Battery cell's in automotive battery died overnight?

Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
1,360
Location
The Woods of NY
Im gonna run this scenario past you guys.

Battery as of 3 days ago was "Strong"- it turned the starter right over and the lights were bright even without car running. Scan tool last time I had it hooked up showed a solid 12.65 volts to computer and about 14.4 volts running.

I was giving the exterior a spay ceramic coating and a quick interior clean 1.5 hours tops - but I had key in acc position with radio playing a reasonable volume maybe 10. Something I have done many times before and sometimes much longer and the car always started without the slightest hint of a slow down..
This time though went to start the car to and it just clicked. interior LEDs were even dim. Got a jump and drove the car for 30 mins to charge it back up and you get the picture - I turned the car off and the battery acted like it did not accept a single volt of a charge.🤔 I then decided to fill up the battery acid with distilled water they were low but not dry then popped the battery on a 1.25A charger for 17 hours. The next morning charger read 100% I thought great problem solved but when I started the car the battery almost could not turn the engine over and even the radio and AVG mpg reset from lack of juice. Put it back on charger and it read about 10%. proceeded to leave it on charge for another 17 ish hours until this AM and currently reads at 70% 13.6 Volts.
IMG_1886.jpeg

But I have a couple questions.

By adding the distilled water is that affecting how long it takes to charge? Would you try and keep charging it or just replace it? I don't know how old it is but its a 700 CCA 850 peak battery. Alternator is putting out strong volts when running, I checked all grounds are solid wires and connectors all look great. If it makes any difference its a EXIDE Classic 124RC 🤔


🙏
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
29,212
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
I would say the battery is probably a goner, I had one a year old die after 4 days sitting while I did some repairs, no acc or doors open.
This one was beyond gone, the charge read 0.0V and 0.0A, the battery would not take a charge. The guy at Napa said he never saw one so dead and replaced it on the spot. Parasitic draw was/is 11mA, alternator diodes test fine. It happens, I figure an internal connection failed.
 
Last edited:

1 SX

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
1,360
Location
The Woods of NY
OK even the charger agrees with you guys. I just went out to check it and this is the error message on the screen. I reset it and it read 14.6 V and then it dropped to 14.2.
3BF104F8-0608-43CD-A115-026223B638E4.jpeg
AD99DF73-2422-4DD1-AE1B-426718036629.jpeg
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
18,971
Location
NE,Ohio
That charger should take ~~ 36+hours to charge a battery.

You probably finished the battery off with your discharge. ie killed it.
 
Joined
May 7, 2004
Messages
13,185
Location
Nokesville, VA
OK even the charger agrees with you guys. I just went out to check it and this is the error message on the screen. I reset it and it read 14.6 V and then it dropped to 14.2.

That charger may not be designed to fully recharge a dead car battery. I know the NOCO Genius 1 isn't, and after about 24 hours of charging it will error out (or so says the manual). That charger only puts out 1 amp and a car battery has at least a 50 amp hour capacity so you can see the problem...

You could try putting it on a bigger charger.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2022
Messages
1,404
It sounds like 1 cell shorted. Once this happens its done. Maybe when you added the distilled water you stirred up enough sediment to cause the short, maybe it was already there? Lead acid batteries are fickle and poorly made anymore.
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2020
Messages
279
Location
West KY
The key piece of information here is "I don't know how old it is." I've read comments on here from people who go 8 or 9 years on batteries but I've never been that lucky. I've had a couple OEM factory batteries make it 5- 6 years, but every replacement I've bought, including the prestigious Napa Legend, have quit shortly after 4 years. The long warranties just seem to be a gimmick to give you $10 off to buy a replacement of the same brand.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 12, 2012
Messages
7,334
Location
Caldwell Idaho
Call me old and dumb but there is nothing better than a load test. With luck a battery seems to last 3 to 5 year and with exception Some times longer. Though with my 2002 Ford Superduty with the diesel engine the I never had a battery last over 2.5 years. One of the batteries would quit and the other battery followed instantly , all the charging numbers at both batteries looked good voltage drops etc. Costcos warrant save lots of money over my ownership of the vehicles
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2007
Messages
2,182
Location
TX, USA
I agree with wpod. OP is doing voltage test not load test.
Need to do load test.

Although as stated above, we know that the battery is done.
Do a load test anyway.
 

1 SX

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
1,360
Location
The Woods of NY
So charger was reading 13.4 V 100% charged. I turned on just the parking lights battery dropped to 11.1V 10%.

I will be picking up a new battery today.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Messages
9,078
Location
MIchigan
Yea.... batteries can go bad just like that. The last battery I replaced started normal when I went to work one day but slowly started the motor when I went out to lunch. When I left work it barely started so I drove it AAP and got a new one.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
3,974
Location
pa
batteries die over time unless you get a short BUT not keeping a battery topped up will shorten its life, so if not driving a LOT a charger is in order!! i have 3 bikes a car + pickup all older + being retired they all get charged with my C-Tek 4.3 muse + they are ALL old to older!! my oldest bike a 13 has OE battery + car + trucks batterys replaced by others over 5 years ago + doing well, like your muscles use it or loose it!!!!
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
49,499
Location
New Jersey
Batteries can get a high impedance short inside that drags cells down. Fully cycling batteries can result in some material being “flaked” off of the plates that can then serve as a path.

What model battery tender is that in the photos?
 
Joined
May 7, 2004
Messages
13,185
Location
Nokesville, VA
Batteries can get a high impedance short inside that drags cells down. Fully cycling batteries can result in some material being “flaked” off of the plates that can then serve as a path.

Maybe giving the battery a good shake will get the material that flaked off the plates to settle in the bottom so it won't be shorting the plates anymore? They do leave room at the bottom of the battery for that stuff.
 

1 SX

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
1,360
Location
The Woods of NY
What model battery tender is that in the photos?
I can’t say that I would recommend it though. I have never been able to use the engine start mode 70a.. The 20a boost mode works for about three seconds and then it says the battery is boosted so the only thing that works realistically is the 1.25 amp charging.. The Wi-Fi is absolutely useless and the app is terrible and it doesn’t work or connect or anything like that. I feel like I paid too much for this piece of equipment to be very honest with you..
38E54694-B87D-4289-846F-843D2B4B8F23.jpeg
9D80DCBB-9FFD-40B1-BF76-1B27947D5DBB.jpeg
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2015
Messages
9,993
Location
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
I had something similar happen to the original battery in my 2018 Camry. (Almost 5 years old). I was keeping it on a Noco Genius 1 battery maintainer for about the last 8 months or so. After I drove it any distance, it would take a day or 2 in "Topping Off Mode", before it went to solid green. (Meaning 100% charged..... Noco say's this is normal).

Which is what it was showing when it died, and barely turned the vehicle over. I think keeping it on the Noco helped prolong it's life several months. But there was no way in hell that thing was "100% charged" when it died.

I question the percent of charging accuracy of these battery maintainers on older, sulphated batteries that are coming up on the end of their service life. Always trust your gut feeling. If you think your battery is about to die, chances are it is.
 
Top