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Thread: Van battery

  1. #21
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    I agree with Kulea! His rumination seems correct to me.
    I remember the VW Campers had a dual battery option where a second battery powered all the camper lighting, etc, but was not connected to the vehicle electrical system until you started it at which point a relay controlled by the K? (switched ignition) circuit turned the relay on. (when cranking, this circuit wan't powered. Headlamps and several major consumers were on it to provide more available power for starting. This also had the benefit of de-coupling the second battery so the high current of the starter wouldn't fry the relatively small wiring to the aux battery)
    As long as your vehicle has such a "load reduction" circuit, implementation would be relatively simple.
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by pfcs49 View Post
    Get the best "maintenance free" battery that fits your vehicle.
    If maintenance free is a requirement, then that eliminates flooded lead acid batteries. What's left? AGM for all intents and purposes. How do you select the best? The one with the best specs? The one with pure lead (heaviest one)? The one with the longest warranty? The most expensive? This is the one that meets all those requirements.


    https://www.batteriesplus.com/produc...650cca/heppc65

  3. #23
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    Virtually all flooded lead auto batteries today are nominally maintenance free. You aren't expected to check or top up the electrolyte, ever.
    Fact is, the cell covers on most are removable and although evaporation is much lower on these, it occurs, hence my recommendation to open and check them periodically for greatest life expectancy.

    Of course, if paying over $400 for a battery makes you more comfortable, live it up
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  4. #24
    You are moving the goalposts.

  5. #25
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    It's not a game! The information I gave hasn't changed.
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  6. #26
    AGM: Truly maintenance free
    Flooded: Marketed as maintenance free, but fine print says to check/add water to older batteries and in hot weather.

    AGM: no acid leaks, corrosion free
    Flooded: may leak acid, may corrode

    AGM: less prone to damage from shock and vibration
    Flooded: more prone to damage from shock and vibration

    AGM: Lower internal resistance (stays cooler)
    Flooded: higher internal resistance (gets hotter)

    AGM: shorter charging time
    Flooded: longer charging time

    AGM: may be charged 100s of times after 50% discharge
    Flooded: will not last as long if discharged 50% repeatedly

    AGM: greater output voltage
    Flooded: lesser output voltage

    AGM: more expensive to buy (approximately $50 more and up)
    Flooded: less expensive to buy


    https://batteryguys.com/pages/the-differences-between-agm-gel-and-flooded-batteries
    Last edited by August West; 10-10-2019 at 05:05 PM.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Kulea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by August West View Post
    AGM: Truly maintenance free
    Flooded: Marketed as maintenance free, but fine print says to check/add water to older batteries and in hot weather.

    AGM: no acid leaks, corrosion free
    Flooded: may leak acid, may corrode

    AGM: less prone to damage from shock and vibration
    Flooded: more prone to damage from shock and vibration

    AGM: Lower internal resistance (stays cooler)
    Flooded: higher internal resistance (gets hotter)

    AGM: shorter charging time
    Flooded: longer charging time

    AGM: may be charged 100s of times after 50% discharge
    Flooded: will not last as long if discharged 50% repeatedly

    AGM: greater output voltage
    Flooded: lesser output voltage

    AGM: more expensive to buy (approximately $50 more and up)
    Flooded: less expensive to buy


    https://batteryguys.com/pages/the-differences-between-agm-gel-and-flooded-batteries
    I don't think anyone is saying don't get an AGM, it's just that I don't know whether it is necessary or worth it. You are paying 3X the price. If you feel it is worth it for the better warranty, then go for it. I have always just bought batteries that were under $150 and last over 5 years, without ever touching it on my part. I am not even sure it is possible to check the fluids on my batteries. Personally, I would spend the extra money on a remote start, or second battery (which can start the car if necessary under some installations, giving you added redundancy). Having the AC running before you get in the van is super nice on a hot day. If you don't address why your battery is draining and dying prematurely, you may end up with the same thing happening to your super expensive AGM. But, you will have that replacement warranty. Warranty, or not, I would hate getting stuck by a dead battery. Maybe carry a portable jumper battery, unless you have roadside assistance really close by all the time.
    C-6/7 incomplete

  8. #28
    Senior Member Kulea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kulea View Post
    I don't think anyone is saying don't get an AGM, it's just that I don't know whether it is necessary or worth it. You are paying 3X the price. If you feel it is worth it for the better warranty, then go for it. I have always just bought batteries that were under $150 and last over 5 years, without ever touching it on my part. I am not even sure it is possible to check the fluids on my batteries. Personally, I would spend the extra money on a remote start, or second battery (which can start the car if necessary under some installations, giving you added redundancy). Having the AC running before you get in the van is super nice on a hot day. If you don't address why your battery is draining and dying prematurely, you may end up with the same thing happening to your super expensive AGM. But, you will have that replacement warranty. Warranty, or not, I would hate getting stuck by a dead battery. Maybe carry a portable jumper battery, unless you have roadside assistance really close by all the time.
    So, I've just been searching and it appears you can get AGM's for much less than the $420 battery you identified. I am seeing them at Pepboys for about $150. So, go for it. I still think your issue lies in the van and not the battery, or you had defective batteries. But, you gotta get a new battery anyway and a 4 or 5 year replacement warranty is nice.
    C-6/7 incomplete

  9. #29
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    Many times I had customers come to me and say, "I think I have a bad battery". Tests showed battery was low or dead = charge needed, then more test. Many times, further test would show alternator weak or not charging (with no dash warning light on sometimes) or a drain on the system (my previous posts explained this). Basically what I'm saying is, just because battery is low or dead does not always mean battery is bad. Multiple dead batteries in one vehicle in a year = I'd bet on charge or drain issue. Although I have found multiple new/bad batteries from Autozone (long story).
    In the old "V" belt days, a loose alternator belt would cause battery to discharge more than alternator could charge (especially at night with lights on) and dash warning light never came on.

    I like the remote starters but the aftermarket ones can be problematic sometimes, mostly due to sloppy installation. Several came to me on the hook (wrecker) because they quit running or wouldn't start. All but one was due to poor installation. One had a bad module which I removed and rewired back to standard.
    If I was physically able to put one on my van I would. I would also make it easy to bypass if a component failed.
    Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
    Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

  10. #30
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gearhead View Post
    Many times I had customers come to me and say, "I think I have a bad battery". Tests showed battery was low or dead = charge needed, then more test. Many times, further test would show alternator weak or not charging (with no dash warning light on sometimes) or a drain on the system (my previous posts explained this). Basically what I'm saying is, just because battery is low or dead does not always mean battery is bad. Multiple dead batteries in one vehicle in a year = I'd bet on charge or drain issue. Although I have found multiple new/bad batteries from Autozone (long story).
    In the old "V" belt days, a loose alternator belt would cause battery to discharge more than alternator could charge (especially at night with lights on) and dash warning light never came on.

    I like the remote starters but the aftermarket ones can be problematic sometimes, mostly due to sloppy installation. Several came to me on the hook (wrecker) because they quit running or wouldn't start. All but one was due to poor installation. One had a bad module which I removed and rewired back to standard.
    If I was physically able to put one on my van I would. I would also make it easy to bypass if a component failed.
    all quite true! I don’t know how many times I had a customer probably report that they replaced a bad battery and then come back weeks later for me to fix the problem
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

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