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theksmith

bad battery or not (arguing with Sears)

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today i wasted my breath arguing with Sears over what constitutes a bad battery. to sum it up, i believe that the reserve capacity of a AGM battery and it's CCA are two independent properties, and though loosely related, the battery may test "ok" for CCA but still no longer be able to deliver a good portion of the rated reserve. can someone with more firm knowledge of battery chemistry weigh in on this?

 

my die-hard platinum battery clearly has an issue to me, as it will only charge to 12.30 volts and no longer can sustain a typical load for even half as long as was common for the first couple years of it's life. this has happened fairly suddenly over the past couple months. i have a second battery, exactly the same, but 1 year newer... it still rests at 12.80+ volts and can sustain a decent load.

 

however, Sears has no way to do a run-down test to determine the reserve capacity or amp-hour rating. so at 12.30 volts and 90% of the rated CCA, they say the battery is fine. they would not even consider a pro-rated credit for it, even though it's still under the 4 year full replacement warranty.

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They need to do a load test on it. A load test will put a heavy draw on it and then see how well it holds it's voltage.

 

Here is a pic of an OTC 100amp load tester:

3180_730.jpg

 

They should have something similar.

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They need to do a load test on it. A load test will put a heavy draw on it and then see how well it holds it's voltage.

 

Here is a pic of an OTC 100amp load tester:

3180_730.jpg

 

They should have something similar.

 

as best i could gather from talking to them, their policy seems to be to put it on a charger for an hour and bring it up to full charge. if it's above 11.8 volts, then it passes the first test. the second test is to check the CCA with a load tester. if it's X percentage of the rated CCA, then it passes the second test. that's all they do - if it passes those tests then it's all good and now get out of the store.

 

my beefs are two fold: i believe the 11.8 volts is a ridiculously low "acceptable voltage", and i believe that an AGM hybrid battery like this needs to also be tested for reserve capacity. if that test fails then it should be replaced. i didn't buy an expensive hybrid style battery in the large group 65 form factor for it to just be able to start a vehicle, i could do that with a much smaller and cheaper battery. it needs to deliver something close to the rated amp-hours to be "good" IMO.

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They are not properly load testing it. Take it to Checker and have them test it. If it fails, get something in writing to take to Sears?

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Chris, have you tried a different Sears?

When I was teaching we used a Midtronics brand battery tester. I see the same one used at the local Walmart. It is electronic and will automatically test the battery for CA, CCA, dead cells and give you a percentage of battery life left. It even works on batteries that are mostly dead. I was impressed with it. Perhaps you should have walmart do a test on the battery.

 

Fyi, Reserve capacity and CCA are related to the surface area of the cell plates. The biggest difference between 2 year and 5 year batteries is the number of plated per cell and the size of the plates. More surface area = more amps and reserve capacity.

 

 

Curly

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Sears is just getting worse and worse by the day. The quality of all of the Chinese tools is terrible and I purchased a cordless drill in January because I received a gift card for Christmas. The drill was a Black & Deckeer and I got it home and it didn't have a charger with it. Took it back and a clerk told me I had to buy the charger seperately. I went to a different Sears, looked at the same drill and found it was supposed to have a charger with it so I exchanged mine at that store. The first clerk would have sold me a $29 charger if I had just said OK.

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When I worked for the city motor pool, 12.5 volts was concidered acceptable. Anything below that was replaced. You can have full voltage and still not have the CCA needed.

 

I used to buy Craftsman tools at Sears. I havn't shopped there in years, because their prices are out of site. Their tool boxes are made by Waterloo, and you can get the same exact box from Waterloo for 2/3 the price. :/

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