Big Bend Chat

Big Bend National Park Q&A => The Backroads => Topic started by: cjacob on September 24, 2007, 02:17:21 PM

Title: Car Battery
Post by: cjacob on September 24, 2007, 02:17:21 PM
So,  I have had a wonderful time this weekend looking for a battery for my Range Rover.  I was left stranded in Austin for 3 days looking for a Battery with 900+ Clod Cranking Amps.  When was the last time you replaced your Battery?  I know I would be SOL if in a remote part of the park and it left me high and dry.  We talk about Tires here but yet to see a battery post. 

I replaced it with a Yellow Optima Deap Cycle Batter with 950 CCA.  It was almost 60lbs.  I hope now I am never left standed in the middle of noware for a battery.  My Battery that died was a 14 month old interstate battery with 900+ CCA.
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: Casa Grande on September 24, 2007, 02:38:54 PM
Back in August of 2004, I was with a friend of mine and his sons.  He had an old ford pickup and I had my jeep.  Just as we were ready to depart our campsite at Glenn Spring 2, his battery died.  Lucky for him, I had my Jeep. So we left the boys for a little while, while we went to the Gas Station at PJ.  Lucky for him again, they had his battery.

Unfortunately, these days, you won't find a battery at PJ anymore  :eusa_naughty:
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: bdann on September 24, 2007, 03:30:32 PM
My friend Grant and I killed his battery accidentally camping at Fresno once.  We left the radio on or something when we went to bed the night before.   :icon_redface:
Weren't able to get a jump until the next day around Noon.  My next trip to Fresno, I was so paranoid about this I brought a spare battery. 
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: SHANEA on September 24, 2007, 03:33:38 PM
If I recall correctly, BDANN had problems with batteries out near the mine not long ago.  I forget what the exact circumstances were, etc. 

I'm skeptical of those battery jumper things that are supposidly able to start your car.   A Hyndai maybe.  I'm just not sure how much true cranking power they have for a big gas guzzling vehicle.  I'd like to hear reports.  Some of the units they are are really pretty inexpensive and I'd get one, it it would work worth a darn.  I'm just concerned how well it would work on a really cold day out in the vastness. 
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: westtex on September 24, 2007, 05:15:51 PM
I have had to push start my standard pickup before on the backroads.  I would be SOL if it happened when I was alone.

ShaneA: are you talking about the heavy battery like things that are supposed to jump your car all by itself?  Or are you a skeptic of the jumper cables in general?
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: 01ACRViper on September 24, 2007, 05:18:00 PM
I have had to push start my standard pickup before on the backroads.  I would be SOL if it happened when I was alone.

ShaneA: are you talking about the heavy battery like things that are supposed to jump your car all by itself?  Or are you a skeptic of the jumper cables in general?

jumper packs.

they make enormous heavy duty version, and a small portable one. we used the portable one quite often on the used car lot, it seems to work just fine. the only thing it had problems with was a cummins equipped truck  :eusa_doh:
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: Undertaker on September 24, 2007, 05:48:31 PM
Run dual battery on F-350 not sure if the little portable will crank the diesel if both are dead.
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: badknees on September 24, 2007, 06:08:24 PM
Being proactive is the best bet.....

Get your battery load tested and replace it if it is marginal.

Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: Casa Grande on September 24, 2007, 06:10:06 PM
I have had to push start my standard pickup before on the backroads.

yet another fine example of having a standard tranny  :azn:
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: Al on September 24, 2007, 06:19:22 PM
I have had to push start my standard pickup before on the backroads.

yet another fine example of having a standard tranny  :azn:

Yup, just as long as the battery isn't completely dead.  If it is, with modern electronic computer managed engines, unfortunately, sometimes push starting a vehicle with a manual transmission doesn't even work. Been there and had that happen.  I was depressed.  Had to wait to get a jump.

Al
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: SHANEA on September 24, 2007, 06:42:03 PM
I have had to push start my standard pickup before on the backroads.  I would be SOL if it happened when I was alone.

ShaneA: are you talking about the heavy battery like things that are supposed to jump your car all by itself?  Or are you a skeptic of the jumper cables in general?

 :azn:  I carry a pair of jumper cables with me.  I'm more sketical about the heavy battery things.....  I'd like to hear some first hand reports and the links to a suggested model with price.   :azn:
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: bdann on September 24, 2007, 06:58:58 PM
4 years ago, Fresno campsite, dead battery, no fun.  actually, it was fun.  I'd rather be stuck at Fresno with a dead battery than sitting here typing on a computer! (at least until the food & water runs out!)  It's just a weird feeling when you suddenly know that your transportation is dead and you haven't seen another vehicle in about 24 hours.  (we had tons of food and water)

The guy that gave us a jump actually had one of those portable jump start things....it didn't work. 
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: SHANEA on September 24, 2007, 09:27:34 PM
The guy that gave us a jump actually had one of those portable jump start things....it didn't work. 

Ah ha....   :eusa_boohoo:
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: uh_clem on September 24, 2007, 10:03:40 PM
 I have one of the portable battery packs. I've used it a few times and it worked fine.
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: SHANEA on September 24, 2007, 10:15:48 PM
I have one of the portable battery packs. I've used it a few times and it worked fine.

Which one?
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: cjacob on September 25, 2007, 01:24:37 AM
Those portable things are what got the truck BARELY started to get it to limp home.  Now in the case of the Range Rover we had to re boot the windows (one by one) Sun Roof, Run it through a cycle of the various hight adjustments and re sync the key fobs.  Weridly it still knew my seat program after having the battery out of the truck for 48 hrs. 
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: mountaindocdanny on September 25, 2007, 11:47:13 AM
I had a Nissan Sentra at Nugent Mountain site a few years ago whne I lost my battery. Waited 2 hours and was just getting ready to start walking when someone drove by and jumped me.
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: Undertaker on September 25, 2007, 05:01:50 PM
Not sure I would be able to budge a F-350, but really don't matter, as I found out on trip to Colorado this past Christmas. Older diesel trucks pre 1990 had manual fuel pump, and as long as you had fuel you could travel even without lights. Since mid 90's diesel now has electric fuel pump and pushing does no good without electrics to move fuel, don't know which bright soul thought that oneup :willynilly:
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: uh_clem on September 26, 2007, 10:45:56 AM
I have one of the portable battery packs. I've used it a few times and it worked fine.

Which one?

ESP 5500, I think. I'll verify that when I get home.

This is it. (http://www.amazon.com/Solar-SOLESP5500-BoosterPac-ESP-5500/dp/B0002UNPNM) It appears to be a back number so good luck finding one.
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: JeffB on October 18, 2007, 12:11:37 AM
We had a battery problem on our trip over labor day weekend.  One morning in the basin we found the battery was dead.   We got a jumpstart from one of the rangers (who also gave us unsolicited advice about where to find hookers in Ojinaga, but that's another story). 

We had scheduled a trip to remote areas of Big Bend Ranch State Park.  But after the battery problem we were worried about driving to a remote area and getting stranded.  We went ahead and drove to the state park with intention to camp near Solitario.  By the time we reached the state park gate we had two more warning lights on in the 4-runner:  Check Engine and another warning light were on.  Considering the long drive across dirt roads and questionable condition of the truck we decided to play it safe and cancel the trip to Solitario.   

The truck turned out to be fine for the rest of the trip but it was a good decision not to take a chance.  We'll be back to resume our trip in a week or two...
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: chisos_muse on October 18, 2007, 06:58:06 AM
We had a battery problem on our trip over labor day weekend.  One morning in the basin we found the battery was dead.   We got a jumpstart from one of the rangers (who also gave us unsolicited advice about where to find hookers in Ojinaga, but that's another story). 


Yup.....hookers in OJ......the gift that keeps on giving! :eusa_naughty:
(Be vewwy cawefuwl)
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: SHANEA on October 18, 2007, 08:28:30 AM
We had a battery problem on our trip over labor day weekend...  By the time we reached the state park gate we had two more warning lights on in the 4-runner:  Check Engine and another warning light were on. 

That was probably a smart move.  You might still be waiting out in the wilds of BBRSP waiting on the two truck.   :azn:

So, what was the problem?  Check engine light is "usually" a emissions problems.  That's one thing about my Avalanche, it has pretty good on board diagnostics instead of just an "idiot" light and also has Onstar so that they can tap in and run other diagnostics.

Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: presidio on October 18, 2007, 12:33:29 PM
Check engine light is "usually" a emissions problems.

Actually, it can be a couple of other things that aren't problems per se.

a) mileage counter on oil changes (reset by folks at quick lube places if you use them, otherwise usually some arcane process of turning on the ignition (not starting it), stomping the accelerator a number of times, etc., holding your mouth the right way....each make is somewhat different).
b) gas cap loose (this is a frequent one overall)

It could be a temporarily obstructed oxygen sensor.....or any number of other things, many of which are not serious but perhaps need attention. If it's really a problem you usually come to a stop, sort of like when temp and oil lights come on because you've lost fluids and shortly you are no longer driving if you ignore them.
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: 01ACRViper on October 18, 2007, 05:48:28 PM
my battery was really, really weak recently, and the check engine light would come on while it was running. as soon as the battery was charged the problem went away. first time in 7 years i've seen that light on, scared me  :eusa_doh:
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: Casa Grande on October 18, 2007, 06:19:46 PM
my light on my honda civic was on for 5 years; car got totaled, never did do anything about it
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: RichardM on October 18, 2007, 06:37:30 PM
The check engine light on my wife's 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser went on back in the spring of 2002.  She didn't want to take it to the dealer so we took to a local shop.  Big mistake.  They misdiagnosed it several times before the timing belt finally gave up the ghost.  It bent the valve stems and did some other damage when it went.  Cost us over $4,000 before it was over.  Naturally, all of this happened while her Dad was losing his battle with cancer so we were a bit preoccupied.
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: JeffB on October 18, 2007, 07:57:13 PM
Check engine light is "usually" a emissions problems.

Actually, it can be a couple of other things that aren't problems per se.
...

It could be a temporarily obstructed oxygen sensor.....

Might have been the oxygen sensor.   It was intermittent and seemed to come on after driving dirt roads.  The truck had been tuned up just before the trip.  Even after refueling the light would stay on so I doubt it was bad gas or the gas cap. 
Title: A trick to revive a dying battery
Post by: missourimike on December 29, 2007, 11:32:31 AM
This trick can be used for a battery that is old and losing it power.  If the battery is still delivering some juice but not enough to crank the car, you can use this trick in case of emergency. 

A battery goes dead after so many years/months due to the changes to the sulfuric acid.  The repeated process of charging and use converts sulfuric acid to sulfur crystals on the lead plates.  These crystals eventually build up  and lower the power output. 

If you are stranded with a half dead, old battery, you can try to knock off these crystals with a decent thump or drop.  Be careful and don't break the plastic housing.  A couple of small thumps is good.  Old mechanics used to bring back a battery with a thump from a 2 x 4 or a small drop thump. 

You can purchase smart chargers that can remove these crystals and revive  an aging battery. You can also put a circuit on your battery post that will desulfanant your battery while in use.

When  I had two batteries in my vehicle one is a deep cycle battery for radios, etc.

MO Mike
Title: Re: Car Battery
Post by: Undertaker on December 29, 2007, 12:10:49 PM
With the new cars totally computer controled, any loss in voltage can cause all sort of lights to light that may or may not be a problem, cars/trucks with guages use to be good but they are computer controled, gas pedal in most new cars/trucks are fly by wire and have no physical connection from pedal to anything, just wire to computer controller. Smart planing. A good thump never hurt anything including battery or children.
 :icon_eek:
Title: Getting around with a dead battery
Post by: missourimike on December 29, 2007, 12:11:41 PM
I forgot to mention a use of an extra battery.


When my alternator went out, the car was running with its normal battery. The subaru will staying running as long as the battery has enough juice to keep fuel/ignition systems happy.  I have found subaru will shut itself off at  a point before you lose too much amps/volts to start the car.  Therefore in this car I have less time to run w/o the charging alt.

But with a marine battery to use, I wired it up to my original battery for extra run time.  I used jumper cables and some zip ties/duct tape because my marine battery was placed in my back seat.  With some much more amp/hours in the marine battery, I made the two hours drive home. 

For a diagnosis in most cars,
if your alt. is out, the car will die once the battery is disconnected.