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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I went out to my RAV to head to a dental appointment. I noticed when I got in that no lights came on and no "keyhole" light. I turned the key and absolutely nothing happened, not even a click. I took off my shades and noticed that one of the lights in the ceiling (the push on/push off lights) was barely flickering. Did I really leave that light on the last time I drove the car sometime last week? Well, apparently so.

I called the dentist but I had a problem connecting. I didn't realize it (it was storming) but the home power had gone off and I was still hooked up to WiFi, which was kaput. Once I got back in the house and turned on the light switch, which did nothing, I realized what had happened.

OY! I switched the phone to cell, called again, and their line was busy, over and over, and over. I finally got through and explained my situation.

The power blinked multiple times & finally came back on so I scrounged about the garage for my battery charger. I found the ancient charger (bought 46 years ago) which has a whopping 2 amp charging capacity. I had no idea if it even worked. Well, it did. After about 5 hours of charging the RAV fired right up. I let it idle, and revved it some, for an additional hour. I'll find out in the morning if this was successful or not.

Point being that this entire problem was caused by me leaving ONE light on but for multiple days. That's what I think so far anyway.

Why did the battery fail? Due to a DUMBASS!
 

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I have left that light on overnight once, and it started fine. But since then I have replaced all my interior bulbs with LED's. They are brighter, and consume a lot less power.
 

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one of the causes is an excessive current draw, e.g. yeah, when you left a dome/interior light on, etc.

usually we dont go to replace the battery that quick. we wanna make sure first if there's excess amps that may cause a dead battery.

you mentioned about 2amp charger, we call it here the trickle charger. means, it doesnt charge the battery at all because it cannot.
 

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I have left that light on overnight once, and it started fine. But since then I have replaced all my interior bulbs with LED's. They are brighter, and consume a lot less power.
C'mon overnight with one LED doesn't even count. Our friend Tex wanted the full experience so he took almost a week to accomplish it. :wink And ended up killing the house power too. :egad:

If you're gonna do it do it right! :cheers:
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
one of the causes is an excessive current draw, e.g. yeah, when you left a dome/interior light on, etc.

usually we dont go to replace the battery that quick. we wanna make sure first if there's excess amps that may cause a dead battery.

you mentioned about 2amp charger, we call it here the trickle charger. means, it doesnt charge the battery at all because it cannot.
Well it did charge the battery so ????????
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
C'mon overnight with one LED doesn't even count. Our friend Tex wanted the full experience so he took almost a week to accomplish it. :wink And ended up killing the house power too. :egad:

If you're gonna do it do it right! :cheers:

Yeah I did! Let 'er rip tater chip!!
 

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Like Junebug said, with LED lights, you would have not this problem.
I know because my kids have already played this trick on me, once with OEM bulbs and once with LED bulbs. Boy, am I happy I spent those $4 to get ALL the interior bulbs changed!
 

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As RTF said, a 2 amp. charger will charge a car battery, especially one in good condition, but it does take some time. And having no kids means that no one will play a trick by leaving interior lights on - the blame for leaving one on is solely due to a grownup miscue and can happen easily especially if there is a lot of ambient light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Glad to say it cranked up immediately today with a quick turn of the key. I may have shortened the overall life of the battery but it's hot and working now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I may have shortened the overall life of the battery but it's hot and working now.
As of today battery number Four was installed. My goof up may or may not have hastened the demise of #3...who knows. Fortunately the Auto Zone 3 year over the counter exchange was still in effect. It was in the car for 34 months. The exchange cost was zero.

The unfortunate side is that even with an overnight trickle charge the car would not start. The garage was just shy of 100º F so fun it was not. I exchanged it, had them check the volts on the new one, then came home & put it in.
The same battery for her car was put in about two weeks after I put #3 in mine so it's likely to conk before too long. I don't look forward to it but I hope it craters at home like mine did.

South TX heat is tough on batteries and tougher on old farts that can no longer deal with it!
 

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South TX heat is tough on batteries and tougher on old farts that can no longer deal with it!

Well, you can always move to the Northern California or Oregon coasts - the temperature usually is tolerable for me, and I begin to melt at 70F! :wink
 

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Once a battery is discharged, it is going to fail. Sulfur deposits form on the plates, acting as insulators. Electrons can't flow easily through insulators, so the battery slowly looses its ability to hold a charge. If the battery is more than 3 years old. I recommend replacing it to avoid an unfortunate breakdown in the dead of winter.
 

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I highly recommend one of these things for battery testing:

http://www.amazon.com/BA5-100-1200-...qid=1442627712&sr=1-3&keywords=battery+tester

If it says you have more CCA than the sticker on the battery says you can be fairly confident it's still good. I have found that new batteries test about 50% higher than their advertised CCA and start to get unreliable in cold weather when they drop below their advertised CCA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If the battery is more than 3 years old. I recommend replacing it to avoid an unfortunate breakdown in the dead of winter.
Very good advice. The longest I have ever had one last was 37 months.......one month past the Honda warranty of course! The dead of winter here might drop to 45º.........maybe.
 

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Very good advice. The longest I have ever had one last was 37 months.......one month past the Honda warranty of course! The dead of winter here might drop to 45º.........maybe.
Battery replacement needs vary widely. My wife left the lights on in her vehicle which had an OEM Panasonic battery and it was dead 8 hours later. Was jump-started by 3A and it lasted for another 10 years. OEM Delco battery in my Saturn developed a cracked case after three years and leaked acid all over the transmission shift linkage, with predictable results. OEM Johnson Controls battery in my RAV load tests fine after 4 3/4 years. We live in mild climate areas. I lived in Nebraska and Minnesota for a number of years and never had to replace a battery.

But apparently constantly hot weather is death for many batteries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
But apparently constantly hot weather is death for many batteries.
No question about it. Google heat kills car batteries and check the results. Down here it's hot for about ten months of the year. I faithfully check/add distilled water monthly but it doesn't seem to matter, they just croak anyway. I need to open a battery store in Phoenix;)
 

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Wife managed to kill her 4.2 leaving the interior light on overnight.

The 4.4 is idiot-proof.
Of course, it also means that if you are working on the interior and using the light, you have to cycle the door open/closed (or closed/open) once every 15-20 minutes to reset the timer and turn the light back on.
 
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