Charging problem - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2002, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Charging problem

I am having trouble keeping a charge in the battery in the truck. It's a '94 K1500 350 with a less than 2 year old Auto Zone Duralast battery.

It's no longer the daily driver (thank god, it's 50 miles each way[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img]). We had one cold week right around Christmas and the truck sat for about 3 maybe 4 weeks during this time. When I went to start it....nothing. I couldn't even jump it.

Took the battery to Auto Zone to get it tested. They had to charge it before they could even test it (frozen battery???). I came back in about an hour and they tested it, it checked out OK. Took it home, put it in the truck, everthing's cool.

Later, it sat again for another couple of weeks and needed to be jumped. This time I could jump it with no problem. Drove it about a 10 mile round trip to the store. It sits for 3 days this time, and I needed to jump it again[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/mad.gif[/img]).

Here's the kick in the pants... I decided to take it to work last night. It starts fine. I drive the 50 miles to work (still daylight, no headlights on). Go to lunch (after dark), no starting problem. Get a call to go to another building (about 3 am) Starts a little sluggish, but not too bad. Leave work (6 am) Starts, but just barely. Stop at the end of the 50 mile return trip to pick up a 12 pack (hey, it's Friday for me[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]). Shut the truck off, spend 3 minutes in the store, come out and it won't turn over fast enough to start[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/mad.gif[/img][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img].

Should I get the alternator tested as the next step?
Is there a short or a drain on the battery somewhere?
Is the battery really OK, just 'cuz Auto Zone said so?

Please help me figure out where to start.


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2002, 08:43 AM
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Re: Charging problem

the best way to tell if you have a draw is with a digital ohm meter discount the postive cable hook 1 lead to the cable and the other to the batttey have it on amps. I cant rember what the suitable draw should be.

Usally its something like a glove box light staying on or a aftermarket radio,

<font color=red>And yes if you dont no it buy now i cant spell LOL!</font color=red>
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2002, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Charging problem

I have checked some of the more obvious things, (i.e that really cool underhood light on a string, been burned by that one before[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/blush.gif[/img]).
I unplugged the radar detector, and there are no aftermarket electrical goodies like stereos/amps, lights, or alarms.

I'll look into the glovebox light, while I'm trying to round up a buddy with a digital ohm meter.
I have an old analog one, will it work?

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2002, 10:26 AM
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Re: Charging problem

itwill work if you can read it i just like the digatal better

<font color=red>And yes if you dont no it buy now i cant spell LOL!</font color=red>
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2002, 12:40 PM
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Re: Charging problem

In the meantime, if you happen to be in that truck and pass by Autozone, you should let them check the altinator real fast. My gut tells me that this is likely the problem. You have not atually charged the batt. on these different occasions right? I assumed that you jumped it and went on? It may be that the alt. is barely putting out a charge and that's why you are having various results. You mentioned that the other day you went here, stopped there, it's likely that each and every start drained the batt. and the alt. is not putting out enough to keep it up. Anyway, just my 2 cents.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2002, 01:02 PM
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Re: Charging problem

i don't think you can tell the battery is ok without opening it up. "how stuff works" help me understand that the battery may corrode on the inside and loose it's charge after awhile. extreme temperatures are the major cause for battery breakdown.
this similar situation happened to me. i figured the battery was ok cuz once it was charged all was good. went it kept dying on me i figured it to be the alternator too. but the time it kept it's charge became shorter and shorter. a battery needing to be charged frequently will eventually not be able to charged no matter what. i had to get a new one. this was sometime last year and all is well.


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post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2002, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Charging problem

Can they check the alternator while it is still in the truck, or do I need to remove it?
I was kind of thinking that it was maybe the alt. since an hour drive at freeway speed didn't charge the battery enough to start it after sitting only a few minutes.

I was hoping that it was the battery, since it is still in it's "free replacement" period, but they won't replace it if it checks out OK on their tester

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-13-2002, 07:01 PM
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Re: Charging problem

Yes, just take it to Autozone or O'riellys or a like place, and they will check it for free..in the truck.

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