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Thread: Battery for van

  1. #21
    Senior Member TomRL's Avatar
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    When I had a similar problem, it turned out the control module for the ramp etc was failing to consistently turn off when the van was off. Took a mechanic almost a week to isolate the source of the draw. Works fine after a new module was installed.
    Tom

    "Blessed are the pessimists, for they hath made backups." Exasperated 20:12

  2. #22
    Senior Member darty's Avatar
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    Exactly an alternator should only be putting out around 13 - 13.5 volts to run the vehicle and recharge the battery.


    Quote Originally Posted by nonoise View Post
    The regulator which is in the alternator is malfunctioning burning out the battery:
    http://www.carparts.com/classroom/charging.htm
    ^^(A)^^

  3. #23
    I wasn't able to get an appointment for today. I'm not sure when I will be able to get it in. We are expecting 30+ inches of snow tonight and tomorrow. All travel has been banned on the highways and roads after 9 pm tonight. Then more snow on Friday. We are in a state of emergency.

    I took the van out today. I had to get some lab work and other things done. It started right up. The ramp and door are not working. I had to pull the ramp down and push it back up manually. When I push the buttons the door opens half way, then nothing. I'm frustrated. All I can do for now is keep starting it periodically, until I am able to drive it to the garage

    I'm wondering if KLD may be right, maybe it is the ramp.

    I went into Walmart today to see if I could find a volt meter, but they didn't have any. While I was there another customer came up and asked if I needed help. I guess I looked confused...lol. I was. Anyway, he was very nice. He told me to go to Advanced auto Parts and they would check it for me free of charge. I couldn't get there today. I had already made several stops, and I was just too tired to keep pushing and pulling the ramp. There's not much I can do about it right now anyway, regardless of the reading. I have a procedure coming up on Tuesday, so I am going to do all I can to get it fixed before then. I just hope it isn't going to be too costly. Thank you everyone.

  4. #24
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    The auto parts stores that will check your charging will only check the voltage. Since you were told it's 18V, it would be a sensible thing to determine. 18.xV is SO far from normal(~14V) that any nitwit with a voltmeter ought to be able to get it right. An alternator that is producing 18V will fry/destroy a battery in fairly short order. If it isn't overcharging (i.e.: battery voltage at high idle/2000RPM is 13-14,5V) then look for another cause.

    I think KLD may have hit the jackpot. It would be very likely for such a device as your automatic ramp system to continue to draw current if it doesn't fully return to an end-point and trip it's limit switch; it is also likely that the current/power draw would be significant. I doubt the parts store would have the inductive ammeter required to do this measurement. Just FYI, the upper limit for acceptable parasitic draw (which is mainly for the memories of the various micro-computers, etc in a vehicle) is 40-50uA (.04A) after they go to sleep which may take as much as 15 minutes, (prior to sleeping, they may draw as much as 300uA/.3A-still not much. All your running lights on will be ~10A) A reasonably competent auto tech should have no problem checking for excessive parasitic drains, either with a clamp-on inductive meter, or by disconnecting your battery and inserting an ammeter into the circuit (you may loose radio and clock memories; if the radio has an anti-theft code, know what it is and how to recover the radio!) The elephant in the room is "competent"! I have run a repair shop 43 years and good help is so hard to find! (www.philscars.com)
    It's possible that there is something other than your equipment that is discharging your battery (glovebox light stays on, etc), but measuring parasitic current draw will determine if there is a problem.
    If the charging rate is OK, the battery is new, and the parasitic draw is reasonable, then we are moving into a category of problems known as "uncaused events"! (call a clergyman or a paranormalist)

  5. #25
    Just because a battery (or any part) is "new" doesn't necessarily mean it's good. I've experienced this many times with automotive repairs--defective part right out of the box. If I'm reading the initial post correctly, all the problems started when the battery was replaced. Batteries self discharge just sitting on the shelf, it's possible the new battery sat on the shelf for a long time.

  6. #26
    I hear you!!
    We're a two wheeler couple and have had similar issues for decades. Just a tidbit for future reference, as it won't help you now. Every Winter we would remote start our vans when not using for several days, or a week, to charge the batteries. They would still go dead. Finally an AAA tow truck driver who came out to charge van said letting it run in the driveway is not enough of a charge, said it must be driven for at least a half hour. Once we started that, no dead batteries for past 5 years.

  7. #27
    Here's a inexpensive, simple device that'll keep your battery from going dead if you plan on not driving for awhile: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page...y%20disconnect

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe-MN View Post
    I would be worthwhile to buy one of these. Cheap and they can tell you a lot. I do not leave mine in the cigarette lighter socket when not running vehicle.

    With car running, should read 14.x volts. Will vary a little especially if you have fan/heater/A-C running.

    Should read 12.x volts when car is off. May drop .1 or so over a period of time.




    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...er++cigarette+
    I bought this item from Amazon. It came today and I tried it out. It reads 14.5 when running and 13.1 when it is not running. Are those numbers normal?

    The ramp is still not working. A friend told me to look for a reset button for the ramp system. I looked and can't find one. It was hard for me to get into a position where I could see. I am going to try again in the am.

    I have been starting the van with the remote and letting it run. I have been doing three cycles (15 min) per day. So far that has been working. I am going to keep doing that until I can get it in for repairs. I don't like driving it and wondering all the time whether or not I am going to get stuck, either inside the van, or if I go someplace, I may not be able to get back in. I have jumper cables in the van in case the battery loses power again.

    Thanks again everyone

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Sugarcube View Post
    I bought this item from Amazon. It came today and I tried it out. It reads 14.5 when running and 13.1 when it is not running. Are those numbers normal?

    The ramp is still not working. A friend told me to look for a reset button for the ramp system. I looked and can't find one. It was hard for me to get into a position where I could see. I am going to try again in the am.

    I have been starting the van with the remote and letting it run. I have been doing three cycles (15 min) per day. So far that has been working. I am going to keep doing that until I can get it in for repairs. I don't like driving it and wondering all the time whether or not I am going to get stuck, either inside the van, or if I go someplace, I may not be able to get back in. I have jumper cables in the van in case the battery loses power again.

    Thanks again everyone
    14.5 will be okay for now running. That earlier 18.5 appears to have been bogus, you are lucky. 13.1 would indicate a fully charged just after the motor has shut down. It should drop to around 12.6. From this distance, it is sounding like your new battery and charging system is fine. As has been mentioned your issue seems to have to do with the wiring of the ramp. Wish I could look at it for you, I love to solve those type problems.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Joe-MN's Avatar
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    Sugarcube,

    First off: I am no expert, mechanical, electrical or otherwise. Second, these voltmeter are cheap, and therefore there is going to be some variability between meters and vehicles.

    On the voltmeter from Amazon. What nonoise said is good info. With the van off, the voltage should drop to around 12.5 +/- (it may take a while, like an hour or more). It should then stay in the range, perhaps dropping 0.1 over several days, or more. If you could check what the voltmeter reading after say 12 or 24 hours of not running the van, that could be helpful.

    I may have missed it, but does the ramp/door have a separate fuse? If so, pull it when the van is not being used.

    A thought I just had, since you are in CT and it is cold, could ice, frozen snow be jamming anything ( I am assuming you are parking outside)? If you know of an underground garage that is above freezing, getting the van in there for a few hours could thaw it out, if that is the problem.

    Report back
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.

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