold battery. It lasted about 2 months and died the other day too. Again, I'm told its a bad cell and was given another replacement. The store tested it and it read at 4 amps. They said that low amperage only occurs when a cell goes bad. So now I am on my fourth "new" battery.

I can't believe I'm so unlucky to keep getting bad batteries. The Jeep starts fine for weeks, then completely dead. Since it's my weekend rig, it usually sits 4-5 days before use. During this whole fiasco, I tested my Jeep for a parasitic draw and everything checked out fine. I also had my alternator tested twice and it also passed.

Is it just my bad luck picking out the bad battery of the batch, or do you think there's something amiss with my Jeep? The battery is secured tightly in the tray so that rules out banging. We do have some washboard roads here that cause vibrations. Could such vibrations be breaking the cells? I do light off-roading and city driving. I also drive these same roads in my friend's Rodeo and CJ7 and he doesnt have any battery problems.

Boggled...

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Old 10-12-2012, 09:17 PM   #2
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heat and vibation is the leading cause of battery failure. Try an optima.

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Old 10-12-2012, 10:16 PM   #3
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heat and vibation is the leading cause of battery failure. Try an optima.
No don't try optima. Optima batteries used to be a great battery until Johnson Controls took them over and outsourced their batteries. The reason I know this is because I have a friend that works for JC and even though he can get a great deal on the Optimas, he refuses to buy one because of the poor quality. Now they dont last very long. I had one in a SidexSide a little while ago and it lost a cell within a few months. I had one in the Jeep (the PO had installed it) and it also left me stranded out in the middle of nowhere. My battery of choice is a Sears Diehard Platinum battery. I have two of those in two Jeeps and they haven't given any trouble.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:19 PM   #4
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I guess the way I look at it is there's all sorts of battery brands being used by Jeep owners and they seem to go years without problems. But every 2 or 3 months mine keeps taking a crap, first Energizer and now Duralast Gold.

Whats the odds? Just got me wondering if its something my Jeep is causing, and if it is, than the Optima or Diehard may fare no better? I cut 2 rubber mats and placed them on the battery tray and put the new battery on top. Hoping to cut down on vibration that way. Just seems odd to have to do this. Maybe I'm just really unlucky in picking out the bad battery. (this could make a good Seinfeld episode).

I do have a 5" lift, 35" tires with 5100 bilsteins. Don't know if all that would cause unusual amounts of vibration or bump under the hood. Feels smoother a ride than stock to me. Everytime I get into my Jeep I wonder...will it start? What a horrible feeling...
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:49 PM   #5
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new to you doesn't mean new on the shelf, check the manufacture date of the battery

the alternator might have passed, but it could be overcharging

I once went thru 2 diehard golds in my S10 in 3 months because of a bad starter solenoid

If all else fails, you could always go to a dual battery setup
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:55 PM   #6
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Sounds like your alt is overcharging or not regulating properly
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:16 AM   #7
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I guess I can have the store check for overcharging. They didnt clue me onto anything wrong when I had it last tested. But maybe they dont test for that? I've been buying the most recent dated ones on the shelf.
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:44 AM   #8
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Sounds like your alt is overcharging or not regulating properly
That's what I was thinking. Have you checked the voltage across the battery with the engine rev'ing a bit? I think 14.5 volts max or something around that is good.
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Old 10-13-2012, 05:53 PM   #9
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Sounds like your alt is overcharging or not regulating properly
Another vote for this. They can check for charging while its running with a volt meter, if they don't have one if you know anyone who does electrical work they should have one.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:31 PM   #10
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alternator passed again

I got the alternator re-tested and it passed again. They hooked it up while the jeep was off so they could watch the readings as I turned the engine. Then they had me start it and rev it, all lights and ac on. We left it hooked up for several minutes and it reads 14.2. Awhile back I had them load test it (thinking maybe I had a shorted diode) and it came back fine too.

Guy tells me maybe you have a parasitic drain. But I explain to him that even if I did, my battery would be weak, not have bad cells everytime. He said usually if its overcharging, you'll smell the acid and see seepage through the vents, but all my batteries have been clean. My amp gauge is always steady at 14 or just a hairs width above.

So I'm still stumped. Really bad luck with batteries or something else amiss?
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:14 PM   #11
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I'm out of ideas. The charging system seems good. Volt gauge looks good. Can't see any reason for cells to go out other than the batteries. There aren't that many battery makers, regardless of all the brand names, so maybe they had a bad run of group 34s.
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:43 PM   #12
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On my wife's 1998 Grand Cherokee, the computer regulates the voltage. There is no internal voltage regulator in the alternator (or on the alternator.) A few times, the battery was dead with a bad cell. When it was replaced, the alternator was found to be bad. It was a shorted diode with an intermittent break (if I remember correctly.) To be short, it was a pain in the _ss! But that is how it was. I know this doesn't help you, but it may give you an idea. Just to be safe, I would physically check my electric grounds, especially near the battery. Check your connection on the alternator and try to move them. It may be that simple.

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Old 10-14-2012, 06:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jester87 View Post
Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum and hope to get some insight on my battery problem.

I bought a used 01 wrangler and it had an old EverStart battery installed. (I'm sure the original owner swapped out the battery prior to trading the car in). The EverStart crapped out in a month and I replaced it with a new Energizer one. Within a month it too died (bad cell) and I was given a replacement. The replacement lasted about 3 months and died. The store did a full test and said it was another bad cell. I got a refund on the Energizer and installed a new Duralast Gold battery. It lasted about 2 months and died the other day too. Again, I'm told its a bad cell and was given another replacement. The store tested it and it read at 4 amps. They said that low amperage only occurs when a cell goes bad. So now I am on my fourth "new" battery.

I can't believe I'm so unlucky to keep getting bad batteries. The Jeep starts fine for weeks, then completely dead. Since it's my weekend rig, it usually sits 4-5 days before use. During this whole fiasco, I tested my Jeep for a parasitic draw and everything checked out fine. I also had my alternator tested twice and it also passed.

Is it just my bad luck picking out the bad battery of the batch, or do you think there's something amiss with my Jeep? The battery is secured tightly in the tray so that rules out banging. We do have some washboard roads here that cause vibrations. Could such vibrations be breaking the cells? I do light off-roading and city driving. I also drive these same roads in my friend's Rodeo and CJ7 and he doesnt have any battery problems.

Boggled...
I feel your pain. Had the same problem with the wife's Honda. Three batteries from the dealer and one I purchased out of frustration. Batteries just kept dying. Once in a while we would find all the windows rolled down while in the garage. Don't have to worry anymore though I fixed it...I traded the D--- thing in!
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:33 PM   #14
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I feel your pain. Had the same problem with the wife's Honda. Three batteries from the dealer and one I purchased out of frustration. Batteries just kept dying. Once in a while we would find all the windows rolled down while in the garage. Don't have to worry anymore though I fixed it...I traded the D--- thing in!
Lol, selling the jeep has come up but it just feels wrong. Feels like putting my child up for adoption because it has a birth defect! My buddy says, well theres no limit on the amount of batteries you can trade in under warranty. So basically I will be getting a new battery every 2-3 months for the next 3 years! doh
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:05 PM   #15
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It happens. Whether its several bad batteries [not impossible] or an overcharging alternator which doesn't show up one diagnostics, it happens.

It is a vehicle, not a slow child. There is nothing wrong with trading it in or selling it off if it proves to be a problem.

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