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Old 12-17-2013, 06:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Connected 12V Battery Storage Life?

So I parked my old Tercel in August. Of 2012. It by no means had a new battery in it, it had the Delco one that I bought it with in 2011ish, which already looked a few years old. My Civic is pretty much dead, so I was trying to find something in the fleet that will make it to my parents place for the holidays. I looked in the Tercel, and the interior light came on. "No way this is going to happen" I thought. Turned the key, and it actually started? A used battery sitting connected for 16 months and still has enough juice to start the car - so now I want to know, what's the longest you've ever left a battery connected in a car for to find it still had survived and would start the car without having to jump start it? And what kind of battery was it?

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Old 12-17-2013, 08:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Maybe a month tops, any brand. Sears, spiral red top, car quest, napa, etc. Guessing alarm/radio memory/clock/rke system sucks them dry.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes usually with me it's a month or so at the most as well. I guess it's more the car than the battery, but still 16 months is pretty impressive. My old boss used to hoard old Volvos, and I got one of his started once after about a year that had just been sitting. I thought that was crazy at the time, and it had a Die Hard from what I remember. A quality battery in an older car with no newer systems that have small but constant draws seems to be a strong combo.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've seen an OE Nissan (YUASA) that was 13 years old when it finally died.

My Altima was inoperative for 10 months and it still cranked (OE battery).

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Old 12-17-2013, 09:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Blue - '93 Ford Tempo
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Still have the OEM battery in my '94 F150 (gonna have collector plates soon! ) but I don't know how long it could sit and still start up. I have let it set without starting for 8 months before but it needed a jump that time. Since then I've dropped the starter to clean the ground connections and also clean the battery connections so who knows.

P.S. If by chance it doesn't last as long as the rest of the truck, I will strongly consider spending the money to put another Motorcraft battery back in!
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You must have got a good Motorcraft battery Frank Lee, my '93 Mustang needed a new battery when it was about 5 years old. And I can't see an F150 and a Mustang having a big difference in their draws on a battery, at least not any that would make THAT much of a difference in longevity. Though maybe mine was just a dud, like a lot of other things on that car ha ha. New tires at 40k KMs (20k miles)? No, not from being burnt off, but because they were scary dangerous in the rain, and that was on the original Good Years! It seems the early/mid nineties were a mishmash of good and bad. Some neat stuff like the Civic VX, the 5.0 Mustang etc, not poorly made but with parts from manufactures that "should" have made better parts! If you got a good one then you got a great vehicle, but if you didn't, then you might as well have bought some of the disposable crap they sell now ha ha
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The truck has been pretty good to me. Oh how I wish I could have gotten OEM style Firestone tires- NONE of the aftermarket tires it's had have had that nice combo of mpg, wear, traction, and comfort. Also wish I would have gotten dealer shocks or premium parts store shocks; again what I put on there was no match for the originals.

Only things that kinda make me mad are the auto trans shift program (far too easily provoked downshifts) and the lack of rust protection.
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Old 12-18-2013, 11:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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A guy my dad used to know rescued an Auto Austin Allegro complete with 70s BL spec Lucas (lord of smoke) battery. It sat between 1978 and 1983 and started with some new petrol only.

Might also be worth asking what is the least time you have had a battery fail ? I had a Bosch one go in my 205 DT inside of 48 hours. Just died. No reason. Identical replacement went with the car about 18 months later.
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I thought Lucas was Lord of Darkness and the reason why warm beer is popular over there? (Didn't they make refrigerators as well? ha ha) But 5 years? Wow I think that one takes the cake, you would think that the plates would have sulfated to death by then.

As for shortest period of time, I think mine would be the instant it was installed. It was the cheapest battery you could buy at Canadian Tire (a chain hardware store we have), for an old Corolla I had at the time. The rumor has always been that their cheap stuff is rebranded factory seconds/rejects they sell under their own in house brand name. I installed the battery and it blew out the fuseable link from the battery. Took it to a shop to have it checked and it had an internal short/issue of some sort that made it totally unusable. Now when I need a cheap battery I buy one from a place that tells me up front that they sell factory seconds, and have never had a problem with one of theirs. I am guessing most batteries are made by a few big manufacturers and labeled with whatever brand the selling company wants, but I seem to have the best luck with Delco, Interstate, and old Die Hards. Maybe they are all made by the same factory or something?
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Starting a vehicle with a known low to dead battery just isnt a good idea. It puts a hell of a load on the alt to charge it back up and subjecting a battery to such a load at a low SOC will further damage it.

Me, I hook the charge up over night on my other vehicle. THen the next day I let it idle for 15 minutes or drive it to and from work the next few days or til lI use up a tank of gas.

I once had a battery in a wheelchair last more than 5 years, but the car ones I replace before they expire so they dont leave me SOL on the first hot ot cold day.

My last battery in my insight died 3 days after its warranty expired this past winter. Then this summer the one in my sidekick died.

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