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Old 03-21-2013, 12:31 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL (Roll Tide!)
Posts: 96
Battery Help

I have a 1992 Tioga on a Ford E350. Recently the cranking battery has been dying over night and I have to use the house batteries to crank. I took it to a rv repair shop for a propane tank inspection and asked them to check the batteries while I was there. They said the truck battery checked at 66%(?). I took it to my "trusted" mechanic to repair some wires where an animal (rat?) had chewed them. I asked him to check for a battery drain. He said the battery was okay and did not need replacing and the alternator checked out okay, but that I definitely had a drain. He kept it for two weeks and supposedly found the drain (some sort of switch that controlled the dinger when keys or lights are left on when the door is opened). He called Ford for a replacement and they told him how to wire it to bypass it since a replacement would cost $350). So, according to him this fixed the battery drain. I broght it home, however, the next morning the battery was dead again. I called him and he said he didn't know what it could be as I did not have a battery drain when I picked it up.

So, my question to all you smart people....should I just go ahead and get a new battery just to make sure it's not the battery (and what does it mean 66%?).

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Old 03-21-2013, 12:41 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Bremerton, WA
Posts: 1,029
Firsts off I would replace the starter battery. If it has drained that far it won't hold a decent charge. I would then place a meter on it the following day to check the volts. If you have a drain then you have a problem with the egnition.

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Old 03-21-2013, 09:07 PM   #3
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A new battery for $100 won't even cover 1 hour of labor charge and you won't have the nagging question. I have told many customers over 40 years that were complaining of battery drains they simply needed a new battery. On many occassions after a couple of quick tests I make them an offer. Replace the battery and bring me the receipt if that does not resolve the issue. Never had to buy a battery yet. Just a couple of tests and dump the sick battery. In any case starting with a known good battery will remove any doubt. I would love to know how much current was being drawn when your mechanic tested it.

Batteries are like fuel filters, change them now or later but you will change them. We don't buy batteries, we just rent them. Most batteries are murdered anyway and not many die a natural death. You can see tires checking and would not run those on the highway. You can't see a battery falling apart inside. After two years in an rv or boat you are on borrowed time. Yeah yeah, I know a dozen people are going to tell me how they got 7 years out of theirs. I bet they take care of them too. Just telling you from 40 years of working on vehicles that have two way radios in them you are living on rented time.
Myron & Deborah
08 HR Endeavor 40 SKQ
2012 Ford Edge Limited FWD 3.5L
Aluminator tow bar, Demco base plate
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:29 AM   #4
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Location: Petersburg, Michigan
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Easiest way to tell if it's a drain on the battery or a bad battery is to just unhook the battery for a day or 2 then check the voltage. If the battery dies while just sitting there unhooked then it's obviously bad.
Bob Kulhanek 1995, 29 ft, Coachman Leprechaun, Ford E-350, EFI 460, 4.0 Onan Gen

If it won't budge, hit it harder or get a bigger hammer.
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