Before i pull the trigger on a new battery

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Today the Milan with 38,000 original miles gave me a pop up message on the display "check charging system" So off to Napa i went, The previous owner installed a Napa battery in spring of 2012. So we pop the hood and hook up the clips, He (Napa guy) says "batterys showing a little weak, lets check the alternator". OK, I turn over the car and he test's it, "Alternator is strong" Me: so its the battery ? Him : its a little weak. me: OK ?? replace it ?? Him: I would test it for current draw first Me: ?? multi meter ? Him: yep, you might have a slow draw, a light out somewhere , something.. Me: OK. So i left, the car starts and turns over perfect, it doesnt sound weak at all to my naked ear (battery power at startup) I dont have a light out, the cars basicaly mint.. everything works flawless.. So, a 2 year old Napa GOLD battery ? going bad ? should i just save the headache and throw a new one in it and forget about it, or dig deaper ? The cost of a new battery is not going to break me, however im not big on wasting money on a fresh battery if its not needed.. Track record on NAPA batterys ? good / bad ??? How sensitive are these Mercury's computers to trip the warning message ? The message on the dash comes on when the key is turned to the ON position but the car is not running. Ive read the message three times today, it seems its not a fluke and not going away, Its just a pop up message, like "door ajar" it does not stay on witht he car running. What say you ?
 
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Doesn't that message always come on when the engine is not running but the key is on? That's how it's been on all my cars. That's normal.
 
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Is it a NAPA battery made by Exide or Deka/East Penn? If it is the Exide, dump it now. I had a Exide-built NAPA battery only last 91 days in my truck.
 
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Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Doesn't that message always come on when the engine is not running but the key is on? That's how it's been on all my cars. That's normal.
I agree... it most likely is this or possibly a loose connection on the alternator, battery or a wire to alt. or ground wire to block/fender/frame, etc. Keep an eye on it for a bit and see if you can duplicate this concern before "pitching" that battery... that's what I would do... BurrWinder
 
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I'd put a charge on it first and then see how it tests. If it tests weak, I'd replace it before winter.
 
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Can you pull it off and have it charged up at home then taken to somewhere like advance auto which would give you an actual cranking amp rating? The best thing to do would be charge it up at home for sure. Doesn't a two year old battery have a warranty? If i was buying a battery it would be a autocraft gold from advance auto since they have three years of warranty and $40 off online coupon codes, code is TRT41 if you're interested. If Napa has octagon vent caps they are JCI just like most of the good batteries. Most good companies are JCI batteries, like interstate, Kirkland, duralast gold, autocraft silver and gold, Motorcraft, ac delco and Walmart too. OReilly has Deka batteries. The only ones I avoid are exide made batteries like Bosch and a few others. Napa should be just like O'Reilly made Deka batteries which are just as good as JCI.
 
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Originally Posted By: 901Memphis
Can you pull it off and have it charged up at home then taken to somewhere like advance auto which would give you an actual cranking amp rating? The best thing to do would be charge it up at home for sure. Doesn't a two year old battery have a warranty? If i was buying a battery it would be a autocraft gold from advance auto since they have three years of warranty and $40 off online coupon codes, code is TRT41 if you're interested. If Napa has octagon vent caps they are JCI just like most of the good batteries. Most good companies are JCI batteries, like interstate, Kirkland, duralast gold, autocraft silver and gold, Walmart too. OReilly has Deka batteries. The only ones I avoid are exide made batteries like Bosch and a few others.
Yes, the Exide batteries just don't seem to be made very well at all. They have more problems with bad cells, premature failure and poor connections internally - than most other batteries listed there - in my experience,also. BurrWinder
 

OtisBlkR1

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Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Doesn't that message always come on when the engine is not running but the key is on? That's how it's been on all my cars. That's normal.
Ive never seen this before and ive had the key turned on dozens of times for different things, and we've owned the car a year and a half now. None of the other cars in my sig do this.
 
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you put an avg of 4700 miles a year on the Milan. so the car sits a lot and/or is a very short trip driven car. When a battery sits and doesn't get used, it begins to sulfate. a short trip car won't sulfate as quickly, but the alternator won't be able to fully recharge the battery because it's used for short trips. So the alternator tests strong, we'll assume the starter is still good and not drawing to much more than it should. IMHO, there are 2 options for you. 1) Have the battery up and have it tested again. If it still shows weak, the battery is probably begun to sulfate and can't hold a full charge any longer. You can try and break the sulfation by putting it on a high amp charger for a couple hours at a time. 2) replace the battery, and put a battery tender on or just drive it more. It sounds like the napa guy didn't want to warranty the battery.
 
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Two years on a NAPA Gold should still have warranty coverage. There was 100% replacement warranty during the first 24 mos on their TOTL models. At a minimum you should get a very good pro rate. NAPA changed from Exide to East Penn around the time you bought yours, at least in the eastern half of the country. I would be very surprised to see an East Penn/Deka go that quickly. But an Exide going that fast doesn't surprise me at all. Ask your NAPA counter if their batts are now East Penn. Ask to see the packing box if they are unsure. If it shows a a label for Fitzpatrick Container from Allentown, PA, then it's an East Penn battery. If they are, that's exactly what I would replace it with, an East Penn branded NAPA Premium. Whatever you do, if the existing battery is weakening, don't put it off, as you don't want to overstress the alternator.
 

OtisBlkR1

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Originally Posted By: EricF
you put an avg of 4700 miles a year on the Milan. so the car sits a lot and/or is a very short trip driven car. When a battery sits and doesn't get used, it begins to sulfate. a short trip car won't sulfate as quickly, but the alternator won't be able to fully recharge the battery because it's used for short trips. So the alternator tests strong, we'll assume the starter is still good and not drawing to much more than it should. IMHO, there are 2 options for you. 1) Have the battery up and have it tested again. If it still shows weak, the battery is probably begun to sulfate and can't hold a full charge any longer. You can try and break the sulfation by putting it on a high amp charger for a couple hours at a time. 2) replace the battery, and put a battery tender on or just drive it more. It sounds like the napa guy didn't want to warranty the battery.
Thanks for your input ! we purchased the car 2 years ago from a older gentleman in a retirement home with 21,000 on it. He put the new battery in it 6 months before we purchased it. WE now have 38,000 on it and its my daily driver getting a average of 20 miles per day 10 miles each way to work.
 

OtisBlkR1

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I just got off the phone with Napa, they said they would pro-rate it. So, I think thats excatly what im going to do. I asked and they said they are not exide in this region, Napa stated that there's are Pen batteries and have been for a very long time.
 
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If youre having mystery battery issues, from my experience : you got two bad batteries in a row check your terminals....sounds basic but you would be surprised...also check your battery cables and ground terminal Your have a bad voltage regulator...it only has to be a little "off" to cause grief You have a starter starting to go....batteries will die a quick death as they power through a dying starter and at first it seems like a bad battery...but..its a starter near its end of life Im willing to bet its one of the above.
 

OtisBlkR1

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Originally Posted By: saginawmale50
If youre having mystery battery issues, from my experience : you got two bad batteries in a row check your terminals....sounds basic but you would be surprised...also check your battery cables and ground terminal Your have a bad voltage regulator...it only has to be a little "off" to cause grief You have a starter starting to go....batteries will die a quick death as they power through a dying starter and at first it seems like a bad battery...but..its a starter near its end of life Im willing to bet its one of the above.
I will know soon enough, will pro-rate and replace it tomorrow.
 
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Warranties ideally are only good for the original purchaser,the fact that they are willing to pro rate it for you is a plus right there.
 
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Funny how much bad luck i have had with Exide in the past and many others, but the longest last battery i have had made by exide is the current one in the Taurus purchased in May 2009. 5+ years! It even got down to around 10.5v one time this past winter when it was super cold and sat for over 4 weeks without being driven. Took it to autozone and put it on their high amp charge (My charger only goes up to 15 amps) and it's been fine ever since. My only GOOD experience with an Exide battery. I have pulled it off a couple of times and put it on a 2 or 10 amp charge depending on how low it was since it doesn't get used as much anymore. I only believe it's lasted so long due to the finally good alternator i got from Autozone after going through 3 bad ones each lasting less than a year. The terminals are corroding some on the battery though , possibly a slight overcharge when RPM's are high. (Battery light comes on and lights get bright when near redline) The electrolyte level in the battery is still almost full, as this exide has caps that you can remove with force.
 
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