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F-350 Batterie(s) going down

  #1  
Old 11-30-2018, 05:21 PM
GracieAllen
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F-350 Batterie(s) going down

2016 F-350 Diesel Lariat. 48,000 miles. Normal truck. No magic add-ons, no NON-magic add-ons except TST tire monitors, (and the display for that has been unplugged for weeks), NOTHING changed in MONTHS... Ordinary truck, sitting in the garage.

In the camping off-season (which in MN is about half the year), the truck doesn't get driven as much and has been sitting in the garage for a week since it's last 100+ mile drive. Temperature right now is between 25 and 32 F.

Remote start will NOT start the truck. Clicks, cranks just a bit, then stops and several seconds later it beeps.

KEY WILL start the truck, though it cranks "slowly" (slower than usual even when it's a LOT colder than it is).

This afternoon, started it, pulled out of the garage, shut it off and measured the battery voltage. BOTH batteries (still all connected) read 11.9 V, so quite low. Pull the negative terminal off the passenger side battery and read them individually. Approximately 20 minutes after original reading they both read 12.2V. RE-connected both. Turned key on an and voltage dropped to 10.45. Cranked truck and voltage immediately jumped to 14.3 and stayed there - maybe up to 14.4, but neither abnormally high or low.

SO, as near as I can tell, BOTH batteries are low. The ALTERNATOR is good since it jumped to 14+ V. Neither battery when unhooked and tested individually had a voltage lower than the other.
To ME, this says SOMETHING is slowly draining the batteries. There is NOTHING inside the truck on that I can find. No lights, no buttons, no reading lights, no nothing anywhere that I can find or see. NOTHING. Doesn't mean there's NOT, just that I DON'T SEE ANYTHING.

First question: Am I correct in what I'm thinking - batteries are not necessarily bad, but something is draining them?
Second: Is there ANY KNOWN, obvious problem that drains batteries in 2-year-old trucks with 50,000 miles?
Last, and the one I dread: This truck has the god-awful expensive extended warranty. Is IT going to cover the thing if I have to take it to the local Ford dealer, or am I just handing them a blank check to go rummaging through the truck for hundreds (or thousands) of dollars?
 
  #2  
Old 11-30-2018, 06:08 PM
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Pretty much the only way to figure it out is disconnect the negative battery terminal, connect a multimeter to the negative battery terminal and the now disconnected negative battery cable, see what the amp draw is, and start pulling fuses and see when the draw drops down.

There’s many threads on the subject.

There’s no simple solution (other than first making sure you didn’t accidentally leave any interior light switches on maybe while you were camping). Look at the truck when it’s dark out for any lights on.
 
  #3  
Old 11-30-2018, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by GracieAllen View Post
2016 F-350 Diesel Lariat. 48,000 miles. Normal truck. No magic add-ons, no NON-magic add-ons except TST tire monitors, (and the display for that has been unplugged for weeks), NOTHING changed in MONTHS... Ordinary truck, sitting in the garage.

In the camping off-season (which in MN is about half the year), the truck doesn't get driven as much and has been sitting in the garage for a week since it's last 100+ mile drive. Temperature right now is between 25 and 32 F.

Remote start will NOT start the truck. Clicks, cranks just a bit, then stops and several seconds later it beeps.

KEY WILL start the truck, though it cranks "slowly" (slower than usual even when it's a LOT colder than it is).

This afternoon, started it, pulled out of the garage, shut it off and measured the battery voltage. BOTH batteries (still all connected) read 11.9 V, so quite low. Pull the negative terminal off the passenger side battery and read them individually. Approximately 20 minutes after original reading they both read 12.2V. RE-connected both. Turned key on an and voltage dropped to 10.45. Cranked truck and voltage immediately jumped to 14.3 and stayed there - maybe up to 14.4, but neither abnormally high or low.

SO, as near as I can tell, BOTH batteries are low. The ALTERNATOR is good since it jumped to 14+ V. Neither battery when unhooked and tested individually had a voltage lower than the other.
To ME, this says SOMETHING is slowly draining the batteries. There is NOTHING inside the truck on that I can find. No lights, no buttons, no reading lights, no nothing anywhere that I can find or see. NOTHING. Doesn't mean there's NOT, just that I DON'T SEE ANYTHING.

First question: Am I correct in what I'm thinking - batteries are not necessarily bad, but something is draining them?
Second: Is there ANY KNOWN, obvious problem that drains batteries in 2-year-old trucks with 50,000 miles?
Last, and the one I dread: This truck has the god-awful expensive extended warranty. Is IT going to cover the thing if I have to take it to the local Ford dealer, or am I just handing them a blank check to go rummaging through the truck for hundreds (or thousands) of dollars?
2016 model year.........how long did it set on a dealer lot before it was put into service?
I bought my ‘16 right after they came out in ‘15, and sure enough, right after the 3-36 bumper - bumper warranty ran out my batteries just flat DIED!!!! But you are over the 36000 miles so you too are screwed if you have to replace them.
And just FYI, you might try hooking them up to a battery tender while it is sitting in the garage also, see if it helps.
good luck.
 
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:15 PM
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They're on a battery tender as we speak... I hooked it up this afternoon.

Am I correct that you DON'T think there's some kind of draw that's draining the batteries?

It'll be interesting to see if the extended warranty covers this problem, or if Ford is the same company it was a number of years ago when I worked at a couple of their dealers...
 
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Old 12-01-2018, 04:17 AM
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It’s odd they would go from 11.9 to 12.2 without the truck running.

Best bet is to load test the batteries, but bottom line is that if they’ve charged back up and are holding a charge now, they’re probably ok.

I had a short in my trailer plug iver the summer that dropped my battery to about 11.5 over a week (primarily a plow truck). Fixed the plug and charged up the battery with a charger (vs a tender) and the battery has been fine, even while plowing these past few weeks.

 
  #6  
Old 12-01-2018, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by 99150 View Post
I bought my ‘16 right after they came out in ‘15, and sure enough, right after the 3-36 bumper - bumper warranty ran out my batteries just flat DIED!!!! But you are over the 36000 miles so you too are screwed if you have to replace them.
Depending on the dealership he got it from he may have a different warranty.. before the move (and theres some here in NC as well) that go beyond the mfg warranty and are doing lifetime warranties (short of an engine grenading, or something else major) on the vehicles bought from them provided you bring it to them for the general routine maint... I loved it on the vehicles i had bought from them.. any time i had a problem i could take it in.. these loyalty programs are starting to get more common it seems lately as a way to compete for business..

Originally Posted by seville009 View Post
It’s odd they would go from 11.9 to 12.2 without the truck running.
not really... with the batteries unplugged the slow drain that was pulling on the batteries would allow the depleted surface charge to replenish.. you can experience the same thing by leaving the headlights on with the vehicle off... after awhile you wont be able to start the engine because the surface charge was stripped off the top of the battery... turn the lights back off and wait 30 mins to an hr and the surface charge returns from the lower half and can start the engine...

Originally Posted by seville009 View Post
Pretty much the only way to figure it out is disconnect the negative battery terminal, connect a multimeter to the negative battery terminal and the now disconnected negative battery cable, see what the amp draw is, and start pulling fuses and see when the draw drops down.
To the OP keep in mind when you go to test the batteries for the draw test as described above, when you restore the connection through the multimeter you will have an initial high draw for the first 10 seconds or so then the draw will drop to a trickle.. or least it should in a properly working system.. reason for the momentary high draw is because of the computerized electronics doing their resets after the powers reconnected... after it finishes that the only thing that would normally draw is the KAM's for the radios and computers... you can see this visually with a test light as well... once the circuits completed it would glow brightly for 10 seconds and then dim out... if it stays bright after those initial 10 seconds then somethings shorted and pulling more juice than it should be...
 
  #7  
Old 12-01-2018, 07:34 AM
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The primary battery(passenger); on my 16 died thanksgiving day. It pulled the other down with it and the truck wouldn’t start. I charged remaining good one, put it in the passenger side and was able to get back home and to my home dealer. I picked up two new 850 CCA batteries for $123 each, with a 3 year full replacement 5 year pro rated warranty.

 
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Old 12-01-2018, 12:04 PM
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I"m HOPING it's a battery rather than some phantom drain 'cause on older cars finding a draw was a big pain in the behind, and I'm sure the newer ones are a lot worse.

I'll get the batteries load tested and go from there.
 
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Old 12-01-2018, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by GracieAllen View Post
I"m HOPING it's a battery rather than some phantom drain 'cause on older cars finding a draw was a big pain in the behind, and I'm sure the newer ones are a lot worse.
your assumptions would be correct there...
 
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Old 12-01-2018, 12:40 PM
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Where do I look to see if the batteries are covered for 3 years regardless of mileage or not? Or does someone know on the 2016 F-350?
 
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Old 12-01-2018, 02:34 PM
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It sounds like you are on the right track here, but just as a general tip for anyone else reading, here's my thoughts. 1) ALL vehicles have some sort of parasitic drain, and the newer, the higher it will be in my experience. 2) if you want to test the battery, disconnect it from the vehicle completely, charge it completely, then let it sit for 24+ hours, and if it's reading less than 12.8v, it's weak. 3) a better load test can be done by most auto parts shops. Charge the battery before going there. 4) Because vehicles have parasitic drains, plugging in a battery tender / smart charger any time the vehicle is going to sit for more than 1 week is a decent idea. Particularly in cold winter weather. It's my opinion that in truly cold weather like -30 or worse, a battery tender is MORE IMPORTANT than a block heater.
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by GracieAllen View Post
Diesel. Turned key on an and voltage dropped to 10.45. ?
Don't forget that when the key is turned on, the glow plugs are activated, and the glow plugs draw enough current to reduce the battery voltage down to 10.45, even if the batteries were brand new and confirmed good.

The load draw you are looking for is right there. Turn key on, glow plugs activate, battery voltage WILL be low, until the engine is started and the alternator takes over.

If you want to determine the resting voltage of the battery ensemble, the key needs to be off. If you want to determine the resting voltage of an individual battery, the negative cable to each battery should be disconnected.

 
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Old 12-02-2018, 04:11 PM
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I knew that on the glow plugs, so that didn't bother me. I was more concerned about the battery voltage when EVERYTHING was off. I think the first thing to do is get a load test done, so I"ll get that this week and go from there...

It would be unfortunate, but I suppose I COULD keep a battery tender on the truck all the time when its in the garage, but I'll be really disappointed to find out a truck that's less than 3-years-old needs that. I'd expect better from the company renowned for being "the best" trucks. I can't imagine there are tens of thousands of trucks this new, that don't get driven a lot in the winter, having to be constantly charged. I WOULDN'T expect to have to do that with any "normal" car whether it's sitting for 1 week or 2 or even 3... But, first I'll get the batteries checked.
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by GracieAllen View Post
It would be unfortunate, but I suppose I COULD keep a battery tender on the truck all the time when its in the garage, but I'll be really disappointed to find out a truck that's less than 3-years-old needs that. I'd expect better from the company renowned for being "the best" trucks. I can't imagine there are tens of thousands of trucks this new, that don't get driven a lot in the winter, having to be constantly charged. I WOULDN'T expect to have to do that with any "normal" car whether it's sitting for 1 week or 2 or even 3... But, first I'll get the batteries checked.
stuff happens... i bought a cargo trailer from a really well known company that had a good name for quality built trailers... first trip out everything worked fine.... went to pull it again the next week and electric brakes started being intermittent in working... sometimes my brake controller would sense a connection... other times it didnt.. (im glad the F350s are made to stop its rated haul capacity even without the assist of the trailer brakes).. took it back since i had a warranty... turned out the ground wire for the brakes got loose and was intermittently making a connection.. like i said stuff happens... no one can explain why sometimes even in mfg you can build 100 of the same vehicle with no variation and out of those 100 we'll say 2 just as an example are lemons..

youve already previously stated in your first post that the truck doesnt move much during the off season for camping.. Sitting without being ran or on a tender for long period of time does take a toll on the batteries.. especially during the winter.. doesnt matter if its gas or diesel.. like others have already said.. if it sat for some time on a lot at the dealer for awhile before it got bought those batts could have weakened.. then sitting all winter at your home only hurt them more.. it could also be the batteries had a dead cell right off the shelf at the mfg.. (wouldnt believe the number of times ive had that happen when buying new batteries to find 1 or 2 bad cells in a battery.. didnt matter if it was a name brand or store brand).. could also be like with my trailer above that somethings vibrated loose and caused the issue.. you need to see if theirs a drain without the key on... then youll know for sure if its just the battery or not..

Im already on my 3rd set for my truck.. I bought mine used in 2013.. a little over a year after buying it the batteries that were in it died... since the dealer warrantied the truck they put in 2 new Motorcraft batteries... forward 2 years later the truck was at the dealer for a month because i had a fight with the warranty company they used over whether the AC was covered or not... by time they finally agreed it was indeed covered the 2 yr old batteries were dead as a door nail.. dealership couldnt get them to take a charge so i could pick it up... its now 2 years later and theyre still going strong..
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by GracieAllen View Post
It would be unfortunate, but I suppose I COULD keep a battery tender on the truck all the time when its in the garage, but I'll be really disappointed to find out a truck that's less than 3-years-old needs that. I'd expect better from the company renowned for being "the best" trucks.
I'm not saying it's right, or ideal, but it'll do two things; 1) make your batteries last longer and 2) make your truck start easier.

I know one guy who buys brand new batteries every second fall. That seems crazy to me, but he never has battery issues, so who's to say his method doesn't make sense?
 

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