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AGM Battery Lifetime in Vehicles?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Life' started by N0TZU, Nov 21, 2021.

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  1. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    For the battery experts here, two questions.

    I have a car with an AGM battery, first time I’ve had one. It’s the original, made in 2013 and seems to still be fine but I’m suspicious of it going into winter now at 8 years.

    1. What is a good PM replacement time for AGM batteries? Normally I replace wet cells at 5-6 years in this climate, but AGM supposedly last longer.

    2. What symptoms do AGM batteries exhibit near end of life? I’ve heard that usually they suddenly die, unlike wet cells, which typically have noticeably lower starting current resulting in slower starter speed.
  2. W5INC

    W5INC Ham Member QRZ Page

    My 2001 Dodge 5.9 Cummins diesel PU eats batteries pretty quickly, due to the higher vibrations the power plant produces. Flooded or AGM varieties. From the Optima website:

    Unfortunately, the answer isn't an easy one to provide, because there are a variety of factors that impact how long an AGM battery can last and not all AGM batteries are the same. For some, the answer could be several more months, for others, the answer could be several more years........

    With those factors in mind, we typically can't offer a specific number of years as an answer to the question of how long an AGM battery might last, because every application is different. We can generally say an AGM battery can last two to three times as long as a flooded battery. In the commuter car example we referenced, if a flooded battery lasts three to five years, an AGM battery could last six to ten years or longer. In a high-vibration commercial application, a typical flooded battery may only last a few weeks, where an OPTIMA AGM battery could last several months.
    N0TZU likes this.
  3. W4XKE

    W4XKE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I recently had to replace my regular, flooded-cell battery in my Ford F-150. It failed to crank the engine so my friend came over to help me take it out and to drive me over to AutoZone. I set the 'core' battery up onto the counter and the guy there says, "This battery is TEN YEARS OLD!"

    We double checked and sure enough, I got ten years out of that one. "First On Race Day!"
    SA1CKE, N0TZU, N7VGO and 1 other person like this.
  4. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    With regard to question 1, any "suggested PM replacement time" must be weighed against other things - such as do your driving habits put you in remote locations far away from help? Do weather extremes in your area ever put your well being at risk if stranded? Do you do a lot of drive-stop-shop-drive-stop-visit driving or mostly good long drives between stops?

    However, you said you're "suspicious of it going into winter now at 8 years."

    Just last week I replaced the wet cell battery in my Explorer. It was five years old and only failed me once: last week after work. Got a jump start, took a 20 mile round trip drive in 3rd gear so as to charge it up a bit, and went home. Started fine the next morning, but went directly to the store, bought a new battery, and swapped 'em right in the parking lot.

    My frugal spirit told me to just buy one of those portable jump start power packs and milk the original wet cell for all its worth.

    My practical spirit reminded me I'm 70 years old, winter is closing in on us, and the cost of a new battery is basically chump change and well worth the dependability it buys.
    WD0BCT, 2E0CIT, N0TZU and 2 others like this.
  5. W5INC

    W5INC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Lisa Drake who is a smart XX person, is guiding Ford down the right path, IMO. As KG4RRH pointed out in another thread, the Blue Oval is building a big battery plant in KY and an assembly plant in TN. Ford is also building the largest public charging network in the USA @ this PIT.
  6. W5INC

    W5INC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Richard Petty walked out of his front door @ his QTH 1 day and seen a Superbird sitting there, making his choice a simple 1. The Superbird was the 1ST car to break the 200 MPH barrier and it's drag coefficient hasn't been improved on that much, in over 50 years. Real rocket scientists were being used by Mopar, who turned out to be the real innovators, not 2nd tier talent.

    It would be very interesting to see a Daytona 500 for electric vehicles only. Really street legal cars, just like the original NASCARs were. Even back in 1970, the car makers had to produce 500 cars for sale to the general public. For this race stipulate that the vehicles going to be used in the race has to be driven 500 miles to the track. Part of the qualifying package for the race. Have the safety roll cage requirements, weight limit/size standards setup and after that it is wide open. Just like the original NASCARs were. Necessity is the Motherhood of invention, I reckon. No reason why the general public shouldn't be exposed to these advancements, in an environment they already comprehend.

    As the 1960s comes to a close and Neil Armstrong takes “one small step” onto the moon, 75 miles north of Cape Canaveral an intense competition between two automobile giants is playing out that made the space-race look like mere child’s play. The Daytona 500 is promoted as the “Super Speedway Showdown” between Chrysler and its arch-rival Ford, the incumbent champions. Charlie Glotzbach, Chrysler’s best hope in 1969, lost the lead on the final lap when Ford’s LeeRoy Yarborough narrowly beat him to the checkered flag by half a car length.

    Losing The Great American Race three consecutive years was catastrophic. Alarms sound at Chrysler’s Headquarters in Detroit. Embarrassed executives convene clandestine meetings and deliver an ultimatum to the company’s racing division, specifically, Chrysler Vice President & General Manager Bob McCurry, who coined the phrase, “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.” Lynn Townsend, GM of Chrysler states– “Win next season or we terminate the program!”

    McCurry hatches an insane game plan. They will fast track their top-secret “Daytona Project.” Designing, testing and manufacturing a new race car usually takes two years. McCurry wants to accomplish the task in just six months!

    McCurry recruits three former and current Apollo engineers — Jon Pointer, NASA team leader during the Apollo One disaster, Gary Romberg, a fresh-faced genius who washed out of flight school, and Billy Marcel, a boozing, reckless, playboy with a sordid past to rapidly dream up an exotic vehicle. They take their sketches to McCurry and he quickly rejects all of them. Finally, they show him a car they claim can’t lose— with a sloped nose, scoops over the fenders and a huge 5’ rear wing. McCurry famously remarks, “God it looks awful. But will it win races?” Told it would, he responds, “Well, then damn it… go build it!”.................................

    The final piece of the puzzle is wooing back long-time Chrysler driver and two-time Daytona 500 Champion, Richard Petty, who left for Ford earlier in the season. The designers go so far as to mock up a model 43 Daytona and deliver it to his home at midnight. After seeing the powder blue Superbird, Petty returns to the team.
  7. NG1H

    NG1H XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    In the past several years I have been using more AGM batteries. That has stopped.

    About 5 years ago I and my company had only two vehicles in which they were recommended and had been using for several years. In both those cases the batteries appeared to have a somewhat longer lifespan than regular lead acid. Local conditions are very hot compared to most of the USA.

    I started using more AGM as replacements in other vehicles. Starting about three years ago new ones all started failing in a very short time period (1 - 2 years). This includes the vehicles in which they were recommended. Replacements, although under warranty, also failed quickly. Questioning two repair shops they both said they had the same problems regardless of the battery source and stopped selling that type.

    In all cases they just would suddenly stop being able to produce high current. They would appear to charge and sometimes even pass a battery test but when installed in the vehicle would not be able to start the engine.

    I was able to get the warranty replacements changed to lead acid though it took a little arguing. Not that much though which implied to me that the sellers are aware of the problem and appear to be taking the attitude of "try to talk them out of it but if they insist go ahead and provide a working replacement."

    It should be noted that local conditions are brutal to batteries. Lead acid in diesels last only about 2 years with gasoline engines lasting 3-4 years. And in all cases these are the supposedly longest life options available. I don't know whether the same issues have occurred in other areas/conditions. Most were supplied by NAPA but a few came from O'Reilly, Auto Zone, and Walmart.
  8. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    Speaking of speed, I think this thread could be a contender for the fastest thread drift.

    My 2013 diesel was purchased pre-owned in June of 2016, they replaced the battery (105AH AGM) at the time of purchase. Still good, l might swap it out of it sounds tired as the days get colder, but it started just fine earlier this week at about 20F.
    N0TZU likes this.
  9. WL7PM

    WL7PM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have (4) AGM starting batteries in service.
    Three (Exide) were 2015 manufacture, and the newest one is (Interstate) from 2019.
    I give them a LOAD test before winter, they still make well above their rated Cold Cranking Amps.
    If I noted any deficiency, I would replace with AGM, as they do seem to perform well, at least in my MILD Climate. Air temp seldom gets above 65 Fahrenheit here.
    South-Central Alaska is pretty easy on batteries, it is not uncommon to replace ten year old automotive batteries here.
    N0TZU likes this.
  10. K4NWD

    K4NWD Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    A friend of mine had been using Optima Red Tops in her sports car due to their reputation for long life. Longest one lasted was 18 months. She had three replaced under warranty, then the store said "no more". She went back to a regular flooded lead acid battery. That was 6 years ago. I own the car now and that battery is still working great.
    WN1MB likes this.

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