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Dead battery after only 4 months in the car

Discussion in 'RT/10 and GTS Discussions' started by flatblack, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. flatblack

    flatblack Enthusiast

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    With my job, I'm usually out of state 3 to 5 weeks at a time. Back in June or July, after being parked for 4 weeks, I come home and the battery is dead. I left the alarm on and figured that's what killed the battery. I took it to a Dodge dealer and had a new Mopar battery installed. My last trip out of state, I parked the car in an air conditioned shop and made sure nothing was left on including the alarm. I get home 5 weeks later and the battery is dead.
    What can I do to make sure I don't deal with this problem again? I thought of getting a battery tender and hook it up, but I don't want to leave one hooked up for 3 or 4 weeks straight with no one around to check on it. Is there a negative quick disconnect somewhere like there is with the positive cable on the drivers side?
     
  2. Paul Hawker

    Paul Hawker Enthusiast

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    Get one of those small battery tenders, and use it whenever you will not be driving for a few days. Will do the trick.

    You can either mount the plug in pig tail to hang out of the trunk, or under the hood, peaking out through the gills.

    One wire to the positive terminal, the second to any solid ground.

    Will keep your battery always topped up, but never overcharged.
     
  3. Steve-Indy

    Steve-Indy VCA Venom Member Venom Member

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    Not surprised...tons already written on this. Before any assumptions are made, I would suggest that you or a competent tech do an Ignition Off Draw test...if draw is ghreater than 35 milliamps after all circuits have timed out, you may have a problem. If you do, common sources are EEM (do door handle LED's shut off after a couple of minutes??), stereo/ipod/radar detector/other aftermarket wiring misadventureswires chaffing with age/use. You may favor Mopar batteries...I don't...but that aside, one can always get a bad battery!!

    I use Deltran Battery Tender Plus units on all of our Vipers...and, always physically unplug them if I plan to be away OR if storms are forecast or approaching...and, YES...I have a Thunderbolt lightning detector at the bedside !! :)
     
  4. flatblack

    flatblack Enthusiast

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    When I'm town, I drive the car almost daily, if not every single day. I'm just not sure about leaving a battery tender plugged onto it for several weeks at a time.
     
  5. flatblack

    flatblack Enthusiast

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    Steve, I don't prefer Mopar batteries, but on that day, the best option for me was the Dodge dealer. As far as I can tell, all lights go off after a few minutes and I don't leave anything plugged in. I'll try the test you recommended but don't think I can get it done between now and my next road trip. For the mean time, is there anyway to unplug the battery without taking off the rear wheel again?

    If not, would disconnecting the positive access piece under the good solve the issue for now?
     
  6. 01sapphirebob

    01sapphirebob Enthusiast

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    Vipers for whatever reason will kill a battery in about four weeks if car is not driven. I leave both my Vipers on a battery tender from the end of October to the middle of march and have had no problems. Been doing this for six years now.
     
  7. Jerome Sparich

    Jerome Sparich Enthusiast

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    If you use a Deltran Battery Tender, don't even woory about it. Plug it in and forget it.
    I use them on everything I have with a battery. My cars, trucks, ATVs, PWC, tractors. Never once had a problem. Now if you use one of the cheap China brands like they have from HF, well just don't. Is the risk of burning everything to the ground worth saving a few $s?

    I have a PWC battery that is 7 years old and is still good. It is on the Tender every minute that is is not being used. Well not every minute, but when not being used and back in the garage it is on it. Without using a Tender I would get 2 years or so out of the little batteries.
     
  8. LifeIsGood

    LifeIsGood Enthusiast

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    My viper stays on a Deltran Battery Tender for months at a time...zero issues.
     
  9. dave6666

    dave6666 Enthusiast

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    Do you have an aftermarket stereo?
     
  10. viper_itch

    viper_itch Enthusiast

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    Battery save mode


    Key in ignition, turn to ACC (towards you) and back 4 times, then hit the power lock up button. The horn will chirp, and you're in battery save mode until the next time you run the car.
     
  11. Steve-Indy

    Steve-Indy VCA Venom Member Venom Member

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    viper itch, I don't think battery save mode came into play until 2003.

    flatblack, if you do not want to go with a conventional battery tender...I have also used a low output solar panel on a Grand Cherokee successfully for 4 years. Best "disconnect" is at the battery(not under hood)...otherwise, PCM (and more) gets power.
     
  12. dave6666

    dave6666 Enthusiast

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    Disconnecting the battery for that long would do a PCM reset and you'd lose your adaptives etc. Best plan would be to keep the battery connected to the vehicle.
     
  13. kblake905

    kblake905 Viper Owner

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    Mine stay on battery tenders all winter! After the first year without one I had to replace a 2 year old battery! Battery tenders for me now over the winter for no issues come spring.:D
     
  14. viper_itch

    viper_itch Enthusiast

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    Thanks, that is right, it was introduced with the Gen III, so no help to the OP.

    Even if you could get the battery to last the down time with enough to start the car, you are still taxing the battery and shortening its life. Battery save mode gets you a few more weeks, but for extended periods the tender is necessary anyway.
     
  15. Cobraken

    Cobraken Enthusiast

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    Good battery tenders are "smart", cycling only to keep your battery topped up. Cannot overcharge.
     
  16. flatblack

    flatblack Enthusiast

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    Hey guys, thanks for the info!

    Dave6666, yes I have an aftermarket stereo I installed back in June.

    I'll deffinately get a Deltran unit now. Where are they available at? And is there a certain model I should look for? Tomorrow is my last day in town, so hopefully I can find a store that carries them.
     
  17. dave6666

    dave6666 Enthusiast

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    Although each install is different, sometimes the stereo installs result in miswiring (that can result in constant current draw), or downright hack jobs (no telling what's happening). Not every time, but hey, I knew to ask, and bingo, you answered the million dollar question with... why yes, I did have that done to my car ;)
     
  18. coupe

    coupe Viper Owner

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    Whether you get a battery tender or not, I still highly recommend doing an "Ignition Off Draw" test (as per Steve-Indy) to find out what the electrical system is doing.
     
  19. Hoosier Daddy

    Hoosier Daddy Enthusiast

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    ditto here
     
  20. Paul Hawker

    Paul Hawker Enthusiast

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    You can get battery tenders all over the place. Walmart, Kmart, corner auto parts store, on line, Harbor Freight.

    Some are really cheap, and others well made. They last for years and years, so most of us look for a nice, high quality one.

    They are not for recharging a dead battery, but for keeping a good condition battery in tip top charge without overcharging.
     
  21. dave6666

    dave6666 Enthusiast

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    This. Seen too many times where someone says they put a tender on a dead battery and the battery is still dead a day later. LOL.
     
  22. flatblack

    flatblack Enthusiast

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    I got a Deltran at O'Reilly's today. Thanks for the help guys!

    I'll try to do the "ignition off draw" test when I get back home.
     
  23. scottmarston

    scottmarston Viper Owner

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    Does anybody recommend a Deltran part number? 12VDC @ 750mA? Or is that too damn small?
     
  24. DJ'sviper

    DJ'sviper Enthusiast

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    I use a battery tender on two of my classics and my 93 viper. They work great. Save me money on batteries. Batteries usually last 4 years in the viper. Classics about the same. They don't overcharge just keeps them fresh. Have been doing this for at least 20 years. One tender went bad and I am getting a new one for Xmas, I think. If not I'm buying one. The alarm system (I believe) in the viper is what drains the battery in my 93 even if I don't have it on. Don't make the mistake of getting a charger or it will blow up your battery.
     
  25. LaViper

    LaViper Enthusiast

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    :omg: Brad, If you like, I'll go over to your house & take it for "A Spin" :burnout: :burnout: every day so the Battery doesn't give you any trouble. :lmao::lmao::lmao:" What are friends for" :rolaugh: Ha Ha. :drive:All good advise ! :headbang:
     
  26. LifeIsGood

    LifeIsGood Enthusiast

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  27. dave6666

    dave6666 Enthusiast

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    Do they make one in English?
     
  28. flatblack

    flatblack Enthusiast

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    Hahaha, thanks for the offer!!
    Not too sure though. I have a '71 Mach 1 Mustang also, and I gave my keys to a trust worthy friend while I was gone. He drove it one time and shortly after, the tranny pan got a leak and ALL of the tranny fluid leaked out. I called him and asked him what he did, an he swears up and down he didnt rag it out. I believe him but it still sucks it happened! Lol
     
  29. scottmarston

    scottmarston Viper Owner

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    Thanks! I let my Viper sit for two weeks because it has been raining and it sounded pretty tired when I turned it over. I'll add this to the Christmas List!
     
  30. Jerome Sparich

    Jerome Sparich Enthusiast

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    That same one has kept my one trucks battery alive for 9 years now. The stock one Dodge put in no less.
     

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