View Full Version : Original Battery Life

11-12-2007, 02:27 AM
First I have not inspected mine yet, nor have I tested the altenator due to it is pitch black outside at the moment.

Tonight on the way home from a day in the countryside my battery light blinked twice. Soon after all of my brake lights came on suggesting that they were no longer getting power. I also noticed that my vent began to blow hot air. Well so after I lost lights and the van stopped. I assume one of two things. Either my altenator has given up the ghost or my original battery that has 57500 miles on it has gone bad and will no longer take a charge. I put a new battery in and was alble to make it home and no lights came on during the run for the house and everything seemed fine. It seems like if the alternator was not charging that the battery light would have either come on again or stayed on since it would not be charging the new battery.

I will post an update as to what I find out tomorrow. To be honest it would not hurt my feelings too much if it were the altenator since I have always wanted to upgrade for a second battery.

11-12-2007, 02:49 AM
This is hard to diagnose without further measuring/testing.

From my experience, batteries have a life span of about 4-5 years. If a battery comes close to its end of life, it either doesn't hold a charge or becomes a short. When it doesn't hold charge, you'll find out right away that you can't start the thing after it has been sitting. If it becomes a short, you'll have problems like what you had described. It's shorting out the system while your alternator tries its best to provide 14.4V.

OTOH, you could have a bad alternator or regulator that quickly shortens the life of your battery causing it to die early.

If your headlights become dim while you're driving at night with the good battery, then it's most likely an alternator problem. However, it sounds like it was a battery problem since by replacing it the problem has gone away.

11-12-2007, 04:08 AM
After I replaced the battery I hauled butt to the house. I only used the new battery to crank the motor once and did not use anything that would draw power other than lights. On the ride home I did not notice the lights getting dim.

The "short" hypothesis could be true. When things started to go bad I had multiple lights and strange actions. Once the new battery was installed the van showed none of these signs???

Will for sure check into things more closely tomorrow and report my findings.

11-12-2007, 08:08 PM
Well when I checked to see if the altenator was making power it was not. Got a new one and will install this afternoon.

11-13-2007, 04:58 PM
Where is it and how can I test the regulator? New altenator is only producing 13.6v. Battery is testing fine.

11-13-2007, 05:27 PM
Regulator is on the backside of the alternator.

This might depend on the alternator, but it should be on the backside.

The voltage you're reading may indicate that the regulator is doing its job by folding back the voltage. Since the battery is new, you don't want to overcharge it.

Maybe stick in your old battery in parallel with the new one to see if the output becomes 14.4V. Measure the old battery first to see if it's at least holding a voltage (~10V) and not a direct short. Hook up the old battery with some battery jumper cables for a second to see if that 13.6V rises to 14.4V.

Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it. If it's a new alternator, the regulator is probably working.