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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 29 Oct 2011, 08:58 am
Doug
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Default car battery

My wife asked me a question and honestly I wasn't sure. I've got a
car battery that's about 3 years old and the car hasn't been used a
lot till recently. They say in Texas that most car batteries are good
3 to 4 years in age. So my question is does it matter or not matter
how the car was / is used as far as the life of the battery? Or to
put it another way... should I consider replacing it or leave it alone
for now?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 29 Oct 2011, 09:48 am
Travis Bickle
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Default Re: car battery

On 10/29/11 9:58 AM, Doug wrote:
> My wife asked me a question and honestly I wasn't sure. I've got a
> car battery that's about 3 years old and the car hasn't been used a
> lot till recently. They say in Texas that most car batteries are good
> 3 to 4 years in age. So my question is does it matter or not matter
> how the car was / is used as far as the life of the battery? Or to
> put it another way... should I consider replacing it or leave it alone
> for now?


Why guess-- test it. If it has removable caps, pick up a specific
gravity tester for a few bucks at the local auto supply store. The kind
with the floating balls are cheapest and accurate enough for a
keep/replace decision. The ones with the calibrated float are only a bit
more money and give a more precise reading if you're the kind of guy who
likes that.

Or get it load-tested. Most places will do that for free-- AutoZone, Pep
Boys, NAPA, etc. -- maybe even your dealer.

Make sure they use the right test load though. My OEM battery has a
sticker on it that says to test it around 200 (I forget the exact
number) but my dealer tested it at around 400-- which is the more common
test load-- and told me my battery was bad.

I doubted that and tested the specific gravity myself which was fine and
then took it to two different auto stores where it also tested fine.


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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 29 Oct 2011, 11:00 pm
Doug
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Default Re: car battery

On Sat, 29 Oct 2011 10:48:45 -0400, Travis Bickle <trav@taxi.net>
wrote:

>On 10/29/11 9:58 AM, Doug wrote:
>> My wife asked me a question and honestly I wasn't sure. I've got a
>> car battery that's about 3 years old and the car hasn't been used a
>> lot till recently. They say in Texas that most car batteries are good
>> 3 to 4 years in age. So my question is does it matter or not matter
>> how the car was / is used as far as the life of the battery? Or to
>> put it another way... should I consider replacing it or leave it alone
>> for now?

>
>Why guess-- test it. If it has removable caps, pick up a specific
>gravity tester for a few bucks at the local auto supply store. The kind
>with the floating balls are cheapest and accurate enough for a
>keep/replace decision. The ones with the calibrated float are only a bit
>more money and give a more precise reading if you're the kind of guy who
>likes that.
>
>Or get it load-tested. Most places will do that for free-- AutoZone, Pep
>Boys, NAPA, etc. -- maybe even your dealer.
>
>Make sure they use the right test load though. My OEM battery has a
>sticker on it that says to test it around 200 (I forget the exact
>number) but my dealer tested it at around 400-- which is the more common
>test load-- and told me my battery was bad.
>
>I doubted that and tested the specific gravity myself which was fine and
>then took it to two different auto stores where it also tested fine.
>



Basically I did test it and it was borderline. I opted to replace
it. Manager told me that the lack of use did degrade the life of the
battery too. Of course it's no exact science.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 30 Oct 2011, 11:23 am
GrumpyOne
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: car battery

Doug wrote:
> On Sat, 29 Oct 2011 10:48:45 -0400, Travis Bickle<trav@taxi.net>
> wrote:
>
>> On 10/29/11 9:58 AM, Doug wrote:
>>> My wife asked me a question and honestly I wasn't sure. I've got a
>>> car battery that's about 3 years old and the car hasn't been used a
>>> lot till recently. They say in Texas that most car batteries are good
>>> 3 to 4 years in age. So my question is does it matter or not matter
>>> how the car was / is used as far as the life of the battery? Or to
>>> put it another way... should I consider replacing it or leave it alone
>>> for now?

>>
>> Why guess-- test it. If it has removable caps, pick up a specific
>> gravity tester for a few bucks at the local auto supply store. The kind
>> with the floating balls are cheapest and accurate enough for a
>> keep/replace decision. The ones with the calibrated float are only a bit
>> more money and give a more precise reading if you're the kind of guy who
>> likes that.
>>
>> Or get it load-tested. Most places will do that for free-- AutoZone, Pep
>> Boys, NAPA, etc. -- maybe even your dealer.
>>
>> Make sure they use the right test load though. My OEM battery has a
>> sticker on it that says to test it around 200 (I forget the exact
>> number) but my dealer tested it at around 400-- which is the more common
>> test load-- and told me my battery was bad.
>>
>> I doubted that and tested the specific gravity myself which was fine and
>> then took it to two different auto stores where it also tested fine.
>>

>
>
> Basically I did test it and it was borderline. I opted to replace
> it. Manager told me that the lack of use did degrade the life of the
> battery too. Of course it's no exact science.



The battery in my ancient 1956 Studebaker is about eight years old and
is still good. This car gets very limited usage but is driven occasionally.

Conclusion, no single answer applies. Some batteries last longer than
others for whatever reasons..

JT


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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 30 Oct 2011, 02:28 pm
Tinkerer
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: car battery


"GrumpyOne" <Grumpy@nowherenot.net> wrote in message
news:j8jtm0$o0m$1@dont-email.me...
> Doug wrote:
>> On Sat, 29 Oct 2011 10:48:45 -0400, Travis Bickle<trav@taxi.net>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> On 10/29/11 9:58 AM, Doug wrote:
>>>> My wife asked me a question and honestly I wasn't sure. I've got a
>>>> car battery that's about 3 years old and the car hasn't been used a
>>>> lot till recently. They say in Texas that most car batteries are good
>>>> 3 to 4 years in age. So my question is does it matter or not matter
>>>> how the car was / is used as far as the life of the battery? Or to
>>>> put it another way... should I consider replacing it or leave it alone
>>>> for now?
>>>
>>> Why guess-- test it. If it has removable caps, pick up a specific
>>> gravity tester for a few bucks at the local auto supply store. The kind
>>> with the floating balls are cheapest and accurate enough for a
>>> keep/replace decision. The ones with the calibrated float are only a bit
>>> more money and give a more precise reading if you're the kind of guy who
>>> likes that.
>>>
>>> Or get it load-tested. Most places will do that for free-- AutoZone, Pep
>>> Boys, NAPA, etc. -- maybe even your dealer.
>>>
>>> Make sure they use the right test load though. My OEM battery has a
>>> sticker on it that says to test it around 200 (I forget the exact
>>> number) but my dealer tested it at around 400-- which is the more common
>>> test load-- and told me my battery was bad.
>>>
>>> I doubted that and tested the specific gravity myself which was fine and
>>> then took it to two different auto stores where it also tested fine.
>>>

>>
>>
>> Basically I did test it and it was borderline. I opted to replace
>> it. Manager told me that the lack of use did degrade the life of the
>> battery too. Of course it's no exact science.

>
>
> The battery in my ancient 1956 Studebaker is about eight years old and is
> still good. This car gets very limited usage but is driven occasionally.
>
> Conclusion, no single answer applies. Some batteries last longer than
> others for whatever reasons..
>


They can last very well. I replaced the original battery in my regularly
used 1999 Peugeot 406 diesel last year. I reckon 11 years is pretty good.
Even then it didn't fail but I was dubious about it getting through another
winter.
--
Tinkerer


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