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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Motorcraft battery of less than 2 years just crapped the bucket and would not hold a charge. I babied this one, always kept it on a trickle charger and never let it run down. Oh well, still under warranty so I brought it back and they ordered me a new replacement from the warehouse. Few days later picked up the battery and asked them to test it, it needed to be charged before they could test it, ok will bring it home and charge it.

Got home and noticed it had a 10/18 sticker on it...what the hell, 4 year and 3 month old battery I just purchased. I should of noticed this at store but was in a hurry. Sigh, so as I look over the battery the sides are slightly bulged out, as in this battery must of froze at some point...checked its voltage and it was 11.3v, which means it was sitting completely depleted and most likely getting permanent damage, this battery was very neglected it seems.

Brought it back to the store and they told me "Ya we were wondering if you were going to bring it back, we noticed the sides were kinda bulged". Not having good luck with Ford/Motorcraft parts recently and getting annoyed. Exchanged it for a SuperStart battery and hoping it will last longer than 2 years while being babied.

Moral of the story, CHECK YOUR BATTERY DATE AND FOR ANY DAMAGES OR BULGES BEFORE PURCHASE, ALSO ASK THEM TO TEST THE NEW BATTERY!
 

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At Walmart, the date is on top of the battery. I select mine and look for no more than 2 months old. When I get it home I put it on my automatic bat charger and watch for it to cut off. Usually it goes through it's check procedure and then cut back. The Interstate in my last buy was 3+ years old and the volts were low but it worked OK. I replaced it and their date is near the bottom. Could not see the date until I replaced it. Record shows when it was put in, it was 6 months old when it was installed by a shop. I have never had an issue with Walmart batteries.
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2004 Taurus SES Duratec
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Where are you getting these batteries? The dealer? 36R isn't a common size anymore so that doesn't help. I've switched to using AGM's since they seem to be better quality.
I was thinking I'd like to get AGM next. Did you get a reasonable priced one to fit in the Taurus? What size and from where?
 

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I was thinking I'd like to get AGM next. Did you get a reasonable priced one to fit in the Taurus? What size and from where?
Taurus still has a duralast lead acid until it goes kaput. Switched to AGM in the Mustang, going strong over a year despite periods of sitting 1-2 weeks without a maintainer. And cranking that 8cyl requires a decent amount of amps. Happy so far with it, I'm using an Odyssey brand
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Where are you getting these batteries? The dealer? 36R isn't a common size anymore so that doesn't help. I've switched to using AGM's since they seem to be better quality.
I got my last Motorcraft battery from O'Rileys and that one lasted a little less than 2 years. The one I just recently purchased and returned was from O'Rileys however they could not get one shipped from the warehouse so they ordered it from a local Ford dealership North Star Ford for me. They sent it over in less than a hour and when I picked it up a was kinda busy and didn't look it over like I should have.
My guess is the battery sat in the back of a warehouse for the 4 years, and most likely froze at some point as it was slightly bulged on the sides. It would not hold a charge and would drop down to 11.3v in a few mins off the charger, didn't need to test it anymore as it was clear it had permanent damage. Pretty dissapointed with the quality of Ford parts recently, may just be me having bad luck with them but the last few parts have been terrible.
 

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I got my last Motorcraft battery from O'Rileys and that one lasted a little less than 2 years. The one I just recently purchased and returned was from O'Rileys however they could not get one shipped from the warehouse so they ordered it from a local Ford dealership North Star Ford for me. They sent it over in less than a hour and when I picked it up a was kinda busy and didn't look it over like I should have.
My guess is the battery sat in the back of a warehouse for the 4 years, and most likely froze at some point as it was slightly bulged on the sides. It would not hold a charge and would drop down to 11.3v in a few mins off the charger, didn't need to test it anymore as it was clear it had permanent damage. Pretty dissapointed with the quality of Ford parts recently, may just be me having bad luck with them but the last few parts have been terrible.
All parts post covid have been double dog **** unfortunately. But if I had to guess, I suspect Motorcraft isn't even making new batteries for these anymore. Low demand and few vehicles using the size gives them little incentive to keep producing. That's probably why that unit sat on a shelf for 4 years before you got it.

I find the parts store batteries are pretty decent as long as you use the mid tier or above, the low tier stuff is a gamble and usually not in your favor. And even then, something with battery manufacturing changed about 5 or 6 years ago to where they hardly last like they used to. I mean I know newer cars use their batteries a lot harder, but it even applies to older stuff like these cars. They just aren't lasting.
 

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1998 Taurus SE Sedan 3.0L24V AX4N 91Kmi
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...lead acid until it goes kaput. Switched to AGM...
AGM is lead-acid. The difference is that common lead-acid batteries are "flooded-cell".
My guess is... Pretty dissapointed with the quality of Ford parts recently...
You're going to hold your guess against Ford parts??? And you place NO blame on the warehouse for NOT following Ford's (or likely, its distributor's) published guidelines to monitor & refresh its inventory age? Or on the retailer for handing it to you? Or on yourSELF for not paying attention when it really mattered - AT the store?

How old was the FIRST battery when you bought it? Did you pay attention then? Maybe it was already "ruined" before it gave you its last 2 years of service, making it BETTER than most brands.

AGM batteries are NOT higher-quality, or even superior technology. They're just expensive gimmicks, and there are at least as many bad AGM brands & models (but probably a LOT more) as flooded-cells. The only things an AGM can do that a flooded-cell can't are 1) continue working for a while after it's punctured, and 2) work longer when installed sideways or upside-down. But since it uses exactly the same chemistry & physics to store & deliver energy, it's subject to exactly the same failures & aging as any flooded cell.

Your best investment is a top-quality flooded cell, like MotorCraft TestedToughMax, DieHard Gold (and maybe Platinum), Interstate MTP2, or a few others. But NOT all models in any brand are good; even Ford/MC offers some cheaper options that you should avoid. And no matter what part or fluid you're buying, it's always YOUR responsibility to check that it's not too old to be useful, and that it's still functional. For batteries, the ONLY test that Ford (and most other automakers & battery manufacturers) authorizes for warranty claims is a MidTronics high-frequency tester, similar to this:

(click this text)


And it's just as important to INSTALL it correctly, including cleaning/repairing the cable terminals, and ensuring the charging system is working properly. Did you do both? Post pics of the terminals.
...I suspect Motorcraft isn't even making new batteries for these anymore.
MC has never made batteries, and never will. It's just a managing company for Ford's licensing of parts designs. Historically, they've been made by Johnson Controls (which makes MOST brands & models of battery, including Sears, DuraCrap, NeverStart, SuperStart, Optima...). But JC recently sold all its battery factories - I can't remember who bought them, but probably an oriental conglomerate. Deka (which is what I think Odyssey is) is made by EastPenn. This site has a LOT of interesting info: www.batteryfaq.org
 
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Taurus still has a duralast lead acid until it goes kaput. Switched to AGM in the Mustang, going strong over a year despite periods of sitting 1-2 weeks without a maintainer. And cranking that 8cyl requires a decent amount of amps. Happy so far with it, I'm using an Odyssey brand
My trolling batteries in my fishing boat are AGM from Sams Club. I only deep discharge them 50% and use a AGM duo charger at 20 amps for each. The discharge current is around 45 amps at 24 volts. They are on year seven and they still perform well. Supposedly they charge voltage is higher for AGM batteries. When these die I may move to lithium batteries since they weigh a little less than half. AGM batteries cost have gone up 50% in seven years where lithium batteries have dropped 40 percent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
AGM is lead-acid. The difference is that common lead-acid batteries are "flooded-cell".You're going to hold your guess against Ford parts??? And you place NO blame on the warehouse for NOT following Ford's (or likely, its distributor's) published guidelines to monitor & refresh its inventory age? Or on the retailer for handing it to you? Or on yourSELF for not paying attention when it really mattered - AT the store?
You can shift blame all around you want, the dealership is representing Ford acting as it's agent, but there have been multiple times recently where the Ford parts are not what they use to be and wont even work because QC at the factory has bolt holes missing, parts wont line up or fit correctly or allowing 4+ year old battery to be sold to customers and more.

I was 100% a Ford guy my entire life, I should not have to inspect every new part for defects because I can't trust the factory/warehouse to correctly do it for me, this is part of the problem. I am paying for a service, and its not there anymore.

How old was the FIRST battery when you bought it? Did you pay attention then? Maybe it was already "ruined" before it gave you its last 2 years of service, making it BETTER than most brands.
It was only a 2 month old battery when I purchased it new, so it's last 2 years of life was it's only 2 years of life...not the greatest battery. Also consider I babied this battery, heated garage, always had a trickle charger on it, never let it run down below 50% and I live up in northern MN so overheating is almost never a problem. Honestly, not much more I could of done to keep it happy.


Your best investment is a top-quality flooded cell, like MotorCraft TestedToughMax...
Kinda like this one? That was my last 2 batteries I have had issues with.
Bumper Automotive exterior Gas Motor vehicle Font


And it's just as important to INSTALL it correctly, including cleaning/repairing the cable terminals, and ensuring the charging system is working properly. Did you do both? Post pics of the terminals.
Like I said, I have babied the battery that went dead in less than 2 years. I kept the terminals extremely clean. I also have a voltage meter connected right to the battery that I can see from in my car and the charging is always within the normal voltage range.
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You act as if there is no problem with Ford and it's all the customers fault or error. If this was true, explain this....

Ford CEO: "Until We Fix Quality, Nothing Else Matters"

Ford Motor struggling with quality problems leading to vehicle recalls

Ford fesses up: Our US quality is poor

At Ford, Quality Is Now Problem 1

I have notice a drop in quality, and so have many people...so many so that Ford had to make changes, I might be unlucky or it could be my fault, however many things nowadays seem to be worse quality than in the past. It gets frustrating to buy parts and have to return them, order them again and wait for them to show up only for it to have another issue that I have no control over. I should not have to do the quality control for the company or warehouse...Being a lifelong Ford guy it sucks to see the company put profits above all else and cut corners that reduce quality.

There is a reason Ford is not even in the top 10 reliable car makers anymore.
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I've got a Mazda '89 B2200 pickup with a Gold series (original 5 year warranty) Advance Auto battery installed in 2012. It still gets the job done, although cranking is a little weaker than I'd like. I use the truck sometimes several times a week, some weeks not at all. No trickle charging or anything else except occasionally spraying terminal protection on them. I totally believe overall quality has gone down across the board. It's hard, if not impossible, to find Gold 5-year batteries any more.
 

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I've got a Mazda '89 B2200 pickup with a Gold series (original 5 year warranty) Advance Auto battery installed in 2012. It still gets the job done, although cranking is a little weaker than I'd like. I use the truck sometimes several times a week, some weeks not at all. No trickle charging or anything else except occasionally spraying terminal protection on them. I totally believe overall quality has gone down across the board. It's hard, if not impossible, to find Gold 5-year batteries any more.
I go back many years but, first car I had with Alt. was '06 Valiant and it was 35A which was a big deal. Distributor ignition used about 4A and that was about the only load when driving. Lights were 2 in the front, 2 in the back. So the battery did not draw much and did not need much to charge it. But I remember the batteries did not last and early fail were common. Today much heavier load on the system, 130A charging common, climate blower much larger, radiator fans, electronic fuel pump, and electronic controls add up. Batteries are not much if any larger.
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always had a trickle charger on it, never let it run down below 50%
Which trickle charger do you use? Have you checked it's voltage output? If it has more than one stage, you should check it at all stages.

I mistakenly charged the Taurus battery on the AGM setting on my CTEK charger. That means it charged at 14.7v instead of 14.4v. It had a dead cell shortly after.

Float voltage should be 13.5v to 13.8v. CTEK uses 13.6V. There are "trickle" chargers out there that are higher which would not be good if left attached.

Running down a flooded lead acid to 50% too many times is going to shorten it's life. An AGM theoretically can handle it but it's not good for a flooded lead acid.

And the flip side of the trickle charger is that if you run down the battery to 50%, the trickle charger that is correctly outputting at the float voltage does not have a high enough voltage or current to get the battery to full.

So to maintain batteries on vehicles that are used, one really needs a smart charger that does the bulk and absorption charging when the battery is anywhere between 0% and 80% and the float charging (with a trickle) once the charger has gotten the battery to 100%.
 

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AGM is lead-acid. The difference is that common lead-acid batteries are "flooded-cell".You're going to hold your guess against Ford parts??? And you place NO blame on the warehouse for NOT following Ford's (or likely, its distributor's) published guidelines to monitor & refresh its inventory age? Or on the retailer for handing it to you? Or on yourSELF for not paying attention when it really mattered - AT the store?

How old was the FIRST battery when you bought it? Did you pay attention then? Maybe it was already "ruined" before it gave you its last 2 years of service, making it BETTER than most brands.

AGM batteries are NOT higher-quality, or even superior technology. They're just expensive gimmicks, and there are at least as many bad AGM brands & models (but probably a LOT more) as flooded-cells. The only things an AGM can do that a flooded-cell can't are 1) continue working for a while after it's punctured, and 2) work longer when installed sideways or upside-down. But since it uses exactly the same chemistry & physics to store & deliver energy, it's subject to exactly the same failures & aging as any flooded cell.

Your best investment is a top-quality flooded cell, like MotorCraft TestedToughMax, DieHard Gold (and maybe Platinum), Interstate MTP2, or a few others. But NOT all models in any brand are good; even Ford/MC offers some cheaper options that you should avoid. And no matter what part or fluid you're buying, it's always YOUR responsibility to check that it's not too old to be useful, and that it's still functional. For batteries, the ONLY test that Ford (and most other automakers & battery manufacturers) authorizes for warranty claims is a MidTronics high-frequency tester, similar to this:

(click this text)


And it's just as important to INSTALL it correctly, including cleaning/repairing the cable terminals, and ensuring the charging system is working properly. Did you do both? Post pics of the terminals.MC has never made batteries, and never will. It's just a managing company for Ford's licensing of parts designs. Historically, they've been made by Johnson Controls (which makes MOST brands & models of battery, including Sears, DuraCrap, NeverStart, SuperStart, Optima...). But JC recently sold all its battery factories - I can't remember who bought them, but probably an oriental conglomerate. Deka (which is what I think Odyssey is) is made by EastPenn. This site has a LOT of interesting info: www.batteryfaq.org
We can agree to disagree, but I've found over the years that AGM will put up with more abuse and generally last longer (other than maybe high temperatures, flooded cells are better for that). They also are less prone to terminal corrosion. The only real disadvantage to them is they cost more. And yes, I know Motorcraft themselves doesn't actually make any batteries, it's all contracted out. But over the last 5 years, the size for these cars (36R) has been phased out by most companies. There's only a few options left, so my thought was that MC stopped their contract with whoever was making them for this particular style of battery. If you google it seems like there's more than there really is, most of the good options are out of stock since forever now.
 

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We can agree to disagree, but I've found over the years that AGM will put up with more abuse and generally last longer (other than maybe high temperatures, flooded cells are better for that). They also are less prone to terminal corrosion. The only real disadvantage to them is they cost more. And yes, I know Motorcraft themselves doesn't actually make any batteries, it's all contracted out. But over the last 5 years, the size for these cars (36R) has been phased out by most companies. There's only a few options left, so my thought was that MC stopped their contract with whoever was making them for this particular style of battery. If you google it seems like there's more than there really is, most of the good options are out of stock since forever now.
AGM is better for high temperatures, not getting damaged from discharges, and for accepting high current when recharging. Stop start vehicles which are widespread in other countries, use AGM batteries as flooded lead acid would need to be changed far more frequently.

Quality certainly makes a difference though. My Mercedes came with a made in Germany Varta flooded lead acid. That battery was subject to very high heat, never smart charged, was often used with the car not running, did short trips. Once in summer, the vehicle sat for 2 months and wasn't put on a charger as I didn't own one then. Battery lasted 7 years. Many have reported 10 year life from the made in Germany battery especially those not located under the hood.

Replaced with AGM and has been smart charged. Still alive at 7 years but weak. In CA we need less CA / CCA so while heat lessens life, ambient temperature lets us keep batteries longer.

My 2004 Taurus factory battery lasted 3.5 years and was not looked after and was discharged excessively a few times. The AAA replacement lasted 5.5 years without being looked after. Two Diehard Golds lasted 3.5 years each. Current Everstart is at 3 years. It has been on the smart charger frequently so it will be interesting to see how long it lasts, but it is now at college without the ability to be smart charged.

On average though, the Taurus has cost more in batteries than the Mercedes.
 
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All parts post covid have been double dog **** unfortunately.
Very happy with the aftermarket coils I put on. Made in Poland and lifetime warranty. Also, the Autolite Iridium XP spark plugs. Lifetime warranty as well. Motorcraft PCV elbow seems fine too if not way overpriced but it may have been made pre covid. Motorcraft plugs I returned looked good too.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Which trickle charger do you use? Have you checked it's voltage output? If it has more than one stage, you should check it at all stages.
My mistake, it is a smart charger.
10-Amp Battery Charger, Battery Maintainer, and Battery Desulfator

NOCO GENIUS10, 10A Smart Car Battery Charger, 6V and 12V Automotive Charger, Battery Maintainer, Float Trickle Charger and Desulfator for AGM, Lithium, Marine, Boat and Deep Cycle Batteries.

I mistakenly charged the Taurus battery on the AGM setting on my CTEK charger. That means it charged at 14.7v instead of 14.4v. It had a dead cell shortly after.
Nope, I always check the setting as the first thing I do when I go to use my charger. It also defaults to lead acid battery.

Float voltage should be 13.5v to 13.8v. CTEK uses 13.6V. There are "trickle" chargers out there that are higher which would not be good if left attached.
It was always within the correct voltages when I would check it with a multimeter. It has been awhile since I last checked it, guess I will check it again to make sure.

Running down a flooded lead acid to 50% too many times is going to shorten it's life. An AGM theoretically can handle it but it's not good for a flooded lead acid.
I babied this battery as I wanted to get many years out of it. Never ran it down, heated garage so it never froze, always had charger on it, kept cool in the summer (Northern MN), did everything I could to try and extend its life.
However even new it never seemed to be the greatest battery, as in lights would dim when I would start car even fully charged. I was never very impressed with it.

And the flip side of the trickle charger is that if you run down the battery to 50%, the trickle charger that is correctly outputting at the float voltage does not have a high enough voltage or current to get the battery to full.
Yep, I know all about that, however the smart charger I use does not have that problem, and I never ran the battery down, it was the best taken care of battery I have owned. Really tried hard with this one.

So to maintain batteries on vehicles that are used, one really needs a smart charger that does the bulk and absorption charging when the battery is anywhere between 0% and 80% and the float charging (with a trickle) once the charger has gotten the battery to 100%.
I do use a smart charger that has a float phase once battery is charged. Thanks for the reply, however I am well informed on car batteries and how to prolong the life of them and what damages them. I spent many hours reading about them as I was curious and wanted to learn more about them and how to get the most bang for the buck.

All your information is good to know and I appreciate the time you took to respond.

Off the top of my head here is one site that has great information about car batteries and goes in depth on many aspects of them, also lots of good car information also!

Automotive Electrical Repair Information
 

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All your information is good to know and I appreciate the time you took to respond.

Off the top of my head here is one site that has great information about car batteries and goes in depth on many aspects of them, also lots of good car information also!

Automotive Electrical Repair Information
Thanks for all the clarifications. And the link which is an excellent resource.

Yes you already sounded like you knew what you were doing, I was just responding to when you said it was a trickle charger and that you never let it go below 50%. Both things you have clarified now.

It's interesting that you said you never liked the battery. I think that is probably the key reason for it's short life. I read that it was always worthwhile testing a new battery and rejecting it if necessary. I had a very high voltage reading on the very fresh Everstart that I got 3 years ago. Still put it on the charger as recommended and it just kept on taking more charge for hours at full voltage. Kept a close eye on it for the next few days, and periodically put it on the smart charger. It's been a trouble free battery for 3 years now.

Another thought. Please take a look at the charging algorithm for your Noco charger. I too did a lot of research and went with the CTEK because the charging algorithm matched what Battery University recommended. I was put off other smart chargers at the time that had strange stages or out of order stages, or had higher voltages than recommended. Noco may have been one of them. All the research I did made me wary of anything with a voltage above 14.4v for flooded lead acid and desulphation uses far higher voltage than that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It's interesting that you said you never liked the battery. I think that is probably the key reason for it's short life. I read that it was always worthwhile testing a new battery and rejecting it if necessary. I had a very high voltage reading on the very fresh Everstart that I got 3 years ago. Still put it on the charger as recommended and it just kept on taking more charge for hours at full voltage. Kept a close eye on it for the next few days, and periodically put it on the smart charger. It's been a trouble free battery for 3 years now.
Yes you should always ask the store to test the battery even if its a new battery. I did have them test it and it passed. The most recent battery which was a Motorcraft battery I asked them to test it and the tester device said needs to be charged. So I figured I would bring it home and charge it and test it later. Little did I know when I got home and mesured the voltage it was 11.3, which means its damaged and garbage. I tried to charge it and it looked like it was taking a charge, but as soon as you pulled the charger off it's voltage would instantly start dropping back down to 11.x...


Another thought. Please take a look at the charging algorithm for your Noco charger. I too did a lot of research and went with the CTEK because the charging algorithm matched what Battery University recommended. I was put off other smart chargers at the time that had strange stages or out of order stages, or had higher voltages than recommended. Noco may have been one of them. All the research I did made me wary of anything with a voltage above 14.4v for flooded lead acid and desulphation uses far higher voltage than that.
The NOCO GEN smart chargers were and maybe still are on many top 5 battery charger lists. They are a good brand and not a cheapo one or a knockoff from China. It was around $125 a few years ago and had the most positive reviews for chargers when I was looking for one. 4.6 / 5 stars...with 13,500 reviews. Other models had 35,000+ reviews and 4.5+ stars.

I remember looking at the charge profiles when I purchased the charger and it was what you would want for each type of battery. Also the desulfation has its own setting you can select, or starts the recovery process if the battery is shot. I have used it on old batteries and it has brought a few back up to usable voltages, so it does work, never used on my good batteries though.

Also the temperature also plays a big part when charging batteries. You need a higher voltage up to 15v when its below freezing and less than 14.5 when room temperature.
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Multi-Stage Smart Charging Technology
The NOCO GEN series smart charger uses an 8-stage charging cycle to quickly and efficiently charge your battery. This ensures that the battery safely reaches maximum capacity without being overcharged.
NOCO GEN5X3 Genius Battery Charger Advanced Smart Charging Technology


In the first step of the charging process, the charger will analyze the battery's condition and state of charge. The charger then uses this data to diagnose the battery's health and ensure it can be safely charged. If the battery is deeply discharged or sulfated, the charger will automatically enter the recovery stage to repair the battery by pulsing small amounts of current.

Once the unit has determined that the battery's condition is stable, it will initialize the charging process by providing a constant, gentle charge. The charger gradually increases the charge during the bulk stage and quickly charges the battery to 80-percent capacity.

As the battery nears full charge, the charger enters the absorption stage and delivers small amounts of current to limit battery gassing and safely bring the battery to 90-percent capacity. The charger will then begin optimization of the battery, bringing it to full capacity and optimizing it for increased run time and performance.


The final step of the charging process, maintenance, monitors the battery for drops in power and supplies the correct current to keep it fully charged. If a drop in voltage is detected, the charger will begin the optimization cycle to keep the battery fully charged.
 

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My take on the BATTERY.
It is a maintenance item, I have no interest in bragging on how long they last. At 3.5 years general battery like Walmart, reserve capacity is ~15% of new. It might start for some time after but having that is not important to me. Waiting for it to not start, or loose the charging system and having to drive to a safe stop or home on "reserve capacity" is not going to happen in my world.
I have 3 G-4/G-4.5's in my herd and they will get a new battery every 3 years. Only exception is if one is going to the JY based on rust and I would let them go longer.
I use Walmart battery so if it fails out on a trip, there is a store everywhere to get it replaced.
I have had on my family vehicle, Alt fail. Lin Cont twice, Buick Lucerne recent. The Lin went 45 minutes in hot July day to a exit with a motel where I could stay and have AAA tow it. Buick ran 64 minutes at night with wipers on to an exit 50 miles from home where AAA towed it home. Had '83 Gran Marq 700 miles from home needing to get back in that day, wife and 3 kids with me. Drove 700 miles without shutting it off as battery was total dead not taking a charge. ~7 year old OE battery. Today's car would not like running off the Alt.
So I want enough reserve capacity to get me to a safe place to stop and call AAA. Pushing a battery to it's limit is NOT in my plan. Been there done that. FAIL!
My test in the pic, same on other batteries.
My $0.02 worth.
-chart-
 

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