Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationMaintenance & Repairs · 1 decade ago

What's the most cost effective way to handle this dead battery?

Here's the story:

79 Trans Am is rarely driven. I have been starting it and driving it for 20 minutes once every 2 weeks. The battery is only a year old. Eventually I had to jump start the car. Now I can't even jump it like I used to. I used to connect the cables, start the other car and the Trans Am would start right up. The other day I ran the other car (a 6 cylinder) for 20 minutes and got nothing. I wouldn't mind running it for longer if I thought I was going to get anywhere. (If it matters, the car's clock is still running). Additonally AAA came out the last time this happened and said the battery was a goner. I took their word for it and replace the battery. Now it's happening again and I just want to make sure I'm making the most sensible choice. I'm reading about people who connect their battery to some sort of gizmo for a day or two and that does the trick. Any advice? Should I get this gizmo? How much do they cost? Or should I just run this other car for longer? How can I tell for myself if a battery is really completely dead? Also, does it do any good to rev the engine of the running vehicle? Lots of questions I know. Thanks in advance for your help.

8 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
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    I"ll start with the fact you don't drive the car. If it sits for extended periods of time, I recommend you install a battery disconnect switch on the battery itself. This will make sure there is no drain on your battery, even from your clock. It may be a little aggravating, but not as bad as always having starting issues. The gizmo you heard about is called a Battery Minder. It's really useful on anything parked for extended periods, used on lawn mowers, RVs, motorcycles, and cars. It's a solar cell trickle charger that produces a low amp charge when in the sun (if yours is parked in a garage, you'll need a remote mount to get it in the sun/window). Northern Tool has a good one for just under $50.00, they also have an electric (plugs in an outlet) for $20.00, but it doesn't de-sulfer. Running the other car longer will charge the battery more, as will racing the engine, (an idling engine puts out minimum voltage) but jump-starting always has a risk of damaging charging/battery systems. The other option, get a small battery charger, (2/10 amp) and put the charger on 2 amp the night before, or 10 amp an hour before you plan to start it. I think I paid $40.00 for mine. If you want to check a battery yourself, get a cheap multimeter with DC Volts, and put the probes on the battery terminals to test, my charger does this automatically. Lot of questions..lot of answers...hope this helps.

    Source(s): Have Tractors, Mowers, and Bikes that sit all winter, but still start 90% of the time. Northern Tool on-line.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Because your car is rarely driven, the battery just sits mot of the time, and that is very hard on batteries. It has slowly deteriorated to this point and the battery probably is toast. If you know how to use a multimeter you could check the voltage of the battery; 12.4-12.9 COULD mean the battery is fine and the car won't start due to another problem. The best bet is to get a shop to test the battery; this should not cost very much as all they have to do is hook up a machine to the battery to test it. If you don't mind doing some dirty work yourself, put the battery from the other car into the Trans Am and see if it will start. If it doesn't fit, you'll just have to ask a shop to look or risk a new battery. After you do get a new battery, if you do, a gizmo that I would get is an AUTOMATIC battery maintainer (NOT a manual charger). These can be had for less than $50 (cheap ones work as well as good ones) and it is connected to the battery every time you will not drive the car for a week or so. They will maintain the charge of the battery and it should last for the average 3-5 years a battery should.

    Source(s): I am mechanically inclined and work at my dad's automotive service shop.
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  • 1 decade ago

    cad.DTL2 has the best answer to a point.

    Just a little back ground if you will. I am car poor, so I may have a car off the road for six months or better at a time. When I first started this, I tried to keep the battery charged during that time. Well it didn't work. The battery discharged and got frozen, in short it died. From that time on I started taking the battery out so that it would stay good. Now this works, and is the safest route to take. But I get tired of hooking up batteries and disconnecting them. So I bought a battery disconnect, which allows me to turn the battery off and leave it in the car. All that I have to do is turn a switch and it is hooked up.

    So get the battery tested, most likely it got frozen up and needs replacement. If it is covered with a warranty, just leave it some place warm till you need it, then install it. You might want to consider a battery disconnect, they might have one for side pole batteries. The ones I bought I found at walmart were less then five dollars. There are some fancy ones out there that cost ten times that much.

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  • 1 decade ago

    the gizmo is probably a battery charger. Take the battery to a local auto parts store and have them charge it. After it's been charged the can load test it to see if its good. They will let you know if its a goner.

    Many ways to tackle this.

    1. buy a battery keeper or battery charger $20+. The keeper can stay on for ever. They also sell a solar charger that plugs in to the cigarette lighter but it seems not to work as well as the other2 I hook up a cheap battery charger to my sitting car once a month.

    2. disconnect the battery when it sits or buy a disconnect to make it a bit easier. The clock is draining the battery.

    3. Run the car more often. Revving the engine should help it but I'm not 100% on that

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  • 1 decade ago

    There are battery tenders that keep a low amp trickle charge going into the battery constantly. This will keep the battery charged while the car is sitting idle. When a battery sits in a discharged state for long periods sulfation builds up on the plates and it's there forever. Driving a car for only twenty minutes is not enough to fully charge a dead battery.

    Any auto parts store can sell you the tender.

    There are also battery disconnects that can be installed on the battery so the idle circuits in the car will not slowly discharge it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I personally feel that if you are not driving this vehicle, you might want to purchase a "trickle charger" and keep it connected to the battery in the Trans Am. Before doing this, you might want to take the battery to an auto supply store or garage and have it tested, to make certain that it is in good shape.

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  • 3 years ago

    I hardship that loose variety and organic and organic produce is artificially saved high priced via the supermarkets. between the excuses battery chickens are saved in such undesirable situations is by way of the fact the supermarkets will only pay unrealistic fees to the farmers and yet be at liberty to make super revenue from shoppers. If 2 chickens in Tesco value us £5 how lots does the farmer get? How lots does the freerange farmer get? not lots I wager

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  • Mary
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    you can purchase a trickle charger @ sears, walmart or any auto place. The trickle charger stays on all the time hooked up to battery and allows the battery to not lose it's charge or get over charged and damage the cells

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