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Almost dead battery. Car won't turn over

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by jeff, Nov 22, 2003.

  1. jeff

    jeff Formula 3

    Feb 19, 2001
    1,924
    North America
    I have searced the archives. I know this topic has been discussed before but I can't find the answer.

    My 2002 360 wouldn't start today. There is enough power in the battery to run all the lights, radio, dash lights, guages etc. but not enough power to turn the motor over. I called the dealer and of course the service dept. is closed on Saturday but the service manager did pick up the phone. He told me to use the Battery Tender Plus to recharge the battery. According to the instruction manual it could take "days" to charge the battery. The service manager told me NOT to jump start the car under any circumstances. So if the Battery Tender doesn't do the job the car will have to be towed in on Monday.

    My questions are: Has anyone had any success with these type of chargers actually recharging a battery enough to start the car? Or should I go to the local auto store and buy one of the quick charge devices that plug into the lighter? Could these devices cause any damage to the electrical system? I'm trying to avoid towing the car into the shop because it's a hassel.
     
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  3. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
    Honorary Owner

    Oct 23, 2002
    32,118
    Full Name:
    Jim Glickenhaus
    I'd read the manual before quick charging it. If he told you not to jump it I wouldn't quick charge it either.
     
  4. mac59

    mac59 Rookie

    Nov 15, 2003
    46
    I used the battery tender. It was not enough to fully charge a dead battery. So I jumped my 355, with not a problem at all. I ended up buying a new battery and hardwired the battery tender wires to it. Now when the car is sitting up I just plug it in and since, its been fine.
     
  5. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    17,109
    USA
    Full Name:
    Hugh G. Rection
    The Battery Tender is a great product, but it is more of a "maintainer" than a charger (1.25amp); that's why it might take a couple days to charge a deeply discharged battery. I cannot claim knowledge for your specific car, but can see little worry to connecting a 10 amp battery charger to the car. That should top it up in 4-6 hours, typically.

    Just make sure you get a "fully automatic" or "microprocessor controlled" model (they are the same thing) as these (like the Battery Tender") will shut off when the battery reaches full charge, preventing boiling the electrolyte and damaging the battery. I like the ones that have a 2 amp low charge rate, with a 10 amp faster charge rate, and a 50 or 60 amp "booster" rate for jump starting a dead battery. You just slide a switch to pick the appropriate rate.

    I also purchased a set of Molex quick connectors and a cigarette adapter (with 8 foot cord)(at Radio Shack) and then I can switch between the battery clamps and cigarette adapter. For the Ferrari, it is MUCH easy to stick the charger on 2 amp rate and plug into the cigarette plug, than digging around to the battery, hidden away.
     
  6. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
    Honorary Owner

    Oct 23, 2002
    32,118
    Full Name:
    Jim Glickenhaus
    Mac/Dave
    A 360 is not a 355 or a 308. I wouldn't quick charge it unless the manual said it's ok to. The fact the Dealer said don't jump start it would make me ask: "Why not. Can you quick charge it?" Other's with 360's?
     
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  8. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
    11,648
    The twilight zone
    Full Name:
    The Butcher
    I'm pretty sure that a battery is a battery in any car. Sealed maintanance free type batteies do not tolerate heat as well as the older vented batteries. Heat comes from flowing current through the batteries against it's internal resistance. The more current you try to pump through (or into) the battery, the hotter it gets. There is a formula, V=IR, or in this case the form I=V/R is better. What it says is that the higher the current setting on your charger, the higher the voltage that the charger will need to put out, and the hotter the battery gets. What this means is that if you simply check the voltage with the charger connected to the battery, you can feel absolutely safe if you are not over the normal operating voltage of 13.7 volts. 14.2V is the highest you should be for any amount of time (I'm talking about hours not seconds). You can check it with a volt meter (about $10-$20 at radio shack,sears, ect.) or switch on the ignition and read it off the gauge on the dash. A 10 amp charger should be plenty safe and cna can be left on the battery for a couple days without a worry, more than that and you what a battery tender. I'm not so sure about 50 amps is ever a good idea. The dealer is probably concerned about Jump starting because you can explode the battery if there is actually a problem with it or you do not connect the wire properly.
     
  9. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    17,109
    USA
    Full Name:
    Hugh G. Rection
    I gotta go with MK E here, 10 amps is NOT anything close to a "booster" or "jump start"....where you are dumping the 110 amp output from another car's alternator into the 360's electronics...

    Note also that I am recommending a "microprocessor controlled" unit, which means whether set at 2 amp or 10 amp, you can leave it connected continously and it will not overcharge or boil the electrolyte.

    But hey, I could be totally wrong here... :)
     
  10. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    3,603
    Dallas, TX, USA
    The 360's electronics are, how shall I say, sensitive. Do NOT try to charge the battery through the 360 electronics... do NOT try to charge the battery through the cig lighter... in fact, do NOT do anything to the battery with it *electrically* connected to the car. And that is the reason you should NEVER jump start a 360.

    Before messing with the battery, you MUST turn off the master switch. Open the front trunk lid... look on the upper left of the
    back wall of the trunk area... see that big round switch... turn it to OFF. That electrically disconnects the battery from the car.

    Now you can do whatever to the battery without risk to the car.
    I use a regular (Sears maybe?) battery charger... never on the 50A setting, but often on the 10A setting. (The only time in my life I ever used the 50A setting, the battery exploded... so, I'd never dream of risking that in my Ferrari.)

    I suppose, with master switch off, you could use another car to *charge* the battery, hooked as if you were going to jump start it. But do NOT try to actually jump start the car... disconnect the other car or charger from the battery before you turn the master switch back on.
     
  11. jeff

    jeff Formula 3

    Feb 19, 2001
    1,924
    North America
    Thanks guys for all the input. It took about 14 hrs to charge the battery. I have NOT tried starting the car yet because I will have to go out and drive the car for an hour to make sure the battery is fully working.
    As an aside. After reading your comments it made me think about which product Ferrari uses when a customer orders the "charging kit" as a factory installed option. I'm guessing it must be okay to use this type of product on Ferraris? Also, the Battery Tender PLus was installed by my dealer. THe dealer installs the BTP in all the new cars. I never questioned whether this was a safe product to use or not. I should have asked.
    I'll drive the car today and then see if it starts tomorrow. I'll talk to my dealer tomorrow and see if they want to install a new battery.
     
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  13. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 30, 2003
    16,116
    Savannah
    Full Name:
    I NEED A JOB
    fun info...... a " good" battery should read 12.50 volts after its been sitting awhile. heat cold ect will affect this. anything less than that and there may be problems starting.(discharged) if the battery has a dead cell it may not take a full charge or it will charge up and then loose voltage very quickly.( after the car is shut off its essentially running off the alt. all the time) i had a battery in a jeep cherokee that had a bad plate and when " bumped" the wrong way the battery would short itself inside. i had to put it on a machine to find this.that was " fun" to find believe me. i cant live without a multimeter anymore, it may be a good thing to get and learn how to use so you can find trouble before it starts.
     
  14. coachi

    coachi Formula 3

    May 1, 2002
    2,108
    SC USA
    I went to Sears and bought two trickle chargers or battery 1.5 amp chargers. Then I made long connectors and wired them to the battery terminals...whenever I need to keep a car charged I just plug in the trickle charger. It works great. Connectors were a breeze to install, available from your local Radio Shack...I have several cars and they used to run down...no more.

    By the way the best cure for an almost dead battery is a new one...it seems some cannot be revived even if you pour out the acid and put fresh acid in there. Dont try that if you have not messed with sulfuric acid before ( i had a few years Chemistry lab experience.)
     

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