car battery


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Old 07-07-23, 09:23 AM
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car battery

The battery died in my 2015 Mazda CX5 I don't know how old the battery was. Regardless of its age is there a warning light on the instrument cluster and display that shows a batteries health? I admit I ignore the instrument cluster and display lights that illuminate when the ignition is switched on and turn off when the engine is started. I hope I would notice a warning light while driving? Would this "warning light" indicate the battery is losing its power? The car hadn't been slow to crank, no noticeable issues with the radio, headlights, windshield wipers, etc. I carry jumper cables but of course there were no cars nearby I could use to jump start the battery. Is there a way to know your batteries "health" similar to a gas gauge?
 
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Old 07-07-23, 09:40 AM
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If you have an Ammeter gauge as part of the instrument cluster, that will give a warning. Under normal driving conditions it should read at a charging rate of about 14volts. It if reads at 12 v or less, you defiantly have some kind of drain or weak battery that will no longer take a charge.
Maybe upscale or newer cars may have a warning light.
I assume all electric cars will have a warning light.
 
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Old 07-07-23, 10:30 AM
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To comment on the 2nd part of your post...... I have a couple of these. Its gives a constant digital display of your vehicles voltage.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Keep in mind, especially when driving, while it does indeed show you your battery's voltage, the battery is maintained by the alternator. Therefore, just because the voltage shows low, the problem could be a bad alternator not charging the battery. The end result there would be to replace the alternator which will in turn charge your battery back to capacity.

You'll just need to check both in light of low voltage.... not just assume its a bad battery.
 
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Old 07-07-23, 11:04 AM
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izzie - Car batteries typically last at least 5-7 years and remain healthy enough to crank the engine, but even a new battery can totally die in a matter of mere days due to a shorted cell. Usually however an unhealthy battery will start having trouble engaging the starter motor to the engine's flywheel and you might hear just a click from the solenoid but the engine doesn't start - and then the next time you try it will start. That's a sure sign that you're on borrowed time and it's past time to get a new battery.

The only way to really know the health of a battery is to have it load tested. Most auto supply stores, as well as places that sell batteries like NTB, will gladly load test your battery free-of-charge - usually done right in their parking lot. It takes all of about 3 minutes to do. The load test device simulates drawing a load on the battery and calculates its recovery, thus providing a health report for the battery. Think of it as a treadmill test a cardiologist may request to learn the health of your heart.

It is recommended that once a battery becomes 3 years old it should be load tested yearly to guard against it unexpectedly dying, which seems to happen at the least opportune time.

Depending on where you live a battery's life expectancy can be drastically affected by the temperature environment it operates in. Heat has a much greater affect on the life of a battery than cold does. Most people think cold temperature is what shortens a battery's life, but it's not. Cold temperature is a factor for what makes it more difficult for a battery to crank over an engine, thus the designation 'CCA', which stands for 'cold cranking amps'.

Take a look at the image below to get an idea of how a battery's life expectancy is affected by the region in which the battery is used.



It's a fool's wish to not replace an old battery until it finally can't crank the engine and leaves you stranded, especially if it has given signs that it is not healthy. A new battery usually works out to cost about $3 or less a month for 6 years of service ($200 72 = $2.78). Not much to pay considering what it does!

Cranking the engine by hand doesn't look very appealing at all!
 

Last edited by Kooter; 07-07-23 at 11:36 AM. Reason: orthography
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Old 07-07-23, 11:20 AM
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To make a long story short, no, there's no warning light. Would be a good idea though. Personally, I've never had any kind of warning. They just died. If I needed a jump to get it started, I always got a new battery right away.
 
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Old 07-07-23, 11:23 AM
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most cars do have a warning light however its often detecting a problem with the charging system and not the battery as most batteries fail by slowly degrading over time 4-5 years is about what I would consider normal life span for most car batteries and if you know when it was replaced you could potentially start having it tested and see if it fails the load test.
the small lithium jump starter may be an alternative to jumper cables but they do seem to have a limited lifespan plus the maintenance of keeping them charged up may be an option of getting you back on the road anyway to where you can drive to get a new battery.
 
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Old 07-07-23, 12:11 PM
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Buy a analog multimeter that measures at least 20 volts dc (vdc). Should be less than $15. With engine OFF and battery connected, multimeter should read about 12 vdc at battery. With engine running and all loads turned on, the multimeter should read greater than the OFF vdc. If not, battery and /or alternator is bad.
 
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Old 07-07-23, 01:37 PM
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I have a battery monitor for the traction battery in one of my vehicles, which is a hybrid.

 

Last edited by Kooter; 07-07-23 at 02:05 PM. Reason: orthography
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Old 07-07-23, 02:08 PM
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To make a long story short, no, there's no warning light. Would be a good idea though.
Most cars through the DIC system will show the battery voltage but it doesn't show up as a warning light, untill there are electrical issues!
 
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Old 07-07-23, 02:23 PM
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Kooter,
Does your battery monitor actually measure the life or health of the battery proper or does it monitor the electrical system as a whole?
 
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Old 07-07-23, 02:34 PM
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So I'm not talking electrical issues and engine problems. I've had a lot of cars and not one of them flashed a light or message saying Time to be looking into getting a new battery.
 
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Old 07-07-23, 03:00 PM
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Kooter,
Does your battery monitor actually measure the life or health of the battery proper or does it monitor the electrical system as a whole?
It monitors and displays how fully charged the traction battery is. The electrical charging system has sensors that would indicate a problem in its system performance. As for the traction battery's actually health - the battery is warrantied for 100k miles and some owners have driven well over million miles with no battery cell failure or degeneration to maintain a full charge.
 

Last edited by Kooter; 07-07-23 at 03:01 PM. Reason: orthography
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Old 07-07-23, 03:12 PM
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If you're talking about EV batteries, then that doesn't apply in this thread. Why bring it up?
 
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Old 07-07-23, 03:46 PM
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Shadeladie - It's not an EV , it's a hybrid as I mentioned. The car has two batteries - a 12 volt battery and a high-voltage (a.k.a. traction) battery.

The discussion about batteries in this thread moved to testing and measuring voltage in an attempt to determine a battery's health so I would think what I posted should be relevant to bring it up because the battery is indeed monitored for its state of charge and its health and the monitored battery is what actually starts the car's combustion engine. That is how I think it applies to this thread. Is there somehow a problem with me posting about that?

The battery that actually starts the car is the one that is monitored. The 12 volt battery is not used for engine starting or to power the traction motors but is used to supply power to accessory systems, headlights, audio system, navigation and computer controls. When the engine starts it uses the hybrid traction or high-voltage battery to turn the engine over via one of the motor generators in the transmission - there is no 12 volt starter motor so the 12 volt battery is not employed.
 

Last edited by Kooter; 07-07-23 at 04:15 PM. Reason: orthography
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Old 07-07-23, 05:10 PM
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Kooter, your ramble is not helpful to this thread.
 
 

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