Dead 1 year old battery?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by edgeoftheworld, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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    My battery is a year old. My 1987 R65 hasn't gotten much use so far this season and the last few times, I couldn't start it. I put it on a battery tender for a few days and tried to start it yesterday and it wouldn't start. Tried to turn over weakly then just clicking.

    I have one of those power packs that you can jump start with so I connected that and it started right up. I put it on a different battery tender and connected it to an SAE plug instead of the accessory port to see if the other tender or the port is an issue.

    Seems odd that a 1 year old battery would be completely dead. Any thoughts or ideas on what else I could look at before buying a new battery?
    #1
  2. Big Bamboo

    Big Bamboo Aircooled & Sunbaked Supporter

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    What type of battery?
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  3. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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    Westco sealed battery
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  4. Uke

    Uke visualist Super Supporter

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    Perhaps use the Battery Tender continuously when not riding, I prefer using a Battery Minder which has integral desulfation, which I use continuously when not riding.
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  5. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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    That's what I did for the winter. It was stored on the battery tender and started right up when I took it out of storage. I don't have a garage where I live so it's outside under a cover. I just bought a long extension cord so I could keep it on the battery tender when its not being ridden. Had it on for 3-4 days and it still wouldn't start. I took it out of storage mid April but it hasn't been ridden in about a month due to weather, it not starting and having a GS that has been getting ridden more :)
    #5
  6. Uke

    Uke visualist Super Supporter

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    If an AGM battery is discharged below a certain level, even when connected to a charger they won't take a charge, one trick for such a situation is to connect both the discharged battery and a battery known to be adequately charged, at least 12.7 volts, connected parallel to the charger.

    Do you have an accurate volt meter to determine the change level of the Westco?
    #6
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  7. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing Supporter

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    I found that the battery tender I used to run was not correct for the Odyssey batteries, and didn't provide a hot enough charge.

    Odyssey maintains a list of approved changers, Westco may as well
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  8. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    Remember, a battery tender is not a battery charger. A tender is designed to keep a battery touched up on charge, often won't bring up a very discharged battery. Use a battery charger to bring up the battery then use a battery tender to keep it maintained.
    #8
  9. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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    ugh. something else to buy :(
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  10. MrBob

    MrBob Long timer Supporter

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    Somewhere around here is a recent thread on maintaining and charging batteries - very informative. After reading the links, I’m less impressed with Battery Tenders.
    I bought my Westco from EME in Denver.
    #10
  11. bmwrench

    bmwrench Long timer

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    I've found that Westco batteries vary wildly in durability and cranking power. However, long-term battery storage is surprisingly tricky. I have a lot of bikes in the shop, some of them for long periods, and I lose a few batteries to failure every year. I've decided that Peter Pickett may have been on to something when he said, years ago, that "A battery is like a muscle. If you don't exercise it, it dies." Now before I charge them on their three week rotation, I discharge them by turning the bikes lights on, or weather permitting, start it and run it for ten minute or so. It seems to help, and makes Vermont winters easier to bear. :)
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  12. 190e

    190e Long timer

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    I am not a fan of battery tenders because unless the voltage is just right they can do more harm than good. In particular a sealed battery of the AGM type has a self discharge rate so low it really doesn't need a battery tender. It's far safer to give them an occasional charge every 2 or 3 months than leave them permanently hooked up.
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  13. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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    there is so much conflicting info around. I had it on the tender for the winter and it started right up no problem. It was off for a month and now its dead.
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  14. tsADV

    tsADV Been here awhile

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    Not only Westco AGMs, from what I've read. I've seen several reports on Odyssey batteries dying after a year or two recently, enough to put me off buying one, instead of a cheap generic mobility "sealed" one. Build quality may not be the same today as 10 years ago.

    FWIW, I have 53030 sized Westco in one of my boxers. It is 11 years old, was in my K100 two years until it got written off, then 9 years in a boxer that has sat unused at least 7 months every winter, without any charging. Only two years ago it started struggling when I needed to start a 190 PSI comp pressure engine at minus 2 centigrades, but it still is in the bike, and working.
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  15. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    Either;
    the bike is draining the battery
    or
    the battery is draining itself.

    Measure the drain from battery to bike to check the bikes rate of discharging the battery. May be there is a leak on the bike.
    #15
  16. Texer

    Texer Been here awhile Supporter

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    My battery experience and mileage for my 75/5 with Panasonic SWB (thin line) battery is that I plug it in after every ride as if it was a kids video game charger. Ten years, Battery Tender, no issues yet. I may be lucky though.
    #16
  17. boxerboy81

    boxerboy81 Stay Horizontal

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    One of these would be handy to have in the shed. I know the smaller ones also work and can be carried on a bike, but these don't rely on a charge in the device. Maybe good for a shop or dealer?

    https://startwarrior.com/models/
    #17
  18. 190e

    190e Long timer

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    I think it's accepted that AGM's are more prone to sudden death failure than wet cells so it may not always be the charging regime that's at fault but it's a fact that with an AGM in good condition and no discharge on the bike, it simply isn't necessary to keep them continuously on float. Anyone who "knows their battery" i.e. takes rested voltage measurements occasionally will have discovered that AGM's hold their charge incredibly well compared to the old wet cells. My approach is don't take the risk of float charging, charge it only when necessary and then any failure cannot be due to the charging regime.
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  19. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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    I had a usb port plugged in which was always on. So I expect that was draining the battery. I didn't think it was enough to completely discharge it. My next step is to get the battery charged and then keep it on the tender when not riding like I did all winter. that worked the last two winters
    #19
  20. 190e

    190e Long timer

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    I wonder does anyone consider the economics of float charging. Even if the battery isn't accepting much charge there will still be losses and power consumed depending on the size of the charger.

    I measured the power consumed by my old bench charger on the float setting at 10W watts. That doesn't seem much until I calculated that in a little over 3 months the energy consumed would cost more than I paid for the battery. If my battery costs £37 to replace and it's already 5 years old what do you think it's value is ? Lets say £10 which means I would be as well off buying a new battery as charging it for more than 1 month.

    Modern chargers perhaps use less than 10 watts and electricity is no doubt much cheaper in the US but the same principles apply in that it will at some point become uneconomic to float charge a battery towards the end of it's life.
    #20
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