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Old 02-14-2016
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New battery won't start

So last night my battery died, I tested it out and it was completely dead. I got a new battery and everything ran well. Drove the truck and ransoms errands. When I came out of the store to turn the truck on there was nothing! No power, no clicking, no ignition sound, etc... Nothing at all. What can it be? And how can I troubleshoot this. It's a 1997 4 cylinder. Is it the starter? Alternator? Ignition? What can it be. Anyone had this happen?
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Old 02-14-2016
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Battery cable is loose, did you clean cable ends before connecting to new battery?


Batteries that are 5 to 7 years old do die, and there is always a "date stickier" on the top so you can check the year and month it was installed.

BUT could be your charging system killed the last battery and is doing the same to the new one.
You always need to check the charging system when a battery "dies", or you will just be buying another new battery shortly.

get a volt meter, and test
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Old 02-14-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
Battery cable is loose, did you clean cable ends before connecting to new battery?


Batteries that are 5 to 7 years old do die, and there is always a "date stickier" on the top so you can check the year and month it was installed.

BUT could be your charging system killed the last battery and is doing the same to the new one.
You always need to check the charging system when a battery "dies", or you will just be buying another new battery shortly.

get a volt meter, and test
Yes I cleaned the cables, what consists of my charging system?
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Old 02-14-2016
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Alternator, and fuses/fusible links

Battery should have between 12.3volts and 13volts when engine is off.

After starting the engine battery should show 14volts to 15volts, no higher than 15volts
This is the "recharge voltage" the alternator sends to battery after it was drained by starter motor.

After about 5 minutes of engine running the battery voltage should be down to 13.5volt to 13.9volt, under 14volts.
This is the "maintenance voltage" the alternator sends to the battery to keep it charged but not cause it to overcharge and burn out.

Now with engine still running, turn on all the lights and put heater fan on high, voltage will drop and then come back up to what it was before, if it was 13.7v then thats what it should come back to.

If voltage doesn't read higher than 13volts with engine running then alternator is not working or its fuses are blown, so no connection to battery.
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Old 02-15-2016
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It's likely the alternator itself that's taken the 'biscuit'.

If you want a second opinion, especially if you aren't familiar with this type of diagnosis, I'd strongly recommend taking the truck to autozone or any other auto parts store. They'll check your battery and alternator for free in most cases right there in the parking lot.

One thing I'd like to share, 12.6 volts is usually regarded as the 'magic number' with batteries. To build upon RonD's posts, I'm going to post two or three videos about alternators, batteries, etc by Ericthecarguy. There's some useful information to take away from these videos for not only alternators and charging but for general electrical mishaps, general know-how, and other things along those lines.

I'm not trying to scare you here with this next line or two, but there is something you need to be aware of if you aren't already. Lead acid batteries can explode. I do mean explode, btw. While leadacid batteries themselves are very good at coping with misuse or overcharging, overdischarging type situations, it's important to know that it is still none the less possible. Definitely wear safety glasses!
As a couple general rules and tips, follow these at all times and you'll be fine; usually.
1. Never stand directly over a battery for any reason while it is hooked up to either a vehicle or a charger, or while it is being jump-started using any method.
2. If you smell rotten eggs (usually only takes place with older batteries) stop what you're doing immediately and cut the engine if it is running at the time and get the battery to open air, IE, outside. best way to avoid this is to do any work around it while you're outside in the first place. This gas is very flammable and, again, can explode if ignited.
3. Avoid sparks or flame of any kind near the battery. Propane torches, cigarettes, etc.
4. If you solder battery terminals on, do remove the battery first and wait until the terminals have cooled until they can be touched bare handed before reinstalling.
5. If you need to remove the battery, remove the negative cable first then positive. Connect positive first and negative last when installing.
6. Never set tools (like wrenches or screwdrivers) on top of a battery. These can cross the terminals and you end up with a very dangerous situation.


Again, not wanting to scare you, but I feel it's worth mentioning. I'd sure want someone to tell me if this were possible.





Last edited by TheArcticWolf1911; 02-15-2016 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 02-16-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArcticWolf1911 View Post
I'm not trying to scare you here with this next line or two, but there is something you need to be aware of if you aren't already. Lead acid batteries can explode.
Yes, always ensure you have the Proper Safety Gear on. When working on car batteries, I recommend the following:





Just joking around...Couldn't resist. For some reason EOD popped into my mind

Seriously, keep in mind what TheArcticWolf1911 said. Its good advice.
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Old 02-16-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev View Post
Yes, always ensure you have the Proper Safety Gear on. When working on car batteries, I recommend the following:





Just joking around...Couldn't resist. For some reason EOD popped into my mind

Seriously, keep in mind what TheArcticWolf1911 said. Its good advice.
Hey, at times that suit would be nice, lol. Thanks for your support btw.
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