Do I need a new battery?

Win

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Vehicle: 2009 Pontiac Torrent GXP aprox 66K miles Battery: OEM AC/Delco Group 47 7 yr warranty A couple of days ago, at the second house, the battery lacked sufficient power to start the car. I talked my wife through opening the battery box and getting a charger on the battery, and after less than an hour on a six amp charger, the car started and she drove it hone uneventfully. I asked her to keep the on board display on battery voltage and she told me it stayed at 14.7 - 14.8 volts the whole time. The vehicle reports this as "normal". When she got it home, I pulled the battery from the car. Clamps were tight, positive was clean and looked good, some blue oxidation product was present under the negative terminal, and in the connection to the post, but it didn't seem all that significant to me. The HF battery tester says it's good. It reports residual CCA at 487 amps (spec is 650). Internal resistance seemed high to me, 6.8 megohms IIRC. My fancy computerized Schumacher (sp?) charger doesn't like it all - won't charge it. That's not all that unusual in my experience. Car has seemed fine since the event. I've driven it a time or two. Battery sits at 14.7 when I drove it the morning after the event. Thoughts?
 
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I think its on the way out. Its 5 maybe 6 years old. What is the CCA reading after fully charging with a AC charger?
 
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What is your voltage after it sits overnight? 12.6 VDC or higher? I think I'd change it, not worth it if it dies in a snow (or hood-freezing shut) ice storm.
 
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I've had nearly dead batteries as you describe. A little time on a 6 amp charge and they get their act together to start. Oddly the charge current drops way off after ten minutes; a good battery would take many hours to get from "not cranking" to high-enough-resistance to refuse my dumb charger.
 
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If you're worried about getting stranded replace it. I had a less than one year old battery fail a couple of weeks ago. Tested okay but would not completely charge over night. Autozone tested it and replaced it under the warranty.
 
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I'm thinking the battery on my focus is on its way out. Voltage is 12.1, 12.0 lately. And it's been cranking slower now that it's cooling down.
 
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Yes, definitely replace it. It's on its way out. Even if it isn't, you can't really expect more than a couple more years out of it before it won't start the car again.
 
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Originally Posted By: Win
I asked her to keep the on board display on battery voltage and she told me it stayed at 14.7 - 14.8 volts the whole time. Battery sits at 14.7 when I drove it the morning after the event.
When the engine is running, the numbers you're seeing above are just the voltage that the alternator produces. It's not the battery's voltage. If you're worried at all about being stranded somewhere, get a new battery before winter hits. Sounds like this one is at least 5 years old. Maybe not the longest lasting battery I've seen, but whatever. If it's important for you (or your wife) to not have starting problems, just get a new one.
 
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Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: Win
I asked her to keep the on board display on battery voltage and she told me it stayed at 14.7 - 14.8 volts the whole time. Battery sits at 14.7 when I drove it the morning after the event.
When the engine is running, the numbers you're seeing above are just the voltage that the alternator produces. It's not the battery's voltage.
+1 With the car off, turn on the headlights for a minute and then watch the voltage, it will dip and if it doesn't rebound almost fully after the lights are turned off its another sign that the battery is weak.
 

JHZR2

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Open circuit voltage, preferably fully disconnected, after sitting overnight would be helpful. Ditto for the change in voltage over time. A parasitic draw test would also be smart. Could be a fluke thing like a convenience light staying on, or the battery could be done. You likely did the battery test without it fully charged (alternators don't fully charge batteries), so charge properly and test again. Impedance varies with state of charge.
 

Win

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I can't get a full charge on it at the house, at least not conveniently - my dumb charger is out at the warehouse of junk, and my fancy pants computerized charger won't do anything with it. I've got a 50 amp power supply that I can set to 14.4, but I really don't want to sit there watching an ammeter on it. I quizzed her about leaving a door open, and got a negative response, and I don't think there is anything else acting up on the car. I don't have the factory service manual for this car, but I'm assuming the alternator voltage is proportional to the charging current to the battery. I don't think it has nearly as sophisticated a system as the same engine in the G8, which charges on demand and shuts itself off when not needed. I'll check the unloaded and loaded static voltages this evening.
 
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If your wife uses this car and has the ability to get stranded why not replace it? It is not like this is a new battery.....I think you have gotten a good life out of this battery. I have a 2012 vehicle that I bought March 2012 and had to replace the battery in March of 2014.
 

Win

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Are Advance Auto batteries any good? I see they have their $50 off online promotion going on right now.
 
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Originally Posted By: Win
Are Advance Auto batteries any good? I see they have their $50 off online promotion going on right now.
Yes it will be mostly all i buy if they keep offering 40 and 50 off codes online. The Autocraft Silver and Gold batteries are JCI at all AAP as far as i know. The Silver is more than enough but i get the gold for the 3 year warranty. 770 CCA in my Buick for <$90 wasn't a bad deal.
 

Win

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Looks like the Advance battery comes up way short on the specs in Group 47. The AC/Delco is 650 CCA, the Advance is only 520, so the advance is no bargain, even at $50 off. The Wal Mart EverMaxx looks to be 650 CCA, and is less than the Advance, even with the coupon. I may go to a few mom and pop stores this evening to see if I can find another Delco, or give the dealer a ring tomorrow.
 
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I bet if you test a new AC Delco group 47 against the autocraft they won't be as far apart as advertised. New batteries always test way lower than advertised on the midtronics testers, especially right after being put in service. Test your current battery and it's surely putting out less than 500.
 

Win

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Well, after sitting for a couple of hours, it read 12.8 volts with just the standby loads on it, and 12.15 volts with the ignition / headlamps powered up, on a good quality multimeter. The Schumacher said the car's onboard charging system had brought it up to 95% SOC, and it was able to take it to 100%. At 100% SOC, the HF tester read 13.9 volts, 542 CCA, and 5.49 megohms internal impedance. So, dunno. I suppose given its age and the glitch, I should replace it and be done with it for peace of mind, but it seems to still measure about as good as new. I don't have a carbon pile tester handy, and don't care much for them, in any event.
 
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Originally Posted By: Win
The Wal Mart EverMaxx looks to be 650 CCA, and is less than the Advance, even with the coupon.
The EverStart Maxx is made by Johnson Controls and also comes with a decent warranty - 5 years total (3 year replacement + 2 years pro-rated). I bought one last month for my car.
 

Win

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If I replace it, it's likely going to be the EverStart or another Delco. I wish I could find a Varta. The '04 Jag is still on the same Varta it was delivered with, and still tests as new, for what that's worth. I think Varta is also JCI now, though, so they may live on in name only.
 
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