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Old 03-02-2010, 11:01 AM
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Battery or .............

My battery gave up the ghost the other day. I could see it going down and the elec system was starting to weird stuff like slightly flickering light and the gauge dance. Any way I replaced the battery with a Yellow top, figured I'd treat the jeep to some candy. The new battery would not turn the engine over it was a little discharged 10.2 volts. So I charged it up and it fired up as it should. Later I went back out and turned the key just to check and it struggled to start. I checked voltage and it was down again.

My questions are:
1. What are the chances an Optima dated 2-10 would be bad?
2. Could this be a symptom of another problem? Alternator?

I am exchanging the battery later today.

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Old 03-02-2010, 11:08 AM   #2
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I'd exchange that optima for a Sears Diehard platinum.

How low was the voltage the second time you checked? It could be the alternator. Getting a battery with 10.2v sounds normal. Just sounds like you can't keep it pumped up. When the motor is running what does the battery read? You should be about 13-14v.

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Old 03-02-2010, 11:11 AM   #3
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New battery and check for a power drain.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:30 AM   #4
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I don't know what year you have but some alternators have an internal diode that only allows voltage to flow from the alternator to the battery. When that diode fails and you turn off the jeep, the voltage is allowed to travel in the reverse direction exciting your alternator and draining the battery. The best way to check is with a meter and check for amperage draw with the battery positive lead removed from the battery place one lead of the meter to the battery and the other to the positive lead. If you have a rading there is a draw on the battery. There are other components that can draw from the battery when not running. Often add on electronics have small draws to run internal clock etc.
Good Luck
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If out on a trip and you think something like a bad diode shut off the jeep and see if the pulley is magnetized and will hold a wrench or bolt that is a good sign the alternator is excited.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:41 AM
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I'd exchange that optima for a Sears Diehard platinum.

How low was the voltage the second time you checked? It could be the alternator. Getting a battery with 10.2v sounds normal. Just sounds like you can't keep it pumped up. When the motor is running what does the battery read? You should be about 13-14v.
Advice taken on the Die Hard deal. The charge voltage is 14 and steady with a fully charged battery. With a low charged battery it fluctuates rapidly between 14 and 14.5 which explains the flicker (or pulse) I see in the lights.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Manolito View Post
I don't know what year you have but some alternators have an internal diode that only allows voltage to flow from the alternator to the battery. When that diode fails and you turn off the jeep, the voltage is allowed to travel in the reverse direction exciting your alternator and draining the battery. The best way to check is with a meter and check for amperage draw with the battery positive lead removed from the battery place one lead of the meter to the battery and the other to the positive lead. If you have a rading there is a draw on the battery. There are other components that can draw from the battery when not running. Often add on electronics have small draws to run internal clock etc.
Good Luck
Bill

If out on a trip and you think something like a bad diode shut off the jeep and see if the pulley is magnetized and will hold a wrench or bolt that is a good sign the alternator is excited.
Thanks for posting this. I'm troubleshooting another car. this will be helpful
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:24 PM
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The best way to check is with a meter and check for amperage draw with the battery positive lead removed from the battery place one lead of the meter to the battery and the other to the positive lead. If you have a rading there is a draw on the battery.
I read 11.47V Wouldn't this just make sense because I am just completing the circuit with my meter?

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If out on a trip and you think something like a bad diode shut off the jeep and see if the pulley is magnetized and will hold a wrench or bolt that is a good sign the alternator is excited.
No magnetism present.
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:28 PM   #8
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I read 11.47V Wouldn't this just make sense because I am just completing the circuit with my meter?
Not if you do the test correctly.

Battery Drain Parasitic Draw Testing
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:50 PM   #9
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Not if you do the test correctly.

Battery Drain Parasitic Draw Testing
Excellent battery test instructions MR. C.
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:19 PM
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I did the test both with the web instructions above and with my clamp. I have the Fluke 87III True RMS meter similar to the one shown in the link given by Mr.C. Anyway both ways gave the same result 00.08a max (peak) 00.04a min draw. No draw at all to the alternator. 0.0a

So I am going to assume a bad brand new battery.
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Old 03-02-2010, 03:09 PM   #11
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Mr. C that article said it better than I did I suppose that is why I don't write for a living. thanks for the lilnk/
Bill
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Old 03-02-2010, 03:21 PM   #12
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So I am going to assume a bad brand new battery.
I wouldn't usually expect a brand new battery to be bad and would also be looking at other causes, but after hearing so many bad things about Optima and their quality recently, it seems like a pretty good possibility. Sear's Die Hard Platnium here . . . no problems yet.
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Old 03-02-2010, 03:39 PM   #13
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Mr C thanks for link. Printed it up. Gives me something to work from on my issue.... (car that won't keep a charge on brand new battery). personally I think its the battery...but I'm not certain.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:24 PM
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Thanks for all the replies guys! It was a bad battery. It had a mfg date of 2-10 to boot. A brand new Super Duper Die Hard is in there now. She kicked right over like it should and the pulsing is gone..........
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:28 PM   #15
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The Die Hard batteries are top quality. When the time comes that I need a new battery I will get the platinum!
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:02 AM   #16
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Thanks for all the replies guys! It was a bad battery. It had a mfg date of 2-10 to boot. A brand new Super Duper Die Hard is in there now. She kicked right over like it should and the pulsing is gone..........

Glad to hear you got this squared away. Another Optima bites the dust . . . sad to see a company that had such a good reputation go down the drain.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:35 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the replies guys! It was a bad battery. It had a mfg date of 2-10 to boot. A brand new Super Duper Die Hard is in there now. She kicked right over like it should and the pulsing is gone..........
Glad to read you got that problem licked Rob, it's amazing the wierd symptoms that a bad battery can give.

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