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 Post subject: 12v battery appears dead
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:49 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Los Angeles, CA
First time this has happened to my FFE and I'm kicking myself for not following the popular advice on the forum to buy a small 12v charger.

Questions:
-I assume plugging it in won't solve this problem, correct?
-Can I just jump the battery like I would an ICE car?
-Anyone have any recommendations for a small, portable 12v battery charger? There appear to be many different varieties out there.

Thanks for the help!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:10 pm
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Location: Chicago Area
Yes you can jump start the car. It works.

Correct, just plugging it in won't charge the battery.

Probably a good idea to replace the battery. No reason to replace with anything but a standard lead acid battery.

I have a couple of those Li-Ion small jump starters. Have no recommendation because I have never jump started a car with any of them.

There is one truth about those compact starters - if you use them more than once or twice to jump start a battery, they die. So not necessarily worth paying a lot of money for one.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:33 pm 
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EVA wrote:
There is one truth about those compact starters - if you use them more than once or twice to jump start a battery, they die. So not necessarily worth paying a lot of money for one.

Maybe not so with the FFE, though.

With an ICE car, the starter needs to supply a lot "cranking amps" to get the engine to turn over (perhaps even a few times). With the FFE, it just needs to run the electronics. No stressful "cranking" of an ICE engine is needed.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:40 am
Posts: 948
Location: Toledo, Ohio
TrojanEV,
I'd recommend any "smart" charger to do the job. I have this charger but I got it on clearance from Tractor Supply as a store branded product for $40. Supposedly the Schumacher chargers are good too. Basically the smart chargers usually have the following benefits; 1) They can tell you the SOC. 2) Have a "desulfate" function. If you're not familiar with lead acid batteries, "sulfating" is the formation of lead sulfate on the lead plates. Over time this forms normally in a battery but is accelerated during deep discharge states. It eventually coats the lead plates leading to the battery not working anymore. I think the "desulfate" function uses pulsed DC or AC to try and break up the sulfate. I don't know exactly how it works but it will only help extend the life of a battery some. It's not a magic cure all. This feature is usually automatic if the charger detects high internal resistance. 3) They ramp the charge current to optimize the life of the battery. 4) Most importantly a smart charger stops charging when the battery is full so you don't have to worry about overcharging it. Charging at high current is not good for a lead acid battery. For the best longevity you should charge at 2A. 10A if you can wait a little while but need to go soon. This likely won't harm the battery but isn't doing it any favors and 20A+ if you're stranded somewhere and need to leave ASAP. It won't kill the battery but does put some wear and tear on it. Another thing relevant to the FFE is that you probably want to unhook the positive battery terminal to charge the battery. The first time my FFE died I didn't unhook the battery and it fried my charger because the FFE was still trying to pull current for something. I suspect it was trying to run a coolant pump since when I unhooked the battery, bought a new charger, charged the battery and hooked the cable up it sparked pretty good and I heard a coolant pump run for a second or two. All you need to unhook the battery cable is a 10mm wrench or socket.

My FFE randomly died again this past weekend. Full charge Friday nite, two 4mi trips to and from lunch Saturday and parked, then Sunday nite it was dead, 6V dead. I tried a battery charger but the car was still pulling current and I didn't want to fry my charger again so I unhooked the battery cable and connected the charger to just the battery. After 8 hours the charger said battery was only 60% I gave it a 1/2 hour at 10A charge before I had to go to work, I forgot to check battery status as I had to go. I think it may be time for ford to replace this battery under warranty. I thought a previous firmware update fixed the battery issue. Apparently not.

I agree with EVA, you have to beware of the chineseium jump starters that may work once and only put out half or less than what they say they are rated for. There is a fellow on youtube AvE who used to have a video up where he tears down one of the "genius" jump starters and shows that it is total crap. I found another tear down of the same product but I won't put a link because I don't want to subject any of you to this guys annoying self righteous rants. Even with one of these crappy ones you'd probably be ok since all you need to do is power the computer and energize some contactors before the DC-DC converter takes over. I've had this Stanley lithium jump starter for two years now. I've used it at least a handful of times to jump start ICE vehicles. Even multiple jumps between charges. Yes I can probably guarantee without looking that this Stanley unit is likely made in china too but at least it seems to stand up to some use and abuse. The unfortunate thing is that it doesn't fit in the glove box and since you cant open the hatch with a dead battery, I have to keep it on top so I can reach it by folding down the rear seats.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:49 pm
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
So my 12-V battery has died 3 more times in the past year. Is it safe to assume I just need a new one at this point? I'm outside my 36-month bumper to bumper warranty period by about 3 months. Will Ford cover any of the cost of the replacement? Seems ridiculous I have to replace a battery with only 10,000 miles on it.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:26 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:07 am
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Location: Southern California
TrojanEV wrote:
So my 12-V battery has died 3 more times in the past year. Is it safe to assume I just need a new one at this point? I'm outside my 36-month bumper to bumper warranty period by about 3 months. Will Ford cover any of the cost of the replacement? Seems ridiculous I have to replace a battery with only 10,000 miles on it.


Miles usually don't wear a battery out, time does. And, I've found with all of my modern cars, 3 years is about all I can get out of a battery. Ever wonder why warranties on batteries are typically 36 months? It's not like the old days when batteries would last 10+ years. The battery in my 1965 Buick was 12 years old before it needed to be replaced a few months ago.

Keith

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:36 am 
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campfamily wrote:
TrojanEV wrote:
So my 12-V battery has died 3 more times in the past year. Is it safe to assume I just need a new one at this point? I'm outside my 36-month bumper to bumper warranty period by about 3 months. Will Ford cover any of the cost of the replacement? Seems ridiculous I have to replace a battery with only 10,000 miles on it.


Miles usually don't wear a battery out, time does. And, I've found with all of my modern cars, 3 years is about all I can get out of a battery. Ever wonder why warranties on batteries are typically 36 months? It's not like the old days when batteries would last 10+ years. The battery in my 1965 Buick was 12 years old before it needed to be replaced a few months ago.

Keith


You're only getting 3 years out of a battery? I've been getting 6-7 years on all my batteries.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:07 am
Posts: 424
Location: Southern California
scottt wrote:
campfamily wrote:
TrojanEV wrote:
So my 12-V battery has died 3 more times in the past year. Is it safe to assume I just need a new one at this point? I'm outside my 36-month bumper to bumper warranty period by about 3 months. Will Ford cover any of the cost of the replacement? Seems ridiculous I have to replace a battery with only 10,000 miles on it.


Miles usually don't wear a battery out, time does. And, I've found with all of my modern cars, 3 years is about all I can get out of a battery. Ever wonder why warranties on batteries are typically 36 months? It's not like the old days when batteries would last 10+ years. The battery in my 1965 Buick was 12 years old before it needed to be replaced a few months ago.

Keith


You're only getting 3 years out of a battery? I've been getting 6-7 years on all my batteries.


The battery on my FFE lasted about 2 1/2 years before needing to be replaced. My wife drives a 2012 Nissan Armada, it is on its third battery. The first battery lasted about 32 months, replaced under Nissan warranty. The replacement battery lasted just over 3 years, waited until it was just out of warranty to fail. My son's Nissan Maxima, the last battery (from Costco) lasted about 3 1/2 years before needing to be replaced.

Now, on my 1965 Buick, I bought it in 2005. It finally began to get a bit weak last October, so I replaced it before it left me stranded. However, that car is only started two or three times a month, versus daily driving duties out of the other cars.

Keith

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:12 pm 
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Location: Toledo, Ohio
You might want to do a 12V draw down test before replacing the battery. It would suck to spend money on a new battery only to have it ruined by misbehaving modules drawing it dead. Shortly after my previous post in this thread I went thru about 5 months of in and out of the dealer for my 12V intermittently going dead. Long story short some modules intermittently weren't shutting down when I turned the car off. This would drain the battery. I'm convinced that if it hadn't gone from intermittent to consistent problem after 5 months I'd probably still be chasing this problem. The FFE has a major design flaw that it doesn't log what does and does not shut down when the car shuts off and doesn't have any way of controlling this other than hoping every module behaves and shuts down like it should. They basically have to catch it in the act of not shutting down in order to diagnose the problem. Needless to say after countless times of being run dead the battery was toast too. New RFA and TCU modules and a battery replaced last September and I haven't had any more problems since (knocks on wood). See here for details: http://www.myfocuselectric.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3812

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