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Thread: Beaten-down battery?

  1. #1
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    Jun 2002
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    Central Illinois
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    Beaten-down battery?

    Hey all, I'm not too keen on car batteries, so I'm coming here for consulting... I suspect that my 5-year old batt is dying, so I took a voltmeter to it last night. With the car off, I measured around 10.5-11 volts (analog meter). Is that considered too low? Normal is 12, so I'm guessing that's a pretty significant difference. Then, upon starting the car, the voltage dipped down to about 8 while cranking, and then rose up to 14.4 within 5 seconds or so (this is the alternator's 14.4V charging it, right?). I've been having starting problems lately, where I turn the key, the engine starts up, but revs kinda higher than normal, and then dies. Even if I give it a little gas for a few seconds, it will usually still die when I take my foot off the gas (unless I gas it for like 10 seconds, then I think it gets enough alternator juice to run). But then, immediately after the failed start, I try it again, it always works fine. My theory is that the battery is dying, and the second successful start is just due to the alternator getting a little charge into it from the first start attempt. Am I on the right track? What do you guys think? Thankfully I will have a chance to get my electrical working properly before trying to install my mp3 system w/ an inverter. I would have probably gone nuts trying to get the inverter to stay on!

    - Aaron
    '98 Malibu LS
    MP3 system 80% complete
    hardware:
    *Alpine CDA-7832 w/ AiNET aux adapter
    *Tyan Tomcat i810ef / Celeron 566 / 128MB
    *WD 6.4GB
    *Seiko L2014 LCD
    *Numeric Keypad
    *Jeff's ATX Shutdown Controller
    software:
    *WinME w/ 98Lite install
    *WinAMP
    *Lorty's Plugin (registered)

  2. #2
    Retired Admin Aaron Cake's Avatar
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    Jan 2000
    Location
    London, Ontario, Canada
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    2,464
    Sounds like a dead battery to me...A good one should measure 13V or so. Not entirely sure if it's related to your starting problem though. Once the engine catches, the alternator basically takes over...Have you had your alternator tested as well?

    As for a battery, I recommend an Optima Red Top.
    Player: Pentium 166MMX, Amptron 598LMR MB w/onboard Sound, Video, LAN, 10.2 Gig Fujitsu Laptop HD, Arise 865 DC-DC Converter, Lexan Case, Custom Software w/Voice Interface, MS Access Based Playlists
    Car: 1986 Mazda RX-7 Turbo (highly modded), 1978 RX-7 Beater (Dead, parting out), 2001 Honda Insight
    "If one more body-kitted, cut-spring-lowered, farty-exhausted Civic revs on me at an intersection, I swear I'm going to get out of my car and cram their ridiculous double-decker aluminium wing firmly up their rump."

  3. #3
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Central Illinois
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    Yeah, I have not tested the alternator yet, gonna do that today... I plan on picking up a Red Top this afternoon. My local store carries them for about $109. Is that a decent price?

    - Aaron
    '98 Malibu LS
    MP3 system 80% complete
    hardware:
    *Alpine CDA-7832 w/ AiNET aux adapter
    *Tyan Tomcat i810ef / Celeron 566 / 128MB
    *WD 6.4GB
    *Seiko L2014 LCD
    *Numeric Keypad
    *Jeff's ATX Shutdown Controller
    software:
    *WinME w/ 98Lite install
    *WinAMP
    *Lorty's Plugin (registered)

  4. #4
    Retired Admin Aaron Cake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,464
    That's an awesome price.
    Player: Pentium 166MMX, Amptron 598LMR MB w/onboard Sound, Video, LAN, 10.2 Gig Fujitsu Laptop HD, Arise 865 DC-DC Converter, Lexan Case, Custom Software w/Voice Interface, MS Access Based Playlists
    Car: 1986 Mazda RX-7 Turbo (highly modded), 1978 RX-7 Beater (Dead, parting out), 2001 Honda Insight
    "If one more body-kitted, cut-spring-lowered, farty-exhausted Civic revs on me at an intersection, I swear I'm going to get out of my car and cram their ridiculous double-decker aluminium wing firmly up their rump."

  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate PoBoy's Avatar
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    Jun 2001
    Location
    St. Louis-MO
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    490
    Damn!! $110. Thats cheapest Ive ever seen em. I spent 175 on my red top and 150 in my yellow top.
    I'm a ghost...email me if you have any questions on my old setup

    My way outdated website: http://www.poboytech.net

    FYI: I sold my 96 4Runner and bought a 1985

  6. #6
    Newbie
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    Jun 2002
    Location
    Central Illinois
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    Yeah, I thought that was decent... It's at a Farm & Fleet (great prices on most anything). I did a quick web search, and most online prices for the red top were between $125-$145 or so. Guess I'll be grabbing that deal while it lasts (and while my stock battery keeps barely starting my POS Malibu ).

    - Aaron
    '98 Malibu LS
    MP3 system 80% complete
    hardware:
    *Alpine CDA-7832 w/ AiNET aux adapter
    *Tyan Tomcat i810ef / Celeron 566 / 128MB
    *WD 6.4GB
    *Seiko L2014 LCD
    *Numeric Keypad
    *Jeff's ATX Shutdown Controller
    software:
    *WinME w/ 98Lite install
    *WinAMP
    *Lorty's Plugin (registered)

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate PoBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    St. Louis-MO
    Posts
    490

    I-55??

    Its not off I-55 or 80 is it? Id like to check the place out. Im always looking for a place to stop on my way to St. Louis from Detroit.
    Thanks, PoBoy
    I'm a ghost...email me if you have any questions on my old setup

    My way outdated website: http://www.poboytech.net

    FYI: I sold my 96 4Runner and bought a 1985

  8. #8
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    19
    No, but it's off of I-74, very near I-57. So, from Detroit, you could take I-57 south from I-80 instead of going over to I-55. That would be about as fast as 80 to 55, if not faster... I drive 57 all the time to and from Chicago, and there's minimal construction right now (I think. You might want to check the IDOT website to be sure). You'd take 57 south, and then take 74 east (in Champaign) for just a couple miles to Cunningham ave. exit, and go north. Blain's Farm & Fleet is just a couple hundred yards north of I-74 on Cunningham ave. in Urbana, IL. Back on 74 west, to 57 south, to 70 west right into St. Louie. This place tends to have pretty good automotive parts prices...

    - Aaron
    '98 Malibu LS
    MP3 system 80% complete
    hardware:
    *Alpine CDA-7832 w/ AiNET aux adapter
    *Tyan Tomcat i810ef / Celeron 566 / 128MB
    *WD 6.4GB
    *Seiko L2014 LCD
    *Numeric Keypad
    *Jeff's ATX Shutdown Controller
    software:
    *WinME w/ 98Lite install
    *WinAMP
    *Lorty's Plugin (registered)

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