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  #1  
Old 12-19-2014, 07:20 PM
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Genius move by ol' Jooseppi

So today, I was working on finishing the job on the Buick (I had to stop last month when finals were sneaking up on me). It gets dark here around 4:30 during this time of year, but I wasn't done at 4:30, and so I began hunting for an alternative light source. I first went into the house to look for a lamp to bring outside, but then I decided that the car was far enough from the house to make running an extension cord out to it impractical. I then began to think of battery-powered lighting alternatives, and eventually thought, "Hey! What about the Corolla? I can pull that into the driveway and use the headlights to light up my work area! I won't need it long enough to drain the battery, and even so, I can always push it downhill and pop the clutch..."

Anyway, I ended up using the headlights for a little less than an hour, and then went to start the car. I turned the key to start. Nothing. Not even a clicking solenoid.

"Oh my," I thought, "it really is dead. I'll push it downhill and pop the clutch."

I then proceeded to push it over to the hill that we live near, and once I got up to speed, I popped the clutch and heard the engine start. But wait, why does the tachometer read zero? Why does the speedo read zero? Oh-ho -- the battery is so dead that it can't run them. In fact, the battery only appears to be running the engine, the headlights (which are extremely weak), and the battery warning light (oh dear). I drove around the block, and it was weird not to have any instruments. In the driveway, I discovered that turning the headlights off allows the gauges to work, but the two cannot function at the same time.

Anyway, I'm guessing I may be out $70 for a battery from Costco. Brilliant. I mentioned it to my parents and offered to buy a new battery if our old one is indeed fried, and my mom said, "We'll see." I'm guessing that that means that I may be at least partially off the hook for this particular episode of stupidity. "We'll see."

Some people have senior moments; I just have genius moments.



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"Senior Luna, your sense of humor is still loco... but we love it, anyway." -rickymay ____ "Your sense of humor is still loco... " -MBeige ____ "Señor Luna, your sense of humor is quite järjetön" -Delibes

1982 300SD -- 211k, Texas car, tranny issues ____ 1979 240D 4-speed 234k -- turbo and tuned IP, third world taxi hot rod

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  #2  
Old 12-19-2014, 07:41 PM
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You killed the alternator. They hate charging dead batteries especially when the alt is old. That's my guess.
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  #3  
Old 12-19-2014, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Dubyagee View Post
You killed the alternator. They hate charging dead batteries especially when the alt is old. That's my guess.
You sure? I only ran it for a few minutes specifically because I thought I had heard something like that.

The battery light came on immediately when the car started, and I doubt that the alt could be killed in a matter of seconds? I think that the light can come on for low battery voltage, too.
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"Senior Luna, your sense of humor is still loco... but we love it, anyway." -rickymay ____ "Your sense of humor is still loco... " -MBeige ____ "Señor Luna, your sense of humor is quite järjetön" -Delibes

1982 300SD -- 211k, Texas car, tranny issues ____ 1979 240D 4-speed 234k -- turbo and tuned IP, third world taxi hot rod

2 Samuel 12:13: "David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die."
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2014, 08:21 PM
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Jooish moments?


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  #5  
Old 12-19-2014, 08:42 PM
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Before buying a new battery recharge the one you have, it will likely recover then you can properly test the alternator.

I've had batteries run down to 6V and recover but this can only occur a few times before the bat is damaged. ( A battery is considered empty at 11.7 V , full at 12.66 V . )
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  #6  
Old 12-19-2014, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 97 SL320 View Post
Before buying a new battery recharge the one you have, it will likely recover then you can properly test the alternator.

I've had batteries run down to 6V and recover but this can only occur a few times before the bat is damaged. ( A battery is considered empty at 11.7 V , full at 12.66 V . )
Thanks for that, I'll go see if the neighbor has a battery charger I can borrow. I just tested the battery, and I'm only down to 11.03 V, so this may not be as bad as I thought.
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1982 300SD -- 211k, Texas car, tranny issues ____ 1979 240D 4-speed 234k -- turbo and tuned IP, third world taxi hot rod

2 Samuel 12:13: "David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die."
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2014, 01:17 PM
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The neighbor lent me his battery charger, and after about an hour of charging, it starts & runs like always! Disaster averted once more.
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1982 300SD -- 211k, Texas car, tranny issues ____ 1979 240D 4-speed 234k -- turbo and tuned IP, third world taxi hot rod

2 Samuel 12:13: "David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die."
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  #8  
Old 12-20-2014, 08:29 PM
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OK, so what was the lesson? Did you learn, or must it be repeated? ( me? I always go for repetition.)
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:07 PM
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OK, so what was the lesson? Did you learn, or must it be repeated? ( me? I always go for repetition.)
After the third or fourth time aroudn we start to learn
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2014, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by MS Fowler View Post
OK, so what was the lesson? Did you learn, or must it be repeated? ( me? I always go for repetition.)
I learned that it's totally OK to run the battery down because the neighbor has a thingamajig that will make it like it never happened .

Actually, I learned that the battery deserves more respect than I've given it previously. I'm definitely going to be a lot more careful about it in the future.
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"Senior Luna, your sense of humor is still loco... but we love it, anyway." -rickymay ____ "Your sense of humor is still loco... " -MBeige ____ "Señor Luna, your sense of humor is quite järjetön" -Delibes

1982 300SD -- 211k, Texas car, tranny issues ____ 1979 240D 4-speed 234k -- turbo and tuned IP, third world taxi hot rod

2 Samuel 12:13: "David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die."
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  #11  
Old 12-21-2014, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Jooseppi Luna View Post
Thanks for that, I'll go see if the neighbor has a battery charger I can borrow. I just tested the battery, and I'm only down to 11.03 V, so this may not be as bad as I thought.
You will probably be OK with the battery, 11.03 is pretty low but it should recover. One HR charging time might not be enough for a full charge, check it after 8 hours of no drain / charging and see what it says.
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  #12  
Old 12-21-2014, 09:19 AM
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Usually you can run a battery down about twice before its permanently & negatively affected.


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  #13  
Old 12-21-2014, 07:24 PM
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Fleabay ... 10 watt LED flood light, cool white. Anywhere from $5 to $15.
12VDC plus a pair of jumper type clamps and your problem is solved.
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  #14  
Old 12-21-2014, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by 97 SL320 View Post
You will probably be OK with the battery, 11.03 is pretty low but it should recover. One HR charging time might not be enough for a full charge, check it after 8 hours of no drain / charging and see what it says.
I ended up charging it for about 1.5 hours yesterday, after which it started and ran just fine and read good voltage. I drove it a couple times yesterday, then drove it again today in subfreezing temps after it had been sitting for about 20 hours, and it did just fine.

Those headlights pull a LOTTA current!
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"Senior Luna, your sense of humor is still loco... but we love it, anyway." -rickymay ____ "Your sense of humor is still loco... " -MBeige ____ "Señor Luna, your sense of humor is quite järjetön" -Delibes

1982 300SD -- 211k, Texas car, tranny issues ____ 1979 240D 4-speed 234k -- turbo and tuned IP, third world taxi hot rod

2 Samuel 12:13: "David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die."
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  #15  
Old 12-21-2014, 10:35 PM
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You are still not listening. Checking voltage in order to gauge battery state of charge must be done after at least _8 hours_ of neither charging nor discharging. Checking while car is or just had run isn't a valid test.

The car can start just fine with a 1/2 charge, if the trips are short the battery won't have enough time to fully recharge.

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