Battery totally dead after sitting for 1 year - Impala Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-21-2014, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Washington
Posts: 203
 
Battery totally dead after sitting for 1 year

So basically my car has been sitting in my garage for almost a year now without touching it (literally a dust bucket). I go to do a test start, turning the ignition, expecting the cranking of the engine...but nothing; no lights and no noise. I discover the battery is totally dead and now have it on a charger.

The battery is only like 1 1/2 years old. I never left the car sitting for a year before but it doesn't sound right for the battery to be totally dead. Anybody ever encounter this? Is there a "leak"?

1967 Chevrolet Impala 4 door "post" sedan
327 5.4L V8 - 3-speed TH350
Classiccarman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-21-2014, 03:42 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,055
Blog Entries: 1
 
Aaron

You live in Washington which I presume gets pretty frigid. Well either way, leaving a car unattended with the battery hooked up for a year or not will probably result in a very dead battery. When unattended, disconnect the battery and leave it on a trickle charger or battery tender. It will be ready when ever you are after that.

Also check acid levels prior to charging if it is a maintenance type battery.

Paul

Paul

1966 Impala SS

Please Visit our new site:
http://www.winvoices.com/
1959 through 1988* window stickers, car shippers, dealer invoices, retail sales orders and tank stickers, expertly reproduced, for most Chevrolet Models.





fsc66 is offline  
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-21-2014, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Washington
Posts: 203
 
Thanks for the response Paul.
I'll try starting it up after the charging is complete. I was a little worried that it might be something else, hopefully it did happen from sitting for a year combined with the cold.

1967 Chevrolet Impala 4 door "post" sedan
327 5.4L V8 - 3-speed TH350
Classiccarman is offline  
 
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 08:29 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth Texas
Posts: 1,273
 
After sitting alone for a year that battery might not be any good. Get it tested after charging.
Txbobcat is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 11:14 AM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,391
 
Yes, completely normal for it to be dead after that long!

Don't just use a regular charger on it. Use a reconditioning charger like a CTEK. It has a good chance of saving it.

Two doors, four doors, wagons, and ragtops.
jayoldschool is offline  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 11:37 AM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,362
 
Modern battery chargers with a brain (computer controlled ) can revive a dead battery if it has not totally sulfated out. They cost more than dumb battery chargers that require you to jump off a dead battery to start the charging process. Those same dumb battery chargers can destroy a marginal battery by warping the plates and fully sulfating the battery if set to anything above two amps per hour.

Don Schumacher (who owns a couple of funny cars and dragsters) paid for his drag racing empire by designing and building quality intelligent battery chargers.

http://www.batterychargers.com/

They are not cheap but they work extremely well and can save a battery or two in your future if you are considering buying a smart charger.

Big Dave
Big Dave is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2014, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Washington
Posts: 203
 
So I guess I'll add on to this thread. After some responses, I suspect it might be a battery problem.

But here's the situation, I was driving yesterday for a good 15-20 minutes or so. In the middle of sitting at a stoplight, the whole thing just shut off and died. I went into park (after pushing it off the side of the road), tried turning the ignition, and there was no response.

At first I thought it was a broken alternator not keeping the charge in the battery causing the whole thing to die while driving but now I'm thinking it could be the battery. However, I did recharge the battery back to 100% (according to the meter on the charger) prior to driving.

I examined the wires connected to the alternator and they looked pretty dirty. Also I had a friend with me during the break down and I had him jiggle one of the wires while I turned the ignition and it started fine. But then I shifted to drive and the whole thing died again. Jiggling the wire didn't work again. The accessories didn't work either.

1967 Chevrolet Impala 4 door "post" sedan
327 5.4L V8 - 3-speed TH350
Classiccarman is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2014, 04:50 PM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,391
 
Classic symptoms of bad battery terminal connection. Also, get that battery load tested. A battery can read 100% on a surface charge, but not be able to deal with a load.

Two doors, four doors, wagons, and ragtops.
jayoldschool is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2014, 04:55 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,055
Blog Entries: 1
 
Wires

Also check the two connectors on the engine compartment that are plugged into the back of the fuse panel. Depress the two buttons and disconnect them, look for burn marks or grounding issues or just loose connections.

Paul

Paul

1966 Impala SS

Please Visit our new site:
http://www.winvoices.com/
1959 through 1988* window stickers, car shippers, dealer invoices, retail sales orders and tank stickers, expertly reproduced, for most Chevrolet Models.





fsc66 is offline  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2014, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Washington
Posts: 203
 
Thanks for the responses guys! I actually had it towed (and insurance paid a large % of that) to my family mechanic. They're closed during the weekend but since I know him well, he stopped by and we pushed into the garage.

I wouldn't of been able to get into my garage anyway to work on it because my driveway is on a 135 degree angle.

I wanted to hear what you guys had to say. But yeah, we'll see what it is on Monday.

1967 Chevrolet Impala 4 door "post" sedan
327 5.4L V8 - 3-speed TH350
Classiccarman is offline  
post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2014, 06:33 PM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,362
 
A car dying like that is also a symptom of a blown fusible link. All of the power in the car runs through that wire that will blow if the current exceeds the rated amperage of the fusible link.

It is just like a fuse in the fuse box the only difference is it protects all of the car's wiring. The jiggling of the wiring might have brought two melted ends of the fusible link back together, but it blew once again when the load exceeded the carrying capacity of the fusible link.

You can buy replacement fusible links in various amperage ratings, at most automotive stores or your local Chevrolet Service center. It is best to buy more than one so that you have a spare.

This is just one possibility. If your battery terminals are loose and your alternator is weak (having blown one or two of the three diodes that allows it to work at full rated power) then loosing a battery terminal connection would result in everything going down. Your alternator should be able to power the car with the lights and wiper motor off.

Big Dave
Big Dave is offline  
post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-01-2014, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Washington
Posts: 203
 
Thanks for all the responses!

Turns out some wires were either loose or undone causing a short, not giving enough power to the alternator, and finally killing the battery. I also invested in a new alternator.

1967 Chevrolet Impala 4 door "post" sedan
327 5.4L V8 - 3-speed TH350
Classiccarman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Impala Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome