New truck battery 12.2 volts

Buddha.

Lurker
Last week I put a new battery in my truck. You can read about that here if you like.
The old battery was only two years old and was usually fine but it's undersized and it won't start my truck in the dead of winter.

The new battery was 12.2-12.3v when I got it home from batteries plus. I've had it in the truck for a week now. I drive 90 min a day and the alternator keeps voltage over 14 volts the whole time but after the truck sits for a couple hours the voltage goes back down. I put a two amp charger on it yesterday for a couple hours, no change.

I think the battery is damaged and isn't going to get any better. I'm concerned that if I bring it back to batteries plus they'll test it and say it fine and they won't replace it.
What would you do? Should I check battery voltage before purchase? What's an acceptable voltage reading?
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Have you confirmed your meter is good? I have seen cheap meters be off by 0.2V before.

12.2V resting at 70-90F indicates a battery that may have some sulfation from sitting on the shelf.
 

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workerdrone

Fulltimer
Yeah that doesn't sound like a good battery but it should be tested without any possible phantom loads connected on your truck. Like maybe a light bulb that's on when the hood is up...

I always try to buy batteries based on the date of manufacture sticker, and get one that's only a month or maybe two old.
 

Buddha.

Lurker
I’m getting my voltage reading from a fluke meter at the battery and also one of those little things that plugs into the cig lighter socket. This is with the battery connected nothing turned on, no hood light.
The sticker on the battery says 6/19. I wouldn’t have thought a battery would go bad that soon.
I’m gonna try to return it.
 

Ducky's Dad

Explorer
The cig lighter socket meters will usually read low because of voltage drop over the tiny wires that supply the socket. I have measured as much as 1.0 V lower at the socket than at the terminal posts, sometimes less depending on which socket in which truck.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
I wouldn't trust the cigarette lighter meter to make a determination but I wouldn't have any real reason to disbelieve a measurement at the battery with any Fluke. But any meter can be broken or out of calibration. You can do a quick check with a brand new 9V battery to check it. Those should be around 9.4V reasonably fresh directly out of the package (Energizer says their alkaline cell is 1.58V/cell completely fresh and a 9V has 6 cells so 9.48V before it sits on the shelf).

Is the ~12.2V before you installed it or immediate right after? IOW before you ever started or ran the truck with it?
 
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Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
Batteries + will likely replace it without argument. They are a volume business, it costs less for them to just swap out a battery than it does to get into a losing fight with a customer.
 

Buddha.

Lurker
The cig lighter meter was reading .1-.2v lower than the fluke at the battery.
The 12.2 voltage was read before I installed it, the first morning after I installed it, the second morning after I installed it, and the third morning after I installed it. Each day I drove 45min to work and 45 min back and the cig lighter meter was showing between 14.2 and 14.9 volts while driving.

This morning I checked the voltage of my old Duralast battery sitting on the floor of my shop, 12.7 volts. I put that one back in for the time being.

I took the new battery back to batteries plus and since I bought it less than 2 weeks ago it was a simple return. They didn't ask any questions and I didn't give any reasons. I didn't want to argue about whether or not the battery was "bad".
I bought a replacement battery from NAPA. It's made by DEKA(made in Germany) and is showing 12.4volts... It's the only one they had, fingers crossed that I don't get a repeat of the last scenario.
 
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Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
I took the new battery back to batteries plus and since I bought it less than 2 weeks ago it was a simple return. They didn't ask any questions and I didn't give any reasons. I didn't want to argue about whether or not the battery was "bad".
I bought a replacement battery from NAPA. It's made by DEKA(made in Germany) and is showing 12.4volts... It's the only one they had, fingers crossed that I don't get a repeat of the last scenario.
(y)

I figured as much.

Here's my take on Batteries +: They're not the cheapest, and their employees often seem like high school kids who barely understand what they're doing. BUT, if you ABSOLUTELY need a battery and have zero time to drive around looking for one, they usually have what you need in stock. I got my 2 x 6v golf cart batteries (for our trailer) from them (If I was getting them now I'd have gone to Costco but we weren't Costco members at that time.)

And as far as customer service goes, they usually take good care of you as long as you have a receipt.

As I said above, it takes more time and effort to argue with a customer than it does to just replace a defective item and they will usually take the path of least resistance.

ALSO: If you're going to buy anything pricey from them (like a battery) make sure you print out a 10% off coupon. You can almost always get 10% off the advertised price, and on a $200 battery that's not insignificant.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
I bought a replacement battery from NAPA. It's made by DEKA(made in Germany) and is showing 12.4volts... It's the only one they had, fingers crossed that I don't get a repeat of the last scenario.
I guess the group size 48 and 49 are slow movers because it sounds like they sit around a while and it seems no one bothers to charge their batteries sitting in stock for long periods.
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
it takes hours to completely charge up a battery, 90mins is not enough time to apply a full charge to a FLA.. Put it on a decent charger (~10A min) at home overnight, then put it into service.. that lil 2A device is a maintainer and will hardly charge it.. could take days w/that thing.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
it takes hours to completely charge up a battery, 90mins is not enough time to apply a full charge to a FLA.. Put it on a decent charger (~10A min) at home overnight, then put it into service.. that lil 2A device is a maintainer and will hardly charge it.. could take days w/that thing.
Fully charged, no, but two 45 minute daily sessions at highway speed (said to be 14.2 to 14.9 volts with I assume a fairly sizable alternator) should be sufficient to get a battery above 50% (e.g. 12.2V) charged after 3 days.
 
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dreadlocks

Well-known member
I was talking about his new Deka @ 12.4v, probably could use a good long uninterrupted absorb before hitting the road w/it.. his drive should bulk a battery up within a few days, but it'd take a long road trip to bring it up to full.. batteries last longer if they stay full and he dont persistently undercharge em.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
A lot of battery companies try to keep them fully charged but some companies have that many in stock that they just don't have the time or the means to keep them all topped up, I bought one 2 years ago and it only had 12.41 according to my Fluke DMM So I charged it up as you should do with all new batteries, I charge my 115Ah batteries at around 9Amps Max But this battery I have I never been able to get it to read 100%, About 93 to 94% is the best I have ever achieved yet others I have will go way past the 100% mark.

If any battery is below par when you get it then It is best to return it as they are normally the first battery in the Batch to die first.
 
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