Monday, December 19, 2016

RATS! Dead Battery in the Jeep....

Ran out to Walgreen's last night to get a magazine ("Super Street", not the kind of car mag I typically buy) that has coverage of the "Supras in Vegas" event.

Came out of the store and BZZZZZZT! when I turned the key to start the Jeep.

Called my wife, who got dressed and came to the store (God bless her heart!) so I could jump the Jeep from her little car. Got the Jeep started and drove around for a bit to put some charge in the battery.

Got home, and ALL the parking spots on the street were gone!

That's a post I've been wanting to write, but hadn't been ticked off enough to do.

Coming Soon!

Had to pull her car all the way up to the driveway gate, and then crept the Jeep up right behind her. Turned it off and tried to restart it and BZZZZZZZT!

SO....this morning I took my super-duper-charge-any-battery-known-to-man charger to the Jeep, pulled the connections to the battery, and connected the charger.

The charger went into "analyze" mode, declared the battery to "OK", and then started charging. The state-of-charge as measured by the charger was only 65%, BUT I noticed the battery clamps were somewhat loose on the battery posts when I hooked up the charger.

Absolutely NO corrosion on them, as I greased them pretty well when I put this battery in the Jeep a few years ago.

Hopefully it's just a case of the battery clamps loosening up over time, and things will be OK again after the battery charges up, and I properly tighten the clamps.

This model Jeep uses an obscure size battery, and last time I replaced it cost around $200. It's the biggest battery I've ever seen in a passenger car, and looks like it belongs in an 18-wheeler.


Well, it's not the starter. Charged to 100%, and all I get is the BZZZZT!

Jumped it with my mammoth Optima "Yellow Top" I use for my portable solar-powered Ham operation, and it started right up.

THREE times it started flawlessly.

Connected the charger back up, and charged to 100% again. Disconnected the charger and no start. And after ONE attempt to start it, the charger showed that the state-of-charge had gone from 100% back down to 65%!

Looks like it developed a bad cell, literally overnight.


  1. If your battery clamps are loose, I would suspect someone was trying to steal your battery.

  2. They weren't that loose, just barely "loose" enough to rotate slightly on the post when I tried to rotate them. Plus, the car has an inside hood release, and an alarm and didn't show any signs of tampering.

  3. If that Optima is good enough for your radio? I had a Lincoln LS when my 22 year old got his license. Battery in trunk and a Motorcraft was like $250, I bought a Red Top Optima for $150 and my kid totalled car a week later. Insurance Co. called said "Go to collision shop and take all personal belongings from inside and trunk." I took that Optima and it sits on garage floor as a spare for when who ever wears out a battery and starts tractor in summer. Get a Optima, you jeep can not be so many CCAs that a mid size will work great.

  4. The "Yellow Top" Optimas are the deep cycle version. Since I use it connected to a solar panel/charge controller, it needs to be a deep cycle. The radio is an Elecraft K2 with the 100 Watt amplifier, which I usually run at about 85 Watts output. The battery is several years old, and still measures "100%" on my load tester. I keep it connected to a "Battery tender Plus" when it's not in use.

    I'd get one for the Jeep (2006 Grand Cherokee with the 5.7 Hemi), but they don't make one of the correct PHYSICAL size. I did a quick check with my Optima, and it just won't fit properly. I've always put Optimas in my other cars when they needed new batteries, but not this time.....

    The Jeep has the 10,000 lb "Class IV" trailer towing package, and it came with a huge radiator, oil cooler, power steering cooler, bigger transmission cooler, a big alternator, and a group 94 size battery.

    I'd really rather go with an Optima, but it just won't fit right. I've tried....

  5. They've got you over a barrel on that one...

  6. The only battery that fits is a group size 94R, which is a pretty big battery.

    Got one at O'Reilly Auto Parts this time, after the REAL BAD experience I had returning the cor to AutoZone.

    That post is still the all-time most read post here!

    Anyway....$232 later all is well....

  7. I had to buy two batteries for the F250 last winter. Quite a kick in the old wallet.


Keep it civil, please....