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Old car battery. Replace preemptively?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Harper, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Harper

    Harper

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    So the battery (Diehard) in my car is from Aug. 2003. That's like 107 in car battery years. At what point is the probability of failure so high you just replace it before it leaves you stranded?

    Do I just keep driving and see or is it stupid to drive around with such an old battery? Obviously I'm poor enough to ask, else I would just replace it.
     
  2. woodasptim

    woodasptim

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    Whenever my car got a little slow to turn over in the mornings.
     

  3. Hauptmann6

    Hauptmann6

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    Till it starts hard or tests bad. Then out the door.
     
  4. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo NRA Life Member

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    Borrow a volt meter and test it. If it is weak, replace it. The car will most likely also start to crank more slowly as the battery gets weaker. It is time to replace if that happens as well.
     
  5. deputy tom

    deputy tom

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    I replace mine every five years unless they fail prior to that. tom.:cool:
     
  6. NDCent

    NDCent Socially Inept

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    Other than regular maintenance I try to buy 3 things before they're needed for my vehicles, tires, batteries, and wiper blades.
     
  7. Atlas

    Atlas transmogrifier

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    Seems like good advice, except...
    An old battery can fail 100% at once, if for example the internal bond to the terminal-posts corrodes and falls apart.



    I used the original battery in my GM truck for a little more than 6 years, far too long for it to be dependable.
    I had intended for months to replace it "preemptively", but was super-busy on a work assignment and didn't get around to it.

    Immediately following the work crunch (last Spring) my girlfriend and I took several days to tour the Blue Ridge Parkway, driving about 500 miles total.
    After a long return drive we arrived home at about 11:00 pm on a Sunday night and when we arrived discovered that we were out of coffee filters. I headed out the door intending to make a trip to the store to pick up a package and the truck would not start. The battery was 100% dead.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  8. The Dying Gaul

    The Dying Gaul

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    I change the battery in my wife's car preemptively as she travels long distances throughout Arizona, with 3 small children. Getting stranded 80 miles from nowhere is not an acceptable option. Last year, while taking her car to get serviced, I mentioned to her that the battery was like 5 years old and we should think about changing it. Sure enough, the dealer, without any mention from us, stated that the mechanic ran some type of check on the battery and it was getting weak. So I think you can get it checked.

    Old batteries are unpredictable, one minute they start your car fine, the next nothing. I don't like getting stranded. Change your battery. If it is from 2003, you got your money's worth.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  9. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

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    It comes down to economics really... if you have the $$$ now, replace it. If not use it till you do have the $$.
     
  10. deputy tom

    deputy tom

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    Good point.tom.:wavey:
     
  11. aircarver

    aircarver Descent Terminated Silver Member

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    I've experienced so much variability in battery life that I run them until they give warning symptoms. Sometimes they gave no symptoms and struck like a snake. Still wasn't a big deal, called wife, had her run me to AutoZone, brought back battery and fixed car where it was stuck.

    .
     
  12. JudgeRoyBean

    JudgeRoyBean NRA Life Member

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    Funny you should ask. My battery failed to start my truck and it was only 3 years old. I was able to jump it and drove it down and replaced it with a new one. Of course batteries only last an average of 2 years in Arizona because of the hot weather. You are in my opinion pushing your luck with the age of your battery. Make sure you keep a set of jumper cables with you. Good luck!
     
  13. racer11

    racer11

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    02 Ford F-250 Power Stroke with original batterys still in operation. I keep a Battery Tender hooked up all the time 24/7
     
  14. Atlas

    Atlas transmogrifier

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    Great, but the batteries are still deteriorating with age.
     
  15. Spike52

    Spike52

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    +1

    That battery is pretty old, Harper. Whether or not it will give you some failure warning, who can say?

    Save yourself some grief, my friend, and replace it now.

    Furthermore, if it were me, I'd drop in an Interstate... But my car is part of my livelihood and is started at least half a dozen times a day. My car don't start, I don't work. I don't work... That's bad.

    Yeah, they're expensive... But are they really? By the time you walk out with the parts store special, you've spent $80 or so -- Green top cost me 100 bucks.

    Consider it.

    (By the way, most autoparts stores will walk out to your car with you and test your battery for free.)

    -S
     
  16. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

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    Five years has been my limit. I commuted 50 miles a day and wanted to change the battery in my terms, not just "anywhere".
     
  17. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo NRA Life Member

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    No doubt you are correct. I have had brand new batteries fail after 4 months before. I took it back and got it replaced under warranty.

    I was simply trying to offer the OP some options that were free, since he said cash was tight.
     
  18. Z71bill

    Z71bill

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    I bought one of those - Jump start yourself portable battery things on sale at Sam's.

    I used it to help a neighbor start her car - worked like a charm -

    If in doubt I would go to Autozone and have them test it - its free - and only takes a couple minutes.
     
  19. Harper

    Harper

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    Yeah, I know they can die without any warning which is what actually worries me. I'll probably replace it this week. I don't want to be somewhere at night and have it die with no one around to jump it and no parts stores open.

    It always pains me a bit to replace something that has worked so well though. The next battery I get might die in less than two years. Maybe I'll have a funeral for it and bury it in the neighbor's yard. (jk)
     
  20. huaco

    huaco

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    I would say you are really pushing your luck and such an old battery is more likely to crater without warning. Keep some good jumper cables handy at least.

    Last year I felt I was stretching it at four years. I stopped and sat in the truck for about 25 minutes and forgot to open the door so the headlights would switch off or just turn them off. When I went to start it all I heard was clicks. Leaving the lights on was stupid on my part but a healthy battery would not have run down in that time so once I got a jump start my next stop was Autozone for a new Interstate battery.