Have you ever had a mystery dead battery problem. Here is something you may not know about some vehicles and a possible cause of the problem.
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Dear Motor Medics,
I enjoy your column and radio show and now I am in need of your help. I have a 2003 Ford Van with a V8 engine and the battery goes dead whenever I have any power draining accessories on for more than ten minutes with the engine not running. I drive it every day and it never is hard to start and has never been dead except when I have something on for only about ten minutes. You would think this would be simple, replace the battery but I had it tested and they said it is fine. I am on a tight budget so I don’t want to install a battery if it is not bad. What do you suggest?
Scott in Waverly Iowa
The battery and charging system is the first place they had us start when I was trained at the factory and for good reason. A vehicle needs to have a set amount of clean voltage present to operate correctly. Batteries do more than just supply power they filter AC current. If the battery is failing it will not have the ability to filter current or maintain voltage under load. Both situations lead to drivability problems and can be checked with a capacitance type battery tester. A shop with a capacitance tester will be able to determine the batteries condition and how much reserve capacity it has and identify if that is the cause of failure.
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Advice given by the Motor Medics is for entertainment only. Each problem is different and requires different approaches and answers given here are opinions and just one possibility. Always follow all recommended safety procedures and consult with your own qualified technician before attempting repairs of any kind.