Battery Creep. Humor, depression and success.

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North American Sojourner

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So thought I'd drop some lines on a creepy subject that many of us will be faced with sometime in their life.
This is not about a guy in a alley with a battery. LOL

I retired from the worlds largest canoe club in 2003 and started working on cars and trucks. When I got old I moved into the front office as a service advisor and manager and when I got smart, I went and sold parts. LOL


A week ago I was finishing a winch install on my F250. I fabricated a nice little distribution panel for the winch wiring, and a small fuse box for some lights and other accessories. I had the truck battery disconnected while doing all this work as I've learned over the years things happen, sometimes bad things.
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When I finished, I connected the positive cable to the positive battery post, and then the negative battery cable to the negative battery post. The under-hood light came on which was my signal we had power to the vehicle.
I jumped into the driver seat, slammed the key into the go plug and turned it to get going.
And then the fight started.
Nothing. Everything went black. No power, no noise, no bleeding, nadda.
I jump out of the truck, run around to the battery side of the truck and start looking for fire, smoke, blood, dead mice or physical scars of a disaster.
Nothing.
I quickly disconnect the negative cable and start looking at things that may have caused the most horrible incident in my automotive career. A car that would not start. I was devastated.
Then I discovered this.
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BATTERY CREEP!!!!!!!...............NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So no big deal, cut off the positive terminal, get out the tools and reconstruct the positive side of the harness going to the alternator/starter and power distribution box or "fuse box"
The tools required to do this..................all of them.
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Are we excited yet???

I was not. So rebuilt the the two pos leads and reconnected and still nothing. I start thinking I need to check resistance from the battery to the starter and alternator.
So that happens
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Everything was good.
I went back and checked the circuit breaker/master fuse below the battery and it looked like garbage so I completely disassembled the part and cleaned all the contact surfaces and put it back together. This time I bypassed the silly twisted up wire that would send panic attacks to my power probe and ohm meter. It looked like ass too.
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Reconnected the entire system and nothing.
Not a damn thing.
I am convinced its my circuit breaker that is bad. Power is not getting from the battery to the good parts.
So I drive 29 minutes to my buddies shop and ask him to verify my finding that this part is bad, and he did. Very sketchy. I'm screwed. this part does not exist in the entire Country, or world. I know. I'm a parts guy.
I'm ASE certified A4-C1-P2. I'm a walking bad ass. LMAO.
I get free coffee in the lobby.

I start crying. I have burned up my truck over a $300 cheapass winch.

I take two days off and start thinking of jumping off........................the steps or something that won't break a hip.

My buddy Adam calls and ask how I'm doing. He has heard the rumors. I tell him I'm considering Heroin. He says did you check the battery?

What?

Did you check the battery?

Adam, I'm ASE A4-C1-P2. The battery is a 2020 Interstate 1000CCA bad to the bone, clean, polished black and capable of chucking that starter into the yard dragging the alternator behind it.

Did you check it?

Yeah it's a little low on voltage now after all the non starts.

Charge it and let me know. See ya.

So I pull the battery, and grab my old 65 Series from 2015 and my golf clubs. I need to hit something hard several times and this is a good reason.
Head to my former employer Autozone. Ask the boss to charge it and test it, I'll be on the course. He sends me a text while I'm hitting an approach shot into the 7th hole, a beautiful par 4, 398 yards.

The Battery is Bad

What?

The Battery is Bad

I'd like to stop here and explain some things. I'm a battery expert. I've charged, installed, blown up, caught on fire, thrown, sold and warrantied more batteries than most men have put on socks.
I suffered a heart attack wrapping a pallet of batteries at the store I worked at in 2016.
I know batteries........LMAO.

My Boss at KIA told me you can't fix anything unless you know how it works. I've lived by this rule for many years. I failed to exercise good diag skills for my little project. I failed to test the battery knowing it was a two year battery and it was two years old.
I failed to understand how things work.

$165 later, I'm a happy man. Truck starts, drives, plays music and will eventually take me to beautiful places in the Country.


Some foot notes;
Battery creep is corrosion that may not be visible at the terminal end of a cable, but can be present at the middle of a cable unseen by the eye because it's wrapped in an insulator.
Grounds are more important than anything else. Continuity is everything and if the ground is trash, you don't have continuity.
Put snow flake washers under grounds. Grounds suck even when put on at the factory. Ten years later they will suck even more.
snow.jpg

That's all I got. Hope you have a nice day and enjoyed the post.
I hated every minute. LOL
Zim


 

M Rose

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I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you. We have all been there. I’m sure when I find out what is wrong with the “”Adventure Machine “ I’ll be banging my head against my palm with you as well.
thanks for the story.
 

eriefisher

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I spent a good part of my career as a "Road Tech". You'd be shocked how often the "obvious" or "simple" thing stumps technicians. Shortly after starting with the last company I worked for I became "that guy" who follows everybody else. My job was to deal with come backs from the shop and to help other road techs with issues that they were having trouble diagnosing. Probably 8 out of 10 times it was loose/broken/corroded wires/grounds etc. The simple things seem to baffle techs sometimes. They forget the basics and where to start diagnosing. Not every issue is a fatality. Not every no-start is a bad computer, sometime your just out of fuel(happened quite often).
 

North American Sojourner

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I spent a good part of my career as a "Road Tech". You'd be shocked how often the "obvious" or "simple" thing stumps technicians. Shortly after starting with the last company I worked for I became "that guy" who follows everybody else. My job was to deal with come backs from the shop and to help other road techs with issues that they were having trouble diagnosing. Probably 8 out of 10 times it was loose/broken/corroded wires/grounds etc. The simple things seem to baffle techs sometimes. They forget the basics and where to start diagnosing. Not every issue is a fatality. Not every no-start is a bad computer, sometime your just out of fuel(happened quite often).
At KIA we fixed most of the sensor problems with those snowflake washers. My boss hated warranty part jobs and we all knew the grounds sucked.
Zim
 

North American Sojourner

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You need to consider a career in writing. LMFAO. It is always the simple things that F us up in electrical, isn't it? As Scotty once said, "The more complicated the plumbing, the easier it is to gum it up...."
Thanks Stephen. My Dad was a part time writer and I was a Illustrator. He's been gone for a while now and I'm taking over. Poorly, but I'm taking over. Ahahahahahaha.
Zim
 

North American Sojourner

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I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you. We have all been there. I’m sure when I find out what is wrong with the “”Adventure Machine “ I’ll be banging my head against my palm with you as well.
thanks for the story.
Michael you can always laugh at me brother. Laughing is positive cause I'm tired of cryin. LOL
Zim
 
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MOAK

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Hmmm, I smile chuckle and laugh. Years ago I was in a brand new Freighliner. It would not start, randomly. Service guys with laptops couldn’t figure it out. After a while I got a big breaker bar and a big socket. And when it wouldn’t start I popped the hood, put the socket on the alternator pulley, moved it ever so slightly and whammo, fired right up. It took nearly a year for a tech to finally listen to me . He came out, plugged his laptop in . I got my breaker and socket out. Here, I’ll show you how to get it started. Did my thing, started right up. I’ve been telling you guys for 9 months now that a tooth is missing on the flywheel. Finally they tore it down and replaced the flywheel.. simple . I’m pleased for you is was just a battery!
 

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Thanks for a great story @North American Sojourner! I learned last year at Expo East just how important grounds are! I purchased at discount a Redarc DC-DC charger from the Redarc crew at Expo East. Went back to my truck and installed it and couldn't get it to work, checked all the connections and nothing. So I go back to Redarc and one of the guys walks back with me to my truck and says the most likely culprit is I don't have a good ground. My ground was a thick ground cable screwed inside my tail light into the metal fender. He told me that probably wasn't good enough, by best bet would be to drill a hole thru my frame and bolt it directly to the frame. I thought metal fender attached to metal frame would be good but I was wrong. Installed the ground as he recommended to the frame and the DC-DC charger has been working great ever since!
 

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I couldn't get my 82 Jeep CJ8 started after installing a new motor. Cleaned the +/- battery terminals, bought and installed a new solenoid, had the starter tested, drank several beers, howled at the moon...still no starting. My buddy walked in, took one look and suggested (among other things that I remove my head...) I clean the new paint out of the ground cable mounting hole in the new engine. Holy crap, a miracle!!! It started. So yes, clean grounds are important.
 

ZombieCat

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A humorous and educational journey with a happy ending. Snowflake washers saved the day! Thank you for the laughs.
Now if you have an issue with camera lens creep, that I can remedy…
 

StevenHarry

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The most common cause of a battery that drains fast on a laptop is an old battery that needs replacing. Also, your battery could drain quickly when running resource-heavy programs or when the battery settings are not optimized. Peripherals can also contribute to this problem.
 

North American Sojourner

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Hmmm, I smile chuckle and laugh. Years ago I was in a brand new Freighliner. It would not start, randomly. Service guys with laptops couldn’t figure it out. After a while I got a big breaker bar and a big socket. And when it wouldn’t start I popped the hood, put the socket on the alternator pulley, moved it ever so slightly and whammo, fired right up. It took nearly a year for a tech to finally listen to me . He came out, plugged his laptop in . I got my breaker and socket out. Here, I’ll show you how to get it started. Did my thing, started right up. I’ve been telling you guys for 9 months now that a tooth is missing on the flywheel. Finally they tore it down and replaced the flywheel.. simple . I’m pleased for you is was just a battery!
Now that's a good diag. Who wudda thunk? LOL.
I actually thought of moving the truck. My driveway has a slight slope and it does have some "drift" when I put it in park. I thought maybe it was frozen against the crank. LOL
All this after the fact tho. Go figure. I'll use the E brake more.
Zim
 

North American Sojourner

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Dave
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Thanks for a great story @North American Sojourner! I learned last year at Expo East just how important grounds are! I purchased at discount a Redarc DC-DC charger from the Redarc crew at Expo East. Went back to my truck and installed it and couldn't get it to work, checked all the connections and nothing. So I go back to Redarc and one of the guys walks back with me to my truck and says the most likely culprit is I don't have a good ground. My ground was a thick ground cable screwed inside my tail light into the metal fender. He told me that probably wasn't good enough, by best bet would be to drill a hole thru my frame and bolt it directly to the frame. I thought metal fender attached to metal frame would be good but I was wrong. Installed the ground as he recommended to the frame and the DC-DC charger has been working great ever since!
I learned more as a parts guy than a service tech. It was a younger service tech that came in for parts the "schooled me on 12v and grounds. He was amazing to talk to.
Zim
 
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