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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Let my RL sit in pole barn for about 3 months. Weather got super cold last two weeks, never got above 15 degrees. Motor turned over about 4 times very slowly, not fast enough to catch. I threw it on a charger for two days. Interestingly, the battery charger never went to 0. Always somewhere between 1 and 2.
Anyone else ever have same issue? Battery is only about 6 months old and is 900cca.
 

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What kind/size of charger?
 

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A few months ago my neighbor mentioned that he had purchased 3 batteries after his Harbor Freight charger was unable to revive them. As this didn't sound right I offered him the use of my 10-12 year old Haus-Camp? Walmart purchased charger.

He did, and found out his charger was bad.

Now with that said, I should also report that my RidgeLines's OEM battery died at about 23 months. Honda replaced it ... and I'm close to that mark yet again.
 

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Let my RL sit in pole barn for about 3 months. Weather got super cold last two weeks, never got above 15 degrees. Motor turned over about 4 times very slowly, not fast enough to catch. I threw it on a charger for two days. Interestingly, the battery charger never went to 0. Always somewhere between 1 and 2.
Anyone else ever have same issue? Battery is only about 6 months old and is 900cca.
Moo, give us the rest of the story! Did it start after it had been on the charger for two days, or not?

Can't tell from what you've provided whether your battery is good or bad - it does not surprise me that after sitting for three months in a cold barn, a battery wouldn't start a cold engine.

Most auto parts stores will test a battery for free.

Flymo
 

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We swap out multiple batteries at regular intervals

Why?
 

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We swap out multiple batteries at regular intervals

Why?
+1 to this!

Perhaps if you are living in an EXTREMELY cold area and don't drive your vehicles much this might make sense. . .

For normal operations there is absolutely no reason to rotate batteries.

Moo,

What do you mean by this
"Interestingly, the battery charger never went to 0. Always somewhere between 1 and 2. "

Are you referring to the amps the charger is putting out?
 

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What brand of battery is it? Only six months old you should get a free replacement. Don't know if it's a Honda battery, but I'd stay away from em...100 month Honda replacement battery lasted less than 48 months...Seems they can have bad plates that short from time to time.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sorry for the delay. I cannot remember what the brand of battery is. I get them from Wally World. I've always had pretty good luck with them and I change them out every three years anyway. I always get the highest cca that I can fit in the battery spot for more power reserve.
I had let the RL sit for two or three months and the last two weeks or so got very cold her in northwest ohio. Normally, newer batteries hold up just fine but this battery got weak for some reason. The engine turned very slowly and stopped. So, I charged the battery with an old school shop quality charger. I let it charge for about 24 hours. Now normally, the amp gauge (did I spell that right?) will go down to just about 0 or just under 1. Obviously this is telling me that there is little charge left that the battery will take. But this time, it kept hovering around 2, even after 24 hrs. It seems to hold the charge but I dont know for how long. I guess the battery could be defective or I have a slow discharge somewhere. I've check all lights and stuff. Its common for my truck to sit for long periods of time. I did not have this problem in warm weather.
 

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Take it back to Wally World. They will test it and probably give you a new one as it is still under warranty. Sounds like it has a bad cell.
 

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Sorry for the delay. I cannot remember what the brand of battery is. I get them from Wally World. I've always had pretty good luck with them and I change them out every three years anyway. I always get the highest cca that I can fit in the battery spot for more power reserve.
The highest CCA doesn't give power reserve. It gives high current. With conventional consumer-grade batteries, this is achieved using a higher number of thinner lead plates, leading to a higher likelihood of failure. Plus, to keep them strong enough to not just fall apart, they probably aren't pure lead, which further reduces the energy reserve (the spec to look for is the Reserve Capacity).
I had let the RL sit for two or three months and the last two weeks or so got very cold her in northwest ohio. Normally, newer batteries hold up just fine but this battery got weak for some reason. The engine turned very slowly and stopped. So, I charged the battery with an old school shop quality charger. I let it charge for about 24 hours. Now normally, the amp gauge (did I spell that right?) will go down to just about 0 or just under 1. Obviously this is telling me that there is little charge left that the battery will take. But this time, it kept hovering around 2, even after 24 hrs. It seems to hold the charge but I dont know for how long. I guess the battery could be defective or I have a slow discharge somewhere. I've check all lights and stuff. Its common for my truck to sit for long periods of time. I did not have this problem in warm weather.
You sound like an excellent candidate for a premium AGM battery. Get one, and all of this futzing around can end. It will cost 2-3x as much, but last 2-3x longer, or more. I currently have one ready for transplantation into its 3rd vehicle within the family. It keeps outliving the vehicles.

The ideal choice here is a model that is designed for both starting and deep discharge. Candidates are:

- Optima Yellow Top
- Exide Orbital Extreme
- NorthStar Ultra High Performance

I not only switched to AGM, but also increased the size in my Ridgeline, to a 24F. Here is the most relevant posting from another thread:
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1138113&postcount=451

Some people don't want to spend the money on a premium battery, but it comes out comparably in the long run. Rather than having free replacements, I'd rather be free of stranding, especially on the coldest days.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ian, now that is most interesting on the cca rating? So, as the starter (or somewhere else along the power supply line going to the starter) regulates how much power actually gets to the starter without frying it, how does the higher current allow the battery to crank longer? As you know, smaller batteries will not crank a motor over as long as a higher cca battery would. If all that extra current isnt used and regulated before it gets to the starter, what good is a larger battery doing? Would a 900 cca crank a motor as long as a 500cca with everything else being the same? Sounds like I am wrong on some of the things I thought about batteries. I appreciate the education! And, seeming how I'm getting a little schooled and batteries, how is the AMG battery better and why does it last so long? I would definately spend the extra money for a great battery. Interestingly, my home solar panel backup kit has two huge glass mat batteries that are 110 amp rated each. Is this the same type of battery? If so, I do understand, to a point, how the solar batteries store power as opposed to regular lead.
 

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Ian.... I also was not aware of the extended life aspects of AGM. Is this typical or maybe a bit of exageration? Are you saying I could expect to get 12-15 years from one of these batteries (typical)???
If so, I too will change my outlook on AGM. I used them for my Diesel boat batteries (talk about expensive!), but have never considered them for my cars. Please clarify on the longevity question if you can. Thanks

FYI my wet cell maint. free conventional car batteries have lasted me about 4-5 years typically.. I've had some last 6 or 7, but those were the exception.
Both my OEM & 1st replacement in the Ridge lasted just over 4 years. The one in my S2000 lasted 8.
 

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Ian, now that is most interesting on the cca rating? So, as the starter (or somewhere else along the power supply line going to the starter) regulates how much power actually gets to the starter without frying it,
The power will be determined by the internal resistance of the starter and the voltage set by the battery and any regulators. These premium batteries still operate at about the same voltage as the traditional lead-acid batteries, so that doesn't change. What does change is that the premium ones will be less prone to failure to supply high current under sustained load.
how does the higher current allow the battery to crank longer?
It doesn't. Higher current will drain a power source faster.
As you know, smaller batteries will not crank a motor over as long as a higher cca battery would.
I don't know that, or think that! :) I think that you are confusing high CCA (a current rating) with reserve capacity (an energy storage rating).
If all that extra current isnt used and regulated before it gets to the starter, what good is a larger battery doing?
A larger battery will allow the storage of more total energy than a smaller battery, all else being equal. Different battery designs may also affect total storage, without changing battery size, but typically at higher cost than the consumer-grade models that you'll typically see advertised.
Would a 900 cca crank a motor as long as a 500cca with everything else being the same?
No. It would be like pouring water out of a jug with higher water flow. It's going to empty out more quickly.
Sounds like I am wrong on some of the things I thought about batteries. I appreciate the education! And, seeming how I'm getting a little schooled and batteries, how is the AMG battery better and why does it last so long?
I'm not a battery designer, but I believe that the higher energy content is possible because of the higher amount of lead in the premium models. They are friggin' heavy! As far as I can tell, it's the different internal plate design (or spiral design, in the cases of spiral cell batteries) that simultaneously offers high current. There are surely more details than I can give. However, they do it without depending on thin and fragile plates.
I would definately spend the extra money for a great battery. Interestingly, my home solar panel backup kit has two huge glass mat batteries that are 110 amp rated each. Is this the same type of battery? If so, I do understand, to a point, how the solar batteries store power as opposed to regular lead.
It would not be the same design of battery. They are probably "deep cycle".

Automotive "starter" batteries are designed for very high current, light discharge, and immediate recharge. They will suffer shortened life from deep discharge or long storage without recharge.

"Deep cycle" batteries are the opposite. They are typically used in a manner more like a liquid fuel tank -- charge them up, deplete them with slow to moderate current, recharge when you can.

I do not know the details of how these two designs differ. I used to! It's long forgotten. Anyway, the premium AGM batteries that I listed capture both capabilities (starting and deep cycle) very well.

They also have another benefit: rapid recharge. This makes them suitable for people who make a lot of short trips, where a conventional battery might not be able to accept a full recharge from the vehicle's alternator.
 

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Ian.... I also was not aware of the extended life aspects of AGM. Is this typical or maybe a bit of exageration? Are you saying I could expect to get 12-15 years from one of these batteries (typical)???
From what I can tell from this forum and elsewhere, production standards for modern batteries with liquid acid and plain lead plates is that anything past three years is a bonus. Sure, they might last longer, but don't count on it. Additionally, because of plate fragility, a cracked plate can lead to a battery that tests fine on the bench but sporadically fails in a vehicle.

With a premium AGM battery, if you get less than six years from it, consider yourself cheated. My oldest one is an Orbital Extreme (spiral cell) that is almost 7 years old, on deck to be in its third vehicle, and can still spin over a cold V6 engine FAST at -30 degrees Celcius after sitting for three months. I'm going to call that a win at $200.

I have now purchased two Northstar batteries as well. I put a 24F in my Ridgeline early last winter and just replaced the failing 4yo OEM one in a relative's CX-7 (a Group 35 battery). These were $300 each.

My expectation with each of these purchases is that it will be the last battery ever needed for each respective vehicle. So far, so good, though only the one has been tested for long enough to say that it was worth it.
If so, I too will change my outlook on AGM. I used them for my Diesel boat batteries (talk about expensive!), but have never considered them for my cars. Please clarify on the longevity question if you can. Thanks

FYI my wet cell maint. free conventional car batteries have lasted me about 4-5 years typically.. I've had some last 6 or 7, but those were the exception.
Both my OEM & 1st replacement in the Ridge lasted just over 4 years. The one in my S2000 lasted 8.
Let's say that an AGM would last 10 years. In each case, that's once or twice that, with cheap batteries, you were probably operating a vehicle with a battery for quite some time in a risky situation, where a temperature drop or an accidental drain (leaving a light on) could lead to an embarrassing or even dangerous stranding. Sure, an AGM will eventually wear out. However, your amount of time operating the vehicle with a weak battery will be a fraction of with the cheap ones. Plus, if YOU installed an AGM battery after the original one failed, chances are that you'll sell the vehicle before the AGM needs replacement, because by then the vehicle will be 13+ years old.

Here in sunny Ottawa, there is a rash of strandings every winter (or even autumn) as people didn't realise that their batteries got weak over the past year. They started fine all summer. Every day that is a few degrees colder than previously in the season, a few hundred (or thousand) more vehicle won't start. If they can't get a boost from a friend or neighbour, they call for service. Those service vehicles have multi-hour backlogs because it's all happening at the same time.

Sure, you can remember to bench test a vehicle before winter every year. However, that test will be done before it's cold, and probably in a warm mechanic's garage! Or, you can just put in the last battery you'll ever need and never worry about it again. I've gone with the second option.
 

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I do not know the details of how these two designs differ. I used to! It's long forgotten. Anyway, the premium AGM batteries that I listed capture both capabilities (starting and deep cycle) very well.

They also have another benefit: rapid recharge. This makes them suitable for people who make a lot of short trips, where a conventional battery might not be able to accept a full recharge from the vehicle's alternator.
I have to chime in here and say that other-Ian is correct here. I was having a terrible time with regular lead-acid batteries in my RL. I bought my truck used from a private party who had put in an Interstate battery at some point before I bought it. After about a year, it was showing signs of getting weak. It was a size 35 battery and the truck came from Florida. Batteries have much less demand on them for cold-weather starting there than they do here in western PA. I forget what the CCA rating was on it, but it was less than the OEM battery. I replaced it with an Autocraft Gold size 24F (as described by Ian previously) because it had a bit higher CCA rating than the 35 size. It lasted for nearly two years before it died after sitting in very cold temps for a few days. It just couldn't keep a good charge after that. I envoked the warranty and got a brand new battery after it tested bad. Seven months later in the middle of September (still warm), the battery wouldn't hold a charge for any longer than a day. It was simply dead as a doornail. Once again, I used the warranty, but instead upgraded to the Autocraft Platinum AGM deep cycle battery. It was only $60 more with my credit from the warranty, so it was a no-brainer. My trips are only 3.3 miles to work and back and I don't get above 40mph. The rapid charging of this battery is what I needed and it hasn't shown signs of even coming close to letting me down for nearly 18 months now. Even when it was well below 0F, the truck turned a bit slower than normal but had no problem starting whatsoever. I highly recommend a quality AGM battery for most applications. The extra cost is worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Man, look at all this information from a simple question. I love it. Thanks for all the feedback. I'm gonna get me a AGM.
Oh, I'm also armoring up the RL. Special window coating and door panel inserts. More on that later.:act035:
 

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Bought truck brand new, battery only lasted a year. The TX heat kills batteries. I have stayed away from AGM's cuz there's no warning when they go out. They just die suddenly. I can tell when a traditional battery is getting tired and it gives me time to replace it. Regular driving gives you 2-3yrs at most here or if you drive like I do for work, getting a year out of a battery is about as good as it gets.
 

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Bought truck brand new, battery only lasted a year. The TX heat kills batteries. I have stayed away from AGM's cuz there's no warning when they go out. They just die suddenly. I can tell when a traditional battery is getting tired and it gives me time to replace it. Regular driving gives you 2-3yrs at most here or if you drive like I do for work, getting a year out of a battery is about as good as it gets.
Whereas I've not heard of AGM's simply dying abruptly, I would venture a guess that the AGM will last much longer than a regular lead acid battery. For me, I'm less than a mile from three different auto parts stores, so if my battery dies and I don't want to employ my AAA benefits, I can simply take my wife's car down to the store or walk if I have to. Nevertheless, here in western PA, we get temperatures ranging anywhere from -15F in the winter to 105F in the summer. This battery has gone through both of those extremes for a year and a half now (nearly two winters) and has shown no sign of weakness.
 
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