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Old 07-16-2019, 08:52 AM #1
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Preparations for no-start

So my lady borrowed my truck for a lengthy trip to her sister's and came back a few days later. I took the truck to work the next morning and seemed like battery lost a bit of it's charge when I attempted to start it to go home. It made this loud fast clicking. My lady brought her car over and it started on the first jump. First thing I checked was lights that i may have left on but evverything was off. I drove it around town and checked battery when it was parked for a few hours. It read 12.7 volts. This morning it was at 12.3 volts and started right up.

She is leaving again for a week and taking the car so I am alone with the truck. I would like to be prepared on what to check or fix if it happens while she is gone since there is no other mode of transportation and I live a bit of a distance from town.

So what could have caused this random low battery no start?

Battery is an Interstate and has been flawless since I bought the truck in Jan of 2016. Not exactly sure how old it is but I can look it up in the maintenance docs.

It might just be the battery though but open for other possible issues.

Thanks

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Old 07-16-2019, 09:14 AM #2
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Voltage should be 12.7-12.9 per the FSM. Summer heat kills batteries, take it to Autozone or another parts store to get it tested for free.
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:47 AM #3
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Just get a new battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudeprived View Post
So my lady borrowed my truck ...
It made this loud fast clicking. ...This morning it was at 12.3 volts and started right up.

...bought the truck in Jan of 2016.

It might just be the battery though but open for other possible issues...
At at least 3.5 years old, more than likely the batt needs to be replaced.

Why not zip down to wallymart or your favorite place to buy a batt and have it stress tested? Takes all of 2 mins.

Not sure how hot it is in your area but in central texas no battery survives a 4th summer....

Luck and enjoy the Runner.
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:03 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgue467 View Post
At at least 3.5 years old, more than likely the batt needs to be replaced.

Why not zip down to wallymart or your favorite place to buy a batt and have it stress tested? Takes all of 2 mins.

Not sure how hot it is in your area but in central texas no battery survives a 4th summer....

Luck and enjoy the Runner.
What is involved in a stress test? Any way to duplicate the test at home? I got a multimeter.
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:51 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudeprived View Post
What is involved in a stress test? Any way to duplicate the test at home? I got a multimeter.
The more common term is "load test", and you can DIY duplicate it by watching voltage while attempting to start (with as much electrical load on as possible, so radio, seat heaters, fans on high, rear defroster, etc...) If it drops below 10vdc, it's done.

No reason to DIY it though, every auto-parts store will do it for free. Same test will check the alternator, which could be the reason the battery is having issues and if not identified, could cause your replacement battery to die and early death too.

FWIW, I've seen batteries that show 12.7vdc with no load and struggle with 6vdc with a small load. Some were older, a couple were within a few months old and one was new right out of the box (that was a PITA to troubleshoot, easy to assume a new battery is good and neglect testing it).
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:22 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudeprived View Post
So what could have caused this random low battery no start?
Invisible corrosion on the terminals and connectors at the battery does this. Clean both with wire brush. Auto parts stores sell a handy tool for this usually under $4. Maybe insert some of those anti-corrosion felt thingys underneath the clamps while you are at it.
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Old 07-17-2019, 05:47 AM #7
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Invisible corrosion on the terminals and connectors at the battery does this. Clean both with wire brush. Auto parts stores sell a handy tool for this usually under $4. Maybe insert some of those anti-corrosion felt thingys underneath the clamps while you are at it.
Did that not long ago when I made new terminals.


Looking like you guys might be right about the battery and heat. It starts in the morning but not when I leave work and it has been near 90 outside the past few days. I had a chance to go through the maintenance documents and turns out the battery was installed in 2010 so it is pretty darn old!

Time for a bunch of research on which battery to go with.
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:24 AM #8
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There's a major battery mfg right there in PA... East Penn ~ East Penn Manufacturing | World-class battery manufacturing facilities

It's been a long time since I've looked myself, but I seem to remember that they were consistently recommended. I wouldn't do anything costly like Lithium unless you plan on changing your alternator as well, they require different charging parameters.
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