battery not staying charged - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old May 30th, 09, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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battery not staying charged

68 camaro 327 original oem ...

I have had the car sitting for about 2 weeks on post in base housing. Today i went to start the car it was totally dead. I charged the battery for about 25 minutes and the car started up, i drove it around for a while and let the car stay on than the car while ideling simply died out on itself as though the battery isnt taking a charge or as if the alternator isnt charging the battery thus i think the problem is the alternator is working but not at the capacity out put it should be, or the battery simply cant hold a charge.

i put the battery on a charger it it shows only 25% now so im charging it over nite , should i put in in after a full charge than let the car idel for a while to see if the car dies out again?to rule out battery or alternator?

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old May 30th, 09, 11:14 PM
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Re: battery not staying charged

If you car is original, disconnect the positive while it is running. If it dies, your alternator is bad. Have everything off inside the car. "Don't do this on todays cars." Based on what you said above, the chances are slim that your car will still be running. This is true because you said it died while STILL runnning. You don't need the battery after you start the car on your first gen. But, leave it in the car!!!!!!!!!!!

If it is still running, you will have a bad battery most likely.

If you can not test the draw, disconnect the ground on the battery the next time you let it sit. If it is dead or weak after a few weeks, it is a bad battery also. You will be amazed at how many new batteries are bad today. You have not said how old your battery is?

I can tell by your question that you do not have any test gauges or volt/amp testers. You can do an even better test with them. They are pretty cheap. Lots of the parts stores have load testers also and this test equipment. There are lots or write-ups on how to "professionally" do this testing. You will also find that many of the pros are not good at really testing this out.

The info above is to help someone that is not experienced at testing for both the alternator and battery. You will actually find it very helpful and reliable as a "simple quick test."

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Last edited by Dale8346; May 30th, 09 at 11:40 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old May 31st, 09, 08:08 AM
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Re: battery not staying charged

Harbor Freight sells a digital multimeter for under $5. Not the best in the world, but better than nothing. Black lead goes to the ground of the car, red lead goes to point of measurement.

After acquiring the meter, even some pawn shops may have them for sell, check charging voltage at the battery posts, should be a min of 13.2 volts. Then measure voltage at alt BAT terminal to its case, at idle, no accessories on, should read close to battery charging voltage.

If all is original equipment design, menaing mechanical regulator, as rpm goes up, so does voltage at battery, max of 14.2 volts. Voltage drops at idle, normal for a mech regulator. It could be possible the battery will not accept a charge. As a test, once the battery is fully charged, reads 12.6 volts across terminals, disconnect ground cable from battery and let set for a week and re-measure, battery should still read min 12.5 volts.

Somewhere on the battery case or top, is a sticker of when battery was made, exam: E6 = May 2006. If battery is over 4 yrs old, might want to get another after troubleshooting above.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old May 31st, 09, 02:42 PM
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Re: battery not staying charged

Along the same lnes as Everett above but without a multi meter
Check each cell of the gattery with a are not looking at the 'charged reading, you are looking for a cell that is obviously diffrent than the rest.....
A bad cell...A battery with a bad cell will charge up but will not hold the charge

Check alternator load, assuming your alternator has reasonable out put, with engine just above idling, turn on wipers, lights, indicators, heater fans...everything, the head lights should keep the same brightness .

If the latter is ok then it is usually save to assume the battery is dieing or dead

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