SUDDEN DEATH (of battery)

gathermewool

Site Donor 2023
Joined
Jan 9, 2009
Messages
10,006
Location
New England
I’ve always had good luck with OEM batteries. They tend to last me a long time and give me some warning before dying. That is until today.

We were THIRTY MINUTES AWAY FROM HOME after nearly 17 straight hours of driving home from FL when the car would not start. We stopped for tacos in New Haven when it happened. I even started the car without any issue to quickly move the car while we were waiting for the tacos to be made. We were sitting for no more than five minutes before i tried to start it again. I went to start the car to get going and nothing but a click. My radar detector showed 9.6VDC.

Thank goodness I brought my NOCO jump pack! It took three times, but the car finally started right up and we were on our way!


Amplifying info:

2,500 miles of nearly all highway.

Lot of stops and starts while down in FL. Multiple stops and starts on the way up.

Radar detector showed 13.9-14.1VDC the whole trip.

After getting home and shutting off the engine, the battery reads a surface charge of 12.9VDC. So, not a shorts cell.

I‘m thinking something got disconnected while bumping and bouncing along NY’s greatest roads! Thoughts?
 
Joined
Jul 30, 2003
Messages
2,347
Location
GA
I'd first assume a loose terminal but batteries can crap out suddenly like that. I've had it happen too. Charge it slow and completely, let it sit unhooked for a few days and monitor voltage drop.
 

gathermewool

Site Donor 2023
Thread starter
Joined
Jan 9, 2009
Messages
10,006
Location
New England
I'd first assume a loose terminal but batteries can crap out suddenly like that. I've had it happen too. Charge it slow and completely, let it sit unhooked for a few days and monitor voltage drop.
Terminals were checked tight. Also clean and freshly sprayed with CRC protectant before the trip.

I forgot to mention that I’m going to replace the darned thing. Any suggestions? We recently joined Costco
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
49,511
Location
New Jersey
BTDT. Stoped for gas in Gary, IN, on my way to Chicago. Car worked perfect the whole way, turned off to fuel up, shut it down, and it wouldn’t start again. Shorted cell was the issue…
 

gathermewool

Site Donor 2023
Thread starter
Joined
Jan 9, 2009
Messages
10,006
Location
New England
BTDT. Stoped for gas in Gary, IN, on my way to Chicago. Car worked perfect the whole way, turned off to fuel up, shut it down, and it wouldn’t start again. Shorted cell was the issue…

That was my thought. I was sure I’d be contacting USAA roadside assistance when I saw the low voltage.

Can battery cells unshort themselves?
 

FZ1

Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
5,917
Location
Texas
Terminals were checked tight. Also clean and freshly sprayed with CRC protectant before the trip.

I forgot to mention that I’m going to replace the darned thing. Any suggestions? We recently joined Costco
Check out a WM with an auto bay. Got an Ever Start Maxx installed for $88. Size 24f. 725 cca. Hope this helps
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2004
Messages
3,320
Location
Chicago Area
BTDT. Stoped for gas in Gary, IN, on my way to Chicago. Car worked perfect the whole way, turned off to fuel up, shut it down, and it wouldn’t start again. Shorted cell was the issue…
Similar thing happened with the Dakota. Drove from Mom's place to my house, about a 90 minute, mostly highway drive, no problem. Went out the next morning and the battery was so dead that the door chime didn't even work.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2015
Messages
2,317
Location
missouri
That was my thought. I was sure I’d be contacting USAA roadside assistance when I saw the low voltage.

Can battery cells unshort themselves?
Yes, they can. And they they can short themselves again. I have taken out batteries, set them down hard on the ground a couple of times, but them back in a start right up. Just get a new one.

Rod
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2003
Messages
1,084
Location
Hedgesville, WV
I had a similar issue about 11 years ago. Company car drove to Walmart went in came out, totally dead. The car and battery were only 2 years old, an AC Delco.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
650
Location
key largo,fl
Those numbers would indicate that this battery has not been regularly maintained. We cycle all our cars and generators on a CTEK MUS multi-connect unit which exercises the battery. The SOH value goes up above 90 and RES MR drops below 5. If not, I replace the battery.
 

gathermewool

Site Donor 2023
Thread starter
Joined
Jan 9, 2009
Messages
10,006
Location
New England
Those numbers would indicate that this battery has not been regularly maintained. We cycle all our cars and generators on a CTEK MUS multi-connect unit which exercises the battery. The SOH value goes up above 90 and RES MR drops below 5. If not, I replace the battery.

It’s from a 2015 Legacy (OEM I think) that I’ve owned and maintained the past four years I’ve owned the car. Never drained. smart-charged every week or so. Can’t be much better maintained than that…

I have a desktop PSU I use to equalize every so often (very infrequently)
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
Messages
13,602
Location
Suburban Washington DC
6-7 year old battery owes you nothing. Keep the NOCO in the car and see how much longer it lasts while searching battery deals. It may last another 6 months and maybe it just got stressed from the constant driving. I'd go for another OEM Subaru battery and dealers often have coupons for under $100.
 
Top