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Old 05-11-2003, 03:44 AM
erubin erubin is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 445
I always trade in my car when the battery goes bad. Lot cheaper than trading in a spouse.

Sereiously, although it's nice to know the model and year of your car it's important to know the age of the battery. Since you did not state this i can only assume the battery is original which would be incredible (10 years!). Generally I replace a battery after 5 years when i have the first hints of potential failure. If you accidentally drained it completely several times the life of the battery is seriously compromised. DOD (depth of disharge) has a huge impact on battery life, I would say that the depth of the discharge is more important in defining battery life than the number of dicharge/charge cycles it's been through. BTW, if you have maintenance battery make sure you cover the plates with water. Distilled water is the best but drinking water is better than nothing if you notice through the fill holes that the plates are getting exposed.

That said batteries are electrochemical devices and as such are rather complex to characterize from any single or even several variables. Operating/storage temp, charging circuitry, depth of disharge (typically measured in amp-hrs), charge and disharge rate (measured in amps), number of charge/discharge cycle life... will result in very different outcomes for "identical" batteries. For example a lead acid battery that rearely gets deeply discharghed (including from self discharge) and stays "topped off" will last longer than one that gets deeply discharged.

I believe every home mechanic should have a trickle charger which can be left on the battery over night when needeed. They are cheap and allow you to charge up a deeply discharged battery. Counting on the alternator to do it after a jump start is not enough unless you are driving a lot of miles after the jump. A little 4 amp or less charger is real cheap and reduces the chance of overcharging if left on too long.
1972 450SL
1982 300D Turbo
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