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Drive car after battery charge?

Discussion in 'General Automotive Talk' started by Andrew B., Mar 15, 2015.

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  1. Andrew B.

    Andrew B. Member

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    Long ago more than one person told me that one must drive a car for at least 20 minutes after the battery is charged after being run down. After my most recent charge by the mechanic, I said to him "I drive this 20 minutes now to help the battery stay charged, right?" He said "No, it is all charged up and you can just drive it home." I told him what my understanding had always been, and he repeated that there is no need to drive it around for awhile because it is all charged.

    What is your opinion on this?
     
  2. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    If the car was boosted with another car then you would want to run it so you charge the battery. Because it wouldn't have received a whole lot of power from the boost itself. But if the mechanic put a charger on it and fully charged it then he is right. It would have all the charge it can get at that point. So you would be able to turn it off right there and start it up again later with no issues as long as the battery is good.

    James
     
  3. Andrew B.

    Andrew B. Member

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    The oddest thing happened. After the recharge I made sure to drive the car once a week for 20 minutes each time. To keep it charged. And at first this worked. But one time I went down to the car and realized I was in trouble when the car alarm didn't chip back at me when I hit the remote. And so I was not surprised that the battery was so dead the engine would not even begin to turn over.

    I had a device in the trunk that's a battery booster (Stanley SSLION). It plugs into the cigarette lighter and gives the battery a partial charge. I tried it and kept getting an error. I tried starting the car anyway, but the engine would still not turn over. I also decided to order a battery jump starter to use instead (Clore JNC300XL).

    Three weeks went by before I tried to jump start it and take to to the mechanic. I was surprised to hear my car alarm chirp when I hit the remote. So I decided to try starting the car without the jump start. To my surprise, it turned right over and started right up.

    So where did this new burst of energy come from? I have no idea. Especially considering that the car sat there for three more weeks. But I'm glad I tested it before taking it in.
     
  4. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    That is odd. Did you touch anything before trying the alarm after the three weeks?

    With you cart sitting that much have you thought of a battery maintainer? You can plug it in and it will keep the battery good. If you are parked outside they even have solar ones.

    James
     
  5. Andrew B.

    Andrew B. Member

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    Open the drunk. But that's not hooked to anything. I am sill wondering what will happen the next time.

    I have thought about getting a sun-powered one that plugs into the cigarette lighter. I'd have to get that rewired, though so it's live when the ignition is off. And I'd have to keep my car out in the sun. I've been procrastinating on all of that, not wanting my car to get sun-damaged. Maybe I will eventually.
     
  6. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    Is it in a garage right now? Do you have a window in there? You could put the panel in the window if the cord is long enough. Or you could look at having the panel mounted outside, then just plug it in when it is parked. Then you get the charge without leaving it in the sun.

    James
     
  7. Andrew B.

    Andrew B. Member

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    I live in an apartment. It has gated parking at street level, and the apartment building is over that. That's why there is no sun. There are also four spaces behind the building that are in the sun. I could probably park there. But I would still need to get my wiring modified. I would not risk running a wire from my battery onto the hood of the car where it tempts people to play with the panel.
     
  8. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    That does make it a little harder.

    James
     
  9. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    Are the spots assigned? Maybe if you get the 12v rewired you could park in the sun once a week or so to give the battery some charge. Then go back to your normal spot to avoid having it sit in the sun everyday.

    James
     
  10. Andrew B.

    Andrew B. Member

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    My problem is not only with the car. I am in terrible health. To move it into the sun one day a week would mean I have to go down twice (moving it in the sun and then out).

    The most practical solutions are a rewire and park in sun. Second would be battery booster as needed. Third would be to pay someone else to run my car for me. I'm using the second one because I'm stubborn about sun damage. I'm avoiding the third because more than one person has left my car unlocked and/or they didn't close the door all the way, which caused the interior lights to be left on, and the battery drained.
     
  11. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    Sorry to hear you are still having heath issues. If you do go the park in the sun route, I would get a windshield screen. This would protect some of the interior. Won't do anything for the paint.

    The only issue with charging the dead battery is it can be tough on the battery. But you do only have so many options. If you had problems with people not closing the door and so on it would just drive you nuts. And then you would feel like you should check on it to make sure it was done right. Then at that point it was pointless to pay someone. Like the old saying goes, "It is hard to find good help these days.".

    James
     
  12. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    This would be interesting if it could be wired to the car to charge it and have the unit sewed to a car cover. Then the car is protected from the sun but you would still be able to charge it. It would be nice to have connections that could make it easy to connect when the cover goes on.

    James
     
  13. Andrew B.

    Andrew B. Member

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    The car started today and I took it to the mechanic. One thing that could explain the intermittent starting is a worn out ignition switch. But that doesn't explain why my car alarm is dead now, even after I tried a reset. And the is, it is near impossible to diagnose an intermittent problem when it's not happening.

    And on the way there was one more problem. My normally smooth engine was running rough, and I could feel some very bad vibration, especially when I stepped harder on the gas. And this is a brand new symptom, out of nowhere.

    Anyway, it will be interesting to see what the problem is. If they find it.
     
  14. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    One problem down, add two more to the list. That is always the way.

    Your alarm won't do anything at all? Has the fuse been checked for the alarm?

    Did you get the vibration when it was parked, while moving or both? The rough engine could be a number of issues. Hopefully it is just a small thing. I forget, what car do you own?

    James
     
  15. Andrew B.

    Andrew B. Member

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    I just heard from the mechanic. It's not pretty, and not cheap. But I'm so glad the car started so I could drive it in. Otherwise I would not have believed them when they told me what is wrong.

    The battery is shot. Not just weak. That's no surprise. One injector is shot. That makes sense, considering the roughness. As for the car not starting, luckily this problem cropped when they were working on it this morning. He traced it to the distributer, which he said is not putting out. And he said the right rear tire has a nail in it, and was very low. I never looked there. But this explains some of the way the car felt as I drove it in yesterday.

    What is unexplainable it how all this could go wrong while the car was sitting there. Because I drove it a few weeks ago and it was just fine.

    So the mechanic told me to think about whether I even want to bother, considering how little I drive. I can actually get along without a car. As it is, I don't drive myself to the slew of doctors I have to see. I either take a taxi or a caregiver takes me. But I'm not ready to give up having a car. And it is cheaper for me if a caregivers drive my car instead of their own.
     
  16. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    Sorry to hear that. Do you remember how old the battery was and how many times it went dead? With the issues you have been having I'm not all that shocked that the battery is toast.

    As for the other parts. The distributor can wear out over time. If that is the original one then it did pretty good. Is the rear tire repairable?

    The injector could have failed or clogged. I find cars do not like to sit around. Things can go bad quick. How long does it sit between drives and how long does it take to use up a tank of fuel? Fuel can go bad which can cause issues.

    So your stuck with a tough decision. You will have to look at the cost to repair it and weigh that against the cost of getting around without it. Plus you have to add in the fact that you still want to own a car right now. With the fact that you don't drive it much it isn't worth replacing with a newer one.

    We talked about the issues with getting someone to start the car every now and then. And now that your alarm isn't working you might want to look at one (if yours can't be fixed) that has a long range remote start with it. Viper makes one with a 1 mile range. If the the remote will work with our car under the building them it would be easy for you to start it yourself with the remote from your apartment. And it will show you on screen when it is running and when it stops. That would help you. The big issue is if it will work in your location. The only way to really find out would be to see if a shop had one installed in a car that they could test. Park it near your spot and have them start it from your apartment. This could solve some problems if you decide to fix and keep the car.

    Another might be fuel stabilizer. If the car is sitting for long periods of time the fuel will start to go bad. Fuel stabilizer could help that. It might be a good idea to use it with each tank.

    James
     
  17. Andrew B.

    Andrew B. Member

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    Thanks for the tip about the fuel stabilizer, I didn't know that stuff existed.

    I think I figured out part of the problem, and if I'm right I didn't need s new distributer (which I'm not going to worry about now). This morning was the first time I tried my car since I got home, and it would not start. Except this time I decided to try harder to sort this out. And I think I did, maybe. One problem was the alarm chiper. IOW, it didn't chirp at me when I pressed the remote. Also, the indicator light for the alarm is near the shifter on the center console. It had slipped into the console and was not visible. And so it was not telling me the alarm still worked. So there was really no way to tell if I was trying to start the car with the alarm on. And my car finally started after I did a reset procedure on the alarm, plus looked through the hole in the console to see what the light was doing. But here's the thing. There is another variable. Because one time I went to start the car there was no response, but I held the key in the start position, and it started. IOW, there was a hesitation. So there is more going on than the alarm. And because the headlights didn't dim during one of my tests, it is probably the ignition switch.
     
  18. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    You're welcome. I use it for my lawn mower fuel. Sta-bil is the first one I ever heard about years ago. The one I have in my garage is from Canadian Tire which is a auto parts store.

    You could be right. The distributor might not have been the issue but it still could have been bad and was caught early because of another issue. From what you have tried so far, the ignition would seem like a good thing to look at.

    I would try to put that light for the alarm back into the hole so that you can see when it is on and isn't . The good news is it seems like you are source of the problem narrowed down.

    James
     
  19. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

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    Did you get everything sorted out?

    James
     
  20. Andrew B.

    Andrew B. Member

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    Unfortunatly, my health got worse and I haven't even been able to get to my car. I keep hoping, though.
     
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